Animation Building — Disney California Adventure’s Hidden Gem

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Animation Building

Looking for some low-key fun in Disney California Adventure? From the outside, the Animation Building looks like it might be just another gift shop in Hollywood Land. You’ve probably passed it hurrying to Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. But tucked away in here are a variety of attractions perfect for a rainy day, busy weekend, or repeat visitor. Come inside the Animation Building for a peek!

Animation Academy

Walt Disney World lost its Animation Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios several years ago, but the West Coast version is still going strong. (Editor’s Note: There is a version of Animation Academy called Animation Experience that does happen at Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.) Each day, the animation Cast Members pick (and post) the characters they will teach you to quick-draw. This allows you to pick your favorite or one you haven’t drawn.

Classes run every half hour, and there’s rarely a wait beyond the next class time. You’ll end up with a free and personal souvenir, and a greater appreciation for the talented animators behind classic films.

Animation Building

Meet Frozen characters

Do you want to meet a snowman? Anna, Elsa, and Olaf meet in the Animation Building. While the lines aren’t as long as a few years ago, it’s still a priority if you want some quality time with the royal sisters. Pair that with an afternoon showing of “Frozen — Live at the Hyperion” around the corner (and a frozen treat) for some frosty fun. Check the Disneyland App for royal appearances and showtimes.

Turtle Talk with Crush

Your California experience would be incomplete without learning to speak a little turtle with everyone’s favorite dude, Crush. This show runs every half-hour and is different every time, thanks to the amazing interactive technology that allows Crush to communicate. Totally tubular for offspring and their adults.

Sorcerer’s Workshop and Beast’s Library

Hidden behind the cavernous lobby are two little diversions that allow you to poke, touch and don’t have any lines. All of the exhibits in here are interactive. The Sorcerer’s Workshop shows you how animation works. The Beast’s Library holds a fun game helping you figure out what Disney character you are by asking a series of questions. Watch out — you might really be a villain!

The best thing about the Animation Building is that it’s available without using a FastPass, making reservations, or checking the weather. Relax in the lobby, visit Crush, interact with characters or touchscreens, or learn to draw. You can sit down indoors, which isn’t as common in California Adventure as you might think. I’ve been in here when the park was absolutely slammed and still found things to do without waiting. If you aren’t leaving the park for a midday break, this area might help you recharge for the rest of your day.

What part of the Animation Building is your favorite? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!

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