The D23 Team
Tickets are now on sale for the world premiere of Disney100: The Exhibition, debuting at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on February 18, 2023. Created for the 100-year celebration of The Walt Disney Company, the exhibition invites guests to step into their favorite stories using innovative and immersive technology throughout 10 galleries in the 15,000-square-foot exhibit.
The Walt Disney Archives is opening its vault of treasures, showcasing more than 250 of its “Crown Jewels,” rarely seen original artworks and artifacts, costumes and props, and other memorabilia—five of which were unveiled today, including:
- Disneyland Employee Badge #1 (1955), issued to Walt Disney
- Steamboat Whistle used for Steamboat Willie (1928)
- Prop Storybook featured in Snow White and Seven Dwarfs (1937)
- Skywalker Lightsaber Hilt from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019), used by Daisy Ridley
- Magic Ring from The Shaggy Dog (1959), used by Tommy Kirk
Daytime tickets, which include admission to The Franklin Institute, valid 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, are $45 for adults, $43 for seniors and military, and $41 for children ages 3–11. Evening tickets, which include admission only to Disney100: The Exhibition, valid from 5 p.m. until closing, Thursday–Saturday, are $25 for all guests. Tickets are timed and dated, and advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. For information on purchasing tickets, please visit www.fi.edu.
It was also announced today that composer Steve Mazzaro—whose work can be heard on the soundtracks of such Disney-produced films as The Lion King (2019), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales(2017), and The Lone Ranger (2013)—has composed an original soundtrack for the exhibit blending themes of such beloved classics as “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio (1940) and “Let it Go” from Frozen (2013) with a new theme crafted exclusively for the exhibition.
Also exclusive to this exhibition, Disney has curated special behind-the-scenes glimpses into the creation of the company’s most popular characters, films, shows, and attractions—from Disneyland to Walt Disney World and beyond. The 10 magnificent and imaginatively themed galleries, all featuring moving stories, unique interactive installations, and exciting background information, will take guests on a journey through 100 years of The Walt Disney Company, celebrating the classics from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Strange World, as well as the latest members of the Disney family—Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic.
Exhibitors today shared the first look at six gallery renderings, including:
- Where It All Began: This gallery introduces visionary filmmaker and innovator Walt Disney and his philosophies that laid the foundation for The Walt Disney Company. Guests will explore his story from before Mickey Mouse to Mickey’s debut in Steamboat Willie in 1928, to the fantastic breakthroughs in animation during the early 1930s.
- Where Do the Stories Come From?: A gallery dedicated to the art of storytelling with ever-changing multimedia environments that illustrate how Disney storytellers bring characters to life. Guests can explore the sources of inspiration for Disney’s most beloved and iconic films through art and artifacts from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Frozen, and The Princess and the Frog.
- Sources of Inspiration: From classic fairy tales and legends to original creations, this immersive and interactive installation within the “Where Do the Stories Come From?” gallery invites visitors to explore the literary influences behind some of their favorite stories and see how they inspired Disney artists and storytellers.
- The Spirit of Adventure and Discovery: From the depths of the ocean and the mysteries of the jungle to the outer reaches of the galaxy, Disney adventure stories from Disney, Star Wars, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe invite exploration and discovery in this interactive gallery where curious youngsters can embark on a quest to uncover hidden artifacts from favorite films.
- The Nautilus Window: Within the “Spirit of Adventure and Discovery” gallery, guests can peer through an interactive window of Captain Nemo’s legendary submarine, as seen in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, for a glimpse of Disney and Pixar’s enchanting underwater worlds.
- Your Disney World: A Day in the Parks: Guests step into a recreation of Main Street, U.S.A., to explore the legacy and development of Disney parks and attractions worldwide.
