Become an animator in 25 minutes with Disney’s new Animation Experience

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Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

For Walt Disney World fans who still miss the Magic of Disney Animation drawing classes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios–get out your pencils and sketch board! The resort has recaptured this magic with this all-new experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which lets guests immerse themselves into the magic of Disney Animation all over again.

Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

The Animation Experience at Conservation Station is the newest addition to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, which just re-opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom last week on July 11. For those not familiar, this exhibit area has existed in the park since 1998 and served as an area for guests to learn about the many efforts that take place to protect endangered species and the various conservation efforts that are supported by the Walt Disney Company. Additionally, it’s also where visitors are given a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s care facilities. And now, this exhibit area features this all-new drawing class that’s sure to make anyone feel like a Disney Animator!

Animation Experience at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

The class takes place right past the entrance inside of Rafiki’s Planet Watch. The room features several large-screen monitors and rows of chairs, each offering a lap desk.

Animation Experience at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato
Animation Experience at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato
Animation Experience at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

Upon walking in, guests are handed a pencil and a piece of paper with pre-printed lines to help with sketching. After taking your seat, the class is met with an animator who comes out to greet guests and begin the class.

Animation Experience at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

In celebration of the recent release of Disney’s live-action remake of “The Lion King,” guests are currently learning how to draw Simba, Zazu, Pumbaa and Timon. However, visitors will also get to learn how to draw other furried and feathered friends from Disney’s many classic films.

Prior to putting the pencil to the paper during our experience in the class, our animator gave us a brief rundown and history on our chosen muse: a lion! On the screens in front of the class, which also projects the animator’s view of his paper for the class to see while giving step-by-step instructions of the sketch process, a small animated film discussing Dakari (one of the lions found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom) was played.

Animation Experience at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato
Animation Experience at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

After learning about the majestic animal, the step-by-step instruction began! Featured in this article is my own drawing I did during the class (forgive the sloppiness of the sketch as I am far from an artist).

Animation Experience at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

In total, the experience runs for about 25-minutes and each class is said to offer a different character throughout the day. The experience is offered up to nine sessions in a single day at the park and can be reserved through FastPass+.

Animation Experience at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato
Animation Experience at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato
Animation Experience at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato
Animation Experience at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Credit: ITM Reporter/Sean Sposato

To compare the experience to the Magic of Disney Animation at Hollywood Studios, this one seems to be a bit more informal. Hollywood Studios’ version of the class offered tables designed specifically for sketching and the room seemed a bit more like an animation studio. This experience is done on a board on your lap. However, the experience still offers guests the same ability to learn from an animator who is a master at Disney animation!

If you want to experience this all-new animation class for yourself, we suggest you contact our preferred travel agent partner Academy Travel! They can offer you expert advice and a no-obligation quote on a dream vacation. Academy Travel provides their services at no extra cost to you and you can click here to get a no-obligation quote and discuss your vacation with a Vacation Planners at Academy Travel.

Will you be heading over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch to experience this new animation class? Let us know in the comments below!

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