The Walt Disney Company has a big birthday to celebrate in 2023. It's celebrating 100 years by throwing the biggest event yet in Disney history: Disney 100 Years of Wonder. The heart of the celebration will take place at Disneyland Resort, and that's where the party will kick off on Jan. 27, 2023. The party will eventually spread to Walt Disney World Resort and other international Disney Parks as part of this global celebration. What can you expect for the Disney 100 anniversary celebration? Let’s hop in to explore everything we know so far, but keep hopping back for updates — Disney has more magical moments up its sleeve!
What to Expect at the Disney 100 Years of Wonder Celebration
The Disney 100 anniversary celebration is a worldwide event, but Disneyland Resort will be right at the center of it. Disneyland will celebrate with special décor, character outfits, food, drink and merchandise. The most exciting news is that the celebration brings new nighttime entertainment, including a new fireworks show and a new version of World of Color. The Magic Happens parade returns in spring, and a new ride opens with the celebration as well.
At Disney World, EPCOT gets a new fireworks show. At Magic Kingdom, an enhanced version of the fan-favorite Happily Ever After returns. Disney World is still celebrating its 50th-anniversary celebration until March 31, 2023, but we hope to have more updates on the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration at Walt Disney World Resort soon.
Internationally, Hong Kong Disneyland will unveil a new statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse.
At D23, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said, “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.” We frogs are here for it!
Disney 100 Year of Wonder Dates and Tickets
We are still awaiting all of the exciting details, but we do have a start date! The year-long Disney 100 anniversary celebration kicks off at Disneyland Resort on Jan. 27, 2023. The new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride will also open on Jan. 27, 2023, ahead of the rest of the renovated Toontown (which is reopening March 8, 2023). The Magic Happens parade returns to Disneyland on Feb. 24, 2023. Hop back for further dates, especially for the celebration at Walt Disney World.
When is the best time to visit? Our hopful post on the best time to visit Disneyland can guide you in choosing when to visit. If you want to catch Magic Happens, then plan your visit for spring or summer 2023. We do not yet have an end date for this year-long celebration.
Tickets and Reservations
You’ll want to purchase theme park tickets and make hotel reservations in advance for this special event. Your froggy friends at Undercover Tourist can help you save money on tickets and hotels. Plus if you need a rental car, add it to your cart and purchase it at the same time to unlock even deeper savings. You still need to make a theme park reservation to visit the theme parks. Disneyland has temporarily paused new theme park reservations after Jan. 8, 2023, so no need to worry about theme park reservations just yet. Here is how to access the availability calendar for theme park reservations.
Keep in mind that you can get the best deals on Disneyland tickets this fall (keep an eye out for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals!) and then be ready to reserve once reservations open. Plus, if Disney were to raise prices, you’d lock in the lowest ticket prices, so we can’t stress the importance of purchasing tickets early.
Disney 100 Entertainment and Attractions at Disneyland
Two new nighttime spectaculars and a new ride will make their debut for the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration on Jan. 27, 2023. In spring, the iridescent Magic Happens parade joins the party. Here's what's in store.
World of Color — One at Disney California Adventure (Jan. 27, 2023)
This all-new nighttime spectacular celebrates the legendary storytelling that Walt Disney began 100 years ago. The story shows how a single action, such as a drop of water, creates a ripple that can grow into a wave of change. The show features new and classic courageous, loving and inspiring characters as well as a new original song, “Start a Wave.” Here's our guide to viewing World of Color. You may want to read up on joining the virtual queue for this show. Also, our post on Disneyland dining packages can help you decide if a dining package may be worth it for your family.
Wondrous Journeys fireworks at Disneyland Park (Jan. 27, 2023)
This new fireworks show features all 60 Walt Disney Animation Studios films to date. The pyrotechnic and projection show is filled with artistry, music, storytelling and heart. Projections will turn Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle, the façade of “it’s a small world” and the Rivers of America into an artist’s canvas as fireworks fill the sky. “Wondrous Journeys” has a new song called, “It’s Wondrous.” Here's our guide for viewing Disneyland fireworks no matter which show you get to see.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride in Mickey’s Toontown (Jan. 27, 2023)
All aboard! Woot, woot! This whimsical new ride rolls into Mickey's Toontown right on schedule for the Disney 100 celebration! It is the first major Mickey-themed ride at Disneyland. The queue differs from the version of this ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Disney World. The ride features an original story (and catchy theme song) in which Mickey and Minnie are premiering their newest short, “Perfect Picnic,” at the El CapiTOON Theatre. Before you enter the theatre, you'll explore the special exhibit featuring props and costumes from the toon world. Then, you’ll step from the human world straight into the unpredictable cartoon world of Mickey and Minnie, and board a trackless train with Goofy as the engineer.
With Goofy at the wheel, what could hoppen? It's a magical, out-of-control trip with surprising twists and turns! Hold onto your ears because it's a multi-dimensional cartoon world, so anything can happen! The ride has state-of-the-art technology and dazzling visual effects to immerse you into Mickey's and Minnie's zany animated world. This ride opens for the 100th-anniversary celebration ahead of the rest of the reimagined Toontown, which will open a little later on March 8, 2023.
