Disney 100: The Exhibition Prepares For Global Opening In 2023

“Whatever you do, do it well.”

                                                Walt Disney

Make no mistake about it, the Walt Disney Company does it well. Extremely well as a matter of fact. The company is the creator of quality entertainment for nearly a century. The house of the mouse built by Walt and Roy Disney in 1923 is equally creative when it comes to building excitement for upcoming movies, television shows and theme park attractions. After all, they are specialists when it comes to press, public relations, and media events. Few if any other businesses or companies can even come close to creating buzz-worthy hype in anticipation of a new movie or park attraction. So, it was only fitting that Disney would generate excitement and anticipation when it announced the global premiere of Disney 100: The Exhibition opening in Philadelphia in February 2023.

The Franklin Institute will host the opening of the exhibit as the Walt Disney Company embarks on a celebration marking its centennial. And in typical Disney fashion, a preview of the exhibit was staged in mid-November to excite the public and jumpstart ticket sales for the show.

With the Philadelphia Pops Orchestra providing the musical soundtrack for the announcement, the Walt Disney Archives rolled out some prized possessions that are rarely seen outside the company’s headquarters in California.  Among the crown jewels previewed at the announcement were Walt Disney’s Disneyland cast member badge, the whistle used for sound effects in 1928’s “Steamboat Willie,” the prop storybook used in the opening sequence for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Magic Ring used by Tommy Kirk in Walt Disney Pictures 1959 movie The Shaggy Dog and the Skywalker Lightsaber Hilt from 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Becky Cline, director of the Walt Disney Archives, was on hand  for the announcement in the grand hall of the Franklin Institute. With the national monument to inventor, diplomat and founding father Ben Franklin looking overhead, Cline showcased the artifacts and outlined plans for the exhibition. It was only fitting that Ben had a bird’s-eye view of the preview seeing that he was the star of Disney’s 1953 animated short-subject film Ben and Me.

Disney 100 will feature six galleries that visitors will be able to stroll through to learn about the Disney Company’s humble beginnings, where stories come from, the source of their inspiration and learn about the spirit and adventure that are vital to Disney storytelling. Guests will also be able to peer into an interactive window of Captain Nemo’s legendary submarine Nautilus as seen in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as well as step into a recreation of Main Street, U.S.A. to explore the legacy and development of Disney parks and attractions worldwide.

In announcing plans for the exhibit, Cline acknowledged that Walt Disney in 1923 set the groundwork for his company to revolutionize the entertainment industry. She added that Walt created “unforgettable stories, beloved characters and unparallel experiences that generations of fans around the world have enjoyed.” The archivist said Disney 100: The Exhibition “will take guests on a remarkable journey from those earlier days into Disney’s dazzling future using seamless technology, a rich musical score, and of course, treasures from the Walt Disney Archives collection.”

Disney 100: The Exhibition will make its global debut February 18th at the Franklin Institute. The exhibition will feature more than 250 artifacts on display at the Franklin Institute. Tickets are on sale through the Franklin Institute’s website www.fi.edu.