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Frozen Summer Fun Archives

August 22, 2014

Tips for making the most of Walt Disney World's Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package

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Previously I wrote about what is included in the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package in order to help you decide if the cost is worth the purchase. Now that my family and I have had the opportunity to experience the premium package for ourselves, I have a few tips for those who have it on their calendars, as well.

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Perhaps the most important thing to understand about the package, is that although it does guarantee you preferred and reserved viewing for three of the most popular "Frozen" events, that does not mean you are guaranteed a front-row spot. For that, you will need to plan to line up in the premium queues. (More on that with each event description.)

I realize that for some people, being close to the front and not having to wait for those spots is good enough. But if you or your little ones want to choose your viewing location, plan to spend some of your time waiting. Because we are annual passholders, we decided to focus just on "Frozen" activities that day. Others may be trying to get to as many other attractions as possible, so waiting is not a good use of their time.

My family and I purchased the premium package for a Saturday, which already is more crowded than a weekday now that school is back in session. We arrived at Disney's Hollywood Studios about 8:45 a.m. and waited for the park to open. We previously had purchased the limited edition Olaf MagicBands and were happily surprised to see them trigger a rainbow of colors when tapped against the entrance scanners.

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Once inside the theme park, we grabbed the "Frozen" showtimes guide and our Take-along Olafs and headed back to the check-in area near Min and Bill's Dockside Diner. It was about 9:15 a.m. at that point, and we were the first to start a queue. Although the check-in time is listed as 10:30 a.m. on My Disney Experience, I had read that others began checking in at 9:30 a.m. Sure enough, that happened with our group, too. I was glad we went straight there, because at the time of check-in, you choose the show time for your preferred seating at the "For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration." We were able to secure seats for the first show at 12:30 p.m.

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We were told the reserved viewing area for the parade would open at 10 a.m. Knowing that our kids wanted to be in the front by the rope for the Welcome Procession with Anna and Elsa, we opted to stay in line. When the section did open, we walked straight ahead and sat down by the rope. We could have chosen to have our kids sit in the children's section, but only one parent is allowed to accompany them, and we wanted to be together as a family. That area would be a good option for families who did not get in line early, because their little ones would still have an unobstructed view of the characters.

Once seated, we took turns going to the snack cart for drinks and ice cream. It was brutally hot that day, so we each had more than one bottled drink. The frozen lemonade also really helped battle the heat, too! Participants in the premium package are invited to enjoy unlimited Mickey premium ice cream bars, frozen lemonade cups, frozen strawberry lemonade cups, Dasani bottled water, Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite. Although there was only one cart for the reserved section, the line moved quickly because guests were not fumbling with payments.

Then, we had a perfect view of the parade, and after Anna and Elsa passed us, the rope to our section was opened to allow us to walk right up to the stage, ahead of the guests who had not purchased the package. We were able to get a ton of great photos and even my youngest child had a great view of the stage.

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After the welcome, we headed over to the Premiere Theater for the sing-along. We arrived over there about 11:30 a.m. and again were first in line for the premium package participants for the 12:30 p.m. production. Be aware that there is a separate line for package participants to the right of the theater, while others with tickets will go to the left. Cast members began letting us into the theater at noon.

If I have a complaint about any part of the premium package, it was the seating process for the sing-along. Three rows are reserved for participants behind two rows for guests with disabilities. And even though I stood in line an hour before showtime so that I could have my choice of seats in those three rows, cast members still tried to force my family and I to sit in the corner. We politely declined. I have heard this isn't always the case, however. It sounds like the seating process might depend on the cast members working that day. In addition, cast members filled the seating reserved for those with disabilities with guests in the standby queue, so folks who didn't pay for the premium package had better seats than we did. Frustrating! That said, the sing-along show is outstanding and appeals to "Frozen" fans and other guests, too.

After the sing-along, we had the afternoon free until the evening's fireworks and dessert party. So, we refueled with a counter-service lunch and then headed over to Wandering Oaken's Frozen Funland so our kids could ice skate and build a snowman. This area is not part of the premium package, but the line to enter the building was not long.

