Animation Academy

Hollywood Land, Disney California Adventure

  • Land: Hollywood Land
  • Type: Discovery
WhereHollywood Land

Discover the secrets of how to draw a classic Disney character from a Disney animator at Animation Academy. When the hands-on show is over, you get to take home your artwork as a souvenir. Fun for any age and experience level, Animation Academy provides step-by-step instruction on how to draw some of your favorite Disney characters. Learn some basic tricks and techniques to give your drawing a professional pedigree.

The attraction itself is a drawing session with a Disney animator who teaches guests to draw Disney character. Guests may take their own artwork home after the drawing session.

Touring Tips

  • Animation Academy is only one part of the Disney Animation building, where you can learn all about the art and history of Disney animation, in an interactive, hands-on environment.
  • There is never a wait to entre the building and even if you don't go into any of the presentations many will enjoy simply doing that. Sorcerer's Workshop and Character Close-Up are both self-guided areas. It may be necessary to wait for some of the terminals in Sorcerer's Workshop but not generally more than a few minutes. Animation Academy and Turtle Talk with Crush are both continuously running shows so it may be necessary to wait more than one show, but this is rare.
  • Expect to spend 20 minutes in the Sorcerer's Workshop if there is any crowding and you do everything. 10 minutes should be enough for character close-up, unless there is a character in the room. Both Animation Academy and Turtle Talk with Crush run about 20 minutes.
  • The entire building is wheelchair accessible, including each of the four rooms. The Sorcerer's Workshop has at least one wheelchair accessible terminal in each of its activity stations.


While the animation building has been around since the park opened, things have changed with the shows and displays inside and Sorcerer's Workshop is the only part that remains unchanged from then.

A film imported from Disney-MGM Studios park (as it was still known then) called Back to Neverland opened with the park in what is now Turtle Talk with Crush. The 8-minute film featured Robin Williams and Walter Cronkite in a comedic look at how animation is done. The show was replaced within the year, however, by another Disney-MGM Studios title. One Man's Dream, installed as part of the celebration of Walt Disney's 100th birthday, was a biographic film of the man who started it all. It long outlasted that celebration, however, and didn't close until early 2005 when construction began on the installation of Turtle Talk.

Drawn to Animation was a 10-minute show featuring a live "animator" who interacted with a video of Mushu from Mulan and the real animators behind that character. Over the course of the show they discussed how a character's look is designed and fit into an overall story. In October 2005, the room was remodeled and turned into the current Animation Academy.

The room that is now Character Closeup has always been an exhibit space for Disney's animated films, showing artifacts from classic and modern films. Eventually the name was changed to Character Closeup and they added a character meet-and-greet element to the room (queuing up being an excuse to look at the exhibit). In October 2007, a fantastic zoetrope, created originally for a traveling Pixar exhibit, was installed. Art of Animation Sorcerer's Workshop