Frozen Ever After is a new attraction featured in the Norway Pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot. It is a boat ride in the building that used to feature the Maelstrom. Frozen Ever After was quite the controversial attraction, as people were upset for many reasons, the biggest being that the attraction would be based on the fictional, animated town of Arendelle as opposed to being based on the country of Norway. Many felt that there is very little room for characters in World Showcase.
On the flip side, many people were very excited for this attraction to come to life, especially so soon after the movie (if you take into consideration the length of time it took for Walt Disney World to build Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid from its movie release to attraction – 23 years). Frozen is very popular with toddler/preschool children and the somewhat younger generation. Many people have also said that Epcot needs to have more for this younger crowd.
My family, and contributor Sherri J.’s family, both visited Epcot in July and experienced Frozen Ever After separately. With two different viewpoints of this attraction, we share with you our thoughts. We would love to hear yours as well, so please share with us!
From Sherri J:
My family and I were at Walt Disney World in July for vacation. One of our most anticipated attractions was Frozen Ever After. We had read mixed reviews about it, so we weren’t sure if we would like it or not. I will have to say that we enjoyed it very much. Triniti, my seven year old niece, was smiling the whole ride. She particularly enjoyed the beginning scene with Olaf. She was full of giggles during it. She also loved the scene of Elsa and her Ice Castle. It felt magical with the wonderful music and sparkling “ice” all around. As for the adults on the ride, we were all pretty pleased with it as well. Olaf and Sven were favourites of ours. We were singing ‘Let it Go’ during the ice castle scene, and amused by Marshmallow. I believe all the hype about the ride led to high expectations, but all in all we really enjoyed the ride. It has some very beautiful scenes and of course, fantastic music. We recommend getting a FastPass Plus for it, then sit back, enjoy and “Let it Go.”
Our annual family vacation every year takes place in July. We try not to make fastpasses for it, as we are a VERY scheduled family, and vacations are supposed to be the opposite of every day life, right? So we wandered into Epcot over the July 4th holiday with nothing particular planned. We had experienced a “sort-of major” snafu during our stay, and we were given an ultimate fastpass, which basically meant we could ride any one attraction once whenever we wanted. There was no scheduling, no limitations, nothing. We had already experienced the new Soarin’ Around the World. NDD suggested that we head to Norway to experience Frozen. And that’s where the protesting began. No one in our group wanted to participate. I knew we had scheduled FP+ for Frozen later in the month, so I was good to wait. We opted to take our ultimate FP to Soarin’.
Back Story: NDK has been opposed to this ride since Maelstrom closed. During construction, we had walked by and noticed that the opening in the wall had been closed. NDK near lost her mind and would not even let me take a picture. She felt as violated as an 8 year old could possibly be. Now, one could say that we were going into this biased. Yes, you would be correct. NDD was excited though to see what the Imagineers had done to the inside of the attraction. I was apprehensive, as I am completely over Frozen. I feel that the time has come to ‘Let It Gooooooo.’ NDK won’t even watch the movie anymore, as she feels that it is “everywhere! Why does Frozen have to be everywhere? Especially Epcot. It needs to go to Magic Kingdom. Norway is a REAL country!” (her exact words). But, I did explain that every neurotic Disney fan has to give an attraction the opportunity at least once. That’s how a real Disney fan behaves. Begrudgingly, she agreed.
Fast forward to two weeks later, and we are en route to Epcot solely for our scheduled Frozen Ever After FP+. We arrived early and spent a few minutes in the DVC Lounge, because it’s hot out there! I also secretly hoped that free soda might sweeten the attitude of my little Disney Preservation Society Presidential hopeful. Our party was gathered and we were ready, if for nothing else, air conditioning.
The lines for stand-by were at 90 minutes – a far cry from the opening day checkpoint of 300 minutes. They were brutally long and it was unbearably hot. We walked up to the front, scanned our bands, and stopped there. The FP+ line was to the door. Luckily, we were inside.
Upon entering, the theming appears to be cute, but overall, it felt a bit chaotic inside. It was also noticed that it appeared to have borrowed the theming from Rapunzel’s area in Magic Kingdom.I love the illustration on the proclamation tapestry below. From what it says, you are under the impression that you are attending a party.
We were in the FP+ line for approximately 30 minutes, which in new attraction standards, is fairly decent. We also were inside the entire time, so we could not complain. The theming inside the queue is heavy, and appears that you are in the area that used to be the exit for the Maelstrom. We were excited to see the same boats from the Maelstrom being used. Although the mural pictured below is nice, it’s just not the same without the clipboard Hidden Mickey and Chuck Norris look-alike from the original Maelstrom mural.
We finally were on the ride, and NDK immediately was enticed by the hanging, twinkling purple-ish decor as we started. She did ask for a picture of it. I was starting to think she may like this.
And then there was the ride. Cuteness abounds in Olaf, Sven, and even the trolls. Not the best photos, but you get the idea. I did not bother to keep the photos of Anna and Elsa. Only armed with my little iPhone, they just were not decent. The new animated, animatronic faces are hard to capture if you are not really prepared to just ‘snap-away.’ And as far as attending a party, I’m not really sure where that party was. It felt like a combination of different scenes from the movie – trolls in the forest, Elsa in the ice castle, Olaf skating. The Snowgies were present with Marshmallow (sorry if that is a spoiler), and I cannot even recall if the sisters were wearing their Summer dresses.
There were a few areas of the ride where there was not much but colored walls and fancy lighting. I felt a lot of the theming was crammed into certain areas, and other areas were just empty. Hopefully, because this is a new attraction, more will be added over time to fill in those empty areas. I definitely did not feel magical on this attraction and have no desire to ride it again. As for NDK, the only positive thing she had to say about the attraction was that she really liked the purple hanging decorations in the beginning. NDD was sort of neutral. Friends that rode with us said they felt that Imagineers spent more time removing pieces of the Maelstrom than adding newer components for Frozen Ever After. A ride photo is also a part of this attraction, at the drop, although I do not understand why. It’s not a big drop, so there really isn’t a climatic photo capture. But if your little Frozen fan is super excited, it would be worth it.
So there you have it – two opposing viewpoints of the same attraction. Am I suggesting that you should bypass this attraction all together? Goodness, NO! Like I said above, a true Disney fan experiences everything at least once. But this attraction is definitely not worth stand-by times. Do your best to schedule a FP+. Go in with an open mind, but do not go in with high expectations. This is definitely not the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Have you experienced Frozen Ever After yet? What did you think? Share with us!