By now, you may have already heard about “Celebrate Soulfully at Walt Disney World” which was recently announced on the Disney Parks Blog. While I can’t wait for our guests to check out all of the elements, I’m especially excited for the enhancements that just debuted at Disney Springs.
Coinciding with the start of Black History month, “Celebrate Soulfully at Disney Springs” honors Black culture and puts the spotlight on some of the Black and African-American talent at Disney Springs, while also introducing some exciting new offerings. With jazz-inspired entertainment, new art displays, special offerings, and more, there’s something for everyone to enjoy!
Indulge in New Tastes: If you’re seeking a special, elevated dining experience, stay tuned for more details on a special ticketed event at The Edison. “Chef Dee Presents A Taste of the Bahamas” is a one night-only event taking place on February 25, hosted by the newest Executive Chef at Patina Restaurant Group, Deaundra “Dee” Rolle. From appetizers of conch fritters with remoulade to a steamed snapper entrée and benne cake ice cream for dessert, guests will feel transported to the Caribbean with every bite as Chef Dee describes the inspiration behind her creations, drawing on her Bahamian heritage. For those with a sweet tooth, the debut of two new petite cakes at Amorette’s Patisserie is not-to-be-missed. One cake celebrates Disney’s first Black princess, Princess Tiana, while the other features Joe Gardner, the African American jazz musician at the heart of “Soul.” Both are chocolate cakes with raspberry mousse and each is a culinary work-of-art inspired by a beloved film.
Immerse Yourself in Music, Art and More: Experience Motown Mondays, Jazz Thursdays and Smooth Sundays – a line-up of musical acts that will stir your soul. Three evenings a week, you can find a collection of notable artists taking the stage throughout Disney Springs, among them Motown in Motion, Tonya Staples Duo and Joseph Jevanni. Also, listen up for jazz-style renditions of some of your favorite Disney tunes as you meander through property – select locations feature a soundtrack that will make any jazz-loving Disney fan smile from ear-to-ear. Also smile-worthy are four new art displays inspired by Disney and Pixar’s SOUL, created by emerging Black artists: Bee Harris, Bianca Pastel, Arrington Porter and Cory Van Lew. Originally developed in collaboration with Disney and Pixar as part of a HUE Unlimited collection of wearable artwork, the work reflects each artist’s interpretation of the film. To take in even more art, make plans to dine at House of Blues Restaurant and Bar. You can check out special Mardi Gras-themed menu items from February 12 – February 16, but their impressive collection of Southern Vernacular Art, available year-round, is the largest permanently displayed collection of Outsider and American Folk Art in the country. More than 150 untrained, self-taught and mostly African-American artists (including notable artists such as Mose T., Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Leroy Almon, Roy Ferdinand, Howard Finster, Richard Burnside, Ruth Mae McCrane, Jon Bok and Archie Byron, to name just a few,) created emotional, raw, primitive and powerful pieces which serve as a Visual Blues, visible throughout the venue.
Shop for Something Spectacular: As you browse the retail destinations at Disney Springs, be on the lookout for these stores, that are spotlighting Black designers, artists and visionaries:
- Visit Bowes Signature Candles, located inside Marketplace Co-Op, and delight your senses with aromatic must-haves and invigorating scents to suit your every mood. The company was founded by Jamaica native Dave Bowes, an artisan who discovered his passion for candle-making in 2002. Today, his company boasts over 110 inspired candle scents sold proudly at Disney Springs and shipped worldwide, including the featured “Jamaica Me Crazy” candle – it’s one of Bowes’ signature scents and a masterful blend of mango, papaya, orange, pineapple, coconut and watermelon.
- At Sephora, the company has made a commitment to dedicate substantial shelf space in-store to diverse companies. Fenty Beauty (Founder and CEO, Rihanna), Briogeo (Founder and CEO, Nancy Twine), Pat McGrath Labs (Founder & CEO, Pat McGrath) and Shani Darden Skincare (Founder and CEO, Shani Darden) are among the brands they are proud to prominently feature. In addition, Sephora recently launched BREAD BEAUTY SUPPLY which offers haircare for basics, kinky and coily hair; their aim is to double the assortment by the end of 2021.
- Inside Art of Disney, check out the Artist Spotlight to learn more about Floyd Norman, Bruce Smith and Marlon West – some of the talented animators who have worked with the Walt Disney Animation Studios in films ranging from “The Jungle Book” to “Hercules” to “The Princess and the Frog” and beyond.
- Within some of the most popular Disney-owned locations, you’ll discover products featuring classic and new characters and films. At World of Disney, look for items tied to “Soul” and “Princess at the Frog.” Marketplace Co-Op will also feature “Princess and the Frog” merchandise, while Super Hero Headquarters will offer some of the most popular “Black Panther” must-haves.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram via @DisneySprings to learn about new developments as they’re announced and to see the latest in our new spotlight series featuring talented Cast Members, artists and employees. For the latest details, click here. If you do have the chance to visit, tag your photos with #CelebrateSoulfully for your chance to be featured on our social media handles.
We hope to celebrate soulfully with you soon at Disney Springs – in February and beyond!