Christian Thompson/Courtesy of Disneyland Resort
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company, and to celebrate the milestone, Disneyland Resort is hosting a spectacular soiree across both of its parks. The festivities begin today, and we got a sneak peek at the goings on. Here’s what to expect at the magical Disney100 Celebration at Disneyland Resort.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Now Rolling
What better way to kick off this centennial than with a brand-new attraction starring two iconic Disney characters? Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opens today in Disneyland’s Toontown, and it impressed us from the start with its creative queue design. You stroll through the bright marquee of the El Capitoon Theater, past movie-themed exhibits and a concession stand with popping popcorn, then into a screening room where your film begins. When things go awry, you become part of the movie yourself, boarding a runaway train helmed by the oh-so-reliable Goofy. Large-scale projections and clamorous sound effects bring the adventure to life as your train car jostles from scene to scene. Bound to be a hit, this ride requires guests to get in a virtual line via your Disneyland app.
The all-new “World of Color – ONE” in Disney California Adventure Park highlights how one small action can create a ripple effect that changes everything. Classic characters and film moments projected onto towering walls of water bring this idea to life; we watch as Joe from “Soul” experiences his first jazz show, as Mulan ignites an avalanche to protect her compatriots, and as Moana listens to her grandmother’s spirit and resolves to return the heart of Tafiti. Lasers, fog, and flames add to the atmosphere of the show. To get a space in the viewing area, guests will once again get in a virtual queue via their Disneyland app.
Across the way in Disneyland, the all-new “Wondrous Journeys” spectacular uses a giant swath of the park as its canvas. Projections light up Main Street U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, the facade of It’s a Small World and The Rivers of America, presenting a visual love letter to 100 years of stories by Walt Disney Animation Studios. Incredibly, all 61 animated films by Disney are represented in this program, so if you’re a fan of say, “Treasure Planet,” you’ll be thrilled to see it center stage once again. On select nights, fireworks accompany the show.
Celebratory Snacks, Treats, and Merchandise
The parks are sparkling in silver and purple in honor of 100 years of Disney, from light posts with fancy banners to giant platinum medallions that make for great photo backdrops. Celebratory, limited-time treats, like the Mr. Banks Shortbread Tart made with caramel and chocolate ganache and topped with edible stars, are available at various stalls and shops throughout the parks. Parkgoers can also get into the spirit with D100 merchandise stocked in on-site retail stores – we say there’s no such thing as too many Mickey or Minnie headbands.
Even More to Come in 2023
To spread out the magic, the D100 celebration will continue into the coming months. On Feb. 24, the “Magic Happens” parade will re-debut in Disneyland – it ran for about a dozen days in 2020 before the resort closed due to the pandemic. The modern-meets-classic design of the parade’s nine floats will thrill audiences, says show director Jordan Peterson.
Then, after a one-year closure, a transformed Toontown will reopen on March 8. Jeff Shaver-Moskowtiz, executive producer at Walt Disney Imagineering, says guests can expect larger open green spaces for play and picnics, plus brand-new interactive water features to splash in – great for those hotter days at the park.
“Mickey’s Toontown first opened 30 years ago,” said Shaver-Moskowtiz,” so there are generations of Disneyland Resort guests who have grown up with and made magical memories here. We set out to keep its essence, while evolving it for the coming generations of families.”
With so much new happening, it’s a great time to visit Disneyland Resort.