Unless you’ve been living in Siberia, you know that Disney’s film, Frozen, has taken the world by snowstorm. For this reason, it’s not shocking that Disney has created an event around the popularity of the story.
Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s event, Frozen Summer Fun, began running on July 6 and will continue to run daily (with the exception of August 23) until September 1. It really is a cute event, allowing the park to keep its identity while accenting it with some winter fun in the dead of summer.
As with all things, some aspects of Frozen Summer Fun are worthwhile. . . others not so much. So to provide perspective and help navigate the event, it might be good to go over a few dos and don’ts.
DON’T wait an excessive amount of time for Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome. This is not the Festival of Fantasy Parade and does not necessitate staking out a spot an hour ahead of time. In fact, if you miss the parade entirely, you won’t be missing much.
The parade is mildly amusing with choreographed “skiers” and “ice skaters,” but it still has a “filler” feel to it. Also, the show that happens on stage directly after doesn’t offer anything entertainment-wise that can’t be found elsewhere in the park. Your time might be better spent on an attraction or heading to the Streets of America for a ticket to an early seating of the Sing-Along Celebration.
DON’T wait an excessive amount of time for Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post. If you are expecting something akin to Darth’s Mall of Star Wars Weekends fame, you have set your expectations much too high.
The temporary merchandise store is themed well. A smell of pine trees lightly scents the air, and the ambiance of a ski lodge is a nice touch to the shopping area. Beyond that, though, there isn’t much that grabs you. The merchandise is undoubtedly cute, but not much of it is unique. So please understand me when I say that it’s worth taking the time to go in. It’s just not worth taking a whole lot of time. Know the difference.
DON’T spend money on the Frozen Fun Summer Premium Package. This package costs $59 for adults and $34 for children. It includes reserved viewing for the parade, reserved seating for the Sing-Along Celebration, and a dessert party during the fireworks show.
As previously mentioned, it’s debatable whether the parade is worth your time even with reserved viewing. The Sing-Along certainly is fun, but getting in line for this event early enough can secure you adequate seats. And while desserts and beverages are great, they aren’t necessary to enjoy the fireworks show. In fact, the dessert area is pushed to the side of Hollywood Boulevard, whereas prime viewing for the explosives is much further back in the center of the street.
DO grab a “take-along Olaf” stick and pose with him in pictures all day long. Much like the Kidcot Duffy, Disney provides you with Olaf-On-A-Stick and encourages you to take pictures with him throughout the park. If you share your pictures via social media platforms using #OlafSummerVacation, one of them might appear during the Fireworks Spectacular show.
As ridiculous as it sounds, this ongoing activity brought so much amusement throughout the day. Olaf joined me in a picture while waiting for the parade. He put on glasses with me during the 3D preview of Guardians of the Galaxy. He rode in my backpack in the rain, and he even photobombed my picture during the Sing-Along. All of these moments were captured and posted via Instagram, and–sure enough– one of those puppies made it onto the big screen during the Fireworks Spectacular show. That was pretty stinking cool (pun intended).
DO attend the For the First Time in Forever: A “Frozen” Sing-Along Celebration. In this show, the abridged story of Anna and Elsa is told rather comically by some town folk. The story-telling is moved along with clips from the film and the lyrically-directed soundtrack.
As childish as it sounds, any fan of the soundtrack will LOVE this. The cast is entertaining. The set is impressive for a temporary show. The film clips deliver the movie’s appeal, and a couple minor special affects add an element of surprise. But nothing tops the feeling of singing with abandon along with hundreds of others. Even though you are in a room full of strangers, in those moments, you do feel connected.
DO take time to visit Wandering Oaken’s Frozen Funland. It’s a small room that packs a pretty good punch. In addition to finding “Frozen”-themed desserts and beverages, the highlights are an ice-skating rink and a playground full of snow.
Even though I didn’t ice-skate, I enjoyed watching many other families slide on the ice. And—to my surprise—every hour professional ice skaters took to the floor for a choreographed number. This coupled with a snow playground where I saw families actually building miniature snowmen made me want warm hugs. Good thing I had my Olaf-On-A-Stick with me.
DO stake out a good spot for the “Frozen” Fireworks Spectacular. More than anything else at the event, this impresses. The fireworks are synchronized to many of the film’s songs in a truly inspired way. Below, there is also activity taking place on a stage.
The stage seems far off when you are placed in the back near the entrance to the park. Being that far back is great for viewing the fireworks, but you miss the half of the show that is happening on the stage at the other end of the street. However, for this event, the planners found a way to expand what could be considered a good viewing area. A jumbo screen has been placed at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. This enables guests that are unable to see the stage to at least watch what is happening via a jumbotron. They have also chosen to utilize the American Idol Experience screen for the same purpose. This makes it much easier to find a satisfying spot for the fireworks show, but make sure you pick out your spot far ahead of schedule. The street gets crowded, and rightfully so.