Disney100 to open in Chicago, the birthplace of Walt

Get ready to embark on a magical journey through Disney history as Disney100: The Exhibition is set to open in Chicago on November 18, 2023.

Presented by The Walt Disney Archives and Semmel Exhibitions, this extraordinary showcase of Disney’s treasures will be housed in the 35,000-square-foot Exhibition Hub Art Center (formerly the Windy City Fieldhouse). Notably, this opening date coincides with the birthdays of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, who made their debut in Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928, in New York City.

In collaboration with Exhibition Hub and Fever, leaders in global live-entertainment, Disney100: The Exhibition promises an immersive experience. Visitors will explore ten captivating galleries featuring visual, audio, and interactive elements.

Over 250 unique and rarely-seen works of art, artifacts, costumes, memorabilia, and props from Disney’s extensive history will be on display. This remarkable exhibition aligns with The Walt Disney Company’s centennial anniversary, celebrated on October 16, 2023.

Christoph Scholz, Director of Semmel Exhibitions, expressed, “It took several years to plan and assemble the artifacts for Disney100: The Exhibition, and many of them will be on display for Disney fans for the first time. Most of the artifacts are presented from the Walt Disney Archives collection with some additional treasures from Marvel Studios, the Pixar Living Archives, the Walt Disney Animation Research Library, and Walt Disney Imagineering, including some that will be displayed for the first time in Chicago.”

Chicago holds a special place in the Disney narrative. Walt Disney himself was born in Chicago’s Hermosa neighborhood. He purchased his first motion picture camera in the city, attended McKinley High School, where he nurtured his passion for drawing and photography, and took night classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. The Windy City even contributed to the inspiration behind Disneyland® Park, partly through the Chicago Railroad Fair.

Rebecca Cline, Director of Walt Disney Archives, shared her enthusiasm, saying, “We are incredibly excited to bring this fantastic exhibition to Chicago. We can’t wait for guests to experience some of their favorite Disney stories, characters, and attractions in new and immersive ways as we celebrate all the wonderful worlds of Disney.”

Visitors will embark on a visual journey, exploring rarely-seen works of art, including visual development drawings for Sleeping Beauty (1959) by Disney Legend Marc Davis. A special piece of art from Mary Poppins (1964), also featured in the opening titles of Mary Poppins Returns (2018), created by Disney Legend Peter Ellenshaw, will be displayed. Iconic props from various films, such as the Mad Hatter’s teapot from Alice in Wonderland (2010) and the poisoned caramel apple from Enchanted (2007), will also be showcased.

Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to view Disneyland Park Employee Badge #1, issued to Walt Disney in 1955, and early photographs of Walt Disney’s birthplace in Chicago. The exhibition will offer numerous backdrops and photo opportunities, along with exclusive merchandise at the Disney100: The Exhibition gift shop.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson expressed his city’s pride in hosting Disney100: The Exhibition. He said, “Chicago is proud to host Disney100: The Exhibition, returning to the very city where the Walt Disney legend first began. We welcome Disney fans from all corners of the world to enjoy this immersive exhibition and spend time in the city that inspired the imagination of a young Walt Disney, one of the 20th century’s most influential Americans.”

The waitlist for tickets is now open, and ticket sales will commence on September 14, 2023, at 10 a.m. CDT. Disney100: The Exhibition will run throughout the holiday season and into 2024.

The Exhibition Hub Art Center is conveniently located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood at 2367 W. Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647, with easy access via Chicago’s public transit system. For additional information, please visit Disney100: The Exhibition’s official website.

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