New “Frozen Ever After” is Open!

Frozen Ever After

Frozen Ever After ride: Queen Elsa singing ‘Let It Go’.  Magical!!   Ride’s Opening Day:  June 21, 2016

Watch Frozen Ever After POV (full ride):  Frozen Ever After ride

frozen1

Elsa and Anna are the most advanced animatronics in all of WDW!!

In September 2014, WDW announced it was shutting down the popular Maelstrom ride in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot and replacing it with a ride inspired by the movie ‘Frozen’.

The last day for the Maelstrom ride was October 6, 2014.

Knock, knock...anyone home???

October 2014:  Knock, knock…anyone home???  The ride is closed. 😦

The new Frozen Ever After attraction takes guests to Arendelle and immerses them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film.

Many people were upset about this refurbishment as the Maelstrom ride was based on the lore of a real country – Norway – and, of course, featured rough seas and an oil rig (!) in the North Seas.

Frozen Ever After, of course, takes place in the fictional Scandanavian country of Arendelle.

frozen

It opened today to long lines and a 300 minute wait time (5 HOURS!!).

frozen1

5 Hour wait under the hot Florida sun!  😦

 

The new ride’s details:  Opened June 21, 2016, first day of summer!!!

Maelstrom, which visitors rode in a floating log while touring through Norwegian mythology, has been “gutted,” Ms. Mangum said, and got a “a whole new overlay with ‘Frozen.’” While the logs and the path remain the same, everything you see along the way was replaced.

And it’s so much better!!!

frozen

We were seriously hoping for larger, faster loading/unloading boats more like what are used on ‘Pirates’ or ‘It’s a Small World’.  But, noooo…in April 2016 Maelstorm’s longboats returned!

boat

April 12, 2016:  The “new” longboats for Frozen Ever After have arrived back at Epcot, repainted but still the same boats!            (Photo credit: https://mobile.twitter.com/Coastercrew/status/719579517107445761)

The setting for “Frozen Ever After” is the winter festival that takes place in summer, when residents of Arendelle celebrate their favorite season of the year in the midst of its polar opposite.

frozen (2)

Boat ride through Frozen Ever After

While waiting on line, which is sure to take much, much longer than the four-minute ride, visitors will walk by Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post.

Yoo-hoo!

“Yoo-hoo!”

The trader with the thick accent will occasionaly clear steam on the windows to utter a hearty “Yoo-hoo!” to people walking by. “We consider this scene one,” Ms. Mangum said.

Olaf has a song to sing too.

Olaf has a song to sing to the guests in the boats too.

Once they board their logs, “Frozen Ever After” riders see the goofy snowman Olaf and equally goofy reindeer Sven setting up the Winter Festival premise.

Next is a stop at Troll Valley, where Grandpappy Troll tells a gathering of children the story of how Anna and Kristoff met, before the log goes up a ramp to find Olaf again, singing a song while ice skating, right next to Anna and Kristoff, who are singing with their friend, Sven.

Behind a set of doors is the moment any visitor is sure to be waiting for: Elsa, on a balcony, singing “Let It Go” in her ice castle. It’s the centerpiece of the ride, “the big, big scene,” Ms. Mangum said, and it features elaborate effects to create simulated snow crystals soaring around the room.

Marshmallow

Marshmallow and Snowgie pals will show up at the end of the boat ride.

Visitors next ride by Marshmallow, the giant, formerly evil snowman from “Frozen” and his miniature Snowgie pals, who show up in the short “Frozen Fever,” which ran in front of the “Cinderella” movie earlier this year.

Marshmallow himself yells “Let It Go” in time with Elsa’s song before the log travels through a mist cloud and reaches the final scene, which includes fireworks and a wave from Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Sven and Kristof.

Of course, some may question whether the the fictional world of Arendelle even belongs in Epcot’s World Pavilion, which has always been about touring countries that actually exist, like Japan, Mexico, and France.

But Mr. Staggs argues that “Frozen Ever After” is sure to draw more visitors to the Norway Pavilion, and Epcot as a whole, and that the movie is in fact based significantly on Scandinavian culture, art and mythology.

