Goodbye, 50th. Hello, 100th.
Unlike the 50th, which honored the day the Walt Disney World Resort (including Magic Kingdom) opened on October 1, 1971, the 100th celebrates The Walt Disney Company, which was founded on October 16, 1923.
Both Disney World and Disneyland are honoring the 100th anniversary with special limited-time events that highlight the stories and characters that have captured our hearts for the past 100 years.
Let’s check it out! Here is our complete guide to the Disney100 Celebration at Disney World.
When is the 100th anniversary at Disney World?
The Disney100 Celebration kicked off in April following the end of the 50th anniversary at Disney World.
From April through September, each month celebrates a different storytelling theme. Disney100’s finale will happen with a celebration at Epcot from September through December, meaning the 100th will conclude at the end of December 2023.
What new things are happening at Disney World for the Disney100 Celebration?
There are several ways Disney World is celebrating the 100th.
For the Disney100 Celebration at Disney World, each month from April through September a different storytelling theme is being honored through character caravans, parades, photo opportunities, limited-time merchandise, and more.
Here’s a breakdown of each month:
Disney Resort hotels
Disney Resort Hotels offer movies under the stars, poolside parties with themed activities, and more surprises.
Plus, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for the famous “Character Caravan.” If you spot it at your hotel that means characters are roaming around taking photos.
Better yet, for the Disney100 Celebration, they’ll be wearing their platinum costumes!
Disney100 Platinum Signs
There are Disney100 platinum signs at Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. There is also a sign at Disney Springs.
You can usually find a Disney PhotoPass photographer stationed nearby making for a fun photo-op.
Epcot is the host
Disney100’s finale will happen with a celebration at Epcot, the main host of the anniversary. The park will have a variety of all-new experiences from September through December.
Mickey and Minnie, dressed in celebratory platinum outfits, are on hand for a special meet and greet.
You’re able to hug and take photos with the them in the Imagination! pavilion. They’re meeting at the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival. They are temporarily replacing Mickey’s regular meet and greet here, where he normally meets in his traditional outfit. Just look for this sign.
New Mickey sculpture
A platinum Mickey sculpture welcomes guests to the park!
You can find the statue in World Celebration positioned in front of the Disney100 sign near the walkway that leads to the World Showcase.
PhotoPass is available here, as well.
A special mural and other decor
There is an all-new mural at the heart of World Celebration featuring 100 Disney characters!
The mural is located along the walkway to World Showcase and features some characters hidden throughout the various Epcot neighborhoods.
Here are all of the characters you can search for in the mural:
We spy Hercules and Meg (and so many more)! Be sure to take time to browse the mural and see if you can spot all 100 characters.
In addition to the mural, the rest of World Celebration ois also be decked out in Disney100 platinum banners and décor.
Spaceship Earth show
There will be a special lighting design on Spaceship Earth in the evenings. The park icon will light up each night with special colors and lights accompanied by the Disney100 anthem, a unique rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star.”
Just look at those Mickeys!
As detailed by Jason Read, show lighting designer principal for Walt Disney Imagineering,” We’re also inspired by many things from the history of the company, its characters, theme parks and shows – even the Disney100 opening logo that plays before our feature films during this anniversary.”
New nighttime spectacular
A new nighttime spectacular will debut at Epcot during the 100th following the temporary return of Epcot Forever, which took over for Harmonious when it ended on April 2.
Yes, this also mean those barges are gone for good.
The show is called “Luminous – The Symphony of Us” and is set to debut on December 5, 2023.
It will “unite us through commonalities of the heart in a dazzling display of fireworks, lasers, music, and light.” Disney has also said the spectacular “will remind us that we’re more alike than different, connecting our hearts together as one.”
There will also be an original composition, along with select songs from the Disney songbook.
Soarin’ Over California
As of September 22, Soarin’ Over California is back in The Land Pavilion at Epcot in honor of the Disney100 Celebration!
This means, Soarin’ Around the World will temporarily be put on hold, while the original Soarin’ theme makes its triumphant — and limited time — return.
It’s unclear exactly how long Soarin’ Over California will run, but we expect it to last the duration of the Disney100 Celebration.
These special Disney100 booths are:
These will remain open through December 30, which means you can visit them throughout the duration of the Disney100 Celebration, Food and Wine, and Festival of the Holidays.
Special premium popcorn bucket
You can also purchase a metallic Mickey Balloon Premium Popcorn Bucket!
This is only available at popcorn carts around the park during Disney100. It’s priced at $20 (tax included).
Merchandise and Treats
Of course, Disney’s celebrating the 100th with a variety of merchandise collections and treats.
Would it be a Disney anniversary celebration without special treats?
For example, as of May 1, this Disney100 Petite Cake is available at Amorette’s Patisserie in Disney Springs.
This cake dessert has layers of vanilla chiffon, berry mousse, and berry compote, all topped with a celebratory Disney100 Medallion macaron.
According Disney, “The Disney Culinary team has been dreaming up all kinds of delicious dishes to commemorate the milestone, and this is just the beginning.
Stay tuned for more details about the Disney100 treats that will be available for purchase.
Pressed coins, medallions, and tags
If you want an affordable souvenir with a Disney100 twist, go no further.
There are Disney100 anniversary-themed pressed coins, medallions, and tags across Disney World.
The coins and medallions are available in over 65 unique designs and feature 100 Disney characters, including (to name a few):
- Winnie the Pooh
- Orange Bird
- Buzz Lightyear
- Kermit the Frog
- Edna Mode
Engraved tags are also available in a variety of shapes and patterns, all inspired by the Disney100 celebration.
Coin presses and Disney100 collectibles can be found at several locations throughout Disney World, including:
- Magic Kingdom
- Hollywood Studios
- Typhoon Lagoon
- Blizzard Beach
- Disney Resort hotels (select locations)
- Disney Springs
- ESPN Wide World of Sports Complez
- Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf
- Winter Summerland Miniature Golf
Cinderella carriage platinum popcorn bucket
Exclusive to Magic Kingdom is this Disney100 Cinderella Premium Bucket! It is currently on sale at select popcorn carts for $28 (plus tax).
There are also standard popcorn buckets with the Disney100 design, which you can find at all four theme parks and Disney Springs.
Even the refillable mugs at the Disney World Resort hotels are sporting the purple and silver look for the anniversary.
Collections and accessories
As you shop at the theme parks and hotels, keep your eyes peeled for a range of merchandise collections celebrating the 100th anniversary, like…
When is the best time to visit during the 100th anniversary?
Unlike the 50th anniversary, the Disney100 Celebration is much shorter. So, if you want to experience the limited-time events you should make sure you visit before the end of this December.
Disney100’s finale will happen with a celebration at Epcot from September through December, meaning the 100th will conclude on December 31, 2023.
Of course, certain months may see more guests than usual, like during summer vacation and the holidays (October through December).
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