Walt Disney World and Disneyland kick off the “Celebrate Soulfully” event today (Feb 1) in honor of Black History Month.
Commemorating black culture and heritage, “Celebrate Soulfully” invites families and friends to gather for experiences that will include music, food, art, and more.
WALT DISNEY WORLD
At Walt Disney World, Disney Springs will come alive with the sounds of musical acts playing everything from Motown favorites to current R&B and pop hits, along with some jazz, reggae, and African dance music.
Discover the flavors from the Caribbean, Africa and the Southern United States as chefs and culinary cast members draw on their heritage to infuse cultural flavors into mouthwatering new menu items at Polite Pig, Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, and D-Luxe Burger.
There will also be special food items offered by vendors such as the Coffee Pot Gelato from Vivoli il Gelato, which is made using coffee stout sourced from a Black-owned Florida brewery called Green Bench Brewing Company, and Soulfully Sweet Pralines at The Ganachery, inspired by Joe Gardner from Disney and Pixar’s “Soul.”
Guests can find new murals and art displays throughout Disney Springs, too, several of which have been inspired by favorite characters from “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” series coming to Disney+ this month.
Inside Art of Disney, check out the Artist Spotlight to learn more about Floyd Norman, Bruce Smith, Carole Holliday and other talented animators who have worked with the Walt Disney Animation Studios in films ranging from “The Jungle Book” to “The Proud Family.”
Speaking of jazz, when visiting Epcot this month, take the time to check out “The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure” exhibit in The American Adventure at EPCOT, which looks at the evolution of the music genre through the legacies of famous musicians and stories of how jazz took root in cities across the United States.
While there enjoying the food and drink of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, try the the Nairobi Coffee Porter, which is infused with Kenyan coffee, and the Plant-based Bratwurst inspired by the flavors of Eastern Africa.
And of course Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park offers African-inspired culture and food, like the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe, and the Mandazi, a fried dough dessert with Swahili origins available at Nomad Lounge & Cocktail Bar.
Guests can also meet the talented African artisans behind unique craftworks near Mombasa Marketplace during the month.
In honor of Black History Month, Bowes Signature Candles, will offer special discounts off candle making. Founded by Jamaica native and artisan Dave Bowes, Bowes Candles is located inside Marketplace Co-Op and Disney’s Days of Christmas at Disney Springs, and for “Celebrate Soulfully,” can also be found on the porch of the Discovery Trading Co. facing the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Disneyland will feature the return of “Celebrate Gospel,” which moves from Disney California Adventure park to Disneyland park’s Fantasyland Theater for the first time.
Award-winning Gospel singer, actor and fashion designer Kierra Sheard, along with a capella Gospel group Sacred Groove, kick the event off on February 19. Then Grammy-award winners Jonathan McReynolds and Mali Music take the stage, along with a capella group The Singers of Soul, on February 26.
The Downtown Disney District will celebrate with nightly outdoor concerts covering genres such as R&B, Gospel, reggae, funk and jazz, plus Saturday afternoon Gospel music.
You can also catch live jazz piano nightly at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, while you enjoy the flavors of Louisiana with creole cuisine including their NOLA BBQ Shrimp & Grits and Gulf Shrimp a la Creole.
Returning to Downtown Disney District today, Post 21 features a collection of modern and design-forward merchandise from Black-owned businesses, curated by a local Los Angeles-based mother and daughter team at a kiosk location.
Live jazz will also be offered nightly in the hotel lobby during the month at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, where the Hearthstone Lounge will feature a special menu, enhanced with wines, beer and spirits from Black-owned businesses.
Do you plan to partake in the “Celebrate Soulfully” celebration at either Disneyland or Walt Disney World this month? Let us know in comments what you’re looking forward to.