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Bringing 'Frozen' to Life at Disney: A Walt Disney World Parks Review

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 03-20-2014

It was only recently that I finally got to see the absolutely amazing Frozen at the cinema. In my defense, we don't go to the cinema that often, and in fairness, it did come out over here in the UK a lot later than in the States.

As I sat there, completely enchanted by the wonderful world I found myself immersed in, I couldn't help but think of all the opportunities this film opens up for Disney.

Some have already happened. You can meet Anna and Elsa from the "Frozen" movie, and after lengthy waits at their current home (appropriately enough) in Epcot's Norway pavilion, it's now been announced that they will join the other princesses at the Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom beginning April 22, 2014. With Fastpass+ available for the duo, that should help to deal with the problem of lengthy queues to see them.

Their popularity is cemented further by the fact that they are now both part of the new Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom. The film also features in the Celebrate the Magic show, which is projected at night on to Cinderella Castle.

Adventures by Disney, which offers guided tours around the world, introduced a Norwegian itinerary for 2014, offering the opportunity for adventurers to visit the "scenic country that served as the inspiration" for Frozen, according to the company's website. Having been fortunate enough to visit Bergen, the starting point for the tour, and the beautiful Briksdal Glacier, one of its stopping-off points, I can tell you this will be a wonderful tour, with many amazing sights along the way, and I'm sure it will live up to its billing.

But what else could Disney do with the "Frozen" movie? Trust me, with the amount it's been grossing at the box office, they're already well ahead of us on that, but in the meantime, it's fun to speculate. As I write this, a lot of people are anxiously awaiting the announcement of the rest of the 2015 itineraries for the Disney Cruise Line. Personally, I'm waiting on a return visit to Alaska, but there are also rumours doing the rounds that summer 2015 may see the Disney Magic make its first ever trip up to Norway. What's the betting if that happens that there will be some serious links onboard to "Frozen"?

Remember when Disney ventured into the Baltic for one season? They visited St. Petersburg in Russia, as most Baltic cruises do, but the shore excursions they offered were very different to any other cruise line. Disney said at the time that this had been two years in the making, and with a prince and princess ball on offer during a tour of the Catherine Palace in Pushkin, you could see why. I could easily see something similar along the lines of the grand ball we saw in Frozen if the Magic heads to Norway.

Turning to the Disney parks, the most natural place to start is Walt Disney World, with the Norway pavilion in Epcot. There's already some buzz online about whether Disney would introduce a "Frozen" ride into the pavilion. It's certainly something that would draw the crowds, although Maelstrom currently isn't doing a bad job of that. Maybe characters from the film could even be added into Maelstrom in the short term, in the same way that you can now spot famous Disney characters in 'it's a small world' in Disneyland?

Perhaps the film at the end of the ride, which so many people just pass by, could now be updated and could feature some of the stunning scenery that inspired "Frozen"? I bet if they took that approach, suddenly a lot more people would stop to view it. Until now, it seems financing issues have stopped the film being updated, but maybe if Disney could promote "Frozen" within it, the Norwegian government wouldn't be called upon to provide so much support?

One thing I would absolutely love to see in Norway is the film's adorable snowman Olaf. Disneyland had him appearing in the meet and greet area with Anna and Elsa almost as soon as "Frozen" opened, while to date, there's been no sign of Olaf on the East Coast. Personally, I'd be much more inclined to put up with a long wait to enjoy a meet and greet with Olaf than either of the princesses. If you could use the technology we've already seen in Turtle Talk with Crush, imagine how much fun you could have with him! Perhaps the Stave Church could be the perfect place to do that?

I can see "Frozen" taking center stage during the holiday season. The stunning ice effect on Cinderella Castle each night could easily be attributed to Elsa's powers, as could the snow along Main Street during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.

And let's not forget Disneyland Paris. With its often freezing temperatures during the winter months, I can see elements of "Frozen" fitting in here perfectly. My friend Olaf will host the night-time show at the castle, and hopefully we'll head back there this holiday season, and we'll get the chance to see it for ourselves.

At Disneyland Paris, they've also put on ice skating shows for previous holiday seasons, which have been really impressive. I could see "Frozen" lending itself perfectly to that.

Speaking of shows, how long before "Frozen the Musical" appears on Broadway and heads over to London's West End? It's been a while since we had a new Disney musical, and given the strength of the musical numbers in the film, surely it's only a matter of time?

One thing's for sure. With "Frozen," Disney has a sure-fire winner on their hands, and I expect that we'll be seeing elements from the movie across the Disney family of entertainment for many years to come.

About the Author: Cheryl is the author of the e-book, PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers, and is the co-author of PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide: For Members and Members-To-Be. Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have travelled around the world, taking in a number of Disney cruises, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani in Hawai'i, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney and Hong Kong Disneyland on the way. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

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Updated 03-20-2014

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