Those interested in ice skating should head to the right and walk all the way to the far wall, where there is a queue. You'll sign a waiver, pay $10 per person per half hour, choose a skating time, and pick up your skates and required helmet. Skaters also are offered complementary socks, in case they are among the many we saw wearing flip flops.

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Cast members clear the ice every 30 minutes and then allow the next group out to skate. My kids had a blast skating, and I appreciated that there was a PhotoPass photographer capturing their fun since my husband and I were not out on the ice. When their time was up, we turned in the skates and walked to the other side of the rink to join the queue to build a snowman. This line moved quickly, too. Each group is allowed to choose buckets and shovels, and they have 10 minutes to create a frozen sculpture. My Florida-born kids found it more difficult than it looked on TV -- because their hands were so cold -- but they had a lot of fun attempting to make something recognizable.

When we were building a snowman, Wandering Oakens Cousins on Ice, professional ice skaters, came out for a spectacular 10-minute show. The kids really enjoyed this presentation.

Next, we exited the Funland side of Wandering Oakens and joined the line for the Trading Post -- a.k.a. gift shop -- side of the building. This is where you will find the coveted Anna and Elsa costumes, official Frozen Summer Fun T-shirts, limited and open edition Frozen-themed MagicBands, plush Frozen characters and so much more merchandise. We found what looks like a long line to move quickly here, as well.

By the time we finished at Wandering Oakens, the Coolest Summer Ever Dance Party in front of the Sorcerer's Hat was beginning, so we walked by and chose to sit and have a snack instead of dinner, knowing we had the bountiful dessert party coming up.

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Premium package participants are allowed to enter the reserved area for the dessert party from 8:30 to 10 p.m. We checked in about 7:45 p.m., and there already were a few people in front of us. Still, when the rope dropped, we made our way to a table that was centrally located without any trouble. There is no seating at the dessert party, but we were pleasantly surprised to see so many small round tables available. It seemed that there were plenty of places for guests to place their food and drinks without having to share with folks they might not know.

In addition, there is quite a selection of desserts, drinks and adult beverages. Among them: Anna and Elsa cupcakes; Olaf cake pops; Anna yogurt push-pops; a chocolate fondue station with fruit, marshmallows and cake; Key lime tarts, brownie bites, lemon icebox cookies, Rice Krispie treats, strawberry shortcake; and cookies. Plus, items from the Walt Disney World ice cream carts are available, including the Mickey bars, Mickey ice cream sandwich, chocolate-covered banana, strawberry bar and orange bar. There are bottled sodas and water; two virgin specialty drinks for kids; and three mixed drinks with alcohol for the adults. Best of all, there were enough food and drink stations that long lines never formed.

We really enjoyed the DJ and the live music on stage leading up to the fireworks. And 90 minutes was more than enough to get our fill of dessert and drinks. Being inside the dessert party is not the best location for viewing the fireworks because you are so close to the main stage under the Sorcerer's Hat, but if you consider them just one part of the experience, you won't be disappointed. The "Frozen" fireworks dessert party was my favorite of the three dessert parties I have experienced at Walt Disney World, and I think that alone would have been worth the price of the premium package.



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July 8, 2014

Is the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package at Disney's Hollywood Studios a good value?

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Less than two weeks ago, Walt Disney World announced its new "Frozen Summer Fun -- Live at Disney's Hollywood Studios" event, and those of us with "Frozen" fans in our families began planning our visits to the theme park so we could see and do all the movie-themed activities.

And then, a few days later, the resort released the news that a Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package would be available. If you're like me, you started thinking about whether you could justify the cost because being able to skip the almost-certain long lines would make your day much more enjoyable. Here are some things you may want to consider.

Frozen Summer Fun runs through Sept. 1, and the premium package is available each day (unless it sells out). The cost is $59 for adults and $34 for children ages 3 to 9; both prices include taxes. So, for my family with children who are 9 and 11 years old, that would be $211. That's on top of park admission prices. Is it worth it?

The premium package includes refreshments and reserved viewing for Anna & Elsa's Royal Welcome procession in the morning, reserved seating at one afternoon showing of For the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, and a nighttime dessert party in a reserved area for viewing of the Frozen fireworks.

