We all know that animation is what put Disney on the map. You really can’t separate the two. So an “Animation” lesson only makes sense!

While at DCA,

  • visit the “Disney Animation Building” You’ll find this in the “Hollywood Pictures Backlot” area of the park.
  • Within the Animation Building is the “Animation Academy” where you will learn to draw one of several Disney Characters. This isn’t just a show, it’s audience participation! You will walk out of the room with your actual drawing that you made during class.
Animation Studios \"Pooh\" drawing lesson
  • As you exit the Animation Academy, you can experience a 3-D Zoetrope. There is a Toy Story version that utilizes strobe lighting to bring the clay figures to life. (NOTE: If you tend toward motion sickness, you’ll want to close your eyes when the spinning starts. Once the strobe lighting begins, your eyes will adjust to the movement.)
  • You will also find design drawings for a number of famous characters. Note how many changes the character image goes through before we see the finished version.
  • Note the clay figures of the drawn figures. Why do you think they create these?
  • Visit the Sorcerer’s Workshop – also in the Animation Building.
  • In the Magic Mirror room you’ll get to create your own 2-D Zoetrope How many pictures did you have to draw to get a full rotation of movement? Was it difficult to make the small changes in the picture?
making a zoetrope

At home, check on other early forms of animation and see if you can make them:

What other early forms of animation can you find?

Learn about creating story boards. They help to layout how the story will flow and the major parts of the movie.

Head over to DL and take a ride on some of the ‘dark’ rides in the park – Snow White, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Can you create your own animated story from these rides (or any rides in the two parks)?


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