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A ‘Hollywood’ Classic: The Magic of Disney Animation

Nate Rasmussen

by , Librarian, Walt Disney Archives

When Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened The Magic of Disney Animation gave a firsthand look inside the interworking of Walt Disney Animation Florida.


This behind-the-scenes tour began with the short film “Back to Never Land” taking guests on a journey through the animation process.


Afterwards, guests had the opportunity to peer through glass walls to witness members of the animation team at work. guests also had the opportunity to watch an animator sketch a Disney character right before their eyes.


Walt Disney Animation Florida was responsible for the primary production of three full-length animated feature films – Mulan, Lilo and Stitch, and Brother Bear. They also produced three animation shorts, “Off His Rockers,” and two Roger Rabbit Cartoons – “Trail Mix-Up” and “Roller Coaster Rabbit.”

For more posts in this series, read the posts below:


  • I remember this being a genuinely exciting part of the studio tour. One of my best memories was when I had the opportunity, as a student journalist, to tour the animation studios down on the floor, up close with the animators, with Richard Williams as my tour guide!

  • Great memories of touring this as a high school student! So cool to watch the animators at work and wondering what feature film they were creating.

  • Watching the animators work was the best part of visiting Hollywood Studios. I miss that.

  • I enjoyed the tour mainly because our daughter and son-in-law both worked there when it opened . He was an animator and she was ink&paint.

  • How I miss when the Disney Hollywood Studios was actually a place where real movies were made. Maybe with the success of Frozen, Disney may consider to expand their studios back to Florida.

  • I remember looking through the glass windows, and watching the animators work on Brother Bear and a few shots from Home on the Range:
    The host before the film even told the audience “The animators here believe Koda will be the next great Disney character!”
    (And even then, we thought, “Umm…”)

  • This was great! I was there during Mulan – the maquettes were amazing. Loved witnessing the process firsthand.

  • This was one of my favorite things at Disney when I was a kid. I believe we visited when Mulan was being made. I so desperately wish that this was still a part of Hollywood Studios. The animation classes held in the Animation Building are now my favorite thing to do when at Studios.

    I don’t think most guests realize that it used to be a real working studio lot where TV shows and Movies were made. I wish there was something in the park that celebrated this part of Hollywood Studios past.

  • I worked at this attraction during high school and college (1991-1996). They were helping finish some scenes from Beauty & the Beast when I first started. I loved this one even though I did have to wear heels and hose.

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