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Disney 100 Year Anniversary Celebration

Official Disney 100 Years of Wonder Logo with silver writing on a blue background with sparkles on two corners

Disney has become such a major part of not only American culture but life around the world. The visual of Mickey Mouse crosses language barriers and can bring a smile to a face of any age. As the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration kicks off, you might be wondering what it’s all about. There are a lot of anniversary celebrations going on at the parks these days. So what is the Disney 100 year anniversary celebration actually commemorating? In 1923, Walt and Roy Disney started the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios in Los Angeles, California. That’s the business that evolved over the last century into what we know as The Walt Disney Company today.

The number 23 has since almost become Disney’s lucky number. The official Disney fan club is called D23, named after Disney’s initial and the year the company began. Though the company was actually started on October 16th, 1923, the Disney 100 Year anniversary celebration kicks off January 27th, 2023. Celebrations at Disney typically last a year or 18 months, though the 60th anniversary of Disneyland was very popular and extended. Disney 100 Years of Wonder is initially slated to be a year long happening. Here’s what we have to look forward to.

A Disney 100 popcorn box at Walt Disney World

Details of the Disney 100 Year Anniversary Celebration at Disney Parks

Disneyland Hosts the Disney 100 Year Anniversary Celebration

At the 2022 D23 Expo, the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D’Amaro, announced that Disneyland would be the hub for the Disney 100 year anniversary celebration. You can expect the usual park overlay of decorations on Main Street, U.S.A. and the castle, celebratory treats and merchandise and characters in special outfits for the occasion. The Disneyland Band is also debuting a new medley for the celebration. I’m sure we’ll all see little things here and there as we explore the parks.

Magic Happens Returns February 24th, 2023 for Disney 100

More than 90 performers help the Magic Happens parade come to life each performance. This parade debuted before the 2020 closure but hasn’t been back since. Now the show will dance through the park once again to celebrate Disney 100.

The Magic Happens music is composed by Todrick Hall. There are 30,000 marigold pedals on the Coco float with Miguel. I love a good by the numbers fun fact. The costumes are another notable detail that wows guests. Characters like friends from Frozen 2 and Moana enchant the audience and the choreography stands out from other parades.

Magic Happens times depend on the day you visit. The debut is Friday February 24th with an afternoon parade at 3:30 p.m. and an evening parade at 6:30 p.m. On the weekends the parade has two showings. During the week, there is just the one showing at 6:30 p.m. Times can change so check the Disneyland schedule for times during your visit.

Disney 100 Vera Bradley print bag

Wondrous Journeys Firework Show at Disneyland Park

All 62 animated feature films are included in the new Wondrous Journeys firework show over Sleeping Beauty castle. Even Wish, the film coming out later this year, is part of Wondrous Journeys. A producer of the show shared it was challenging to decide which parts of each film to include.

Production on Wondrous Journeys started with music about a year before the show debuted. Classic animators were consulted and shared their favorite animation moments. One, Burny Mattinson, has been with Disney for 70 years. Over the decades he worked on classics like Sleeping Beauty and Lady and the Tramp to name a few.

Main Street is usually the first place folks think of when it comes to firework viewing spots. That area and the hub are ideal. You can also watch from the it’s a small world and Rivers of America areas for different views. The media is different depending on where you watch the show from.

Pro tip for first timers: The Disneyland castle is much smaller than the one at Disney World. If you want to watch the fireworks and see the projections on the castle, you’ll need to be pretty close to it. There are projections on Main Street buildings too but that’s more of an atmospheric surrounding versus something you’ll want to look at. The fireworks are the main event! If you’ve seen fireworks at Magic Kingdom at Disney World, you might remember a visit from Tinker Bell. Disneyland fireworks have the same sort of appearances. That’s all we’ll say! Just know you’ll want to be close enough at least once to see anyone that may be flying over Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Disney announced Wondrous Journeys will have its last showing on August 31st, 2023 to make way for Halloween festivities.

World of Color – One at Disney California Adventure

Another addition for the Disney 100 Year anniversary celebration is a new nighttime show over at Disney California Adventure. World of Color – One features Star Wars and Marvel for the first time. There are of course many, many characters and songs in each version of World of Color. This one in particular features newer favorites like Encanto and Soul. Guests usually have two chances to see World of Color – One each night with a 9:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. showing. Check for showtimes during your trip.