“In 1923, Walt Disney set our company on a path that would revolutionize the entertainment industry, creating unforgettable stories, beloved characters, and unparalleled experiences that generations of fans around the world have enjoyed,” said Becky Cline, director of the Walt Disney Archives. “This incredible exhibit will take guests on a remarkable journey from those earliest days into Disney’s dazzling future using seamless technology, a rich musical score, and—of course—treasures from the Walt Disney Archives collection.”
“The Franklin Institute has spent almost 200 years bringing stories of innovation and discovery to the public in an immersive and interactive way, so Disney100: The Exhibition is a perfect fit for us and our audience,” said Larry Dubinski, President and CEO of The Franklin Institute. “We are proud to host the world premiere at The Franklin Institute so fans across Philadelphia and beyond can have the first opportunity to see these crown jewels come to life in beautifully crafted galleries reflecting Disney’s imaginative storytelling, innovation, discovery, and wonder.”
Disney100: The Exhibition is created and curated by the Walt Disney Archives and Semmel Exhibitions. The Franklin Institute is proud to present and play host to the world premiere of Disney100: The Exhibition in the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion and the Mandell Center. PECO, the Premier Corporate Partner of the Franklin Institute, is the Local Presenting Sponsor of the exhibition, and PNC is the Associate Sponsor.
The following historical Disney artifacts are to be featured in World Premiere of Disney100: The Exhibition at The Franklin Institute:
- Disneyland Employee Badge #1 (1955), issued to Walt Disney: Disneyland Employee Badge #1 was worn briefly by Walt Disney during rehearsal for Disneyland’s Opening Day in 1955 and, later, on television in The Disneyland Tenth Anniversary Show (1965). Disneyland Cast Members wore similar badges from 1955 through 1962, establishing a longstanding tradition of becoming proud ambassadors of Disney culture when wearing their Disneyland name tags.
- Steamboat Whistle used for Steamboat Willie (1928): Debuting at the Colony Theatre in New York City on November 18, 1928, Steamboat Willie was the first theatrically released Mickey Mouse cartoon and the first cartoon to feature synchronized sound. Sound effects devices, like the whistle seen here, helped to capture an all-new level of artistry in Walt Disney’s groundbreaking animated films.
- Prop Storybook featured in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937): This prop storybook opened Walt Disney’s first full-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), drawing moviegoers into the fairy tale world from which Snow White originated. This introductory convention would go on to appear in many of Disney’s future animated films, including Pinocchio (1940), Cinderella (1950), and Sleeping Beauty (1959).
- Skywalker Lightsaber Hilt from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019), used by Daisy Ridley: Once wielded by Anakin Skywalker, and later inherited by Luke and mysteriously gifted to Rey, filmmakers recreated the Skywalker Lightsaber hilt for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) in its repaired form, still emulating the real-world Graflex camera flash holder from which the original was fabricated.
- Magic ring from The Shaggy Dog (1959), used by Tommy Kirk: In Walt Disney’s hit 1959 film The Shaggy Dog, teenager Wilby Daniels (played by future Disney Legend Tommy Kirk) accidentally discovers this magic ring in a museum and, by repeating the Latin inscription featured on the band, transforms into a large and clumsy Bratislavian sheepdog.
About The Franklin Institute
Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is a renowned and innovative leader in science and technology learning and a dynamic center of activity. As Pennsylvania’s most visited museum, it is dedicated to creating a passion for learning about science by offering access to hands-on science education. For more information, visit www.fi.edu.
About the Walt Disney Archives
For more than 50 years, the Walt Disney Archives has carefully safeguarded the most treasured items from The Walt Disney Company’s history, including original scripts, movie props and costumes, Walt Disney’s correspondence and script notes, theme park artifacts, merchandise, millions of archival photographs, and many of Walt’s personal effects. Founded by Disney Legend Dave Smith in 1970, the Walt Disney Archives is a vital resource for every part of Disney, as well as an important research center for Disney scholars, researchers, and writers. The Archives also shares its countless pieces with Disney fans everywhere through its exhibitions and close association with D23: The Official Disney Fan Club.