“If the goal is to give people a taste of something like Scandinavia with the Norway pavilion, then ‘Frozen’ would only increase the extent to which people would be drawn to it,” he said. “To me it doesn’t seem out-of-character at all.”

And, don’t forget to check out Anna and Elsa in their new meet & greet place next door to Frozen Ever After:

anna

New meet and greet for Anna & Elsa.

*******

Maelstrom's long boats being hauled away.

October 2014:  Maelstrom’s long boats being hauled away two days after the ride’s closing.

Cool video of the Maelstrom boats leaving WDW for awhile:  Goodbye longboats!!!

***************************************

working together at DAK

Working together at DAK.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

Sneak Peek at 2014 Disney’s Frozen Celebration Christmas Day Parade

December 9, 2014:  Taping the Frozen Celebration parade at Magic Kingdom.

December 9, 2014: Taping the Frozen Celebration parade at Magic Kingdom.

Here’s a sneak peek at 2014 Disney’s Frozen Celebration Christmas Day Parade from all the taping at WDW that happened this week.

Main Street USA parade taping:

Kristoff coming down Main Street

Kristoff coming down Main Street

Tim Tebow walking down Main Street with the ice men.

Tim Tebow walking down Main Street with the ice axe men.

Olaf on his float.

Olaf on his float.

Elsa and Anna float

Elsa and Anna float

Robin Roberts, parade's cohost.

Robin Roberts, parade’s cohost.

elsa (2)

Queen Elsa getting ready for her closeup.

Here comes Mickey & Minnie!

Here comes Mickey & Minnie!

Cue the snow!!!

Cue the snow!!!

Tuesday's Parade taping.  (Photo credit:  WDW Shutterbug)

Tuesday’s Parade taping. (Photo credit: WDW Shutterbug)

Robin Roberts and Tim Tebow cohosting the 2014 taping.

Robin Roberts and Tim Tebow cohosting the 2014 taping.

Castle Performances:

Adriana Grande singing two songs, “Santa Tell Me” and “Last Christmas” in front of the Castle.

Adriana Grande singing two songs “Santa Tell Me” and “Last Christmas” in front of the Castle.

 

More "Let It Go" performances.

Lexi Walker, from the “Let It Go” cover hit, performed the song with a middle school choir from Lake Nona, Fla.

A cold and cloudy/rainy day in Orlando.

Singing on a cold and cloudy/rainy day in Orlando.

Olaf again

Olaf again

Prince Royce singing “Feliz Navidad”.

Prince Royce singing “Feliz Navidad”.  It was so dark and rainy that the Castle lights were turned on.

(Photo credits: WDW Shutterbug and Inside the Magic)

A sneak peek at the Christmas Day parade taping at the Magic Kingdom from today: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M27Fgk1iJ24

*******************************
We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney World in the Disney College Program: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.
http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409410046&sr=1-1&keywords=Two+Girls+and+a+Mouse+Tal

‘Frozen’ Fun Continues at Hollywood Studios

oaken (2)After being extended almost a month, Frozen’s Summer Fun came to a close on Sept. 28th at Hollywood Studios.   But, the event was so extremely popular with guests that Disney has extended some parts of the event through to the holiday season.

“For the First Time in Forever: A ‘Frozen’ Sing-Along Celebration” is remaining, playing in the Premiere Theater on the Streets of America.

At the Forzen Sing-a-long

At the Frozen Sing-a-long

Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can continue singing along to “Frozen” songs with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. The number of shows vary per day, up to a maximum of 10 shows, playing every ½ hour. There’s some speculation that the show will ultimately move to the now-closed American Idol location, but this has not yet been confirmed.

Frozen Olaf's as far as the eye can see...

Frozen Olaf’s as far as the eye can see…

Wandering Oaken’s merchandise location and play area was moved to the former American Film Institute Showcase, located at the exit of the Studio Backlot Tour. It features a larger play area with real snow (in Florida!).  So while the ice skating is gone, there’s a real snow playground, and loads of Frozen merchandise is available for the holiday shopping.

