Sorcerer’s Workshop

Over in the Disney Animation building, home of Turtle Talk with Crush, is the Sorcerer’s Workshop. Now lest you missed it before, I really think the Animation Building is a hidden gem of the Mouse-Next-Door. Along with Monsters, Inc.

The Sorcerer’s Workshop is really a tribute to the zoetrope, and a place to draw your own animation. That animates. If you’re good at it.

You enter the Sorcerer’s Workshop past an eerily-glowing sign

Not quite this glowing in person


The room is like this extremely awesome, sheltered area with cool wall decorations and spinning thingies everywhere.

The spinning thingies are zoetropes


It’s kind of like Indiana Jones meets Awesome. If you know what I mean.

The wall art is very cool.

You want to touch it, but then you feel like you shouldn't touch it, but then you touch it anyway


Can anyone translate this?

It's Mushu!


The various zoetropes demonstrate different optical illusions to create animation. For example, just look in the mirrors for Donald to get all huffy about something. Dude has anger issues or something.

Perhaps Donald should try some meditation?


There’s also flippy things

Looks kind of like a Bingo ball globe


When you spin it, it combines two images into one. For example, this is Gaston admiring himself in the mirror.

No one's got a swell cleft in his chin like Gaston!


And speaking of mirrors, there’s the mirror mirror on the wall…

That starts out like this, except less fuzzy

And then...whoa!


It’s all delightfully creepy.

Plus there’s audience participation! There are long counters like this:

Mickey balloon?


And inside that box are long strips of paper and pencils–the miniature kind, like you get at a golf course if you happen to golf–and you lay them out along the guide and draw your own comic strip, as it were. The Mickey balloon is a guide, although of course you can draw whatever you like.

Paying attention to detail is my strong suit. Clearly I’m a shoo-in for Disney animation:

Nailed it!


You then place your strip into a spinner like such:

It looks better in here


And then you give it a spin!



As you can clearly see, by looking through the slots, my Mickey balloon takes flight!

Or it’s supposed to anyway. The picture isn’t very good. So let’s just pretend that it worked,okay?

The Sorcerer’s Workshop is especially good for elementary school-age and up kids experimenting with animation. Who knows–maybe your child can get his or her Disney animation start right here on your vacation!

One response to “Sorcerer’s Workshop

  1. Michelle November 2, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Hi Shelby! I discovered your blog via Diana of Our City Lights, and I have been obsessively reading through your entire archive. I am from Singapore but have had the good fortune of visiting Disneyland twice, including the old MND, and one time at the MIL! (Look at me, using MYWTM terminology!) It’s been so fun finding out all the little things about Disneyland that you have been documenting in your blog. I can’t wait to get back there and see some of this little details for myself!

    If no one has translated the characters around Mushu yet, it means Faithful Friend!

    忠實 – Faithful
    朋友 – Friend

    Have an amazing rest of the year at Disney! 🙂

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