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World Premiere of Disney100: The exhibition opens at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

Disney100: The Exhibition, created for the 100-year celebration of The Walt Disney Company, makes its world debut at The Franklin Institute on Saturday, February 18, 2023. Today, members of the media and D23: The Official Disney Fan Club were the first to experience the groundbreaking exhibition during an exclusive preview and ribbon cutting.

Franklin Institute President and CEO Larry Dubinski, joined by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, welcomed Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline, Head of the Walt Disney Archives and D23 Michael Vargo, and Executive Producer/Director of Semmel Exhibitions Christoph Scholz, for a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The Philly POPS performed a musical ensemble of Disney classics. Also attending the celebration were Disney Legends Don Hahn and Bob Gurr.

“Bringing stories of innovation and discovery to the public in an immersive and interactive way is at the heart of what The Franklin Institute has done for the past 200 years. We are thrilled that the world premiere of Disney100: The Exhibition is here, offering the first opportunity to see the crown jewels come to life in beautifully crafted galleries reflecting Disney’s imaginative storytelling, innovation, discovery, and wonder,” said Larry Dubinski, President and CEO of The Franklin Institute.

“The Walt Disney Archives spent years planning and curating more than 250 objects to capture the 100 years of storytelling, creativity, and unparalleled magic of The Walt Disney Company,” said Becky Cline, Director of the Walt Disney Archives. “We cannot wait for fans and families to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event celebrating the iconic characters and stories that have captured the hearts of audiences around the globe.”


Ten Immersive Galleries

Guests will experience ten imaginatively themed galleries enhanced with innovative technology. They will relive classic favorites and explore the sources of inspiration for some of Disney’s most beloved and iconic films—embark on a quest to uncover hidden artifacts from favorite Disney adventure films, peer through an interactive window of Captain Nemo’s legendary submarine, and step into a recreation of Main Street, U.S.A.

Galleries include: Where It All Began, Where Do the Stories Come From? The Illusion of Life, The Spirit of Adventure and Discovery, The Magic of Sound and Music, The World Around Us, Innoventions, Your Disney World, The Wonder of Disney, and We Are Just Getting Started

Glass slipper from the live-action Cinderella (2015) on display at Disney100: The Exhibition, now open at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. ©Disney

Disney’s Crown Jewels

Immersed within the galleries are more than 250 of Disney’s “Crown Jewels,” original artworks, artifacts, costumes, props, and other memorabilia—many rarely seen—including the earliest sketches of Mickey Mouse and animation drawings from his debut in Steamboat Willie (1928), the Spell Book from Hocus Pocus (1993), Cinderella Castle model for Magic Kingdom® Park, a Genie maquette from Aladdin (1992), and the Black Panther costume from the 2018 film.

Disney MagicStage featuring Walt Disney at Disney100: The Exhibition, now open at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. ©Disney

Disney MagicStage

Welcoming guests into the exhibit is the Disney MagicStage, where a vision of Walt Disney himself stands life-sized and shares an inspiring message about innovation. Partnering with Disney StudioLAB, DisneyResearch|Studios, and Industrial Light & Magic, the team utilized cutting-edge technology to digitally bring Walt to life and create this unique greeting.

Tapping the vast resources of the Walt Disney Archives, two separate audio recordings of Walt were assembled, creating his vocal script. The Disney Archives also provided footage of 1960s-era Walt to DisneyResearch|Studios, who used their super-resolution A.I. upscaler to convert the archival footage to high definition. The result was an authentic recreation of Walt Disney and a collaboration across all parts of The Walt Disney Company. As he famously said, “We’re always exploring and experimenting.”

Original Soundtrack

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), 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.

Carousel horse used by Disney Legend Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins (1964) on display at Disney100: The Exhibition, now open at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. ©Disney

Disney100: The Exhibition Fast Facts

By the Numbers

  • 4 years of planning and production
    • 10 galleries
    • 11 costumes
    • Footage and photography from all 12 Disney Parks worldwide
    • 14 interactives
    • 25 maquettes of iconic Disney characters
    • 31 languages represented in international music reels
    • 93 Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm memorable scenes during the Into the Wonder prologue
    • 250+ artifacts, artworks, and documents
    • 318 Disney films and clips on 4 dozen monitors, projections, and media
    • 15,000-square-foot exhibition space

Disney Details

Largest item: Peter Pan’s Flight attraction ride vehicle at more than 7 feet long and 7 feet tall

Smallest item: Han Solo’s dice from Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), used by Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher at ~1.5 cubic centimeters (chain excluded)

Heaviest item: Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction ride vehicle at over 1,500 pounds

Longest Item: Nautilus special effects filming model from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) at approximately 12 feet long

Oldest item: Zoetrope from the offices of Walt Disney (c. 1860)

Newest item: Wendy’s necklace and Captain Hook’s hook from Peter Pan & Wendy (2023)

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 through August 27, 2023, 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.

Tickets are timed and dated, and advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. For information on purchasing tickets, please visit

SOURCE The Franklin Institute