Drawing Disney at the Animation Academy – Disney California Adventure


One of my favorite (and I think often overlooked) areas at Disney California Adventure is the Animation Building. In addition to Turtle Talk with Crush, the Toy Story Zoetrope, and The Sorcerer’s Workshop, guests can also visit the Animation Academy. This is a ~15-minute session where a Disney animator teaches those in the session how to draw a Disney character. Paper and pencils are provided.

The animator deals with simple shapes and fairly easy-to-follow instructions, so that even people like me, who can barely draw stick figures, end up with a passable drawing. For whatever reason, my best efforts have been with a couple of the dwarfs from Snow White – Dopey and Grumpy.


Different characters are featured throughout the day – the cast member at the entrance podium can tell you what characters are coming up, in case you want to return for a specific session. They very rarely fill up, and it’s a nice cool place to go and sit down and relax for a while. And you might end up surprising yourself with your drawing!

Laura Gilbreath is a native of San Diego, CA. She has been making the trek up Interstate 5 to Disneyland since she was a small child and terrified of talking tikis and hitchhiking ghosts. She and her husband Lee enjoy trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as sailings on the Disney Cruise Line.

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2 Replies to “Drawing Disney at the Animation Academy – Disney California Adventure”

  1. This is one of our favorite things to do at DCA everytime my son and I visit Disneyland. We’ve never drawn the same character twice! even I can’t draw a stick figure but I’ve been able to decently draw a Jack Skellington w/Santa hat and a Minnie Mouse (Mickey and Stitch… not so well). We love to sign and frame them for the house!!