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