First Glimpse at The Disney 100 Exhibition

Hello, Mousekefriends! D23 Expo has given us some amazing things to look forward to- including The Disney 100 Exhibition!

What is The Disney 100 Exhibition?

The Disney 100 Exhibition is a beautiful celebration of the last 100 years of Disney. The Disney 100 Exhibition will celebrate 100 years of wonder with immersive adventures, inspiring worlds, and magical artifacts-including Disney’s “Crown Jewels” – more than 250 rarely-seen original artworks and artifacts, costumes and props, and other memorabilia. 

You can watch the trailer from the Franklin Institute here.

The team for the Disney 100 Exhibition is:

  • Matt Adams, Manager at Disney Archives
  • Kelsey Williams, Curator at Disney Archives
  • Paula Sigman Lowery, Curator with Semmel Exhibitions
  • Annette Dooman, Art Director at TK

Concept Art of The Exhibition Displays

The Disney Archives wanted to make sure that guests of all ages could enjoy the exhibition together. Because of this, they chose to forgo chronological order. This way, the Disney 100 Exhibition is more of an experience than feeling like you’re walking through a museum. 

The Disney Archives created large crystals that they put projection maps on. This shows scenes of great examples of storytelling, and changes before your eyes. They also added interactive and innovative elements to each section. Some examples of these innovative and interactive elements are the Magic of Music and Sound Soundtrack Covers and The Disney Parks Interactive Tabletops. 

The Soundtrack Cover Wall will feature 100 Soundtrack illustrations covering the walls. Within the wall, you will be able to come up to one of several screens, which allow you to look through some of the hit Soundtrack songs over the past 100 years, and allow you to listen to them as well.

The Interactive Park Tabletops will feature an amazing touch screen that will enable you to take a look at attractions within ALL of the Disney Parks, worldwide. You will now have all of the parks, even international ones, at your fingertips. 

They will also have some life-size photo ops, including a sleeping Dopey, Conductor Mickey, and some surprise pals to get to take pictures with! 

Concept Art for The Photo-Ops

What are The Themes of the Exhibition?

Pacho and Enoch created 12 exclusive posters, 2 of which are for the exhibition overall, and 10 of which each represent a specific part of the exhibition.

 The themes they chose are based off of Walt’s own philosophies. The themes include: 

  • Where it All Began
  • Where do The Stories Come From?
  • The Illusion of Life
  • The Spirit of Adventure and Discovery
  • The Magic of Sound and Music
  • The World Around Us
  • Innoventions
  • Your Disney World
  • The Wonder of Disney
  • We are Just Getting Started

Poster Concept Art

 Disney’s Character Consultant, David Pancho, and Art Director, Shane Enoch, released some concept art of posters for the Exhibition. 

If you’re familiar with Disney, you’re probably familiar with how Disney likes to use posters. At the entrances to Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland California, posters line the entrance into the parks. These posters depict different attractions within the parks, with their whimsical, 1950’s travel-advertisement style. Each poster will be lightly animated to add some extra Pixie Dust! These posters act as a visual link for each section.


Disney 100 Exhibition Displays

We also got some spoilers on some of the artifacts coming out of the Disney Archives. The team wanted to pick some rare items that are rare, and even some never-before-seen artifacts! Of course, these are few of the hundreds of items that will be featured. 

Walt's personal praxinoscope will be displaye, as an homage to early animation.
The ride vehicle from Peter Pan will be on display.
In The Magic of Music and Sound, we have some incredible features. (From L to R) The wallet used for the steps of the Dwarves in Snow White, The whistle used for Steamboat Willie, and the chime for the Iconic Tinkerbell sound.
(From L to R) Engineer Mickey was part of an iconic railroad photo of Walt. Walt's #1 Disneyland Employee Badge will be featured, as well as his notes for his opening day Disneyland speech.
The Exhibition will also include some "Crown Jewels" of the archives. This includes Pinocchio, the snow globe from Mary Poppins, and Cinderella's Slipper.

Where will the Exhibition be heading?

Initially, it will open at the Franklin Institute in Pennsylvania on February 18th, 2023. Other stops that have been announced are Chicago (where Walt was Born), and Kansas City, Missouri (where Walt moved in 1909, and where he opened his first animation studio). More stops are expected to be announced as dates get closer!

 The Exhibition actually will have 2 exhibitions in total. One will be heading to Germany, April 18th, 2023. This second exhibition will run internationally. The Disney 100 Exhibition will run for 5 years, giving you ample time to see it while you can! 

“It Didn’t really start with a mouse. It started with a man… It started with Walt Disney.”

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