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8 Ways to ‘Celebrate Soulfully’ During Black History Month at Walt Disney World Resort

Courtney Jasmin

by , Public Relations Manager, Disney Sports

Here at Walt Disney World Resort, we’re thrilled to “Celebrate Soulfully” during Black History Month in February with vibrant art, soul-stirring music, savory soul food and a limited-edition pin, embracing the richness of Black heritage.

Through the talents of our wonderful cast members and collaborations with a myriad of Black-owned businesses, you can “Celebrate Soulfully” across the resort throughout the year, but especially during Black History Month. Let’s explore some ways to honor Black culture, heritage and contributions at Walt Disney World Resort this February:

Broadway performer Michael James Scott

1. Ring in the Celebration with Michael James Scott as the Honorary Parade Grand Marshal

Broadway performer and Orlando native Michael James Scott, well known for his portrayal of Genie in the hit Broadway musical, “Aladdin,” will be the honorary grand marshal for the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” at Magic Kingdom Park on Feb. 6. His appearance helps kick off our month-long celebration of Black heritage and culture. You can catch Michael James Scott along the parade route all the way down to Main Street, U.S.A., around 3 p.m. ET.* 

New Princess Tiana Tiara Pin designed by Walt Disney Imagineering

2. Collect the New Princess Tiana Tiara Pin

With the theme of dreams coming true, and just in time for Black History Month, a new Princess Tiana tiara pin is available at locations around Disney theme parks and soon on shopDisney.com. The limited-release pin was designed by Brittany L. Smith, a senior production designer with Walt Disney Imagineering. The pin is inspired by Brittany’s interpretation of the tiara-topped water tower and Tiana’s tiara featured in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Smith is also a designer for Tiana’s Audio-Animatronics character in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which opens at Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland park this year. 

Artists Ryan Riller, Yesenia Moises and Larissa Marantz

3. Celebrate the Arts at EPCOT International Festival of the Arts

Check out the artistic designs of three Black artists participating in the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, which is a grand celebration of artistic expression in all forms. The three Black artists are taking part on various days through Feb. 19 are:

  • Ryan Riller (Feb. 12-19)
  • Yesenia Moises (Feb.13-19)
  • Larissa Marantz (Feb. 14-19)

Also, don’t miss the performances by the following Black artists lighting up the stage at America Gardens Theatre during the DISNEY ON BROADWAY Concert Series on select nights during the festival:**

  • L. Steven Taylor (“The Lion King” – Jan. 26, 28 and 29, Feb. 1, 3, 5 and 6)
  • Kissy Simmons (“The Lion King” – Jan. 27, 30 and 31, Feb. 2, 4, 7 and 8)
  • Bradley Gibson (“The Lion King” – Feb. 10, 13, 14, 16, 17 and 19)
  • Michael James Scott (“Aladdin” – Feb. 9, 11, 12, 15, 18 and 19)
Artist at Disney Springs Art Walk

4. Explore Artistic Expressions at Disney Springs Art Walk

Head over to Disney Springs for food, music, shopping – and some colorful artwork by several Black artists. Take a stroll past the Disney Springs Art Walk where you will find murals painted by Black artists such as Ernest Shaw, Nneka Jones and Nardstar.

5. Check out the African Art exhibit in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

A new African art installation is coming to the Pizzafari gate at Disney’s Animal Kingdom beginning Feb. 1. Featured artwork from internationally renowned Nigerian-American artist Victor Ekpuk will explore historical narratives and contemporary African diaspora.

Floyd Norman, Disney’s First Black Animator

6. Be Inspired by the work of Floyd Norman, Disney’s First Black Animator

Floyd Norman, Disney’s first credited Black animator, helped animate characters Kaa and Shere Khan from “The Jungle Book.” At Conservation Station’s Animation Experience in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll receive step-by-step guidance on how to illustrate your own version of the popular Disney Animation and Pixar Animation Studios characters that Norman helped to animate, as well as others such as Bruce from “Finding Nemo;” Tick-Tock from “Peter Pan;” or Scar from “The Lion King.”

7. Indulge in “Cooking with Soul” Cuisine

Across Walt Disney World resorts, you can expect to see “Cooking with Soul” items on restaurant menus. You’ll find classic comfort food prepared by a diverse group of Walt Disney World chefs. Here are a few of my favorites:

Mini Red Velvet Cake from Walt Disney World Resorts

Mini Red Velvet Cake: Red velvet cake with cream cheese buttercream available at:   

  • Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort 
  • Centertown Market at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Everything POP Shopping & Dining at Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  • Riverside Mill Food Court at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside 
  • Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
Tiana’s Petit Cake from Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom Park

Tiana’s Petit Cake: Vanilla chiffon cake, lemon Chantilly, and fresh strawberries topped with a fondant flower and a Tiana chocolate piece available at:

  • Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom Park (Available Feb. 1 through March 1)
Shrimp and Grits from Tiffins Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Shrimp and Grits: Roasted corn and goat cheese, peri-peri shrimp, and green tomato-apple chutney available at:

  • Tiffins Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Griot and Pikliz from Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar in Disney Springs

Griot and Pikliz: Epis-marinated fried pork shoulder, fried green plantain, and pikliz available at:

  • Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar in Disney Springs (Available Feb. 1 through 29)

Check out the Disney Eats Foodie Guide for the full list of Cooking with Soul items found across Walt Disney World.

Family meeting Tiana at Magic Kingdom Park

8. Make Magical Memories with Ariel, Tiana and Asha

Throughout February and beyond, you can interact with a variety of popular and diverse characters such as Tiana at Magic Kingdom Park, Ariel from the live-action story at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Asha at EPCOT.

With every beat, every flavor and every smile, we hope you enjoy “Celebrating Soulfully” at Walt Disney World Resort!

*Theme park reservations may be required based on admission type. Learn more at DisneyWorld.com/ThemeParkReservations

**Entertainment subject to change without notice.

Comments

  • I second that @Jonell!

  • I wish we’d get more of this throughout the year and not just in February.