Home > Imagineering, Movies, TWIWD, Uncategorized > Frozen’s Future in the Parks?

Frozen’s Future in the Parks?

Disney’s Frozen has proven to be a much bigger hit than they or many others ever imagined it would have been. Raking in more than $1.2 billion in 2013 at the worldwide box office, it’s popularity didn’t just stop there. In the parks, demand for Anna and Elsa has been huge, especially at Walt Disney World, where waits to see the sisters quickly exceeded 5 hours most days and stayed in this range throughout the day. The long waits have actually led Disney to change the way guests wait at the Magic Kingdom to see these two and try something very similar to the old Fastpass method, where everyone would get a paper ticket indicating a return time. Disney also added some summer festivities at Disney Hollywood Studios, called, Frozen Summer Fun Live with several events and activities featuring characters  from the movies. Originally, this was supposed to end September 1, but it was recently announced (as many expected), that it would be extended thru September 28th. Many are speculating that it might go away for a little while but be brought back around Christmas time in some form or another.

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And, if all that isn’t enough, there have been several rumors in the wild stating that Disney will soon shut down the Maelstrom attraction at the Norway pavilion in Epcot and re-theme/design it around the movie. Personally, I think the attraction is long overdue for an update or some kind of refresher. However, I’m not sure how I feel about a re-theme to this movie. Not that it couldn’t be done well and make for an enjoyable new attraction, but ideally, I think an update that was more representative of Norway and it’s traditions would be the best move. But, I’ll wait until this alleged re-do is completed before casting judgment. 

Regardless of the rumors, and what some seem to think might happen, I’ve had my own thoughts I’d like to share. I started thinking about alternative ideas for adding Frozen themed attractions, after I heard the rumors regarding Maelstrom. Nothing from the movie really popped out at me right away other than maybe the sleigh ride scene with Kristoff and Anna, being pulled by Sven, the reindeer. Thinking about this a little more, it might just be in the realm of possibilities for what Imagineering is thinking of doing with the Maelstrom ride, considering the ride tracks and style of vehicle. And, even though I kind of like this idea, it wasn’t the first one that came to mind for me.

I was actually thinking of something a little more festive and formal that would re-create Elsa’s coronation ceremony. I’ve never been in the restaurant Akershus in Norway, because every time we’ve looked at the menu, it just didn’t sound very appealing. But, if the area is big enough, why not transform it into a royal hall to celebrate the coronation. They could make it a premium kind of experience with light snacks (especially chocolate), h’orderves and drinks served, and then Anna and Elsa would come out to greet everyone. Set it up for about 100-200 guests at a time, and repeat every hour throughout the day.

Disney is wise for trying to capitalize on the popularity of this movie, in fact, I think they would be foolish not to considering it’s made more money than Pixar’s Cars from 2006, and has been called the best Disney movie since The Lion King. Hopefully, they will find a way to give the movie a somewhat permanent park attraction that will be enjoyable for years to come.

UPDATE 8/27/14: Inside The Magic reported yesterday about a special event called “My Royal Coronation Character Breakfast” coming September 24th, 2014. This seems to be a one-time event put together by travel agencies, A Time to Treasure Travel, Family Fun Travels, Go See Mickey and Magic of Mickey Travel in co-ordination with Disney as they are providing/sending official Anna & Elsa characters to meet and greet at the event. 

 

 

 

 

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  1. August 22, 2014 at 4:18 am

    Strange.
    If Disney starts thowing in Disney movie promotion, through COUNTRY pavillions in World Showcase, then it’s the beginning of the end of “World Showcase” all together. Let’s have good understanding the COUNTRIES pay to “be” there. Countries want to promote themselves, for THEIR money, they are NOT paying, to promote a Disney movie.
    Think about that logic. …
    But perhaps, COUNTRIES have done with Disney, as it brings them absolutely nothing, and leave it alone ? It’s possible. Just as corporate sponsors leave Disney alone, some time.

    • GrumpyFan
      August 22, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Actually, according to Werner Weiss at Yesterland the only time a country has officially paid for a pavilion, was in the case of Morocco, when their King Hassan II, “sent a small army of skilled artisans to create incredible interiors. The pavilion and its restaurant are still operated by an entity set up the Kingdom of Morocco.”. I think part of this has changed now with the opening of Spice Road Table.
      Norway, at least initially, was apparently paid for/sponsored primarily by a consortium of businesses and a little help from their government, but since opening has largely been funded by sponsors and Disney. The story doesn’t end there though. An article posted on DailyFinance in July, stated that “Disney has offered Norway the opportunity to pay roughly $9 million to update and maintain the pavilion as a promotional platform for the country — instead of the hit movie”, but they have apparently been reluctant to pay up.

      In my opinion, Epcot as a whole lost it’s focus long ago. Actually, if you think about it, the park has never truly found its place/niche. Even the original concept struggled to draw good and consistent numbers after the initial crowds died off. There were many tweaks and changes to it to make it a “theme park” worthy of people wanting to spend a day there. It suffered from being too preachy and educational, and not very fun for families with younger kids and teens. It wasn’t really until the early 2000s, with the addition of Test Track and later Soarin’, that the park started to tilt a little more in favor of entertaining the whole family. But, with those additions, it shined a light on some of the other areas in the park that needed updating, which led to a botched (re)Imagination pavilion and the re-theme of The Living Seas. Many fans lamented at Disney changing The Living Seas and adding Nemo and friends, and then again when they changed Mexico’s El Rio del Tiempo to the Gran Fiesta Tour featuring the Three Caballeros. The change for The Living Seas seems to have been a good makeover that has brought new life to the tired “aquarium”, I’m not sure it did a lot for Mexico though.

      This ventures into is a topic I’ve long wanted to write about, but have never gotten very far with. Walt was a charismatic visionary who was able to paint a picture of his dreams and convince others to come along with him to make it happen. He had a proven track record of doing it, and before his death, many companies and nations even were lining up to have him create something for them. My point here is that it’s inevitable without a charismatic and visionary leader such as Walt who could sell an idea or a vision to countries and businesses and convince them to back it with the money needed. Without someone like this, Disney is just a charity asking for donations to their projects. There’s no real financial incentive for anyone to join up with them and help with funding. That doesn’t mean I approve or necessarily like the addition of characters or movie themes here, but they have to do something to keep the crowds coming back and spending money, and in the absence of willing sponsors with deep pockets, they must use their own pool.

      • August 22, 2014 at 10:38 am

        That makes sense ! 🙂
        But, in other words, the reasonable “Country = demanding initiator” allready ended, before it was well initiated? 😉

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