Where To Find Hidden Art at Disney World

by | Feb 16, 2022 | WDW Blog

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On the hunt for some stunning art at Disney World? Here are our favorite places to soak in unique artwork on Disney Property.

Sure, the EPCOT Festival of the Arts hogs the mouse’s share of the arts glory at Walt Disney World, but if you look, you’ll find art everywhere—and, if you’re so inclined (as am I), you’ll even find some non-Disney history and artifacts.

Here are a few of my favorite places to find “hidden art” at the Walt Disney World Resort, and if you decide to write off your next Disney vacation as an educational expense for the kiddos, well, you’re welcome. 

House of Blues

The interior of the House of Blues at Disney Springs

Photo courtesy of Disney

OK, so the art here isn’t exactly hidden—you can’t swing a dead blues musician without hitting some folk art at House of Blues in Disney Springs

Note: WDW Magazine does not endorse swinging any blues musician, dead or alive—but if you haven’t eaten there, you might not know it exists.

Step inside for a drink or dinner, though, and you’ll find more than 7,000 glorious works of folk art (the largest private collection of American Folk Art in the US). It’s like eating in a super-fun, folk-filled museum.

Wyland Gallery of Florida

Inside the Weyland Gallery at Disney's Boardwalk Resort

Photo courtesy of Wyland Worldwide

If you fly into Orlando International Airport, you have probably seen one of Wyland’s Whaling Walls. USA Today called Wyland (his full name’s Robert Wyland, but please don’t call him that) the “Michelangelo of marine art.”

When you see his blue-shaded marinescapes, you’ll be inclined to agree. Find his gallery at Disney’s BoardWalk and let his art wash over you—almost literally.

The American Experience

The entrance to the American Heritage gallery at EPCOT, where one can find the Creating Tradition exhibit

Photo courtesy of Disney

You probably didn’t click on this post to read about decolonization (you were after Disney World art, right?), but, well, here we are, and the best example of it is on display inside The American Adventure at EPCOT.

Sure, if you rush the rope to get upstairs, you’ll hear the traditional EuroAmerican story of Manifest Destiny and triumph, but before you do, go into the room to your right.

That’s where you’ll find “Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art,” an exhibit jointly curated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and the Walt Disney World Company.

In the exhibit, you’ll find artifacts from people who lived here long before the Europeans arrived, as well as contemporary art from tribal members across the continent. 

Just Say “Neigh!” at Disney’s Saratoga Springs

Photo by Brett Svenson

The recently refurbished lobby at Disney’s Saratoga Springs features horses from beloved Disney films, and those murals alone are art (Angus, Phillipe, and, of course, Maximus—among others!—have leapt off the animator’s screen and onto the walls.)

But, wait, there’s more: Take a walk toward the Turf Club Bar & Grill, and you’ll find equestrian memorabilia lining the walkway. Seems not a lot of folks know about this special sampling of Disney World art, so you won’t have to jockey for position to see it.

Cinderella’s Mosaics

A mosaic of a scene from Cinderella, from Cinderella's Castle at Disney's Magic Kingdom

Photo by Brett Svenson

If you haven’t walked through Cinderella Castle and made your kids stop and look at the mosaic, have you even been to Disney World? Shockingly, the answer is “yes”, because—not so shockingly—toddlers just don’t appreciate mosaic art.

But do yourself a favor: Check out the Italian-glass and 14-karat-gold retelling of Cinderella’s story, created by Dorothea Redmond, one of the immensely talented Disney artists who doesn’t get enough kudos. 

Inside Club 33

While no one—not even members—can photograph inside these elite Walt Disney World Resort clubhouses, rumor has it one Club 33 has gorgeous black-and-white photographs of the Disney family on vacation, while another boasts paintings featuring prominent figures in Florida (and American) history, and other seen-by-only-a-few works of art. 

Art & Animation at Disney World

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Written by Cathy Salustri

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Cathy Salustri's formative years revolved around Walt Disney World, whether it was having an OG annual pass (four months out of the year only!), wearing acid-washed denim to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, or working as a tour guide at the now-defunct Inside the Magic attraction at the then-Disney-MGM Studios. She loves all of Florida, too—her Florida travel narrative, "Backroads of Paradise", earned her an interview in the New York Times, and she freelances for other Florida publications. Follow on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, listen to her Florida Spectacular podcast, and sign up for her monthly Florida newsletter.
Cathy Salustri

Written by Cathy Salustri

Cathy Salustri's formative years revolved around Walt Disney World, whether it was having an OG annual pass (four months out of the year only!), wearing acid-washed denim to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, or working as a tour guide at the now-defunct Inside the Magic attraction at the then-Disney-MGM Studios. She loves all of Florida, too—her Florida travel narrative, "Backroads of Paradise", earned her an interview in the New York Times, and she freelances for other Florida publications. Follow on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, listen to her Florida Spectacular podcast, and sign up for her monthly Florida newsletter.