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Disney Days

Hello fellow Disney fans! If you’re reading this, then I assume you’re considering visiting the Disney 100 Exhibition at Excel in London. I am here to tell you you absolutely should and here’s why!

You’ll find the full vlog of our lush Disney day on on Youtube Channel, but here’s all our tips and tricks to get the most of the experience.

We got on the 7.59am train from Upwey to London Waterloo, our exhibit tickets were for 1pm, and we didn’t want to rush around and panic we’d miss our slot so an earlier train worked perfectly. We had plenty of time to grab some food at Waterloo before heading down onto the Jubilee Line and making our way to Canada Place to jump on the new Elizabeth Line across to Custom House (which is ExCel’s stop). We weren’t sure how long it would take but it was a grand total of 17 minutes from Waterloo to Custom House! Very quick and easy and it was only £3.20 to get there! We did have some hiccups with forgetting to stand on the right on the tube escalators and generally just forgetting our London etiquette, however we got back in the swing of things pretty quickly!

Custom House station is right at ExCel, you walk up some stairs from the platform (or take the lift, there is a lift available if required), then you walk along a wide pathway to the front entrance of ExCel. And there’s even a Starbucks on the short walk across! (Can you tell we live in a small town in Dorset?! We get very excited about these big city things!)

We arrived early so did stop for a drink at Starbucks before taking some photos and videos out the front of ExCel and the Disney 100 Exhibition entrance. We also went to for a wee break and that’s my 1st tip, GO TO THE TOILETS BEFORE YOU ENTER THE EXHIBITION! There are no toilets through hr exhibition yourself and if you’re anything like us, you’ll be in there a good couple of hours (which I’ll come back to in my next tip in a moment).

Once you’re ready to go and its your ticketed time to enter (they’re quite strict about the time you enter so don’t turn up too early unless you want to be waiting around and I don’t recommend you being late, they may not let you in) then head over to there entrance, just to the right of the main ExCel entrance. You can’t miss it, it has a huge “Entrance” sign you have to walk underneath!

Once you walk inside from the external entrance way, you will have your photo taken against the green screen and you can also rent a locker for £2. This is something we did and it’s my next tip! Walking around freely without bags etc was fab and I highly recommend you use a locker if you are carrying anything at all with you, including coats, scarves etc. They scan your tickets at this point and if you booked a VIP ticket you’ll be given your lanyard and pin right here, and I HIGHLY recommend booking the VIP tickets, the pin and lanyard are adorable, you also get a free print from one of the 2 green screens you will find en route and you get a soft drink at the end too. We were also given a “Wish” movie poster too, we were told its included with our VIP pass, I think it was just the kind man working that area who was flirting with my sister!

This is your spoiler alert warning, if you don’t want to know what’s at the exhibition then jump to the bottom of this blog post!

The exhibition begins with an amazing introduction from Mickey Mouse & Walt Disney themselves, it’s really moving and absolutely sets the tone of what’s to come. From there, you walk through the curtains to the start of the exhibition. The exhibition itself is like a big museum with a natural walk through route that begins by telling Walt’s story, where he was born, where he grew up, how he ended up in Hollywood, how he lost the rights to Oswald the lucky rabbit and how, when and why the idea of Mickey Mouse was born. There are some amazing artifacts to help tell the story and there’s plenty to watch, read and hear.

This next room is full of the stuff my little girl dreams were made of, think Disney princesses & old school Disney feature length film memorabilia, props and inspiration. See the actual glass slipper used in the live action remake 2015 version of cinderella (and it. is. WOW). There is an amazing replica of the original Sleeping Beauty book that has been made into an interactive book that links to the large screen in front of you, its fabulous, I’ll let you experience that for yourself. There’s a photo opportunity in here with the Fairy Godmother, some incredible original artefacts from the original Mary Poppins film and the real carousel horse that Dick Van Dyke rode. In the vlog I add a little voice overlay of Feed The Birds to a cute little peep hole in the wall of a pigeon snow globe with St Pauls Cathedral in the background. I couldn’t help it, there were so many aspects of the exhibition that triggered memories of music, I found myself singing and humming a lot! Don’t worry, its minimal in the vlog 😉

Further through the exhibition there are original props from the 2023 Little Mermaid, original costumes from the new Cruella with Emma Stone and from Enchanted. There are some great Star Wars & Marvel sections, you can even make Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy do as you please! With this, you stand on the mat in front of the screen that has Rocket on it, and Rocket on the screen face does what you do, so I spent a little while making Rocket sing and sway! Great fun.

