In 1923, Walt Disney and his brother Roy launched the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in Los Angeles in order to make their own animated short films. The company changed names a few times over the next few years, but as we all know, the venture went well, and helped shape popular culture around the globe. Beginning Jan. 27 and throughout 2023, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim will be celebrating the Disney100 Celebration, marking the company’s centennial with special decor, food and drink, merchandise, and new rides and shows.
The ongoing Disney100 party has a platinum-and-purple theme, which you will see all over the two Anaheim parks, from the decked-out Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland Park to the strolling characters, treats, and merchandise in Disney California Adventure Park.
What to Do at the Disney100 Celebration
Get an entertaining history lesson by starting at The Disney Gallery, located along Disneyland Park’s Main Street, U.S.A. The “Disney 100 Years of Wonder” exhibit offers a glimpse of the creative process of creating both Disney films and the rides inspired by movies—like sketches for the Haunted Mansion, or the painted glass slides and old-school, multi-plane camera that created the forest in Sleeping Beauty.
Then, head to Toontown for a new ride that pays tribute to Disney’s early success: Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, a gently thrilling train ride through a variety of a cartoon scenes. (Fun fact: This is the first time that Walt Disney’s first signature creation, Mickey, is getting his own ride.) The line for the ride features its own entertainment: You enter through the El CapiToon Theatre (a nod to the El Capitan Theatre, the Hollywood theatre that has debuted many of Disney’s classics), and watch Mickey and Minnie's new cartoon short, "Perfect Picnic,” while checking out movie props and memorabilia on display. For the time being, you’ll need to use the Disneyland Mobile App to ride, by securing your spot in a virtual queue, or by purchasing an individual Lightning Lane pass to reserve your time. The rest of the still-being-refurbished Mickey’s Toontown area will reopen March 8, with some returning features—like Mickey and Minnie’s houses—but also new attractions, such as a grassy CenTOONial Park, a Goofy-themed play area, and Café Daisy, helmed by Daisy Duck. More Mickey-themed fun is on the way next month, too: the Magic Happens parade, led by the head mouse, returns to Disneyland Park on Feb. 24. Disney fans may recall that this parade first debuted right before the pandemic, and mostly enjoyed online viewing in the months that followed.
Special-Edition Merchandise and Food
The Disney100 festivities also include a deep inventory of purple-and-platinum merchandise, from blingy sweatshirts and mouse ears to a silver Disney100 Poison Apple Mug.
The resort’s restaurants and bakeries offer a wide range of Disney100-themed food and drinks, too. Go to the Candy Palace and Candy Kitchen, for instance, for silver-and-lavender Minnie Apples and Cake Pops, or to the Jolly Holliday Bakery Café for the Mr. Banks Shortbread Tart, with its caramel and chocolate ganache, topped with purple-tinted white chocolate mousse and edible silver stars. In both parks, you can get The Disney100 Churro rolled in cherry sugar, drizzled with white icing, and topped with purple pearls. For happy hour, try the Disney100 Cocktail at the Lamplight Lounge in Disney California Adventure Park, with gin, pea flower, and lavender, garnished with an edible flower.
The Downtown Disney District restaurants have their own treats, too, like the Lavender Honor (gin, plum liqueur, yuzu, and cava) at Catal Restaurant and Uva Bar & Café, or the three leches cake with snow-white chocolate confetti at Tortilla Jo’s.
Stay at the parks after dark to experience one of the two new nighttime shows, shown on select nights. In Disneyland Park, Wondrous Journeys uses lighting effects, projections, and fireworks to showcase a century’s worth of Disney animation across the sky, accented with a new song, “It’s Wondrous.” The show is a treasure trove for Disney superfans, with its quick, Easter egg–style images from 60-plus movies.
At Disney California Adventure Park, A World of Color—ONE paints its own pictures on the night sky through fountains, lights, and colors, and is the first Disneyland nighttime show to include nods to Disney movies, Star Wars, Pixar films, and the Avengers. The show also features a new original song, “Start a Wave.”
Tips for Experiencing Disney100
Reserve your spot for the shows using the Disneyland App’s virtual queue, and for added fun wear a MagicBand+, which will provide its own lights and vibrations during the shows. The new wearable wristband is also handy for storing your tickets and Lightning Lanes and for playing games in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge; as time goes on, the bands will add more perks, like interacting with some of the resort’s Disney100 decor.