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Discover the Magic of Downtown (and Disney) this Summer

What’s your favorite Disney animated movie? Who’s your favorite Disney character? Just thinking about the answers to these questions makes us a little nostalgic, and then really giddy!

Why? Because this summer, this wonderful world of our childhood (and, let’s admit it, our adulthood) is coming to Downtown Arlington! The Arlington Museum of Art is presenting Disney Art from Private Collections, a blockbuster art exhibition features hundreds of original, hand-drawn animation sketches, drawings, storyboards, models, and more.

Of course, we in Downtown Arlington couldn’t pass up the chance to join in on the fun!

The Magic of Downtown

Thanks to many of your favorite destinations, places and spaces, you can experience a summer full of Disney-inspired promotions and events in Downtown Arlington! Collectively, we call these events--and the cooperative spirit behind them--the Magic of Downtown. You can discover all the events and stories of the Magic of Downtown on our new magical webpage.

Disney Art from Private Collections runs from June 11 - September 4, 2022, and so does the Magic of Downtown! We have activities planned for kids, families and adults, and more to be announced.

Events include a Princesses and Villains Bar Crawl with Arlington Locals on July 9; Newsies, Jr. musical theatre camp at Theatre Arlington June 21-24; Disney trivia night at J. Gilligan's on June 23; Gaston vs. Beast Axe Throwing Night at Lone Star Axe Throwing on August 4; and our plans for a Peter Pan-inspired float in the Arlington 4th of July parade!

We also can't wait to try the themed cocktails our friends at Hooligan’s Bar have dreamed up, including Beauty and the Bourbon (we hear smoke and rose petals are involved). Sugar Bees Sweets Bakery will be offering two inspired treats throughout the summer: The Cinderella vanilla cupcake and The Snow White red velvet cake pop.

The Arlington Museum of Art is also planning tons of great events and activities, including lectures; yoga classes in partnership with Arlington Yoga Center; family-friendly Open Mic nightsguided tours of the exhibition in English and Spanishand adult-oriented programming including themed happy hours, open studio figure drawing, and our personal favorites: 80s, 90s and Y2K nostalgia nights.

See? Dreams really do come true! 

“Our enthusiasm for collaboration is one of the many unique, entrepreneurial strengths of our Business Improvement District,” said Maggie Campbell, President and CEO of Downtown Arlington, “and having a Disney animation exhibition come to Downtown is a particularly fun opportunity to collaborate! Because Downtown Arlington is the city’s official State of Texas Cultural District, we also have such a deeply creative spirit running throughout our district. It’s been great to see how each business has embraced different Disney characters and storylines as the way they participate in Magic of Downtown.”

For More Information

More events and promotions will magically appear throughout the summer, so keep our Magic of Downtown page bookmarked for easy reference!

At the AMA: Disney Art from Private Collections

Disney Art from Private Collections at the Arlington Museum of Art features over 250 original animation sketches and cels, character studies, storyboards, models, and concept drawings that come straight from the vaults of long-time Walt Disney Animation Studios artist Andreas Deja and other private collectors. Eighty years of Disney animated films are represented in the exhibition, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Beauty and the Beast, The Princess and the Frog, The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Bambi, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Aladdin, and more. Wow!

Chris Hightower, AMA President and CEO, says that visitors can expect a unique and immersive experience as they explore the exhibition.

“We want Disney Art from Private Collections to fill visitors with the same joy they feel for their favorite Disney films,” Hightower said. “To create this kind of engaging experience, the museum is borrowing from the techniques animators use when they’re telling a story. Throughout the exhibition, we’ll build in elements of surprise, share backstories, create drama, and give visitors ways to interact, play, and learn.”

Tickets are available now at

About Downtown Arlington

Designated by the State of Texas as the Arlington Cultural District, Downtown Arlington is where creativity, authenticity, and hometown pride thrive and drive what's next. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home UT Arlington, a Tier-One university, plus prolific visual and performing arts, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate. #downtownarlington