During this past weekend’s D23 Expo, Disney announced some new and exciting details about Disney’s 100 Years of Wonder. Disney100 will be the largest cross-company global celebration in the 100-year history of The Walt Disney Company, and it will officially kick-off during Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest on ABC.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek during the opening ceremonies of D23 Expo:
“Ten decades of creativity, innovation, and determination created The Walt Disney Company you know today—the most enduring and beloved name in entertainment. It’s an awesome responsibility to lead Disney as we begin our second century of telling stories and creating magic that will endure for another 100 years.”
Guests at the Ultimate Disney Fan Event were the first to see Mickey Mouse in his shimmering new “platinum” outfit, designed to reflect the optimism and creativity of Disney as the company celebrates 100 years and looks toward the next century. And throughout the weekend, fans heard about incredible new entertainment, experiences, and events coming from every corner of The Walt Disney Company for the celebration. From Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 2023 release Wish and Disney100: The Exhibition, which will tour domestically and internationally beginning next year, to new spectaculars opening at Disneyland Resort, amazing collectible merchandise, and more, here’s a taste of what’s to come during Disney100:
The Walt Disney Studios
On Friday, inside the 7,000-seat Hall D23, Jennifer Lee, chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios, announced Wish, an epic original animated musical inspired by the studios’ legacy of films and features all-new songs by Grammy®-nominated artist Julia Michaels. The magical story, which looks ahead to the next 100 years for the studio and explores how the wishing star that so many Disney characters wished upon came to be, is set in Rosas, a fantasy kingdom where wishes literally can come true. Inspired by watercolor illustrations of fairytales that fascinated Walt Disney, the look of the film blends a timeless watercolor style with contemporary 3D CG animation. Attendees were introduced to 17-year-old Asha—a smart and driven optimist with a sharp wit whose impassioned plea to the stars calls down an actual star from the sky. Impossibly curious and a little ball of boundless energy, Star is a giant beacon for chaos. Filmmakers Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn and actor Alan Tudyk (the voice of Valentino the goat) joined Lee on stage before introducing the voice of Asha, recent Oscar winner Ariana DeBose, who brought down the house singing “More for Us,” an all-new original song from the film, which hits theaters in 2023.
Plus, the Walt Disney Studios presentation of upcoming theatrical and streaming titles on Friday previewed a trio of new films from Disney Live Action that continue Disney’s 100-year celebration. These new films include The Little Mermaid, a live-action reimagining of the studio’s Oscar-winning animated musical classic, which opens exclusively in theaters nationwide May 26, 2023; Haunted Mansion, a ghostly adventure inspired by the classic theme park attraction, which hits theaters in 2023; and Peter Pan & Wendy, a reimagining of the 1953 animated classic, which premieres on Disney+ in 2023.
Fans in Hall D23 were among the first to see a brand-new Walt Disney Studios logo introduction in honor of Disney 100 Years of Wonder. The new Disney castle introduction features Tinker Bell flying over a riverside village and up a waterfall that leads to the iconic Disney castle, now platinum. Created by Disney Studios Content and Industrial Light & Magic and featuring an all-new arrangement of “When You Wish Upon a Star” by award-winning composer Christophe Beck (Frozen, WandaVision), the new introduction will first appear in theaters with Disney’s Strange World this Thanksgiving and will then play in front of all Disney theatrical and streaming releases throughout 2023.
Disney100: The Exhibition
At D23 Expo, it was announced that Disney100: The Exhibition will open on February 18, 2023, at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with Chicago, Illinois, and Kansas City, Missouri, set as the next two stops on the North American tour. The international unit of the exhibit will open on April 18 in Munich, Germany, with more cities to be announced in the coming months. The stunning key artwork for the exhibit was also revealed, which invites guests to step into their favorite stories using innovative and immersive technology throughout ten galleries in the 15,000-square-foot exhibit. The Walt Disney Archives is opening its vault of treasures, showcasing more than 250 of its “Crown Jewels,” rarely seen original artworks and artifacts, costumes and props, and other memorabilia. Disney has curated special behind-the-scenes glimpses into the creation of the company’s most popular characters, films, shows, and attractions—from Disneyland to Walt Disney World and beyond. The ten magnificent and imaginatively themed galleries, all featuring moving stories, unique interactive installations, and exciting background information, will take visitors on a journey through 100 years of The Walt Disney Company, celebrating the classics from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Strange World, as well as the latest members of the Disney family—Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic.
