‘Disney100’ celebrates a century of magic through the Franklin Institute

Disney100, 2023
‘The Sources of Inspiration’ exhibit in ‘Disney100’

Another world premiere is coming to the Franklin Institute. 

Taking the place of ‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition’ (which first premiered in Philadelphia earlier this year and closed in September), tickets are now on sale for ‘Disney100: The Exhibition,’ which will open at the FI on Feb. 18, 2023. 

When it opens, the new showcase will exhibit innovative and immersive technology throughout its galleries (covering 15,000 square feet) all in commemoration of the 100-year celebration of The Walt Disney Company. In a press conference held by the FI last week, media were given a first look at pictures and information about what the historic showcase would entail. 

‘Where Do the Stories Come From’ exhibit. Disney

Rebecca Cline, Director of the Disney Archives, was present and noted the significance of the showcase to help “protect, preserve, and share the legacy of the company.” Cline also shared that ‘Disney100’ is based on the philosophies, dreams and practices of Walt Disney, as is the company. 

“We’ve all heard it started with a mouse, but actually, it started with a man.” That was the introduction to the next portion of the conference, which shared some of the specific exhibitions and “crown jewels” that will be showcased in the new activation. 

There will be 10 galleries in total and each one will showcase different aspects of the company’s legacy. ‘Where It All Began’ is one of the first, and it’s dedicated to a creative endeavor that marked Disney on the map in the first place—storytelling. It will also showcase the multimedia environments that illustrate how Disney storytellers bring characters to life.

‘The Spirit of Adventure and Discovery’ is another gallery, but this one will highlight Disney adventure stories from Disney, Star Wars, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. ‘Your Disney World: A Day in the Parks’ is another showcase, and through it, guests step will be able to step into a recreation of Main Street, U.S.A. to explore the legacy and development of Disney parks and attractions worldwide.

Snow White Story Book Prop is one of the crown jewels of the exhibit. Disney

“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 Cline, in a statement. “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.”

As a release states, overall, the ten imaginatively themed galleries will feature moving stories, unique interactive installations, and exciting background information to take guests on a journey through 100 years of The Walt Disney Company. Throughout the showcase, visitors will be able to celebrate 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.

There will also be some exclusive showcases that Disney curated to show behind-the-scenes glimpses into the creation of the company’s most popular characters, films, shows, and attractions.

‘The Nautilus Window’ exhibit. Disney

Additionally, there is a brand new soundtrack to accompany ‘Disney100’ exclusively, and it comes from a company veteran whose work can be heard on the soundtracks of ‘The Lion King (2019)’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’, and ‘The Lone Ranger.’ For the showcase opening next year, Steve Mazzaro has composed an original soundtrack for the exhibit blending themes from different classics such as ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ from ‘Pinocchio’ (1940) and ‘Let it Go’ from ‘Frozen’ (2013).

“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,” added Larry Dubinski, President and CEO of The Franklin Institute in a statement. “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.”

Tickets ($25-$45) are timed and dated, and advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. For information on purchasing tickets, visit fi.edu.