Here are just seven of the many magical moments and surprises that await.
1. A Special Greeting from Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney
The mouse-y magic begins as soon as you enter the exhibition and are greeted by — who else? — Mickey Mouse. Appropriately dressed in his Fantasia -era wizard garb, Mickey briefly explains the first steps in bringing Disney magic to life. Joining Mickey moments later is Walt Disney himself — digitally brought to life as a high-definition, life-size recreation through archival footage and audio recordings. Walt’s inspiring message about innovation sets the stage for the whimsical experience ahead.
2. Surprising Origin Stories
At the heart of Disney’s legacy are the extraordinary worlds and the unforgettable characters that inhabit them. But these worlds and characters often have surprising origin stories. In the Where Do the Stories Come From? gallery, guests uncover the literary and real-life inspirations behind some of Disney’s most popular tales, from the obvious (1950’s Treasure Island , based on the Robert Louis Stevenson novel of the same name) to the more obscure (1942’s Bambi , based on an Austrian novel first published in 1923).
3. The Universal Language of Music
Let It Go is a bop in any language. Don’t believe us? Throw on a pair of headphones inside The Magic of Sound and Music gallery and jam out to tunes from Encanto, Frozen and Moana in dozens of languages, while also getting a look at the diverse, real-world singers behind these massive movie hits hard at work in the recording studio.
4. Indulge Your Spirit of Adventure
The Spirit of Adventure and Discovery gallery lives up to its name, inviting you to touch, tinker and tug as you interact with a number of hands-on displays to uncover secret surprises. A fan favorite: Step up to an elevated porthole inside a recreation of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submarine from 1954’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea , and give the giant lever a yank. Each pull unlocks a new underwater scene from films and shorts spanning Disney’s 100-year history.
5. Explore Our Galaxy and One Far, Far Away
The Spirit of Adventure and Discovery gallery is also home to some cosmic costumes and memorabilia. Star Wars fans can glimpse a life-size Stormtrooper suit and rare artifacts like the Ancient Jedi Texts and Han Solo’s dice from Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). The gallery also hosts some much earlier memories from Disney’s race to space: Catch clips from Walt Disney’s Disneyland television series (1954), in which Walt offers seemingly prophetic visions of humanity’s future in the cosmos.
6. Embrace the How
Perfect for the “but how does it all work?” crowd, the Innovention gallery explores the evolution of Disney animation over the past century, from page-flipping to Pixar, and explains the origins of audio-animatronics, the robotic animation technique still used to bring magic to life in Disney parks today. You can even get a slightly unsettling look at what’s behind all those presidential peepers in the Hall of Presidents.
7. Transport Yourself to Disney World … Sort Of
Inside the Your Disney World gallery, learn about the growing number of Disney parks around the globe before stopping at a scaled-down version of Cinderella’s Castle from Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Get the angle just right, and the realistic background offers a sensational selfie opportunity, seemingly transporting you to the Magic Kingdom. Psst … Keep an eye and ear out for Tinker Bell. When she appears, a photorealistic fireworks show is sure to follow.