Description And Comments

The consolidation of Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, California, has left this attraction without a story to tell. Park guests can still get a general overview of the Disney animation process but will not see the detailed work of actual artists, as was possible in previous versions.

The revamped attraction starts in a small theater, where the audience is introduced to a cast-member host and Mushu, the dragon from Mulan. Between the host's speech, Mushu's constant interruptions, and a very brief taped segment with real Disney animators, guests are hard pressed to learn anything about actual animation. At the end, the audience is shown a plug for current Disney animated releases, which falls flat.

The audience then moves to another room, this one with floor seating, where another cast member gives guests a verbal description of what used to be the walking tour of the actual animation studio. The cast member supplies bits of Disney-character trivia (for example, Buzz Lightyear's original name was Lunar Larry) and fields questions from the audience, but nothing truly enlightening is presented.

Afterward, guests have the option of exiting the attraction participating in some interactive games, or attending the Animation Academy (the limited space is on a first-come, first-served basis). This is by far the most interesting part of the attraction, but not designed for all guests. The animator works quickly, which seems to frustrate younger guests who need more time or assistance to get their drawing right. For those who keep up with the animator, this part gives a good idea of how difficult hand-drawn animation really is.

Judging by the low wait times, the Animation tour may be in need of yet another overhaul. A mother of two from Oak Ridge, North Carolina, writes:

The new Animation tour is missing the essence of Disney animation, with little to no mention of the modern classics that helped revitalize Disney. The new version is a shell of its former self. It's hard to avoid the word lame.

Touring Tips

Some days, the animation tour doesn't open until 10 or 11 a.m., by which time the park is pretty full. The tour is realtively small-volume attraction, and lines can build on busy days by mid- to late morning. Character greetings take place at the end of most tours. If you want to meet characters without taking the tour, go through the Animation Gallery gift shop and head to the back of the store. A path leads directly from the shop to the characters.

Special Comments

Opens an hour later than the rest of the park.

Special Needs

Additional Resources

Other Attractions in Animation Courtyard

Touring Plans with The Magic of Disney Animation

What is a Touring Plan?