Disney Parks Celebrate Soulfully In Honor Of Black History Month



In honor of Black History Month in February, Disney World and Disneyland will be celebrating “soulfully” throughout their resorts. From music, to food, to merchandise, let’s take a look at what Disney announced as part of their celebration of Black culture and heritage this year!

Black History Month at Walt Disney World Resort

Guests can “Celebrate Soulfully” in a variety of ways at Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Disney Springs. Be sure to make time to visit these locations if you will be at Walt Disney World this month! Jazz-themed photo backgrounds appear across Walt Disney World and some resorts will offer showings of Soul, The Princess and the Frog, Black Panther, and Return of the Titans as part of their Movies Under the Stars schedule.

Epcot

Don’t skip over The American Adventure Pavilion this February!  Inside, you will encounter a new exhibit titled “The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure”. Discover the distinct history of this form of music that is unique to the United States and even see some artifacts from famous jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong!

Also at Epcot, the International Festival of the Arts is happening!  Keep your eyes open for beautiful chalk art creations inspired by the movie Soul. And when you get hungry,  stop by Refreshment Outpost for Nairobi Coffee Porter and a plant-based bratwurst served with spicy turmeric aioli, Kachumbari slaw and coffee barbecue jackfruit. For dessert, Fife & Drum has the Half Note Float, an ice cream and slushy combination named for the jazz club that the character Joe Gardner visits in Disney and Pixar’s “Soul.

New Image from Pixar's 'Soul' Gives You a Peek at The Half Note Jazz Club — and a Potential Easter Egg.
Find art and food items inspired by the movie Soul throughout Walt Disney World’s International Festival of the Arts!

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom has a variety of daily offerings that honor Black heritage and culture in the Africa section of the park. Meet impressive African artisans and shop for their handmade crafts near Mombasa Marketplace in Africa and enjoy the beats of the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe also located near the marketplace. Even Festival of the Lion King portrays Black culture and heritage through the costumes, singing, and dancing that are part of this popular show!

Black History Month is the perfect time to try a new snack at Animal Kingdom.  How about the Peach Cobbler Rum Cake at Tiffins Restaurant or a delicious fried dough dessert with Swahili origins called Mandazi?  Mandazi is found at Nomad Lounge & Cocktail Bar along with the classic Mint Julep which is on the menu in honor of John Dabney, the drink’s creator!  This refreshing pineapple and orange drink can also be found at Dawa Bar, Restaurantosaurus Lounge, and Thirsty River Bar.

Animal Kingdom performer
Have you danced to the beats of the Tam Tam Drummers in Animal Kingdom? Photo courtesy of Disney

Disney Springs

You will find a host of offerings at Disney Springs to Celebrate Soulfully at Disney Springs. It will be music to your ears with live performances of jazz, reggae, Motown, and music of Africa. Restaurants such as Polite Pig, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar and D-Luxe Burger will use flavors and seasonings from the Caribbean, Africa and the Southern United States for dishes on their menu. If brunch suits you and your travel party, be sure to visit STK and Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ for their soulfully inspired menus. Enjoy happy hour at House of Blues Restaurant & Bar and Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. House of Blues will not only have your toes tapping; you’ll be in awe of their permanent collection of Outsider and American Folk Art, commonly called Southern Vernacular Art. Also, while at Disney Springs you’ll want to pick up another food item inspired by the movie Soul are the Soulfully Sweet Pralines found at The Ganachery!

Support black-owned businesses at Disney Springs and enjoy special promotions at Bowes Candles, SugarBoo, and Chapel Hats. Also, Sephora has made more shelf room for products from Black-owned businesses and Under Amour has designed a Black History Month Collection with special products in apparel and footwear.

Three new experiences will appear at Disney Springs this year in honor of Black History Month. First, there will be Artist Q&As with some of the featured artists at EPCOT International Festival of the Arts. Also, there will be a Disney Animation Spotlight at Art of Disney where you can meet artist Timothy Adebule, known for his vibrant African artwork. Third, a new mural will appear that celebrates the revival series The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, premiering February 23, 2022 on Disney+.

Disney world restaurant
Not only will you devour delicious food while you listen to nightly jazz music, you’ll also be surrounded by fascinating Southern Vernacular Art hung on the walls. Photo courtesy of Disney

Black History Month at Disneyland

There are a lot of exciting ways to Celebrate Soulfully at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and Downtown Disney during Black History Month.  There will be plenty of opportunities to hear musical performances and taste delicious food if you have plans to visit Disneyland Resort this month! If you’re staying at the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, you will be treated to nightly jazz music and Hearthstone Lounge has items on their menu featuring wine and spirits from black-owned businesses!

Disney Celebrate Gospel
“Celebrate Gospel”, an afternoon of Gospel singing performances, will return two Saturdays this month in honor of Black History Month. Photo courtesy of Disney

Disneyland

For the first time, you can find “Celebrate Gospel” in Disneyland! This long-standing tradition has previously been found in Disney California Adventure, but this year the performances will take place at the Fantasyland Theater.  cheduled for Saturdays February 19 and 26, guests can visit the theater from 3:00-7:00PM to enjoy Gospel choirs from Southern California.

Downtown Disney

Guests will find nightly musical performers of jazz, R&B, Gospel, reggae, and funk as they stroll through Downtown Disney. If you’re looking for a unique dining experience during Black History Month, check out Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen where you can hear jazz piano each night and feast on creole-inspired cuisine. Downtown Disney will also be a host to art displays inspired by the movie Soul and don’t forget to check each week for a new chalk mural created by Marcella Swett.

Several merchants will spotlight Black History Month in Downtown Disney. Post 21 is featuring contemporary merchandise from Black-owned businesses and WonderGround Gallery will highlight items from movies such a Soul, The Princess and the Frog, and The Lion King. Guests can find special cards honoring Black culture and heritage at LovePop.

Disneyland Jazz Kitchen
Find piano jazz music and Creoe-inspired food nightly at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney! Photo by Patrick Pelletier (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Disney California Adventure

At the Avengers campus at Disney California Adventure, you can encounter Black Panther at Avengers Headquarters or see Princess Tiana at Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures.

Whether you visit Walt Disney World resort or Disneyland resort there are many ways to participate in the soulful celebration of Black History Month. Have you visited any of the Disney parks during Black History Month or have you already enjoyed a soulful experience at House of Blues or Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!

Written by

Shelley Wehler


Contributing Writer

Shelley is a stay-at-home mother of two girls living outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. Her love of all things Disney has grown even more as she sees the magic come alive through the lens of her young daughters. She spends her free time keeping up with the latest in Disney news and daydreaming of her next trip to the parks!

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