Monday, June 13, 2011

Underappreciated Studios Attractions

For those of you who are unaware, yet another International Hollywood Studios Awareness Week has arrived.  You may remember last year, when I wrote about The Great Movie Debate.  Well I'm here today to write about two less appreciated Studios attractions, at least by the general public.  (Disclaimer: There are not necessarily underappreciated by the Disney community, but they are by the average Disney guest.)

My rendition of Sheriff Woody!
First is the Magic of Disney Animation (all attraction links go to because they have way more Studios information than I do).  The "bulk" of this attraction is a short movie, hosted by Mushu, about Disney animation.  Though in my opinion, that's my least favorite part of the attraction.  After the movie, you are essentially dumped into a big Disney animation advertisement.  But in a good way!  There's a ton of concept art for Disney's next movie, and you can see all kinds of cool stuff related to the movie.  After this, there is an area where you can meet various characters if you choose.  Find which characters will be there in your Times Guide.  And finally, after meeting (or skipping) the characters, you can choose to exit the attraction via a gift shop or go to the Animation Academy.  The Animation Academy is my favorite part of this attraction.  As you can see above, I drew Woody!  We were the only people in the Academy at the time that had never been, so we got to draw a character that was less common.  Even if you're not a good artist, this is a lot of fun.  Hands on entertainment in a Disney theme park.  Love it!  (PS, you have to exit through the gift shop after this too... sorry.  It's a cool one though!)

Me at One Man's Dream
Second, but certainly not second in my heart (or the hearts of many other Disney fans), is Walt Disney: One Man's Dream.  For those of you who haven't been here in a while, it has recently been refurbished, and it is definitely worth another visit.  For those who have never been, this is essentially a chronicle of Walt Disney's life, from birth to after his death.  It gives information about everything Walt achieved both for himself and his company, and there are quite a few "artifacts" that he actually used.  Ever wanted to see a real desk that Walt sat at?  Now you know where to find one!  The whole attraction can be skimmed very quickly, but I recommend taking at least 20 minutes to really look at everything.  For any diehard Disney fan, this is a must-see if you haven't.  At the end, you can choose to see a short film about Walt's life, which I recommend.  At the very least, it's a nice place to sit for a bit.  Overall, this attraction honors Walt in the best way.  It is fantastic.

Do you agree that these attractions should be more appreciated?  Have you seen both of them?  Which are your favorites?  Let me know your thoughts on these attractions in a comment,  on Twitter (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook.  And if you're on Twitter, don't forget to hashtag #DHSAwareness!


  1. You picked two quality attractions for sure that are under-appreciated.

  2. This is totally under-appreciated. Our family did this last year but we totally found it by accident, we usually skip right by this self walking tour. But we had the best time drawing Goofy, my daughter is the real artist hers came out the best and it was chosen and put up on the screen.

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  3. Totally agree about the Animation Academy. I could seriously sit and draw slightly wonky looking Disney characters all day! After ToT, it is my favorite thing to do at DHS.

    Other than the two you mentioned, sadly I don't think there are really any other underappreciated attactions at DHS. There are so few of them to begin with, and I think quite a few of them are overappreciated (I have no idea why people are still going on the Backlot Tour -- you get a more enjoyable ride on the parking lot trams). The Star Tours rehab is promising...hopefully it will be contagious and we'll see some other new/improved attractions.

  4. Matt, yay, I thought so too!

    Diane, that's awesome! It's fun drawing whether or not you're an artist!

    Alison, I totally know what you're talking about! I love drawing the characters! Yeah, since the Studios is smaller or has less attractions than Epcot or Magic Kingdom, there is less to go unnoticed. But maybe that's kind of a good thing.