Disney100 Year-Long Celebration at the Disneyland Resort
Jan 28, 2023
A new chapter in the world of Disney begins as it continues to make history. This year, Disney is celebrating its 100th anniversary with their year-long Disney100 Celebration! Walt Disney Imagineering, while celebrating their 70th anniversary, has teamed up with Walt Disney Animations Studios to bring us a full-year of exciting new events and experiences. After being able take part in many of these exciting experiences myself, I can assure you this once-in-a-lifetime celebration is bound to be magical and memorable. Grab your family, friends, and your Mickey Ears and prepare for an adventurous and nostalgic journey of artistry, storytelling, and creativity!
After a year of anticipation, Mickey’s Toontown is set to re-open on March 7th this year! This reimagined land includes a lush-green park known as Centoonial Park where kids can run around or even hold picnics. At its center is a large tree inspired by Walt’s Dreaming Tree. At Donald’s Duck Pond, Donald’s boat has sprung a leak; guests can come in for a little splash and even help Donald to maintain the flood by playing an interactive game. Goofy’s House is returning at Goofy’s How-To-Play Yard. Using a special kinetic contraption, Goofy is harvesting honey to create candy for everyone to enjoy. Near the center of the land is an interactive fountain that comes with its own light-show after sunset. This is great for children or families who cannot stay for the nighttime fireworks.
With the 30th anniversary of Mickey’s Toontown, a brand new ride “Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway” is now open to the public at the El Capitoon Theater via virtue queue. This intuitive ride utilizes advanced trackless technology, similar to the “Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance” ride in Galaxy’s Edge, to take guests on a crazy and unpredictable ride through the world of cartoon shorts. As your conductor, Goofy takes you you through a stimulating and story-driven ride that incorporates many beautiful sets, animatronics, and simulations. This perfect blend of creativity yields one of the most immersive experiences I’ve encountered and would undoubtedly be enjoyable for guests of all ages.
As part of a series of transformations, bringing “The Princess and the Frog” story to life, Tiana’s Palace will be opening later this year in New Orleans Square, replacing the current French Market Restaurant on Orleans Street. This brand new restaurant comes after the opening of Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets shop earlier last year and will be followed by Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which will be replacing Splash Mountain next year. Inspired by New Orleans cuisine, this restaurant will be catering authentic tastes and flavors that will surely enchant your taste-buds!
The Disney100 Celebration introduces an expansive line of limited-time, platinum-themed merchandise. This vast collection includes MagicBands, plushies, mugs, tumblers, figurines, apparel, bags, ornaments, various home accessories and more!
At one of the various shops around the park and hotels, I personally fell in love with one Disney100 t-shirt in particular that featured Mickey and friends. Disney really does go above and beyond with their designs and aesthetics, allowing the magic to be brought home with you.
Kicking off the Disney100 Celebration is the introduction of two new nighttime spectaculars — “Wondrous Journeys” at the Disneyland Park, and “World of Color — One” at Disney’s California Adventure. “Wondrous Journeys” features a brand new original song “It’s Wondrous” that captures the heart of Disney and is sure to win the hearts of all spectators. The show features many popular Disney films including “Encanto,”, “Hercules,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Peter Pan,” “Frozen,” “Treasure Planet,” “Big Hero 6,” “Moana,” “Lilo and Stitch”, “Bambi”, “The Lion King”, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, and more. The entire Sleeping Beauty Castle is transformed into a creative canvas filled with special lighting effects, pyrotechnics and projections. This exhilarating experience is only heightened by the overhead fireworks and characters, such as Baymax, soaring through the sky. Many parts of this show almost brought me to tears, but my favorite moment was when fireworks were used to to replicate shooting stars.
“The World of Color — One” show at Disney’s California Adventure features characters from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel. This show utilizes the lighting fixtures from the Pixar Pal-A-Round ferris wheel as well as the fountains from the water below to create a colorful and dynamic composition. Like “Wondrous Journeys”, this show also utilizes lasers, fog and flames to accent characters from “Mulan”, “Coco”, “Encanto”, “Soul”, “The Lion King”, “Moana”, “Avengers: Endgame”, “Star Wars” and more! Show Director, Writer at Disney Live Entertainment Wendy Ruth hopes all guests can “appreciate the beauty and time put into [the show] and walk away with empowerment.” Showtimes are at 9pm and 10:15pm. Guests who have linked their MagicBand+ to their Disneyland app can also experience a mini lights-how on their wrists that plays in sync with the music from both spectaculars.
The beauty and wonder from seeing these shows in-person pales in comparison to the clips online. The musical vibrations, the lights, the heat, and the overall vibes all contribute to the indescribable grandeur of experiencing these spectaculars within the parks. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity you do not want to miss! The Lunar New Year celebration at Disney’s California Adventure will be continuing through February 15th and the “Magic Happens” parade will be resuming on February 24th. This is only the beginning of the Disney100 Celebration and there are many more events and experiences to come this year!