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Free art opportunities in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios was built around the idea of celebrating movies and the Studios emphasizes the importance of animated film more than any of the other Disney Parks in both demonstration as well as interactivity.  Inside Disney's Hollywood Studios, there's a number of places where you can flex your drawing muscle (or give it a shot for the first time).  All of these opportunities are completely free, which is perhaps the best part about them!

Animation Academy

The grand daddy of all animated demonstrations is the Animation Academy, which is part of the Magic of Disney Animaton attraction.  This hidden gem offers guests the opportunity to get a group lesson in how to draw a multitude of Disney characters.  It lasts about 20 minutes and quite often I'm amazed at how effective the artist's directions are in conveying how to draw these characters. 

This has been offered for many years now and while it isn't well known generally, you still see it generate a line and most classes seem to be full.  

Animation Station

This is a brand new offering, located inside the Magic of Disney Animation, where anyone can watch Disney artists draw and then do the same on coloring sheets.  The sheets are photocopies of some of the artist drawings and it makes a really nice freebie.

To me, the Animation Station is a watered down Animation Academy session but it's great for younger kids or someone that isn't interested in the formality of the Animation Academy class.  Also, there's less time constraints here so more opportunity for creativity. It's a neat idea that will hopefully remain a part of the Magic of Disney Animation.


Being in "Hollywood", the Studios lets kids feel like celebrities by making their own celebrity handprints.  Inside Mickey's of Hollywood store (located at the beginning of Hollywood Boulevard) is where kids can make their own handprint drawing.  Instead of messy cement, a Cast Member will bring out a piece of paper for kids to trace their hands and they will of course autograph their celebration of themselves and be given a certificate of completion for their merit.

For kids, it's a terrific opportunity to get some attention and of course it's free. Stop by Mickey's of Hollywood in the morning hours as the afternoon can get a bit more hectic with guests trying to do more shopping on their way out of the park.

Rock 'n Roller Coast Kid Spot

If you're familiar with the Kidcot stations in Epcot, then the Rock 'n Roller Coast Kid Spot will make perfect sense.  It's a small table that is manned by a Cast Member near the entrance to the Rock 'n Roller Coaster courtyard where kids can get musically themed activity sheets to draw and decorate.  Unlike the other opportunities that are more about animated film instruction, the kid spot is just about offering an art opportunity.

Frankly, this spot is rarely busy despite the large crowds that pass by it constantly.  Not sure if people aren't clear what it is or just not interested, but it's a good place for your child to wait and entertain themselves while other people in your group ride the Rock 'n Roller Coaster

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About this column

A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 by