By Soarin’ Diva
Most of us have heard of Disney’s Animation Academy. At Walt Disney World, Animation Academy used to be held in the Animation Pavilion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Animation Academy was basically a class taught by a Disney artist. The object was to teach the class how to draw various Disney characters. The class typically lasted approximately thirty minutes and most times was filled to capacity. Sadly, this attraction closed in July of 2015.
Park guests were recently thrilled to learn that The Animation Experience was being rebooted at Walt Disney World. Now, however, the class is being held in the Conservation Station at Animal Kingdom’s Rafiki’s Planet Watch. If you are interested in attending, this attraction reopened July 11, 2019 and is an option for a FastPass Plus. My husband and I were initially interested in going so we could finally experience this intriguing attraction, we had never gotten a chance to do it at Hollywood Studios. When we learned it would be held at Conservation Station, though, we kind of put it on the back burner again because we typically don’t take time from riding attractions to head over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Then I read a comment on one of the bazillion Disney fan sites on social media.
Last week, I was scrolling through comments when I came across one that really snagged my attention. I’m not sure why I didn’t know about this, why it never even occurred to me that it was an option in this world of global “everything’s on the internet”, at your fingertips for you to enjoy life we all have. Many of you probably already know this, but it honestly came as a surprise to me. Disney has videos loaded on YouTube that are full Animation Academy classes. That’s right, just go to YouTube, type in “Disney’s Animation Academy” and up pops numerous videos teaching you how to draw various Disney characters.
I immediately decided that the next time all of us were home together, this would be our family fun night. What could be more fun than our family settling in front of our smart t.v., pulling up one of these videos, and trying to draw a Disney character?
We finally found a night when we were all together and pulled up Disney’s Animation Academy on YouTube on our television. I won’t lie, it took a little while for everyone to agree on which character we would draw. None of us are skilled artists, so we were looking for a character that seemed like it could be a little more simple to draw. We finally settled on Olaf from Frozen.
As we hit play, we all settled into our drawings, trying to bring Olaf to life. I actually thought the artist moved a little fast, so I’m glad we did this at home for the first time. The joy of Animation Academy at home lies in that one little button on the remote that says “pause”. I utilized that pause button quite a bit as I tried to keep pace with the incredibly skilled Disney artist. It made me wonder how I would be able to cope doing this in the parks when they are limited on time.
The video lasts just over twenty minutes, but if you add in the amount of times I had to hit pause to redraw a line or just catch up with the artist, it lasted probably over thirty minutes. I have to admit, things got a little competitive between the four of us. When we finally finished our Olaf drawings, we decided to send the pictures to family members so they could pick which one they liked the best. I do want to insert here, that yes, we all know that none of us are artists. My 18 year old son actually cracked me up by describing his own picture as looking like a football player posing for his high school yearbook photo. We don’t need artistic criticism, because we can already see what is wrong with our own drawings, but we still had to be competitive because that’s just who we are. With our family members choosing our 16 year old son as the winner of the competition, our evening of Disney’s Animation Academy concluded.
We felt like this was a really fun way to get a little of that Disney magic at home. Drawing with Disney’s Animation Academy was a great family night that we got to do something together that didn’t involve actually watching a movie. I think it would be a fun activity for a kids slumber party, birthday party or, as our family did, just an activity to spend time together creating Disney magic.
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