February is the month to celebrate Black History, and Walt Disney World Resort guests have many new and traditional ways to “Celebrate Soulfully” during the next few weeks. A variety of experiences to celebrate, educate and honor Black heritage and culture are available throughout the resort allowing guests to experience art, food, music, and more. Let’s look at the details from Disney Parks Blog.
With the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts presented by AT&T in full swing, you’ll have the chance to meet two of the Black artists featured in this year’s festival lineup. From Feb. 3-5, Kahran and Regis Bethencourt, founders of CreativeSoul Photography, will be at The American Adventure pavilion to showcase their reimagined visions of classic Disney princesses through dolls, costumes, and photographic prints. And for the first time ever, there will be a gallery exhibit featuring life-sized dresses and natural hair styled wigs seen in their photographic prints.
Black Broadway performers will be featured during the DISNEY ON BROADWAY Concert Series on various dates between Feb 4 – 19. They include:
- L. Steven Taylor (The Lion King)
- Kissy Simmons (The Lion King)
- Michael James Scott (Aladdin)
The already colorful and diverse Disney Springs Art Walk: A Canvas of Expression will receive two new additions by Black artists, and they will both paint their work live during Black History Month. Ernest Shaw and Nneka Jones will join the likes of Everett Spruill and David Anthony Geary. By the end of February, you will be able to celebrate the work of four Black artists on the Art Walk, showcasing the ongoing commitment to diversity and representation at Walt Disney World.
If you visit Disney Springs often, you may be familiar with the smooth sounds of Motown experienced through live entertainment on Monday nights. This February, Black music will take centerstage with Black musicians featured on all three main Disney Springs stages on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park continues to highlight Black culture through a variety of music and art found throughout the park. Move to the beats of the Congo with the Tam Tam Drummers, let loose with the Caribbean Street party music of Viva Gaia, then take home authentic imported African art, clothing, crafts, instruments and toys created by African artisans available at Mombasa Marketplace.
At the Conservation Station, uncover the secrets of how Disney’s first Black animator, Floyd Norman, brought favorite characters to life using real life animals as inspiration
Be sure to stop and take in some of the fun with Magic Shots across property featuring Princess Tiana in her element at Tiana’s place, selfies with Penny and friends from The Proud Family and more.
And of course, I must highlight Cooking with Soul! For Black History Month, explore both existing, returning, and brand-new Food & Beverage offerings across Walt Disney World. And new this year, each Food & Beverage location will now highlight the cast inspirations of dishes with photos and storytelling.
Some new items debuting for February include:
- Shrimp & Grits featuring spicy shrimp, corn grits with bacon jam and crispy radish at Tiffins in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
- Tiana’s Mardi Gras Shake featuring a cinnamon vanilla milkshake topped with a Mardi Gras King Cake Doughnut served at Hollywood Scoops in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Gumbo with chicken, andouille sausage, okra and seasonings offered at ABC Commissary in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Pineapple Mule cocktail with Uncle Nearest Tennessee Whiskey, pineapple juice, ginger beer, and mint available at Geyser Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Soulful Sunday Dinner at The Artist’s Palette at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa featuring a dinner plate of barbeque chicken, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and house-made cornbread
- Jamaican Jerk Chicken Frites featuring Sweet n’ Hot jerk marinated chicken, pineapple salsa, scotch bonnet aioli and fries available at The Daily Poutine at Disney Springs.
All these items and more are found in the Disney Eats Foodie Guide.
I love Black History Month; it is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the culture and traditions of others, and the “Celebrate Soulfully” event at Walt Disney World sounds like a fantastic way to celebrate. What are you looking forward to the most during the event?
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.