Disney Set To Bring Walt Back to Life This Year

Walt Disney Walking Through Sleeping Beauty Castle

Have you ever wished upon a star and hoped you could meet Walt Disney?

Well, it looks like the Fairy Godmother is making wishes come true this year because as part of the Disney100 celebration, Disney is bringing Walt back to life.

Yes, you read that correctly. Walt Disney is making an appearance for this huge year for The Walt Disney Company – it has been a whole 100 years since Walt and Roy Disney created the storytelling giant back in 1923.

And Disney is celebrating big with Disney 100 Years of Wonder – and, apparently, Walt Disney himself!

Disney 100 Years of Wonder Logo

Credit: Disney

The heart of the 100th-anniversary takes place at Disneyland Resort in California, with the party spreading to the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Paris, and other international Disney Parks as part of the global celebration.

The festivities kicked off at the Disneyland Resort on January 27 with the opening of Disney Parks’ second Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride in the renovated Mickey’s Toontown. Two new nighttime spectaculars also made their debut: Wonderous Journeys fireworks at Disneyland Park and World of Color — One in Disney California Adventure, both of which commemorate the ways in which decades of Disney storytelling have contributed to our culture.

As part of the 100-year celebration, the Walt Disney Company has created two exciting exhibitions that will tour the world. Both exhibitions are identical in design, with each displaying over 250 items in their massive 15,000-square-foot spaces. The exhibitions will hold iconic pieces from Disney’s last 100 years, including archival items like original artworks, props, costumes, and other pieces relating to the company’s most popular stories.

And, now we have learned, these exhibitions are to bring Walt Disney back to life!

disney100 exhibition

Credit: D23

The New York Times has revealed that in the Disney 100 Years of Wonder museum tour, Walt Disney will be greeting visitors.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, Disney has created a life-like hologram of Walt Disney himself, using archival footage and AI tools that will speak with Walt’s voice to be part of the Disney100 exhibition.

This life-sized digital avatar of Walt Disney is unlike anything Disney has ever done before. In the New York Times interview, Becky Cline, director of Disney Archives, says, “I get goosebumps every time I see it,”

“Frankly, there are people in this world who don’t realize that Walt was a real person. We want to make sure that everyone knows that our company was founded by real people — creative storytellers. Because that is so important to everything we do at Disney.”

This use of artificial intelligence to bring Walt back to life is sure to bring high interest to the Disney exhibition.

Walt Disney at His Desk on the Phone

Credit: Disney

The first Disney100 exhibition will open to Guests on February 18 at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where it will remain until August 27. From there, the exhibit of Disney Archives’ “Crown Jewels” will venture to several cities in North America. The second Disney100 exhibition will open in Munich on April 18. Both of these attractions will be part of the Walt Disney Company’s way of celebrating its 100th year of innovation across the world.

The Disney100 exhibition will cover all eras of Disney history, including animated and live-action Disney movies, and will even feature items from Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars franchises.

Prices will range depending on the venue, but tickets for the Philadelphia residency are between $25-$45 for visitors. Disney expects to sell hundreds of thousands of tickets, as the tour is set to run until 2028.

The tour in North America includes part of the prop storybook that opens Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), a model for Cinderella’s castle at Walt Disney World, and the magical “Feed the Birds” snow globe from Mary Poppins (1964), which Ms. Cline called “very, very dear to my heart.”

mickey and minnie disney 100

Credit: Disney

Of course, Disney Park fans have already seen Walt Disney Imagineering use hologram technology in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure feature holographic versions of popular characters, and now, it is being used for an immersive experience that we’re sure all Disney fans will want to enjoy.

After the recent Disney earnings call, in which Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed a new set of animated Disney and Pixar sequels, and that 7,000 Cast Member layoffs are coming as part of budget cuts, it seems this Disney 100 celebration couldn’t come at a better time.

“It’s a unique opportunity for Disney to remind people about the breadth and depth of what it does, while reinforcing emotional connections to its characters and products,” said John Wentworth, an adjunct professor of entertainment marketing at Emerson College. “This all seems especially important right now.”

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who has worked at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Adventures by Disney! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her husband, an Air Force pilot. Find her children's book at