Animation Academy at Disney California Adventure

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One attraction at Disneyland is a show, a interactive activity, and a souvenir too. The Animation Academy at California Adventure allows you to express your inner artist by drawing some of your favorite Disney characters. You’re probably more talented than you think!

Animation Academy

The Animation Academy is inside of the Disney Animation building in Hollywood Land. After you walk in, look to the left in the large lobby and you will see the sign. This building also holds the Frozen meet-and-greet with Anna and Elsa, Turtle Talk with Crush, and the Sorcerer’s Workshop interactive area. It’s a great place to spend a few air-conditioned hours in the afternoon!


Every morning outside of the Animation building, the Cast Members post the schedule of the characters they will teach you to draw throughout the day. It’s different every day and based on what each Cast Member wants to draw. The classes generally run every half-hour from an hour after park opening until just before closing.


If you experienced the similar class at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World before its sad closing, you’ll quickly notice that this venue is much larger and nicer. The theater-style seating makes it easy for everyone to see the Cast Member and the large monitor up front. It also means there is rarely a wait longer than “until the next class starts” with so many seats.


Animators like to keep a few stuffed friends around for inspiration!


I chose to try drawing the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. I figure a cartoony character with exaggerated features might be easier than something more realistic! The animators stress using guidelines and light pencil strokes while drawing quickly. No erasers allowed — just keep drawing!


It takes concentration to capture the essence of a Cheshire cat


Within about 20 minutes, you and 100 of your new friends will have sketches of a Disney character on heavyweight 13×16 paper. They’ll be rough, but recognizable. The Cast Members at the nearby Off the Page gift shop will help you roll it up to take home as a souvenir.


Don’t forget to sign your masterpiece!

Who have you drawn during the Animation Academy at California Adventure?

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