I’m sure you’ve heard of the various Walt Disney World Resort hotel recreation activities, which can vary from Movies Under the Stars (watching Disney movies outside on the hotel grounds), to trivia by the pool, to making tie-dyed Mickey t-shirts. A fairly new activity was one I knew I had to come out and try the minute I saw it – painting a castle! The Once Upon a Painting activity takes place at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. You get to paint your very own ceramic light-up castle to take home, all while enjoying panoramic views of the Magic Kingdom and monorail resorts. I signed up to paint a castle at the Contemporary and wanted to share our experience with you. We recorded a full video of the experience as well so scroll down to watch what the process was like.
The Once Upon a Painting castle activity began back in March, where it took place at Chef Mickey’s restaurant. When Chef Mickey’s reopened, the activity was moved to California Grill, so now the views are amazing inside and out. I brought my resident artist (my daughter Sophia) and camera man (my son Christian) and we had a great time deciding how to paint our castle (I let Sophia do the painting). You’re given colors to choose from and once your castle is complete, you leave it with the Disney Recreation team and they spray a clear coat on top to make it glossy. Depending on the amount of castles at your session, it could be picked up same day, or the next day.
You pick up your finished painted castle at Community Hall, located in Bay Lake Tower on the first floor. Community Hall is open daily from 10am – 10pm and they have all sorts of other fun activities going on in there. If you are unable to wait for your castle to be finished by the recreation team, you can take it home without the clear coat and finish it at home if you’d like too. Here are all the details:
What: Once Upon a Painting ceramic castle activity
Where: Disney’s Contemporary Resort at the California Grill
When: Mondays and Fridays from 12:30 – 2:30p, must check in by 1:30 to participate. We used up almost all the time so keep that in mind as you create your masterpieces!
Cost: $30+ tax per castle
How to Book: Call 407-824-1347 or by visiting Community Hall at Bay Lake Tower. Space is limited, but walk-ups are possible if there is room.
We had so much fun painting our castle, and watching everyone else’s creations as well. It was amazing how unique each person’s castle was. Of course, I had to go with Figment colors. Sophia even added little Figment foot prints on the stairs.
Watch our Once Upon a Painting experience here:
Have you done this or any other activity at a Disney hotel? I’d love to hear about it! I’ve always wanted to do the Mickey tie-dying too, maybe that’ll be next on our list. If you’re looking for a more adult activity, remember Sangria University at Coronado Springs Resort is open again too! We have a full review and Sangria University video as well.
Do you know if you can book this before your trip or how far in advance you can book it?
Suzannah Otis says
Hi there, you can book it ahead of time by calling the number listed in the post. I’m not sure how far in advance they will book it but I’m sure they can tell you at that number. 🙂 I am a local and booked it a few days in advance so it doesn’t have to be attached to a hotel stay or anything. Hope that helps! 🙂
Did this activity last week (January 2022). Happened to be in Contemporary for lunch and saw the sign. Most relaxing part of my entire trip. Two hours hanging out painting in the CA Grill with that amazing view, and you end up with a great souvenir. Afterwards they let me go outside on the observation deck for a few minutes. Besides being fun and relaxing, it was a rare bargain in Disney World. (I checked, those castles cost over fifty bucks unpainted).