The Walt Disney Company includes theme parks on three continents, television networks such as ABC and ESPN, Marvel Comics, and most recently the entire “Star Wars” Universe. But from the very beginning, what this corporation is known for is its classic animated films that have awed and inspired generations of young (and young at heart) fans. While not as popular or well known as the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror or Rock n Roller Coaster, the Magic of Disney Animation is a not-to-be-missed attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was one of the first attractions to open at the park (then known as Disney MGM Studios) in 1989, and was formerly an actual studio where “Mulan,” “Lilo and Stitch,” and “Brother Bear” (the latter two of which were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film) were created.
The tour begins with a short film about the creation of animated Disney characters. It’s hosted by Mushu of “Mulan” and features some of the Disney animators. It’s a funny and informative piece that will entertain the whole family. When the attraction first opened it began with another film featuring Walter Cronkite and Robin Williams, the latter of whom becomes one of Peter Pan’s Lost Boys.
There’s much to see and do after the film. The best of these is the Animation Academy, where visitors learn to draw a Disney character and take home their work as a free souvenir. There are multiple digital displays where visitors can play around with sound effects, inking and painting, and take a personality test to see which Disney character they’re most like. At the attraction's end is a gallery filled with animation cels and props from both classic and upcoming Disney films, and even some of the Academy Awards won by the studio’s work. And don’t forget to visit the many Disney characters that appear at the Animation Station.
Lines are typically short, so it’s wise to get a Fast Pass for another attraction and to do this one while waiting for your designated time. Right next-door is Voyage of the Little Mermaid, a show featuring actors, puppets, special effects, and footage from the original animated film. Lines can get long for it so before going to see the Magic of Disney Animation it’s wise to obtain a Fast Pass for a show time later in the day.