Picture this—you're walking Main Street, U.S.A, Mickey ears on, making your way up to Sleeping Beauty Castle, soaking in the sweet aroma of fresh churros as The Lion King's 'Hakuna Matata' is playing in the distance. You are, of course, at Disneyland Resort in California, basking in a warm wave of nostalgia. Sounds pretty good, right?
There's never been a better time to be (or indulge) a Disney fan, with the Disney100 Celebration taking over The Happiest Place On Earth. We're talking once-in-a-lifetime experiences across Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park all year to celebrate Disney's whopping 100th anniversary.
From fresh entertainment and exciting new attractions to exclusive merchandise, here's every reason 2023 is the year to unleash your inner child at Disneyland Resort.
Immerse Yourself In The All-New After-Dark Spectaculars
Disneyland Park is pulling out all the stops for the celebration, especially with Wondrous Journeys—a new nighttime spectacular paying homage to a century of animation. Starring Snow White, Mickey Mouse, Ariel, Peter Pan and Hercules, the show encompasses many films released by Walt Disney Animation Studios across Main Street, U.S.A and Sleeping Beauty Castle via state-of-the-art projections. Plus, in a Disneyland Resort first, Baymax of Big Hero 6 will take to the skies before a grand fireworks display on select evenings.
Disney California Adventure Park is also joining in on the fun with the debut of the World Of Color —ONE— nighttime spectacular. Here, you'll see fountains of water spring to life, coordinated with a spell-binding soundtrack as projections of some of your favourite stories from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, and even more, come to life. Your jaw will drop to the floor as you watch on mesmerised by scenes from film some favourites and classics like The Lion King, Pixar's Ratatouille and The Avengers. This one must be seen to be believed.
Venture Through Your Favourite Childhood Movies
First up, board Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, the hotly-anticipated new attraction in Disneyland Park, which opened its doors especially for the Disney100 Celebration. Immerse yourself in the nostalgic world of a Mickey Mouse short and board Engineer Goofy's train. The ride promises to be a cartoon-fuelled blast from the past packed with hilariously unexpected twists and turns.
If you lean more into space crusades than cartoons and you were obsessed with Han Solo's adventures growing up, look no further than Star Wars: Rise Of The Resistance at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Here, you’ll join the Resistance in an epic battle against the First Order in an exciting attraction unlike anything else you’ve experienced in the galaxy.
For the Pixar fans among us (so, all of us...let's be real), head to Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure Park. Team up with your favourite family of supers aboard the thrilling Incredicoaster, hanging out with Buzz and Woody at Toy Story Midway Mania! and boarding the Pixar Pal-A-Round for sweeping views across Disneyland Resort.
Hang Out With Beloved Disney Characters
It wouldn't be Disneyland Resort without an enchanting character parade, and with Magic Happens set to return on Friday, 24th February; guests will be in for an absolute treat. If you didn't know, parades are historically the best ways to catch a glimpse of a lot of your faves in one spot. Led by Mickey Mouse, a cavalcade of floats, Characters, and performers will make their way through Disneyland Park. Character appearances are set to include Moana, Frozen 2's Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven and Olaf, with Miguel from Coco just to name a few.
For the 90s kids, Tales Of The Lion King at the Fantasyland Theatre is a must-see. The uplifting live show will transport you to the Pride Lands, inviting you to rediscover Simba's journey with live music and dance inspired by the story's cultural roots.
Can't help but want a snap with some of your favourite Disney pals? We don't blame you. Regular meet-and-greets are available throughout Disneyland Resort, including Avengers, Pixar pals, Princesses and Jedi. You never know who will appear, so we recommend checking showtimes on the day to see who's about.
Shop All The Disney Merch
Now that you have access to adult money, there's no stopping you. From plushes to pins and, yes, Mickey Mouse ears—be sure to keep your childhood heart (and bag) full and tick off the wish list while there. For the hardcore collectors among us, exclusive Disney100 merchandise will be available throughout the year-long celebration. We're talking limited edition ears, bags, spirit jerseys, figurines, and art—including the coveted Platinum Mickey Sipper and Balloon Popcorn Bucket.
Bursting with excitement? We're right there with you. With the Disney100 Celebration going all-out, this is the year to unleash your inner child and make tracks to Disneyland Resort, The Happiest Place On Earth. Head here to find out more about what awaits you and hit up your preferred travel agent to book, stat—we recommend at least three days to make the most of all the magic.
Editor's note: This article is sponsored by Disneyland Resort and proudly endorsed by The Urban List. To find out more about who we work with and why read our editorial policy here.
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Image credit: Supplied