Sunday, June 26, 2016

Frozen Takes Over Disneyland

I know this does not come as a shock to anyone who has been to a Disney theme park in the past couple of years, but Frozen is taking over Disneyland. Two years ago the movie became a surprise hit, and Disney scrambled to figure out how to capitalize on it. This all happened since our 2014 trip to the House of the Mouse. 

At some point I heard California Adventure added some small show in the sound studio (maybe dancing with Elsa and Anna?), then there was a sing-a-long where the Muppet 3-D movie had been. I'm sure there were other adjustments to Disneyland that I was oblivious to living on the other side of the country.

About a week before we went to California for a post-graduation/end of school year trip, Frozen Live at the Hyperion opened. For 13 years the Hyperion was home to Aladdin. This 58-minute show takes all of the charm of the movie Frozen, but condenses it so there is no need for an intermission (good thing since there are no bathrooms in the Hyperion) and lets them do three (later this summer, four) shows a day.

Here are a couple of Daps Magic links about Frozen:

And one from Playbill (known for talking about Broadway shows):

We didn't learn until late on our first day that the only way to see the show is to stand in line for up to an hour for a FastPass to one of their performances. Not only do you need everyone in your family's passes in order to get the FastPass, all family members need to have entered California Adventure that day (meaning: no stragglers allowed to hang back at the hotel eating breakfast while one person gets the FastPasses). You are not given a choice of performance (they have one at 12:30, 2:40, and 5:10), or which section. A complete case of you get what you get and you don't get upset. There is a standby line where a few people get to enter if not everyone shows up, but the likelihood of sitting together is practically nil.

The show itself is pretty amazing. Don and Ashley saw it three times -- once from each section (balcony, mezzanine, and orchestra). I only saw it from the top two levels as I was a bit Frozened out by the third day. They took some amazing pictures by sitting in the front row, including these. Elsa has a split second costume change on the top of a rotating ladder during "Let it Go" that is worth the price of admission alone (yes, the show is free with park admission, but still). Olaf and Sven are portrayed through puppetry and they really do convey their spirits nicely. There are some changes from the movie -- after all the show version is less than an hour. The biggest change was deciding to rewrite the words to "Love is an Open Door" and end it with that song.

The "Frozen" love doesn't end with the show. Princesses Anna and Elsa have meet and greets that take place in a lovely new air-conditioned room only steps away from their show. Their line (unlike most other character lines) is open the entire time the park is open and moves quickly, even though the princesses give each guest ample personal attention. I wanted to spend more time with them in Arundale. Two years ago the line was over two hours long and was squeezed into a tiny spot in Fantasyland -- in a spot where even a submarine driver could become claustrophobic. This was a nice change. Olaf also has his own meet and greet spot. Ironically his is outside where he could melt.
Seeing Frozen with Masumi and Hiroko

The love continues on the other side of the esplanade. In Disneyland "Frozen" balloons (selling for close to $10 each) were easier to find than ones of the Fab Four. What I really could not get over was that they now have a slot in the classic Storybook attraction in Fantasyland.

The sisters are part of the fireworks, World of Color, and Paint the Night parade. The pictures of the fireworks and World of Color are generic. If I go back and see them, I'll take better pictures, or if someone wants to send them to me I'll include them with photo credit. During the fireworks when they reference "Let it Go," it snows on Main Street and by It's a Small World.

I asked my friends to explain to me the appeal of "Frozen." The best one I heard was the movie appeals to girls when they are at an age that boys are icky, but they might have a sister they love. Therefore while the "someday my price will come" story line might appeal to an adult, it doesn't to a little girl. Plus Elsa has super powers and Olaf is cute. (Thanks, Angie) I still don't fully feel the "Frozen" love, but at least I understand it a little better now.

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