Orlando, Florida – Disney’s most recent blockbuster animated movie, Frozen, has been a massive hit at the box office. Rumors have been circulating that Frozen themed attractions will be making their way to Disney parks in the not too distant future.
Frozen-themed guest special events have made their appearances at both Disneyland and Disney World and are wildly popular. For example, meet and greet events with characters Anna and Elsa have been staged in Disneyland’s Fantasyland and Epcot’s Norway Pavilion since October. At Disney’s California Adventure, Frozen is also featured in the World of Color – Winter Dreams nighttime show.
During the movie’s first six months, Disney raked in $1.2 billion worldwide at the box office, inspired the sale of merchandise and initiated hours and hours of wait time in order to meet characters Elsa and Anna at the Disney parks. The theme song, “Let It Go,” won awards, Frozen debuted as an ice skating show. Because of the movie’s huge success, it was only a matter of time until there was speculation about the addition of rides and shows based on Frozen. So where are the shows and rides?? Kathleen Prihoda, a Walt Disney World spokeswoman says they are taking their time.
“‘Frozen’ continues to be extremely popular with our guests,” said Prihoda. “While we are always looking at ways to enhance our guest experience, we have nothing to announce at this time.”
“It takes time for stories to mature and to come to market … and to be turned into a ride or experience. So I don’t think it’s surprising that we don’t see it or hear it yet being talked about,” said Brian Sands, a vice president with AECOM, a market-research company. “That doesn’t mean it isn’t occurring behind the scenes.”
The rumored and repeated theory among theme park and Disney enthusiasts is that Disney will convert Epcot’s Maelstrom attraction, a moderate log-flume ride, into a new Frozen attraction. Maelstrom is located in the park’s Norway pavilion and is currently part of a Scandinavian setting. It would be perfect because it’s mild enough for younger guests.
However, there could be issues with this idea. Jim Hill, a theme-park industry blogger and editor of JimHillMedia.com, said he believes, despite the film’s popularity, he thinks it could fade in a few years. “They don’t want to have all this stuff in place and then all of a sudden have the enthusiasm for ‘Frozen’ melt,” he said. He thinks timing is key and rushing to change attractions may be a mistake. “When it comes to the princesses, there’s been a hesitation,” Hill said. “It took 20 years to get a ‘Little Mermaid’ ride done. Same thing with ‘Beauty and the Beast.'”
Dennis Speigel, president of the International Theme Park Services trade group added that Disney’s strategizing could take a long time. He said that Frozen is a once in a lifetime film for this generation and could have long term appeal. “This is our ‘Snow White,’ this is our ‘Wizard of Oz,’ in 2014,” he said. Furthermore, he said that now that guests can meet and greet Anna and Elsa, and see them in a parade, he feels they should move ahead with a bigger attraction. “This is just the appetizer,” he said. “And the entrée is going to be eventually what they roll out there now that they understand the depth of this product.”
For this summer at least, here’s what visitors can expect:
The world of Frozen is going to be coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios….
Starting on July 5th, there will be brand new shows, specific Frozen merchandise areas and a nightly dance party all specifically themed to Frozen.
A Frozen mini-parade down Hollywood Boulevard. The parade will be known as “Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome” and will take place every day at 11:00AM. It will feature ice sculptors, ice skaters, skiiers, Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff.
A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at the Premier Theater. The brand new show will feature Anna, Elsa, and the Royal Historians of Arendelle recounting the story of Frozen, along with the songs from the movie.
Soundstage One will be converted into Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland, transitioning from a Star Wars retail area to a new Frozen retail area. There will be winter-themed things for kids to so including skating, photo opportunities and a snowman building play area.