We’re now in the final three weeks of the Festival of the Arts at EPCOT. One feature that has been overlooked by many this year is the Animation Academy. This experience has been a part of the Festival of the Arts since its inaugural year. There are some changes to the experience this year. Here’s what you need to know.
In years past the Animation Academy took place inside the former Odyssey building. This building now hosts The EPCOT Experience, so a new home was needed. The American Gardens Theater is now host to a variety of entertainment to help with COVID-19 precautions. Offering entertainment here allows for more physical distancing. Plus, being an outdoor venue is a good thing.
The Animation Academy is only offered twice per day, and only early in the day. This is because of the musical acts that follow it for the bulk of the day. If you’re attending EPCOT on a weekend and you want to experience the Animation Academy you’ll want to head to the American Gardens Theater about 15 minutes before showtime, at least.
When you arrive to the theater you’ll be given a clipboard with paper and a small pencil. A Cast Member will direct you to available seating. The presenter on stage will go over how to draw the chosen character step by step. They will provide tips on how to make the character look more authentic. There is lots of encouragement so don’t feel bad if you believe your character could use a little improvement.
The experience lasts about 20 – 25 minutes. Guests are asked to return their clipboards to the Cast Members at the top of the theater near the exit. The drawing and pencil are yours to keep. My husband and I still have our drawings of Tigger from the first Festival of the Arts – it’s a fun keepsake.
There is also The Animation Experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom which runs throughout the day, every day.
Have you ever participated in one of Disney’s animation experiences? What are some of your tips?