Are you a Frozen Fan?
If you are a huge Frozen fan, you may be rejoicing at recent announcement by Tom Staggs to bring more of Frozen into Walt Disney World. To briefly recap:
** Epcot's Maelstrom is closing (last day of operation is October 5, 2014) and will be replaced by a new Frozen "attraction" (sometime in 2016).
** Elsa will transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace each evening during the holiday season.
** Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf will be part of "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade."
** Parts of Frozen Summer Fun at Disney's Hollywood Studios will be extended through the holiday season - the Frozen Singalong and Wandering Oaken's Funland with a larger play area for "building a snowman". Frozen Summer Fun has been hugely successful and very well done. It is a great addition to the Studios.
Most of these components have been rumored for a few months now.
From a pure business standpoint, I understand the Disney Company wanting to maximize all things Frozen in the parks. The question is, at what cost? What is the appropriate balance of integrating an animated movie into Disney's theme parks.
While everyone may not be a fan of Frozen, have you seen how folks react to Frozen in the parks?
Just last week at the Hoop Dee Doo, 2 small Frozen quotes brought several young girls sitting nearby immediately to their feet with laughter and excitement. I'm sure they were expecting a sing-a-long next.
Have you gone to the "For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-along Celebration Show"? It is a great show, well written and performed. Look around you during the sing along portions to watch the audience. The enthusiasm keeps growing until the huge finale of Let It Go!
Stand on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom when songs from Frozen are part of the Castle show and fireworks. I couldn't believe how many people I saw that stopped walking, turned around and sang. And I'm not just talking about kids!
The announcement of Queen Elsa turning the Magic Kingdom Castle to the ice palace is a great idea, nice integration with the existing holiday castle "icing".
Likewise, the Frozen characters becoming part of Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, is also a good fit. Parts of the Christmas Parade have been part of Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome Parade at the Studios.
Doubling on the Meet and Greets (one in Magic Kingdom and one in Epcot) should finally ease the long wait times.
However, the one thing about the announcement that saddens me is the closing of Maelstrom.
For me, World Showcase is all about learning and experiencing the individual countries, their art, architecture, and culture. It is about seeing and understanding more about countries one may never get to visit in person. Even with a movie that desperately needed and should have been updated years ago, the Norway experience in Epcot provided a glimpse into the history and culture of the people and their country. Time will tell how much of the history and culture of Norway will remain in Epcot.