The Walt Disney Archives and Semmel Exhibitions, a worldwide exhibit presenter and producer, announced today that Disney100: The Exhibition will open at the 35,000-square-foot Exhibition Hub Art Center (formerly known as the Windy City Fieldhouse) in Chicago on November 18, 2023. The facade of the building will be transformed and rebranded through Disney magic to include stunning visuals that are sure to catch the attention of fans and tourists alike. This date is also special because it’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse’s birthday. The pair made their first on-screen appearance in Steamboat Willie, which premiered in New York City on November 18, 1928.
The show is presented in partnership with Exhibition Hub and Fever, both leaders in global live-entertainment operations. Guests can experience ten immersive galleries with visual, audio, and interactive elements, as well as more than 250 unique and rarely seen works of art, artifacts, memorabilia, costumes, and props from the historical collections across the many realms of Disney, all on display as The Walt Disney Company celebrates its centennial anniversary on October 16, 2023.
“It took several years to plan and assemble the artifacts for Disney100: The Exhibition, and many of them will be on display for Disney fans for the first time,” said Christoph Scholz, Director, Semmel Exhibitions. “Most of the artifacts are presented from the Walt Disney Archives collection with some additional treasures from Marvel Studios, the Pixar Living Archives, the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, and Walt Disney Imagineering, including some that will be displayed for the first time in Chicago.”
The city of Chicago plays an important role in the Disney story: Walter Elias Disney was born in Chicago’s Hermosa neighborhood; Walt purchased his first motion picture camera in Chicago; he attended McKinley High School where he divided his attention between drawing and photography; and attended night classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. The Windy City provided inspiration for the project that eventually became known as Disneyland® Park, including by way of the Chicago Railroad Fair.
“We are incredibly excited to bring this fantastic exhibition to Chicago,” said Rebecca Cline, Director, Walt Disney Archives. “We can’t wait for guests to experience some of their favorite Disney stories, characters, and attractions in new and immersive ways as we celebrate all the wonderful worlds of Disney.”
Visitors will be taken on a visual journey where they can explore seldom viewed works of art including visual development drawings for Sleeping Beauty (1959), created by artist and Disney Legend Marc Davis. A very special piece of art from Mary Poppins (1964), which can also be seen in the opening titles of Mary Poppins Returns (2018), created by artist and Disney Legend Peter Ellenshaw will also be on display. Also included in the experience are some of the iconic props from various films such as the Mad Hatter’s teapot from Alice in Wonderland (2010); the poisoned caramel apple from Enchanted (2007) used by Timothy Spall and Amy Adams; and the dinglehopper from The Little Mermaid (2023) used by Halle Bailey. Fans won’t want to miss seeing Disneyland® Park Employee Badge #1, issued to Walt Disney in 1955, and early photography of Walt Disney’s birthplace in Chicago. Disney enthusiasts will have the chance to leave with both memories and memorabilia, as the exhibition will include several extraordinary backdrops and photo opportunities along with exclusive merchandise offered inside the Disney100: The Exhibition gift shop.
“Chicago is proud to host Disney100: The Exhibition, returning to the very city where the Walt Disney legend first began,” said Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. “We welcome Disney fans from all corners of the world to enjoy this immersive exhibition and spend time in the city that inspired the imagination of a young Walt Disney, one of the 20th century’s most influential Americans.”
The waitlist for tickets opens today, September 6, 2023, and ticket sales will begin on September 12, 2023, at 10 a.m. CDT. For images, please visit the press kit here. Disney100: The Exhibition is scheduled to be open throughout the holiday season and into 2024.
The Exhibition Hub Art Center in Chicago is located inside the Lincoln Park neighborhood at 2367 W. Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647 and is easily accessible from Chicago’s public transit system. For more information, please visit https://disney100exhibit.com/chicago