As we face so much uncertainty around the world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope that all of our readers are staying safe and protecting themselves from the danger of this virus. At the time of this writing, Disney Parks and Resorts in the U.S. have been closed since March 16th, 2020, marking over a month of closure with no clear and safe opening in clear sight, and Disney theatrical movies canceled for the forseeable future. However, even though our regular doses of Disney magic are currently unavailable, there are still plenty of ways to feed your Disney fix, from your home! Today, we’re taking a look at some of our favorite Disney-related activities that you can do while in quarantine, and we chronicle things to help keep you busy, perhaps learn some new things, but most importantly, immerse yourself in some much-needed Disney magic.
Virtual Disney Lectures
Attend a Disney Lecture From the Walt Disney Family Museum
The Walt Disney Family Museum, located in San Francisco is home to incredible artifacts and collections chronicling the legacy of Walt Disney and his company. However, with the museum closed due to the pandemic, events have now moved online, offering fans from all over the world to have the opportunity to learn through lectures from Disney Legends, animators, and more. From significant Disney contributors like Muppet performer Dave Goelz, Disney animators and directors Kevin Lima and Brenda Chapman, and producer Don Hahn, the Walt Disney Family Museum’s online events give you the chance to attend no matter how far from the museum you are. Check out their site here to learn more about their virtual programming through their closure.
Learn the Art of Theme Park Design from a Former Imagineer
Former Walt Disney Imagineer Don Carson hosts his own theme park design based website, and during the quarantine period, he has taken it upon himself to create a new lecture series about the art of creating a theme park attraction from scratch. From concept sketches to models to virtual reality mock-ups, Don will walk viewers through a small demonstration of the step-by-step process that goes through creating themed attractions like seen at Disney parks. If you’re interested in learning all about themed environments and all things Imagineering, be sure to check out Don’s lecture below.
Go Behind-the-Scenes of the Magic
Learn What It Takes to Be an Imagineer and Pixar Storyteller
The Disney parks may be closed, but the magic of the parks never ends. From home, Disney fans can learn all about the process of creating Disney parks with the recent Khan Academy course, Imagineering in a Box, which takes a peek into what it takes to bring Disney attractions to life. Showcasing the artistry and imagination of each Disney land, there’s sure to be something new to learn for everyone. If movies are of more interest to you, Pixar in a Box is a wonderful series in which Pixar artists and storytellers walk you through their creative processes, and is most definitely worth a look for any Pixar fan.
Due to the park closures, Walt Disney Imagineering has slowly been releasing elements of its previous education series videos that give viewers a unique tour of their offices. For some of the first times ever, fans can now see inside areas of Imagineering closed off to the public eye. Be sure to follow the entire series!
Of course, The Imagineering Story on Disney+ is the perfect series to watch (or rewatch!) to learn everything about Walt Disney Imagineering’s long-cherished history and creative process. If you missed it at its initial launch, be sure to check it out!
Go Behind the Scenes of ‘The Mandalorian’
On May 4th, Disney+ released a brand new series titled ‘Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian’ which is the behind-the-scenes series showcasing the production of the Disney+ hit series The Mandalorian. From the costumes to the props, and the groundbreaking technology of the new series, fans of Star Wars do not want to miss the opportunity to hear from the people that made the new series as special as it is.
Learn to Draw Disney Characters with a Former Disney Animator!
Tony Bancroft is a legendary former Disney animator, having worked on classic films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Aladdin, and The Lion King. During the quarantine period, Tony has taken to Instagram to offer daily drawing lessons of classic Disney characters. If you’ve ever wanted a masterclass art lesson from a legendary Disney animator, be sure to follow Tony’s account @pumbaaguy on Instagram for daily animation insight.
Learn Art History and Design from Imagineer Joe Rohde
Joe Rohde is a legendary Imagineer who led projects like the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, and Pandora: The World of Avatar. During the closure of the parks, Joe has taken to Instagram to share his knowledge on theme park design and the roles of art history and architecture in that process. Joe is always a repository of brilliant insight, and if you don’t already follow him on Instagram, this quarantine period may be a great time to visit his page and scroll through weeks of great quarantine content.
Visit the Disney Parks…Virtually!
Watch Virtual Disney Parks Experiences
Just because the Disney parks are closed, doesn’t mean you can’t visit the parks! Virtually that is. From amazing documentaries to experiences that make you feel like you’re there, there’s some great opportunities to fill the hole that was once filled with the magic of the Disney parks. Like this video, from Disney, which showcases the entire Happily Ever After fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom, which will hopefully fill a bit of the fix until the parks open again.
Visit the Virtual Magic Kingdom
Virtual Magic Kingdom (VMK) was an online video game and community that Disney created in 2005 in honor of Disneyland’s fiftieth-anniversary celebration and ended in 2008. Beloved by many, the VMK grew to be a community of Disney fans and remains a prominent piece of Disney fan nostalgia, so much that a version of the game exists today. MyVMK, a stellar fan recreation of the game lives on and operates with a thriving community of fans who remain passionate about the former Disney classic game. Why not take a trip down memory lane and into the wonderful world of Disney video game nostalgia by visiting the Disney theme parks, virtually?
Add a Bit of Extra Magic to the Disney Experience
Ever wondered how the magic of the Disney holidays come together at the parks? Or just how unique a Disney wedding is, and how it all works? Disney+ has the television specials to keep you covered, with shows like Disney Fairy Tale Weddings and Decorating Disney showcase what goes into putting the extra layers of magic that make up a Disney vacation experience.
Most importantly of all, the best way to fulfill the gaping hole of Disney magic from the parks and theaters is through the wonderful content on Disney+. From the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars to binge-watching all of DuckTales for the twelfth time, this streaming service certainly came at an excellent time and fills a much-needed source of magic.
We hope this has been a helpful guide to staying connected to the brands you love. We hope to soon be able to enjoy the parks and movies that we love once again, but until then, please stay safe and healthy throughout this time!