The Dinglehopper

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Frozen Friday: An Icy Grip on the Magic Kingdom

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If you’d asked me a couple years ago, when our toddler was still struggling to push up off the floor and watch Alphas with me, whether we’d ever go to Walt Disney World, I probably would have shrugged and shook my head.  I went once as a kid, but it was never a tradition for our family or friends.  Of course, that was before Frozen.

Even so, it’s still a little intimidating.  Photo opportunities with Elsa and Anna that were supposed to be temporary promotional attractions for the movie’s opening have become permanent fixtures with staggering wait times.  At Walt Disney World, while the sisters were still located at Epcot, wait times could be as long as five hours.  This summer they moved to the Magic Kingdom where a significantly shorter wait of two hours can be expected.  But only if you plan ahead.Disney is, in effect, still scrambling to acclimated to the public’s response to Frozen.  “Frozen Summer Fun Live,” including sing-a-longs and Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post for all your merch needs, was extended through this weekend.  And Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf have been integrated into upcoming Christmas programming.   But the big news is that they recently announced what fans have been waiting for, a Frozen ride.

The new attraction, which replaces Maelstrom, will take our guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film. The pavilion will also include a royal greeting location where Anna and Elsa can meet our guests. We think these “Frozen” elements are great complements to the Norway Pavilion, which showcases the country and region that inspired the film.

Replacing Maelstrom, which hadn’t been built when I visited Epcot, has caused some consternation from veteran Epcot vacationers.  You can check out #SaveMaelstrom for more details.  Industry trade publications suggest that, while some passionate folks will miss it, Maelstrom hasn’t been a popular attraction.  The Onion sums it up nicely.  “It’s a shame Disney would replace the Maelstrom in favor of a film that so obviously caricatures Nordic countries like that.”

Maelstrom closes on October 5th and the Frozen themed replacement is scheduled to open in 2016.  At that point I’ll probably have to seriously revisit the question of the Disney vacation.

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