A Disney 100 window display at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney 100 Year Anniversary Disney World Additions

With the heart of the celebration taking place at Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resort doesn’t have as much going on for it. The east coast Disney parks were actually still celebrating the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World as things got started for the big 100 at Disneyland. The Walt Disney World 50th anniversary celebration ended March 31st, 2023. Platinum merchandise started appearing at the parks and resorts quite early though. There is an official site for the anniversary at Disney100.com and some more information. We do know there’s a new nighttime spectacular debuting later in the year which is a pretty big deal. Epcot has been named the official park for Disney World’s Disney 100 celebration festivities.

Disney has shared the Epcot Disney 100 celebration will happen from September 22nd through December 31st 2023.

A New Firework Show at Epcot

At the same D23 Expo Josh D’Amaro announced that Epcot gets a new nighttime spectacular in late 2023 as part of the celebration. That means three different firework shows will grace Epcot in 2023! The beginning of the year starts with nightly showings of Harmonious. The last night to see this show that debuted for the 50th of Walt Disney World is April 2nd, 2023. On April 3rd, Epcot Forever will show nightly once again. So when will the new Epcot show debut? When Disney says “late” in the year that could mean up through the last week of the year. The most pleasant scenario would be the new Epcot firework show debuting in October during the time of the actual 100 year anniversary of Disney. Surely we’ll hear more as we get closer. When this and other information becomes available, we’ll have updates in our monthly Disney World news and updates posts.

Platinum Character Costumes

As Epcot completes its transformation, there will be more for guests to do in the park again. That includes meeting characters near the front of the park in a new meet and greet location. Before the major refurbishments that have taken place over the last few years, Mickey met guests in the front of the park along with Joy from Inside Out and Baymax. These spaces have since been torn down but a new area is being constructed.

It was once assumed Mickey and Minnie would meet in their platinum costumes in this new meet and greet location. Disney announced that Mickey and Minnie will meet in their platinum looks in the Imagination Pavilion starting September 22nd.

Image from Disney Parks Blog

Special Spaceship Earth Lighting

The lighting on Spaceship Earth that was added for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World may be the best thing we got from it. Each festival and season we see the park icon shimmer in different colors to different songs. It’s like an additional nighttime show and truly something to see. Late in 2023, for Disney 100, the lights will celebrate with different visual and audio nods to Disney favorites like the Wonderful World of Disney television show opening and Mickey balloons.

Image from Disney Parks Blog

Surprise Character Visits at Disney Resort Hotels Continue

For the 50th anniversary celebration of Walt Disney World, and as a pandemic entertainment addition, characters began surprising guests with visits at Disney resorts. We’ll see that continue for the Disney 100 anniversary with characters like Goofy, Pluto and Donald in their pretty platinum outfits. When you see the large blue truck with Disney 100 and fireworks on it, you might want to peek around to see who is there to meet!

Disney 100 Hashtags and Disney Parks Blog Series

The Disney Parks Blog started a series in January of 2023 that focuses on sharing the wonder of different aspects of Disney. The first post spotlighted Mickey and Minnie and introduced the hashtags for the centennial celebration. Use or peruse #SharetheWonder and #Disney100 to see and be part of the Disney 100 year anniversary celebration. See the Disney Parks Blog for more fun and facts.

Disney 100 resort mugs

Celebrate with Disney Vacation Club Resale

If you love Disney Parks, it’s very likely you’ve at least heard of Disney Vacation Club. The Disney timeshare was once called Disney’s best kept secret. As DVC has grown over the years, I think we can agree the secret is out. What is still a lesser known concept, however, is Disney Vacation Club resale. Resale simply refers to purchasing a contract from a Member who is selling. With the help of a real estate professional, you can buy a DVC resale contract at a great price. It’s possible to save thousands buying resale DVC when compared to buying direct from Disney.

The bulk of Disney Vacation Club resorts are at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Over at Disneyland Resort on the west coast, DVC Members can stay at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. Disney Vacation Club fans have been following along on the construction of a brand new home resort at Disneyland. The Disneyland Hotel DVC tower is under construction just steps away from the parks. Aulani is the DVC resort located in Hawaii. The magic is everywhere.

DVC Resale Experts Makes Magic

Always wanting to add more Disney magic to your life? Us too! DVC Resale Experts is a licensed real estate broker with a team that specializes in resale DVC. The Experts are former Disney Vacation Club Guides with many years of experience selling DVC. You can expect pixie dusted service and helpful insight throughout the process. Ready for magical hotel stays year after year? Take a look at our DVC resale listings to see what’s possible and start dreaming another trip.

Disney Blogger Nicole and Disney CEO Bob Iger

Sparkly Nicole

Nicole is a native Floridian who attended the University of Central Florida and decided to call the land of theme parks home. She’s been sharing magical tips, tricks and Orlando travel and tourism favorites online for over a decade.

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