Know that you *can* see the procession, the show and the fireworks without purchasing the package, if you don't mind waiting in lines or on the curb of Hollywood Boulevard. This package is similar to the one offered during Star Wars Weekends. My family did not purchase that premium package, and we found ourselves in thick crowds who all want to see the same things. Remember: Hollywood Boulevard does not have the same capacity for waiting guests as Main Street, U.S.A., in the Magic Kingdom -- and even that currently is being revamped to accommodate more visitors.

So, you are paying to be able to skip the crowds in the hot Florida sun and also to have more time for other entertainment in Hollywood Studios. But the food and beverages that come with the Frozen Summer Fun premium package -- especially the dessert party -- are actually a step above what they serve at comparable hard-ticket events and shouldn't be discounted as part of the value of the package.

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In the morning before the processional, guests will be offered Mickey premium ice cream bars, frozen lemonade cups, frozen strawberry lemonade cups, and Dasani bottled water, Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite. If you figure one treat and one bottle per person, that adds up. At snack carts in the park, the Mickey bars are $4 and the frozen lemonade cups each are $3.75. Bottled drinks are about $2.50 each. So, for my family of four, that would be about $25 plus tax. But reports so far indicate that package participants are not limited to one of each item, so if you get a bottle of water to take with you afterward, you are saving more money, assuming you would have purchased the drink anyway. For those playing along, that would be another $10 or so for my family.

Many folks will be happy to know that alcoholic drinks are included in the Frozen Summer Fun dessert party. For comparison: Epcot's IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party includes two sparkling wines and a smaller assortment of desserts and costs $49 for adults and $29 for children ages 3 to 9. I think this example really illustrates the value in the Frozen offerings. The Epcot experience is only slightly less expensive and it doesn't offer as many selections at the dessert party or include the reserved seating and treats at the morning parade or afternoon show.

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So, what do you get at the Frozen dessert party? Adults can quench their thirst with one of these three alcoholic beverages: Iced Summer, a combination of rum, blue curaƧao liqueur, pineapple juice and a splash of Sprite; Iced Coffee, a mixture of Baileys, Kahlua and coffee; or Warm Winter Grog, which contains citrus vodka, lemonade and ginger beer. In addition, sodas, bottled water and coffee or tea are available. Let's say that each adult in the family has two alcoholic drinks, and the average price of a cocktail or specialty coffee is about $10. That could be a savings of $40.

If your kids are like mine, they always ask for the brightly-colored -- and expensive -- drinks when we're visiting the theme parks. That desire will be satisfied at the Frozen dessert party with the choice of two virgin specialty drinks: Troll Juice, lemonade and blueberry Monin syrup; and Olaf's Summer Sunset, passion fruit, orange and guava juice, and peach Monin syrup. The latter sounds a lot like the POG juice that 'Ohana is so well-known for! These types of drinks typically cost $5-$6, so if my children try each drink, that would have cost at least $20.

And we haven't even discussed the sweets yet. The Frozen dessert party offers a selection of wonderfully-themed goodies: large Anna and Elsa cupcakes; Olaf cake pops; Anna yogurt push-pops; and a chocolate fondue station with fruit, marshmallows and cake. In addition, there are other dessert-party staples, such as Key lime tarts, brownie bites, lemon icebox cookies, Rice Krispie treats, strawberry shortcake and cookies. Plus, items from the Walt Disney World ice cream carts are available, including the Mickey bars, Mickey ice cream sandwich, chocolate-covered banana, strawberry bar and orange bar. It's difficult to put a price on this, but if I estimate two desserts per person at about $5 each, we would have spent $40 on sweets.

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So, based on my estimates, if my family of four had purchased the food and beverages included in the premium package individually at Hollywood Studios, we would have spent about $135. That means we are paying $76 for the reserved seating and viewing for four people at three Frozen events. To some, that may seem expensive, especially if they would not ordinarily spend that much on snacks and drinks in one day at a theme park. Others may find that a bargain for peace of mind and some breathing room at what are sure to be very popular events. We'd love to hear what you think.

Tell us in the comments and share a review HERE~

To book the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package, you must call 407-939-1939. It cannot be booked online at this time.

Special thanks to MouseSteps.com for use of the photographs.



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About Frozen Summer Fun

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to A Mom and The Magic in the Frozen Summer Fun category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Disney Channel Rocks! is the previous category.

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.