That’s not the end of the interactive features either, at one point there is a large screen, on the left you have Mickey as an astronaut in space, and on the right you have Minnie in a UFO in space, its a touch screen and you can move the two of them around, whatever you make them do, they react, so pushing Mickey around, his face shows his reactions and emotions, another great feature.

Towards the end of the exhibition is 3 key areas.
1) Short films showing different Disney songs being sang in many different languages
2) Disney Parks section where you can sit in a tea pot from Mad Tea Party, there’s also a pirate ship from Peter Pans Flight and the Toad Hall rides car, a replica of Hong Kong Disneyland’s castle (complete with a visit from Think and some fireworks with a couple of hidden Mickeys thrown in for good measure!)
3) The final walk through is an incredible immersive and utterly beautiful dark area full of mirrors and huge screen showing amazing moments from the best of Disney, there’s twinkling pixie dust lights everywhere and at the very end of it is the most inspiring quote by Walt himself: “I just want to say a word of thanks to…. everybody that helped make this dream come true”.

Ok, lets talk music, the whole exhibition is really emotive and immersive, the dimmed lights with spotlights to focus you on what they want you to experience, one of my favourite elements of the whole thing is the music. And there was a LOT of the opening title music from The Little Mermaid, the original version not the new version (I love the new film, possibly more than the original BUT there are parts of the new movie I don’t like as much, and one of them is the opening scenes and music, they don’t have the same motional impact for me as the original does that ALWAYS makes me cry, every single time). Now I have no issue at all with so much Little Mermaid soundtrack, I don’t know if others would say that, If you asked me to have 1 piece of music throughout the entire exhibition I would undoubtedly choose this exact piece of music, I found it interesting that so much of the exhibition showcase that track though. Subliminal messaging? Not sure, I certainly didn’t have an issue with it! It got me choked up many, many times.

Its worth noting too, looking at other people vlogs from the Disney100 Exhibition when it was in different cities in different countries its not exactly the same, there are similar parts but there are also different items and areas. So if you’ve seen these and you were umming and aching weather to both with the London one thinking it’s all very samey, I would suggest it’s not. There are similar aspects and some of the same props etc but the feel of the London one to me seems to have a much deeper immersive overall feel.

Special mention has to go to Bret Iwan’s painting of Mickey = WOW! It’s beautiful and incredible. Such a huge talent. If you don’t know who Bret Iwan is, well he is the voice of Mickey Mouse. Absolute legend. follow him on instagram, I love his account.

At the end of the exhibition is a merch shop (obvs!) and exit, there are some cute bits, some of the clothing I felt didn’t look to be Disney’s usual standard but I managed to find an adorable crew neck jumper with a hologrammed Mickey on it and I also bought a Steiff Mickey Mouse for my permanent collection. Expect standard Disney prices, its not cheap!

Our final verdict? We LOVED it. I highly recommend visiting and I definitely recommend VIP tickets if you can get them! We had a look and it looks like there aren’t any VIP tickets left this month, but the exhibition is on from 13th October 2023 until 21st January 2024, then again from 1st March 2024 until 23rd June 2024. Would I go again? Yes I probably would, I really did enjoy it. It’s the perfect collection for any Disney fan, lover, admirer or Disney history buff. Is it for kids? there were lots of children there, all seemed to be really enjoying it and fully getting involved. Would I take my kids? Hell no, there’s not enough going on to keep my kids entertained enough that I would be able to still appreciate it, so sorry kids, if I go again its not with you.

Tickets start from £18.25 per person on a family bundle / £24 per single adult or £34 for a family bundle VIP ticket / £45 per single adult VIP ticket.

We left with full hearts and we sure as heck got our Disney fix for a little while longer!

If you’ve made it to the end of the blog post please do let me know your thoughts below in the comments and whether you’ll be visiting!

Thank you all and see you in another post for video soon! Sam x

full vlog on our YouTube channel, click to watch

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