Secret Sundays: Learn to Draw Disney Characters at Animation Academy

By: Amy Kawa

In this series on Dreams on Main Street, we will provide a Disney insider secret each week that we feel will enhance your Disney vacation experience and/or the planning process leading up to your actual vacation.  Big or small, these secrets are things we have found extremely useful and use on each and every one of our vacations.  Some may be more “secret-y” and/or random than others, but I promise, they’re all true and valuable.

Dreamers Secret Sunday: You can learn to draw Disney characters at the Animation Academy at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.

The original Animation Academy used to be a part of The Magic of Disney Animation in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Here, you would enter a drawing classroom of about 35-45 people where a cast member, who was trained to draw about 20 characters, would lead you in drawing one of them step-by-step.  You would sit at a lighted desk, drawing with a pencil (NO ERASER!), and follow the cast member through the process by watching on an overhead screen.  You would then get to take your drawing him as an awesome souvenir!  Unfortunately, when The Magic of Disney Animation closed in 2015 to make room for the Star Wars Launch Bay, Animation Academy closed with it.

Have no fear! You can still learn to draw your favorite characters at a second, smaller Animation Academy inside Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.  Inside the lobby, you will find a sitting area with a television screen that serves as the classroom.  Three times a day, at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m., you can learn from a trained cast member how to draw a range of Disney characters.  The supplies needed to participate are also provided.

These classes are great for anyone who loves to drawn or has an appreciation for Disney animation, and when you’re done, you’ll have a wonderful souvenir to take home and memories to look back on!

The drawing classes at the original Animation Academy were some of my favorite things to do in all of Walt Disney World!  My family and I had probably taken about 20-30 classes in the attraction’s lifetime.  It can be a challenge, but it’s always fun and provides some of the best laughs we have ever had!  Let’s just say, sometimes your Elsa might look more like Chip and Dale.

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