The History of Disneyland’s Silhouette Studio
Since opening in 1955, Anaheim’s Disneyland Park has had substantial attraction, food, souvenir, and entertainment upgrades. Yet, Disneyland’s Silhouette Studio has been open about as long as the park has, offering one of the most inexpensive and personalized Disney souvenirs in the form of old-fashioned, French-style silhouette art.
What is a Silhouette?
“Silhouette” is a French word that refers to a shadow, dark figure, or shape. In fashion, a silhouette refers to the shape or form of a garment, while in the art world, a silhouette refers to a cut-out of something or someone – usually in a single color, often black. Silhouette art commonly represents humans from a side view.
As a bit of background, silhouette art was popular between 1500 to 1860. Silhouette art was used to capture a person’s appearance before photography came out in the mid-1800’s and were most often created by painting on or cutting paper.
While considered antique, jewelry, art, and the like can still be found with silhouette cameos today for its sophisticated and unique charm. The old-timey appearance of silhouettes still captures the hearts of many.
Disneyland’s Silhouette Studio Backstory
Did you know that Disneyland offers jaw-dropping silhouette art? It’s true! Best of all, they do it the old-fashioned way.
Just one day after the grand opening of Walt Disney’s famous California park, the Silhouette Studio in Main Street, U.S.A. opened its doors on July 18, 1955. The creation of silhouettes remains the same today since the Silhouette Studio has opened.
Despite being open for a whopping 63 years and counting, The Silhouette Studio continues to offer beloved silhouette art to help keep one’s Disney memories alive for a lifetime. Many families enjoy getting new silhouettes created each time they visit Disneyland as their children grow.
Many of Disney’s silhouette artists have had specific training and/or education in the arts and considerable experience in creating cut-out silhouettes of both humans, Disney characters, animals, and even objects. Anything from infants, to dogs, to toaster ovens can have their very own shadowy representation via this form of art.
Most of the silhouette artists at Disney have worked at the Silhouette Studio for decades – many even 30 years or more. Interestingly, several long-term silhouette artists reported having created over 400 silhouettes in just one shift!
One of the many things silhouette artists have in common – besides getting to create hundreds of personalized silhouettes daily – is getting to hear the experiences of Disney guests. Park guests from different states and countries have a plethora of different stories to tell that silhouette artists absolutely love.
In just 60 seconds or less, a Disney silhouette artist can create a silhouette. Some artists with longer experience can create a cut-out in under 30 seconds! Just sit down with one of your sides facing the Disney artist, and they will cut out the contour of your head/neck area using just scissors and paper.
Best of all, if you want to have someone else’s silhouette done who can’t be present – or want to have your pet’s silhouette created – all you have to do is show your artist a physical or digital photo of them from their side view.
There is no age limit for getting a silhouette! For the little ones, they’ll only have to sit still for a minute or less, making it a convenient souvenir for the whole family.
Artists are also happy to create silhouettes with multiple people (up to four total) or a mix of both people, Disney characters, and/or animals in a single cut-out.
After your profile cut-out is finished, you have the option to purchase a special, oval frame to display your personalized artwork.
If you’re worried your silhouette will get ruined while at the Park, Disneyland’s Silhouette Studio will allow you to pick up your artwork at a more convenient time.
Disney’s silhouettes make for great wall art, holiday card art, stencils, additions for scrapbooks, or gifts. Some have even received a silhouette to use later to create jewelry, gravestones of loved ones, or tattoos. Most love silhouette artwork for its beauty, simplicity, and sentimentalism.
Where & When to Get a Silhouette
Disneyland’s Silhouette Studio works on a first-come-first-serve basis. There usually isn’t a very long wait time, if any. If you’re still worried about crowds, arrive at opening time. It shouldn’t take more than a half hour to get in, get your silhouette, get it framed, and pay. Then you’ll be on your way!
Between Crystal Arts and China Closet @ Mainstreet, U.S.A.
1313 Disneyland Dr
Anaheim, CA 92802
Sunday – Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Friday & Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Because Disney’s Silhouette Studio is located in the heart of Disneyland’s Mainstreet, U.S.A. land, you will need a park ticket.
Park Ticket Prices
Prices vary by date, type (e.g., 3-day ticket, Park Hopper, etc.), and age of guests.
Check the current prices of tickets here.
Silhouette (includes a free second copy): $9.99*
Frame (optional): $16.95**
*Depending on how many people or animals you have featured in your silhouette, prices may vary.
**If you have an annual pass, you can get a discount on the frames (doesn’t apply to silhouettes). Some discounts may only be valid on certain days.