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro provided guests at D23 Expo a first look at how Disney Parks around the world will mark Disney100. New décor, specialty food and beverages, character experiences and more will come to parks around the world, with the heart of the celebration rooted at Disneyland Resort:
- Two new nighttime spectaculars—World of Color – One and the new fireworks show Wondrous Journeys—will kick off in late January at Disneyland Resort. World of Color – One at Disney California Adventure will span the broad storytelling legacy of Disney’s first 100 years and tell a new story through Disney classics and new favorites. Wondrous Journeys at Disneyland Park will ignite the wonder in everyone and feature nods to all 60 Walt Disney Animation Studios films to date, taking viewers on a journey filled with artistry, music, storytelling, and heart. Special entertainment moments will also pop up across the resort, including the long-awaited return of the Magic Happens parade this spring.
- A brand-new nighttime spectacular will come to the World Showcase Lagoon at EPCOT in late 2023 as part of the Disney100 celebration.
- Hong Kong Disneyland will also unveil a new statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse near Cinderella’s Golden Carouselas part of Disney 100 Years of Wonder.
Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing
As The Walt Disney Company celebrates its 100th anniversary, Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing has several exciting new merchandise collections and collaborations to commemorate Disney 100 Years of Wonder. The first of these collections include:
- Disney100 Platinum Collection – D23 Expo attendees got a special preview of Disney’s Platinum Collection, including the debut of the first Disney100 ear hat and headband. Platinum is a rare, precious metal known to withstand the test of time, just like beloved Disney characters. This Platinum Collection of Disney100 products captures the “classically Disney” look while paving the way forward into a new century. Additional details about this collection debuting on shopDisney—including the introduction of new products—will be revealed later this year.
- Disney100 Decades Collection – As part of the Disney100 Celebration, Disney is introducing the Disney Decades collection, a merchandise line that celebrates classic stories and eras from the company’s history. Debuting early next year on shopDisney with products centered around the 1920s and Steamboat Willie, this ongoing series will celebrate a different decade and the beloved stories from them including Snow White from the 1930s, Pinocchio from the 1940s, and more.
- Disney100 Books from Disney Publishing: Fans looking to celebrate 100 years of Disney through its beloved tradition of storytelling can look forward to brand-new titles in 2023, including Walt Disney: An American Original, Commemorative Edition; The Official Walt Disney Quote Book; The Story of Disney: 100 Years of Wonder, by John Baxter, Bruce C. Steele and the Staff of the Walt Disney Archives; and People Behind the Disney Parks: Stories of Those Honored with a Window on Main Street, U.S.A. by Chuck Snyder with original art by Josey Tsao.
A Company-Wide Celebration
In addition to the above, more incredible experiences, content, and opportunities await guests including:
- Disney100.com: D23 Expo marked the debut of Disney100.com, a digital experience for all the magic in store for guests during the celebration. Right now, fans can get a sneak peek of the site, which will officially launch January 1, 2023.
- ABC News Studios will present a once-in-a-lifetime documentary event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of one of the world’s most beloved companies. Disney: 100 Years of Wonder will take viewers on a journey that started in 1923 and whose future is not yet written. Deciding that a linear chronological retelling beginning in 1923 was inadequate to truly capture the essence of the magic of The Walt Disney Company, the project will tell the story from the lens of the core values and philosophies of the company, which have acted as a guided path through our ever-changing world.
- Disney Music Group and Deutsche Grammophon will release Lang Lang: The Disney Book on Septembers 16, 2022 celebrating 100 years of Disney with iconic melodies reimagined for the piano.
- In 2023, Disney Music Group will release a vinyl compilation highlighting the Company’s musical moments across film, television and the Parks.
- And much, much more to be announced in the coming weeks and months, including —content that will span the company’s portfolio of must-watch linear television channels, including ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN, Freeform, FX, and National Geographic, as well as the ABC owned-stations—and streaming platforms—Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+