(Gone are the Royal Procession mini-parade, the Frozen Fireworks show, and the Ice Skating rink. We’re sorry we missed the Frozen fireworks this summer!  We heard they were great!)

“Frozen’s” popular characters will also have a bigger presence at Magic Kingdom Park this holiday season.

New for 2014:  Queen Elsa!

New for 2014: Queen Elsa!

Starting on November 5th, the Snow Queen will be filling Cinderella’s shoes as the new host of the Magic Kingdom’s Castle Dream Lights show. Instead of the Fairy Godmother waving her wand and illuminating Cinderella Castle with over 200,000 holiday lights, it’ll be Queen Elsa using her icy magic to turn the Castle into a winter wonder.

**Sigh**  Lovely!

The Castle Dream Lights. **Sigh**   Just lovely!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party-goers can see Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf riding in Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.

Lastly, Maelstrom closed earlier this month, and Frozen is indeed coming to Norway in early 2015.

A new, yet unnamed attraction will replace Maelstrom and will take guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film.

Anna and Elsa meet & greet

Meeting Anna and Elsa at the Norway meet & greet

The Arendelle pavilion will also include an expended royal greeting location where Anna and Elsa can meet our guests.  (We met them there last November and the meet & greet area was way too small and cramped!)

We think these “Frozen” elements are great complements to the Norway Pavilion, which showcases the country and region that inspired the film.

*******************************
We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.
http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409410046&sr=1-1&keywords=Two+Girls+and+a+Mouse+Tale

Frozen-Inspired Norsk Kultur Gallery at Epcot Norway

Frozen’-Inspired Norsk Kultur Gallery at Epcot

Epcot Norway gallery

Two weeks before ‘Frozen’ opened in November 2013, the Norway pavilion was updated to include an Anna & Elsa meet & greet area (big mistake!!) and the dreary Viking stuff was removed from the gallery and replaced with Frozen stuff. The shops were stocked with movie merchandise and the wait to see the princesses was less than 5 minutes. https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/disneys-frozen-character-meet-greet/

5 minute wait to see Anna & Elsa.

5 minute wait to see Anna & Elsa.

Anna and Elsa meet & greet

At the Anna and Elsa meet & greet – so pretty!

And then the movie opened Thanksgiving weekend. The wait jumped to 200-300 minutes every day, security was onsite all day long and all the Frozen merchandise sold out. It was crazy. (We went there in November for a character breakfast and had a great time!)

Five hour wait to see Anna & Elsa at 10am!

Five hour wait to see Anna & Elsa at 10am!

The Anna & Elsa meet and greet was finally moved to MK in May 2014.

New Frozen update.

New Frozen update.

The Frozen village.

The Frozen village.

Pictures from the real Stave church in Norway used in the movie.

Pictures from the real Stave church in Norway used in the movie.

Norsk Kultur, meaning “Norweigan Culture,” showcases a collection of artifacts and objects that inspired the world of Disney’s “Frozen.” Such as: an authentic hand-made bunad, the traditional costume of Norway; a hardanger fiddle and other handmade instruments; hand-carved artisan furniture; examples of rosemaling (traditional Norse decorative painting) and more. Some artifacts on display date back as early as the 1200s.

Recreated Stave church style for gallery.

Recreated Stave church style for gallery.

Sod roof with flowers.

Sod roof with flowers.

Rune stone out front.

Rune stone out front.

While we haven’t been to Norway – yet – we have been to the Stave church in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Chapel in the Hills is an exact replica of the Borgund stave church in Norway. The Borgund stavkirke was built around the year 1150 and is considered the most completely preserved stave church still standing in Norway. The Norwegian Department of Antiquities provided a set of blueprints of the Borgund church to be used in the construction of the Chapel in the Hills.

Stave church in South Dakota.  Been there!

Stave church in South Dakota. Been there!

It is amazing! 🙂 frozen3

*******************************
We’ve written a book about our year working at Disney: Two Girls and a Mouse Tale.
Available now on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle. Published by Theme Park Press.
http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Mouse-Tale-Elly-Collins/dp/1941500110/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409410046&sr=1-1&keywords=Two+Girls+and+a+Mouse+Tale