Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is THE place to get an up-close and personal look at the magic that has been created in Disney movies. Located on the right side of Disney’s Hollywood Studios around the middle of the park, you can find it by heading straight down Hollywood Boulevard and then turning right once you get to the Sorcerer’s Hat. Once you go under the archway you are in the Animation Courtyard.
Once inside the courtyard you will find a variety of activities that will open your eyes to the animation of Disney movies. You can go under the sea with Ariel, greet your favorite characters, have an opportunity to draw a Disney character under the tutelage of a real Disney artist in a studio, and play with favorite characters from Disney Junior.
Animation Courtyard houses the attraction The Magic of Disney Animation, which is the heart and soul of this area. You get to really see how Disney characters are developed here. You can also tour former artist studios, see artwork from the latest Disney films, and play in a fun, kid-friendly interactive area as well. Animation Academy is where you can go to draw a Disney character while being taught the tricks by a real Disney animator.
There are also two shows in Animation Courtyard: Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Disney Junior – Live on Stage. These shows are great for kids and adults alike. Voyage of the Little Mermaid is a show that uses a unique combination of dynamic puppetry, live performance, film clips and special effects, all combined to provide an abbreviated version of The Little Mermaid movie. Disney Junior is great for young kids who want to see their favorite Disney tv show characters like Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse characters come to life on stage.
You can also find unique shopping opportunities in Animation Courtyard, such as The Animation Gallery, In-Character (Disney’s Costume Shop), and The Studio Store. Inside the Animation Gallery you can find Disney film and cartoon cells, prints, drawings, collectible art, drawing books and supplies. At In-Character you can find Disney costumes, toys, games, clothing and accessories. The Studio Store has toys, DVDs, a large amount of plush toys, collectibles, and sweet packaged snacks for gifts or while in the park.
In addition to the attractions and shows, Animation Courtyard offers excellent meet n greet opportunities — best of all they are indoors with seating areas and air conditioning. You can either go through the Studio Store or through Magic of Disney Animation. The characters are always those from the most recent Disney film. You can check your Times Guide when you enter the park for current information.
Tip: Visit at a time other than when the Magic of Disney Animation has just let out.
There are restrooms located in Animation Courtyard between the Voyage of the Little Mermaid and The Magic of Disney Animation.
I love people-watching and Animation Courtyard is one of my favorite spots to hang out. I love being around all that Disney art genius. I could spend hours and, if I had it, I would spend loads of money buying every piece that I have admired through the years.