Kansas City recently welcomed a delightful piece of Disney history to the Bank of America Gallery at Union Station with the opening of “Disney 100: The Exhibition.” Fans of the House of Mouse were treated to a prelude full of nostalgia, featuring over 250 unique artifacts from across some of Disney’s most beloved movies and musicals. As the exhibition spans an astounding century of The Walt Disney Company, visitors are invited to relish in ten creatively curated galleries showcasing iconic props, artworks, and interactive exhibits.

The story behind Disney is deeply rooted in Kansas City. It was here in 1911 that a young Walt Disney moved with his family and began taking art classes at the Kansas City Art Institute. This city was the launchpad for Disney’s initial foray into the creative world, beginning with short films produced in his family’s garage. These early works, which he dubbed “Laugh-O-gram,” were the seedlings of his imagination that would eventually bloom into a global empire.

One of the exhibition’s unique features is a special section called “Local Connections,” which houses nearly 50 rare items that highlight Walt Disney’s early Kansas City years. These precious artifacts are making their debut, adding a distinctive local flavor to the display that sets it apart from previous exhibitions in Philadelphia and Chicago.

By 1934, after moving to Hollywood, Walt Disney released “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” which revolutionized filmmaking and cemented his legacy. The exhibition beautifully curates this legacy, showing how characters from Snow White to Moana can cross cultures and generations, linking classic tales with modern storytelling.

In the midst of Kansas City’s own ties to Disney lore, a fun anecdote is that the University of Missouri-Kansas City adopted their Kangaroo mascot thanks to Walt Disney’s creative input, inspired by a joey named Jigger at the Kansas City Zoo.

Disney’s influence is also felt in the world of music, with legendary scores from “Fantasia” to “The Lion King,” and also in technological advancements and conservation efforts—a testament to Disney’s belief in using technology to weave powerful stories. Visitors can marvel at the timeless magic and forward-thinking that has kept Disney a beloved name through generations.

Share your thoughts in the comments below and tell us about your favorite Disney memory! Don’t forget to share this article with fellow Disney fans and help spread the magic of “Disney 100: The Exhibition,” which runs until November 30, 2024. Ticket info and more details are available on the [Union Station website](https://unionstation.org/event/disney100/).