There is a somewhat hidden gem inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In my list of must-dos in Disney’s Hollywood Studios I have to put a visit to The Magic of Disney Animation towards the top, right under One Man’s Dream. Once the home to an actual Disney Animation studio, The Magic of Disney Animation offers a trip into the heart of The Walt Disney Company. It brings guests back to the roots and the wings of this company.
Upon entering the animation building, guests are greeted by a “Disney animator” who is unexpectedly joined by Mushu from Disney’s Mulan. The duo explains what it takes to make magical Disney animated films, usually followed by an extended trailer of Disney’s next film.
After this experience guests enter the rest of the animation building where they can see a replica of an animator’s desk, props and concept art of the next Disney film, meet Disney characters (including Mickey Mouse), enjoy a few interactive experiences, and learn how to draw Disney characters at “Animation Academy”.
These classes are free and take place approximately every twenty minutes. There is a wide variety of characters that guests can learn to draw throughout the day. Usually about 5-7 different characters are on the roaster for the day. If you have a particular favorite I would recommend asking the greeter at the front of the academy if they can review the schedule for the day with you (subject to change without notice, yadda yadda).
Before entering the Academy, take notice of the murals on the walls. One wall in particular is very special and I never get sick of looking at it. This wall features the characters from Mulan, Lilo and Stitch, and Brother Bear. These are the three movies that were animated in this very building. I just love it.
On our particular visit we learned how to draw Buzz Lightyear. Our teacher was very fun and encouraged talking and participation. Initially she would not tell us what character we were drawing and wanted us to guess. She lead us through step by step while a projection of her table and drawing was shown at the front of the room. Whomever guessed the character correctly received her completed drawing at the end of the class. After completing the class each guest gets to keep their picture, which has the Disney’s Hollywood Studios logo on it. It makes a great free Disney souvenir!
We had such a great time that after exiting the class we went right back to the entrance and just barely made it into the next class. This time we learned to draw someone much more curvy and bulbous. I guessed Grumpy and was right! So I am now the proud owner of a personalized, professional drawing of Grumpy. Pretty cool! This is such a fun activity to do together as a family or if you are like me and are looking for a way to kill some time while your family is riding the thrill rides you just don’t do. If the weather takes a bad turn then this is the perfect way to stay indoors. Whatever the reason, this is an attraction not to be missed!
- Steppin’ Out for Dapper Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (thisfloridalife.com)
- Bring the Magic Home – Save money and time by purchasing souvenirs before you go (theinsider.retailmenot.com)
- Stop, Look, and Listen: a Disney walk (thisfloridalife.com)