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Disney's Hollywood Studios

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The Animation Courtyard in Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • Feb 3, 2011

This is Part III of a tour of Pixar Place, Mickey Avenue and today, Animation Courtyard of Disney Hollywood Studios. There are three primary attractions in the Courtyard: Voyage of the Little Mermaid, The Magic of Disney Animation and Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage!

The entrance to this area of the park is representative of what many know as a real Hollywood Studio. As many people remember, there used to be a real movie and animation studio here, and much of the support services used in this regard, although unfortunately this is no longer the case. In its place are a technology demonstration area and a place for photo ops with Disney characters. 
The area housing the film, Magic of Disney Animation, is always a favorite for me, admiring what in most cases what I can’t afford to purchase in the retail outlet; followed by a visit to draw my own Disney character as a souvenir. [For some reason, even after many visits they don’t seem to get much better… but it’s one of those just plain fun and free activities.]. Here is a description of the attraction itself:
The Magic of Disney Animation is an informative 20-minute show at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme parkwhere Guests of all ages are invited to discover the process of creating animated characters.
Go behind the scenes of animated Disney classics like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King for a look at how Disney animators create your favorite characters. Join Mushu from Mulan and a real Disney animator as together they illustrate—in a humorous and an easy-to-understand way—the basics of creating animated characters and character development.
After the show, embark on a guided walk to a special landing and snap a picture of the former studios of Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida. After a brief discussion about animation with your guide, take some time to join in a number of different workshops that bring the magic of Disney animation to life.
Playhouse Disney has changed over the years, and now represents the more popular currently on air productions of the Disney Channel, which I have enjoyed with my grandchildren and which I’m sure they, will readily connect with on when we do visit together.
Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage!
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Photo © Disney
Some of the world’s most popular children’s TV characters come to life as never before in Playhouse Disney—Live on Stage! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Children are invited to sing, dance and play along as their beloved friends from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, Little Einsteins and others appear in a new live adventure. Mickey’s colorful clubhouse opens up with delightful characters and marvelous special effects to make kids a part of the interactive magic—helping their pals create the best birthday party ever for Minnie Mouse. 
Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage!
Handy Manny,  Photo © Disney
In addition to the bubbly, breezy effects, music also fills the air as youngsters join the gang in singing along with catchy tunes that make Playhouse Disney such a fun place every morning — only this time, they’re a part of the new fun. Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage! performs several times daily at Disney's Hollywood Studios. 
Playhouse Disney - Live on Stage!
Little Einstein, Photo © Disney
There is actually a new show, Disney Junior Live, which will replace the current iteration but include most of the current stars from MM Clubhouse et al. Joining the cast will be Jake and his friends as Jake and the Never Land Pirates, instead of Tigger and Pooh, beginning March 2011. But this also means that until the reopening, it will be closed from Jan. 30 to March 5 the show.
Disney California Adventure parkand Disney’s Hollywood Studiosin Florida will celebrate the premiere of Disney Channel’s new multiplatform brand, Disney Junior, with “Disney Junior – Live on Stage!” next year. The lively show in the Parks will debut with new characters, some new adventures and a new marquee.

Children and parents who now enjoy the popular “Playhouse Disney – Live on Stage!”at both Parks can look forward to sharing this new production, which brings back three audience favorites (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Mannyand Little Einsteins) and also introduces a brand new segment based on Disney Junior’s newest series that will debut in February 2011, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.”

“Jake and the Never Land Pirates” will air on Disney Junior in February 2011 and will share the magical and adventurous world of Never Land with preschoolers. Children will be drawn to the main character Jake, an enthusiastic young boy who leads a team of kid pirates (Cubby and Izzy, along with their faithful pirate parrot, Skully) in fun adventures that encourage interactive responses from young viewers. The clever premise provides kids and families with a fun way to learn teamwork.
Disney Junior
Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Photo © Disney
Stories from the show will come to life in the Parks with colorful, puppet versions of some of the most popular Disney Junior characters, bright visuals, whimsical scenery that fills the stage, catchy songs and interactive moments.

“Disney Junior – Live on Stage” is scheduled to debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure park in March 2011.
The final stop in Animation Courtyard is another musical show, also lasting about 20 minutes, Voyage of the Little Mermaid. As one my favorite movies, it also a regular stop during my visits to DHS. It is also a fast pass attraction, although this has never been a long wait in line during my visits.
“Under the Sea” is absolutely one of my favorite Disney tunes, and this is part of the performance. So is “Part of your World” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, which always brings me back to the theme of this wonderfully entertaining animated film that I’ve seen a dozen or more times. It’s a live cast production, but with original music and movie recordings from the film of course, plus some puppetry like the Ursula character. It is a lot of fun to watch, and a great place for the kids of all ages.
A fish named Flounder and a crazy crab called Sebastian join Ariel and the rest of the cast under the sea in "Voyage of the Little Mermaid," a unique show spectacular at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Featuring dazzling special effects, the show combines live performers with giant puppets and favorite clips from the film to tell the delightful story of Ariel. Guests are plunged deep into fantasy as they enter a theater that recalls an underwater grotto complete with a curtain of water on stage. Even the air smells salty, and the audience can feel the sea mist and wind.
Voyage of The Little Mermaid, Photo © Disney
Sebastian kicks off the voyage with his Academy Award-winning melody, "Under the Sea," with more than 100 black-light puppets performing to the toe-tapping tune. Ariel shares her dream of becoming human in a live performance of the song "Part of Your World," casting her ethereal voice throughout the theater. The segment is highlighted by several scenes from the movie, drawing the audience into the mermaid's wide-eyed fantasy of winning the heart of her true love, Eric.

But evil enters the picture in the form of the 12-foot-tall, 10-foot-wide villain known as Ursula. With her deep voice dripping of sarcasm, she belts out "Poor Unfortunate Souls," tempting Ariel with the chance to become human. Desperate for the opportunity, the red-headed mermaid agrees to trade her prized possession . . . her voice. The transformation from mermaid to human is accompanied by a powerful musical composition that foreshadows Ursula's wicked plan.

The story unfolds in a climactic finale, combining film, live action and sensational special effects. Sebastian, Flounder, Triton the King of the Sea, and Max the Dog join Ariel and Eric in the exciting final segment, guaranteed to leave the audience with a smile.

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Bruce Brodsky ()
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Hi folks. My blog is A World View - Enjoying Walt Disney World. I actually think it was watching a True-Life Adventure called the Living Desert that started my enthusiastic love of Disney. I must have … more
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