Magic Happens Parade (spring 2023)
This magical parade originally made its way down the parade route on Feb. 28, 2020, for about two weeks. You can read all about it in our Magic Happens post. For most guests (those who did not hoppen to visit the first two weeks of March 2020), this is a brand-new parade. We have been toadally looking forward to its triumphant return!
Reimagined Toontown (March 8, 2023)
Toontown is getting a fresh makeover in honor of the new ride. It features grassy play spaces perfect for tadpoles to get the wiggles out. One of the new areas coming to Toontown will be CenTOONial Park, showcasing a fountain designed for play, including water tables. The fountain will be brought to life at night, as well. Nearby, a dreaming tree will provide opportunities to play, crawl and explore.
Goofy's House and Donald's Boat are being "reimagined in new and exciting ways" with all-new sensory experiences. Goofy's How-To-Play Yard is a playground perfect for tadpoles of all ages with a soft, spongey ground, an elevated clubhouse and a sound garden. Donald's Duck Pond has a splashy play area featuring giant spinning water lilies, balance beams and rocking toys. Gadget's Go Coaster returns with new and exciting changes. Mickey's House, Minnie's House and Roger Rabbit's CarTOON Spin also will reopen with the refurbished land.
New Entertainment and Attractions at Disney World
Disney World is still in the swing of things in its 50th-anniversary celebration, so we do not have firm dates for the Disney 100 starting date at this resort. But after the 50th celebration ends, two nighttime spectaculars are set to light up the skies in 2023.
At EPCOT, an all-new nighttime spectacular will come to life on the World Showcase Lagoon in late 2023. Meanwhile, Happily Ever After fireworks will return to Magic Kingdom. This beloved show returns to Disney World with enhancements. It may not be specific to the Disney 100 anniversary, but we certainly jump for joy and think it’s something to celebrate for sure! It’s expected to return sometime in 2023.
Plus, a long-awaited ride zooms in during spring 2023. The TRON Lightcycle Power Run coaster is set to open in spring 2023 at Magic Kingdom Park.
Disney 100 Anniversary Décor
Disneyland Resort will be dressed in its sparkling platinum best. Mickey, Minnie and pals will be radiant in their celebration outfits. The shimmering outfits reflect Disney’s optimism and creativity. Platinum withstands the test of time, just like our favorite Disney characters.
To celebrate "wonder," the Sleeping Beauty Castle will be decorated with platinum banners and bunting. Look for the three Good Fairies over the archway. They illuminate it with shimmering pixie dust. Two water fountains spring to life on either side of the castle in the moat. To top it off, you can make a wish on the star sparkling from the tower.
Disney 100 Food and Beverage
As with any Disney celebration, you can expect special food and beverage selections. That also includes food accessories such as Mickey sippers and more. Hop back for the deets once the delicious details are announced.
Disney 100 Merchandise and More
You cannot leave a party without a goodie bag. In this case, it’s going to be a bag of platinum ears, spirit jerseys and sippers. We got a sneak peek at the platinum Disney100 ear hat and headband, but we expect to see more revealed as the celebration approaches.
How to Plan for the Disney 100 Years of Wonder Celebration
As we mentioned earlier, the Disney theme park reservation system is still in place. That means you need to make your hotel and your park reservations in addition to purchasing general park admission.
Park hopping is a great way to stay flexible and sometimes access better theme park availability at Disneyland. If park hopping, you only need to make a theme park reservation for the first park you plan on visiting. It's the same price to add park hopping to a 5-day ticket as it does to a 1-day ticket at Disneyland, so it's worth adding it to Disneyland tickets for longer stays. Then you can hop back and forth after 1 p.m. at Disneyland (and after 2 p.m. at Disney World). We'd suggest making your park reservation for the park you'd most like to visit if you'll be hopping.
Here are some of our other tips and tricks when heading to the Disney 100 anniversary celebration:
- Large celebrations tend to attract crowds. If you have your heart set on visiting during peak times, you should start planning now and lock in your park reservations! For the best availability, book early.
- We highly recommend placing your mobile order well in advance, especially for lunch and dinner meals.
- Staying on-site? Make sure you take advantage of the perks available to you! Utilize Early Entry in the mornings for the lowest wait times. Also, be sure to link your hotel reservation to your Disneyland account and app. That way, you may be able to access a better theme park availability schedule than other guests when making theme park reservations.
- Get acquainted with virtual queues. World of Color has a free virtual queue that opens every day at noon. The first show of the night goes quickly. The last show of the night is usually less crowded.
- Consider dining packages. We break down the packages we think are worth it or where you can save your money.
- Get a multi-day ticket so you can see and do it all.
- Consider getting Disney Genie+ service to shorten your wait times for rides.
What are you most excited about for the Disney 100 Years of Wonder celebration? If you are looking to visit Disneyland or Disney World you can purchase discount theme park tickets and hotel rooms directly through Undercover Tourist. Be sure to make your theme park reservations as soon as you can after purchasing as some days will fill up.