Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios used to be very different than it is right now. This area originally represented an active production studio which is why the entrance is a “studio arch” that resembles the ones in Hollywood. This is where ‘The Magic of Disney Animation’ attraction used to be. It was where guests could see the process of developing an animated character. Amination Courtyard also consists of a sub-section called Mickey Avenue, and that’s where Walt Disney Presents lives.
Animation Courtyard of the Past
When I was growing up, I knew this area as the place that had Playhouse Disney Live on Stage! and Voyage of The Little Mermaid. Before Ariel took over the stage, there used to be a show called Here Come the Muppets, and I wish I had been able to experience that. Another blast from the past is that not too far from the main section near Walt Disney Presents, there was a space used for different entertainment offerings like The Legend of Jack Sparrow and Journey to Narnia: Prince Caspian.
A lot of those fun offerings have sadly disappeared throughout the years, so let’s focus on what is currently here so we can answer the question. Is there anything in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Well, we are about to find out.
Animation Courtyard of the Present
Currently, the two main attractions in Animation Courtyard are Star Wars Launch Bay and the Disney Junior Dance Party. Before the Pandemic, there were three big things to do here because Voyage of The Little Mermaid was operating. Unfortunately, the show has not returned since the park’s closure in 2020. I hope one day we get an announcement regarding that show coming back soon. Off to the side is Walt Disney Presents, and this is one of my favorite things to do at Hollywood Studios.
Here guests can learn about Walt Disney, the timeline of the parks, and the company. At the end of the museum, there’s a movie theatre that shows a film, One Man’s Dream, narrated by Julie Andrews, that talks about the life of Walt Disney. When a new Disney movie is coming to theaters, they will switch the show over to a preview of the film. As of writing this, they are showing the live-action The Little Mermaid preview.
All in all, the answer is yes, there are things to do in Animation Courtyard, but it’s not a must-do area, except for Walt Disney Presents. Everything else about this section of the park feels stale and forgotten. I love Star Wars, but I can’t wait for the day that Star Wars Launch Bay closes down and gets replaced by something new. The Disney Junior show is a staple for younger travelers, so hopefully, that doesn’t go anywhere but continues to get updated. Disney, please, if you are reading this, bring back an updated version of the Voyage of the Little Mermaid.
Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.