"The Animation Experience"

I added a 10:20 FP+ for “The Animation Experience” to my plans today for Saturday 18 August. It now shows up in my Disney plans as “Arrive between 10:20 and 10:40. Showtime 10:45-11:10” with no picture and no description.

DS7 and DS9 love to draw so this should be a winner. Here’s what the press release says–

You’ll learn more about some of the animals who call our park home and then have the chance to create a personalized piece of Disney art through an instructor-led animation class. As you’d expect, some of your favorite characters from “The Lion King” will be the stars of The Animation Experience, which will start when Rafiki’s Planet Watch reopens on July 11. Come learn how to draw Simba, Zazu, Pumbaa, Timon and more. Each session will be different so be sure to visit often to complete the collection.


I saw this yesterday. I finally have a reason to ride the train to Rafiki’s . =)

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I’m pretty excited about this experience. we didn’t do Rafiki’s last time so it was already pretty high on the To Do list for this trip. My oldest, DS8, already considers himself an artist so any art related tie-in is huge. I’d actually just emailed the article on it to DH.

I saw this today and it sounds interesting. I am just wondering if you will leave with something nice even if you have absolutely 0 talent for drawing which described myself 7 year old and 5 year old.

I wouldn’t worry about ability. I suspect that the Imagineers set up plans so that the experience goes smoothly for all people from the “slightly artistically challenged” all the way to the “out-right disabled”. If I had to guess, I suspect that it is on a computer and you’ll have the option of working with a selection of character “how-to” templates, but I have no idea really. We’ll find out more on 11 July.

Looks like it is scheduled for two sessions each hour. Fast passes have been disappearing pretty quickly in the last 24 hours. I don’t see any morning sessions for the week of Aug 11th.

And sorry, I meant to put this thread in attractions, but did touring plans by accident. So touring plans, huh? Can’t live without them, but even with one, getting out to the station is a bear from the time consumption point of view. I was coming back in the afternoon and the departing train was full a couple years ago. Spent what seemed like a long time with tired kids in the heat of the day at Rafiki station. There might have been a train malfunction. Was not the highlight of the trip. This time I’m going out on an early train, right after our FoP fast pass, so when we come back, the returning trains should be less full.

The devs added The Animation Experience to the custom touring plan builder along with:

something that will allow our software to “guess” showtimes for The Animation Experience


thank you for your thoughts. It makes me not so nervous to book this as a fastpass. I don’t want my children to go home with stick figures while they see nonevent else with wonderful pictures. But I, too, would think Disney would have it so eveyone would enjoy it.

Rafiki was a one and done for me on my first trip to AK (a couple months after it opened). If I remember correctly, there’s only one train and it takes it about 20 min to complete s circuit, taking into account the stops st the two stations. So if you just miss one, it will be about 20 min for the next. I have a day and a half planned for AK on my next trip (maybe more, depending on how DHS turns out), so I may try it again to check out the refurb.

So allow a half hour or so for this?

I remember when personalized TPS first started, Rafiki was an issue because the two train rides and the exhibit were separate line items. If you optimized you might end up with the return train ride at 10 AM, the train to Rafiki ai 1 PM, and visit Rafiki at 3 PM, so you had to do s lot of manual reshuffling. I think this has been fixed, but I haven’t made a TP in 5 years…

The train ride is 5-7 minutes each way, and you’ll probably have to wait a bit on each end, so I would allow 30 min for the transportation portion. Once you’re there, there are a number of exhibits, a petting zoo, I think CM M&Gs, the vet clinic, food preparation area, and now the animation experience. I would plan on 60 min there (if doing the animation, 30 without), so the total Planet Watch experience would be a 60-90 min chunk of time.


This used to be in HS and it was difficult for kids. I don’t know if it will be exactly the same, but there weren’t any allowances made and it moved along at a fair pace. There was no time to correct mistakes etc. It was led by an animator.

Thank you. Yes we had an hour planned before we knew about this experience, so another 30 minutes should cover this too. That is great! Now just to decide what FPP to give up for this. I may take advantage of RS at FOP and use half the groups FPP for this.

My fast pass says: "Arrive between 10:20 and 10:40. Showtime 10:45-11:10”. That’s 30 minutes if I get there right at 10:40.

Here’s my “rounded”: touring plan for a 9am park open. Last day of the 8 day trip was the only day when I could get FoP FP+ for 4 before 2pm

6:30 - Shower and pack
7:30 - Drop bags at front desk, Grab walking breakfast
8:00 - Bus to AK
8:30 - Arrive at AK
9:00 - Rope Drop Navi River Journey ( Maybe see Rangers ? )
9:30 - FoP with FP+ ( Maybe see Drummers?)
10:00 - Africa Station & Conservation Exhibits
10:30 - The Animation Experience with FP+
11:15 - Petting Zoo & Rakifi Station
11:45 - Everest with FP+
12:00 - Tuffins
1:00 - Catch bus ( or Uber if behind schedule) back to hotel
1:30 - Pick up bags and then hop on magic bus for 4:15 flight

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@missoverexcited OK now I am nervous again. This doesn’t sound like fun. I don’t want to use a fastpass for this if it will be like that.

I wonder how this compares to the AoA drawing class. That might be a nice alternative.


I hear what you are saying. For me, this makes sense because DS7 & DS9 love to draw and it’s the last day of an 8 day trip. We will already have done two visits to AK before this (one morning, one evening), so we will have already done Dinos, Africa, a show, & the Asia rides. This will sort of be a victory lap.

I also realize that the trip to and from the conservation station can be tricky. It might take as little as 10 minutes (walk on to a train right when it is leaving, 6 minute train ride, 4 minute brisk walk excited happy boys) or it can be a 60 minute slog ( 30 minute wait because the first train is full, 20 minute train ride because something falls on the tracks, and then 10 minutes of flogging pouty, sweaty kids who irrationally demand to be carried by parents, as if they were still weighed less than 40 lbs or something )

But in August, you can get a rain storm at any point that disrupts your plan.

So like all touring plans, I’ll be ready to find the path of least resistance if fate conspires against me. No reason to force a bad time just to claim a fast pass. If it looks like I won’t make a train by 10:20, Conservation station prolly gets scrapped. If we can’t get back in time, that 11:45 Everest fast pass just might not happen. If everything goes south, I might end up taking lyft to the airport.

Hell. I haven’t even told the kids I’m planning a trip yet, just in case I have to cancel it!

Maybe wait and hear how it’s going once it starts?


New to forum, been on chat.

The animation academy that used to be at HS wasn’t suited well for smaller kids. Unless your child already has artistic ability. However, the one at AoA is mainly for children. My 16 year old was disappointed when we went there last time we thought it was like the one that went away in HS. But then we saw how beautiful AoA is and we booked there for Jan so win!


Yes, I think I will do that. I wonder if this will be an easy fastpass to get.

I don’t think it will be wildly popular because if the time it takes to get out there. Hopefully it will be like the one at AOA.