By: Emily Duvall
This year marks the Walt Disney Company’s 100th year in business, and the various Disney parks are commemorating this milestone by hosting a celebration called Disney 100 Years of Wonder, or in shorthand, Disney100. Although the company was initially founded on Oct. 16, 1923, the parks and franchise started celebrating the anniversary on Jan. 27, and will continue throughout the rest of the year. Disney100 brings new fireworks shows, merchandise, food, attractions, entertainment, park decorations, character costumes, and more.
Although the celebration honors the company in its entirety, the majority of the party and events are happening in California’s Disneyland Resort, as it is the longest existing park of the franchise. Additionally, Disney World is simultaneously celebrating its 50th anniversary. In Hong Kong Disneyland, a statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse will be added to the park, and in Disneyland Paris, guests will see Minnie Mouse in a new performance.
After shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, Disneyland’s iconic daily parades are making a comeback. With more relaxed COVID restrictions and case numbers going down, the park is bringing back these special parades alongside the Disney100 festivities. The parade, entitled Magic Happens Parade, is supposed to be the same one that ran shortly from February to March of 2020. Disneyland has done smaller-scale productions to “make-up” for the lost parades in the last few years. During the day, there is more going on in the park than there typically is, with the large Disneyland Band alongside characters walking down Main Street USA. The parade was set to make its “re-debut” on Feb. 24, but due to challenging weather conditions throughout California, the park pushed the date out to Feb. 26.
Along with the parades returning, the Disneyland Resort also announced changes coming to the park for the celebration. On Jan. 27, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened up in Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland Park. The ride follows Mickey and Minnie’s trip to a picnic on a train with Goofy, and things go a bit awry. Although the ride is up and running, much of the Toontown area is under construction and planning to reopen on Mar. 19, but for now, the ride is operating and getting park-goers excited about the updates to come.