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Disneyland Resort
5 Things You Have to Do at the Disneyland Animation Building
December 11, 2023

Looking to ignite your inner Disney imagineer or artist on your next Disneyland trip? Disney California Adventure Park’s Animation Building is the perfect place to go – and we have six things you have to do while you’re there!

The Animation Building is hidden away in Hollywood Land of Disney California Adventure Park. To find this hidden gem, look for the Off the Page gift shop. You can browse through here to find some amazing artwork and souvenirs before moving on. If you keep walking, you’ll notice the Disneyland Animation Building attached to the gift shop.

Take a step into the Animation Building and you’ll begin creating a new story. After all, the best stories begin with “Once upon a time…” just as the entrance says.

There are so many fun things to do inside the Animation Building that will help your creativity flow. Here are five things you have to do on your next trip to the Disneyland Resort.

Be Enchanted with Animation A-Glow

1. Experience the Animation Courtyard. You'll be met with large projections of Disney animated films when you enter the Disneyland Animation Building. This beautiful area is known as the Animation Courtyard.

On top of the projections, your family will be surrounded by sketches and sounds of different Disney movies. Each projection is a presentation in itself, highlighting the creativity and process needed to bring each unique Disney movie to life.

You may even notice the animator who inspired it all, Walt Disney himself, hidden in the sketches of characters on the walls.

The Animation Courtyard is the "hub" of the Disneyland Animation Building. It is the essence of how one small idea can become such a great thing when you put in the work. This is a wonderful place to soak in the inspiration from each projection while resting your feet.

Once you are inspired and ready to create, you can choose how to start your next story from everything the Disneyland Animation Building offers.

Create Your Own Animated Cartoon

2. You'll find quite the enchanting workshop just a few steps from the Animation Courtyard. The Sorcerer's Workshop not only shares the history of animation, but also provides visual and hands-on opportunities for kids of all ages to test their own animation skills.

You'll even be able to create a moving work of art! Simply draw each step of your cartoon's movements before inserting it into one of the many spinning wheels found here.

Your little ones will feel like they created true magic when they watch their own cartoon come to life! It's easy to understand how the magic of Disney all started with a mouse after visiting the spinning wheels.

Animation Academy

3. Ready for a more formal but fun course in Disney animation? On the other side of the Disneyland Animation Building, you will find the Animation Academy.

Your whole family can take a lesson in animation from a Disney artist with no tuition or reservations required. The class is about 15 minutes long with a new one starting every half hour.

You'll visit a university style classroom where a Disney artist will teach you how to draw a beloved character. You can find the schedule of exact class times and which character will be featured during each class on your way into the Animation Building.

Disney magic is Disney's attention to detail, which is why you'll find so many familiar friends in the classroom. See if you can find our favorites, including:
  • Jack Skellington
  • Mushu
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Donald Duck
  • Ratatouille
  • Baymax
  • Sulley
This is not only a fun way to get in touch with your inner Disney artist, but a great (and free!) souvenir. It also teaches a lesson about finding the beauty in everything you see. After all, what would have happened if Walt never found the beauty in a mouse?

Meet Frozen Favorites

4. Meet your favorite Disney characters inside the Animation Building in Hollywood Land, too.. There's an area known as the Character Close-Up which has been home to Anna and Elsa for the last few years.

Pro tip: rainy weather usually means you'll find more characters here. Make sure to take advantage of shorter wait times and more meet and greet opportunities at the Animation Building when it's raining.

Turtle Talk with Crush

5. Learn How to Speak Turtle at Turtle Talk with Crush! Last, but not least, your family can meet and even talk with the 152 year old surfer dude. Before you go, you'll want to make sure you're caught up on your Turtle Talk.

Here are some key phrases to remember:
  • Cha = Yes
  • That is totally gnarly! = I like it!
  • You've got serious thrill issues, dude! = You like to have fun!
  • Kill the motor, dude = Settle down
Don't forget that it's customary to answer a turtle with "Duuuuude!" when they say, "You so totally rock!"

Now that you know basic turtle language, you can enter the "Window to the Pacific." New technology has provided a special hydrophone that allows you to have a conversation with Crush and some of his friends from Finding Dory.

Parents can occupy the chairs in the back while smaller guests can sit on the lily pads close to the screen. Be prepared to ask Crush a few questions and answer some too! Our favorite question we've heard Crush ask has to be "Hey dude, in the black shell, what are those things on your flippers?" Surprise, they’re Mickey ears!

Visiting Crush and his friends at the Disneyland Animation Building is a totally gnarly experience! It's so interactive and engaging that you might even think it's fueled by magic. Everyone is sure to have a blast talking with Crush!

Book Your Disneyland Vacation

The Disneyland Animation Building is a "totally righteous" experience for the whole family. Make sure to stop by the next time you are strolling down Hollywood Land in Disney California Adventure!

But before you start creating your own artwork, you'll need to create your next Disneyland vacation.

Get Away Today can help you create the best vacation yet. On top of providing discount Disneyland tickets, we help you plan your vacation and share some of our best tips and tricks to navigate the Disney parks. You can book any of our Disneyland packages online or by calling our travel experts at 855-GET-AWAY.

5 Things You Have to Do at the Disneyland Animation Building || Get Away Today

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