If you have children – or, at this point, even if you don’t – you are certainly aware of the phenomenon that is Disney’s Frozen. The film and soundtrack are on eternal replay in many homes. The merchandise is flying off the shelves. Naturally, the film’s focal characters, Anna and Elsa, would eventually make their way to the Walt Disney World Resort; and when they did, there was no shortage of fanfare.
The Frozen touch has a similar effect to that of Midas: striking gold is a sure thing. Lines to meet the lovely ladies instantly hit three to five hours, and they showed no signs of slowing. Day after day, anxious guests have spent up to half of any given theme park day in line for a chance to interact with Anna and Elsa, the new belles of the Disney ball. Logically, the ladies debuted at the Norway Pavilion at Epcot, but when crowds overwhelmed the area, the meet and greet was moved to Princess Fairytale Hall at the Magic Kingdom (evicting previous resident princesses in the process). Though better equipped to accommodate the throngs of Frozen fans, Princess Fairytale Hall is not the end game for the resort’s Frozen push. Disney Parks recently announced plans for “Frozen Summer Live”, a special event to run from July 5 – September 1 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
“Frozen Summer Live” promises a slew of spontaneous surprises, but Disney has provided a glimpse of what’s in store for park guests during the maiden run of this new event:
- Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome – Daily, at 11:00 AM, Anna and Elsa will make their way down Hollywood Boulevard in a horse-drawn carriage (complete with their chilly entourage) to the Sorcerer’s Hat Stage for an official welcome to park guests.
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration – The Premiere Theater sets the stage for Anna, Elsa, and the Royal Historians of Arendelle in this musical, storytelling re-creation of their famous tale.
- “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party – As the day melts away, the music will play! This DJ-led dance party takes over at the Sorcerer’s Hat Stage for a mix of frozen summer hits where all are welcome to shake out some of that energy. Benches are nearby for observers who need to re-energize.
- Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and Frozen Funland – Oaken has taken over Soundstage One to create a winter wonderland of sorts; a nice respite from the Orlando summer! Play areas, special Frozen merchandise, event themed refreshments, demonstrations, unique photo opportunities, and even a frozen pond are just some of the highlights of the area.
- Olaf on Summer Vacation – Connect to your Disney social media side with Olaf the Snowman on his summer vacation. Guests can opt for a Take-Along Olaf to include in their photographs throughout the day, all connected to the hashtag #OlafSummerVacation. Participation carries the potential for photos to be included in finale festivities.
- Frozen Fireworks Spectacular – Speaking of finales… every night at 9:45 PM, Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and Kristoff arrive at the Sorcerer Hat Stage to introduce the grand finale fireworks display, set to the Frozen soundtrack.
Guests can still catch Anna and Elsa in the daily Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom. There’s a sweltering hot rumor swirling around a potential Frozen makeover to Epcot’s Maelstrom ride in Norway as well, but Disney loyalists are hoping this doesn’t hold water – er, ice? Eventually, the Frozen freeze-over will melt, and there are already more than a few of us ready to – well, let it go! The spreading of the Frozen crowd is a respectable move on Disney’s part, and “Frozen Summer Live” is a stroke of logistical brilliance to that end. However, pressing forward to re-theme a classic attraction to promote a fad seems overly commercial and hasty – even for Disney.