Disneyland’s Wondrous Journeys Celebrates 62 Animated Disney Movies

Disneyland wishes to take you on a wondrous journey through 100 years of Walt Disney Animation Studios. During the Disney100 anniversary celebration that kicked off January 27th at Disneyland Resort, Disney Live Entertainment debuted Wondrous Journeys, an all-new nighttime spectacular that transforms Walt Disney’s original magic kingdom into an artist’s canvas with state-of-the-art projection effects, lighting, and fireworks. Featuring nods to all 62 movies in the animated canon — from Walt Disney’s first full-length feature film, 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, through the upcoming WishWondrous Journeys celebrates the first century of Disney artistry.

Wondrous Journeys is a homage and a love letter to 100 years of the Walt Disney Animation Studios, all 60-plus films,” Jordan Peterson, Show Director for Disney Live Entertainment, told ComicBook and other outlets during a press preview. The tribute features “a nod to each one of them, those special moments, and the journey of the studio as it’s reflected in ourselves and in our characters.”

The show is a collaboration between Disney Live Entertainment and Walt Disney Animation Studios, which formed a trust of seasoned Disney Animation artists, directors, and designers to take on the “daunting task” of celebrating more than 60 feature films during the show’s 13-minute runtime.

“We began by asking them: ‘What inspired you to become an animator? What’s that Disney film that you saw that just spoke to you?'” said Roger Gould, Creative Director for Walt Disney Animation Studios. “Everyone has that moment, who’s in this studio who loves these films so much. And so it was really about, ‘Well, if there’s one moment that we were to show, what’s the one scene from one film, one character that has to be in here, what’s the one quote that we have to hear?'”

Gould continued: “It was just dynamic and fun. I mean, just to hear that much love for this medium, and that’s what this whole thing is — it’s a love letter to the studio.”

(Photo: Disneyland Resort/Richard Harbaugh)

Highlighted segments span the Golden Age (1937’s Snow White and 1940’s Pinocchio), the Silver Age (1953’s Peter Pan), and the Bronze Age (1977’s The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh), up through the Disney Renaissance (1991’s Beauty and the Beast, 1994’s The Lion King, 1996’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1997’s Hercules), the early 2000s (2002’s Treasure Planet), and the modern revival era (2009’s The Princess and the Frog, 2013’s Frozen, 2016’s Moana, 2021’s Encanto). Whatever your favorite Disney animated film — whether it’s a seminal classic like Fantasia or the less-seminal Home on the Range –it’s represented somewhere in Wondrous Journeys.

Because the show incorporates elements from every film released by Walt Disney Animation Studios over the past century, it will take multiple viewings from each unique primary viewing area throughout Disneyland Park — Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle, Rivers of America, and the fa?ade of “it’s a small world” — to catch every Easter egg, reference, and nod to all 62 films.

In one scene, the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio waves her wand over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, magically transforming the park’s centerpiece into a shimmering wishing star. In another, the superhero Baymax of Big Hero 6 uses his rocket boosters to take to the skies over Disneyland Park for the first time (see it below).

(Photo: Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort)

Along with the original new song “It’s Wondrous” — featuring music and lyrics by Duddy Brown and Grammy Award-winning artist Alex Geringas — 18 Disney songs comprise the score of Wondrous Journeys, including “Go the Distance” (Hercules), “Almost There” (The Princess and the Frog), “How Far I’ll Go” (Moana), and “Dos Oruguitas” (Encanto). In the end, the animated sequences, projection effects, and musical medley brings guests on “the journey of Walt Disney Animation Studios from start to finish.”

Wondrous Journeys “honors the legacy of Walt Disney Animation Studios through a story that mirrors the journey of an artist: starting out with big dreams, buckling down to do some really hard work and finally seeing something that you dreamt about for so long come true,” Peterson explained of the show’s story. “Along the way, all Walt Disney Animation Studios films to date come to life through brand new projections, special effects and an amazing score.”

(Photo: Disneyland Resort/Christian Thompson)

The spectacular runs nightly at Disneyland Park as Wondrous Journeys with Projections, a version without pyrotechnics, or Wondrous Journeys with Fireworks, an enhanced version with fireworks on select evenings. Guests can check the daily event schedule on the Disneyland website or the Disneyland app for showtimes.


Wondrous Journeys is one of two new nighttime spectaculars to debut at Disneyland Resort during Disney100: on January 27th, Disney Live Entertainment premiered World of Color — ONE at Disney California Adventure Park. The Disney100 celebration is happening now throughout 2023.