Beginning on Sept. 28, guests can find a one-of-a-kind mural full of hidden Mickeys and scenes from some of your favorite Walt Disney Animation Studios films when the newest Disney Vacation Club property, The Villas at Disneyland Hotel at the Disneyland Resort, opens its doors!
The stunning 12-story tower will surround guests with decades of Walt Disney Animation Studios history and storytelling from the moment they enter the new tower, as they are greeted by this beautiful mural created exclusively for the tower by Lorelay Bové, associate production designer on Disney Animation’s Academy Award-winning “Encanto.”
Born and raised in Spain, art has always been a way of life for her. Bové is a veteran of the Disney Animation visual development team, contributing artwork and design to the Oscar-winning films “Big Hero 6” and “Zootopia,” as well as other fan favorites such as “The Princess and the Frog,” “Tangled,” “Winnie the Pooh” and “Wreck-It Ralph.”
Bové has also provided illustrations for several Little Golden Books, including “The Princess and the Frog,” “Toy Story: Ride ‘em Cowboy!” and “Wreck-It Ralph.” Her work has also been featured at the New Orleans Museum of Art’s exhibition “Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from The Walt Disney Studios,” as well as other art exhibits around the world.
I had the opportunity to chat with Bové about how her extraordinary mural came to life.
What has been your experience working on the mural for The Villas at Disneyland Hotel?
It was an honor. In a way, the mural is a celebration of Disney Animation all in one image.
I thought, “Okay, how am I going to compose all these amazing movies that are cherished over the years by everyone?” and “How am I going to make it not overwhelming, so everything has its own vignette?” I wanted to have the characters in their own worlds, because I wanted to respect their worlds in their films. To me, that was important. When guests look at it, the viewer is immersed into each of the vignettes individually as they travel through the mural.
The Villas at Disneyland Hotel is inspired by the creative process artists experience when creating an animated film. What was the process like to bring this artwork to life?
First, I got a list of the movies that we wanted to showcase. Then, the first part of the process is thumbnailing. I started sketching vignettes and began to see how I could compose it to make them fit nicely — adding “The Lion King” here, and Mirabel from “Encanto” there. Of course, I was already thinking that characters, like Baymax from “Big Hero 6” or Sisu from “Raya and the Last Dragon,” could be flying. There are also iconic things from each movie in the mural. For example, in “Fantasia” you have Sorcerer Mickey up on that mountain, and that makes sense to be higher in the frame.
My partners were excited, and they asked me to add a few more characters. We added Star from “Wish” up on the hill above the mountain with Anna and Elsa from “Frozen.”
The next step was to create a color key by planning out the colors and seeing if everything fit together. There‘s a lot of green and turquoise. Then, you have a sunset that is placed throughout the whole sky — that was a way to tie everything together. Once the color is final, then I go in and paint everything!
There are so many different films represented in this piece. What is the most exciting part about bringing all these timeless Disney Animation stories together?
To me, it was revisiting each movie and enjoying those moments that are just so precious in each film. I grew up with Disney, like a lot of people, and being able to work on the newer films and celebrate past films was just a treat.
Are there any fun hidden gems in the mural that guests should look out for when they visit?
Yes! There are several “hidden Mickeys” scattered throughout the mural.
Do you have a favorite Disney Animation film you have worked on?
It’s so hard! I enjoyed the first movie I worked on, which was “The Princess and the Frog.” I loved the process of working on that film. “Encanto” was also something that I had a lot of passion for, and it turned out so beautifully. It was great to hear that the characters resonated with all people and felt like they were seen.
What does being part of The Villas at Disneyland Hotel mean to you?
It makes me really happy to hear that the Disney Animation legacy continues – and there’s no other studio that has that legacy. It goes way back generations. People get to enjoy their vacation in a Disney environment, and that’s special.
This role is a dream. I always tell everyone that this isn’t work for me, it’s what I would do on my own time. I’m very lucky!
We cannot wait for you to see this beautiful mural at The Villas at Disneyland Hotel when it opens in just one month on September 28, 2023! For more information visit TheVillasAtDisneylandHotel.com.
To learn more about Disney Vacation Club visit DisneyVacationClub.com. Members may also call their Disney Vacation Club Guide.