Frozen Ice Palace Debuts at Malls Across the Country

| November 6, 2014 | 16 Replies

Today marked the debut of a new Disney experience that fans can now find in their neighborhoods: the opening of the Frozen Ice Palace. Thanks to a partnership between Disney and Taubman Centers, the management company for several shopping outlets in the U.S. and Asia, the magical world of Elsa, Anna, and that lovable snowman Olaf is available for kids and adults to explore. I stopped by my local mall to check out what the holiday display was like and left feeling both pleased and a tiny bit disappointed.

 

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Walking into this experience, I knew that it was important to keep my expectations in check. I was not in Florida. This was not Walt Disney World. I would not be seeing some stroke of Disney Imagineering genius in the middle of New Jersey. However, I was excited as any Frozen devotee would be and eager to find out just how this would be pulled off. Taubman advertised the experience as being “unique, interactive…where guests can sing ‘Let it Go’ just like Elsa, or one of many other songs from the Sing-Along Edition DVD release.” The display would be large and bright and immersive while intimate enough for fans to feel at home with their favorite characters.

 

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When I arrived in the early afternoon, the line to get inside the Ice Palace was already close to two hours long. This included a short closing for the “scene” to be cleaned up – snow swept away, videos rewound, and overall upkeep. I was told that the line was made up of nearly 200 people about an hour after it opened this morning. Dozens of little Elsas and Annas were excitedly waiting despite this. I even saw a few boys proudly displaying their Olaf shirts and Sven plush sidekicks.

 

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The palace itself is 30-feet tall and filled with snowy trees, sparkling icicles, and glowing lights. The arches supporting the structure change colors over time from blues to purples to pinks. There are a few screens showing clips from the Frozen film as well as cardboard characters that are fun to pose with. This helps little ones pass the time while waiting to walk farther into the display.

 

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As you walk deeper into the palace area, you can sit on an “ice throne” with Olaf or even measure your height against him or Sven. Popular songs such as “Summer,” “Love is an Open Door,” and “Let It Go” play in the background. The ground even had pieces of “snow” on it which was a nice touch.

 

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The highlight of the experience is walking into the Ice Palace itself. The dome structure is pretty impressive. Snow falls from the sky while clips from the singalong version of the movie play on screens in the panels. Children had fun playing in this area, but it felt a bit empty to me. I thought that they could have added a few character elements here for guests to pose with. Likewise, more children should be allowed in the area at once. When I visited, just one family entered at a time. The space is so big that it seemed a bit silly for there to be such a massive line and only one or two children in there. I’m sure they would enjoy playing in the “snow” with new friends.

 

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Once you exit the Ice Palace, you are greeted by another familiar face: Santa Claus himself! Guests can take pictures with this holiday celebrity and even have them customized with Frozen borders and elements; Santa’s surprise gift is a paperback Disney Frozen Look & Find book. Shutterfly is one of the sponsors for the event, so expect to see some merchandise on display in this area. Although it was not available at the mall I visited, others will also have a Frozen merchandise gift shop near the palace.

 

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Overall, this was a fun exhibit to visit today. I loved the theme and details put into the experience. With this being said, I would not wait over an hour for it. In fact, I started to feel badly for those who were doing so. Some even complained to mall management that they expected more. Still, I think it is something any Frozen fan would appreciate. My recommendation would be to arrive just before mall opening to avoid the longest waits. Be sure to wear a fun outfit with your favorite characters from the movie and have fun.

 

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The Ice Palace interactive display is in honor of the singalong DVD release of Frozen on November 18 and will be at the below malls through December 24. There is a fee for any pictures purchased. Be sure to stop by if you have one near you.

  • Cherry Creek Shopping Center (Denver, Colo.)
  • Dolphin Mall (Miami, Fla.)
  • Fair Oaks (Fairfax, VA.)
  • Great Lakes Crossing Outlets (Auburn Hills, Mich.)
  • International Plaza (Tampa, Fla.)
  • The Mall at Short Hills (Short Hills, NJ)
  • Sunvalley (Concord, Calif.)
  • Twelve Oaks Mall (Novi, Mich.)
  • University Town Center (Sarasota, Fla.)
  • Westfarms (Hartford, Conn.)

 

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Image Credits:

N. Mancini

Taubman Centers Media



Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Disney, Disney World, Merchandise

  • Melissa Dilloway

    Do they allow you to take your own photos with the ice throne or do you have to purchase the one they take?

    • Nicole L. Mancini

      I saw people taking their own, but the photographer will also take some.

  • Otto Tieleman

    To be honest this looks better then most Frozen stuff they did in the parks.

    • Nicole L. Mancini

      I must have done a fantastic job setting this up then because that is far from the truth!

      • Rebecca Waldron

        Of course theres gunna be long lines u did a good job trying to make kids happy im gunna be bringing my lil girl to great lakes crossing soon

  • Lovedisney

    We went today and the line was ridiculous!! Mall opened at 11,we got there at quarter of. Security said line was about 4 hrs long!! It was smaller than I imagined(not sure what I expected since it is in a mall). Not worth the trip if you live more than 30 minutes away and need to wait more than 30 minutes in line.

  • AB

    This is not across the country, it is in 7 states. Could have done at least major markets, Minneapolis, Chicago etc. But 2 in Michigan, 3 in Florida. What mall chain, and why these markets?

    • Nicole L. Mancini

      As mentioned in the article, Taubman is the company responsible for these malls. In terms of the linguistics, when I see it going from East Coast to West Coast and stops in-between, I feel “across the country” is sufficient wording. :)

  • John

    What a difference a year makes. Last year this was a Microsoft sponsor and the ice queen was after Santa. We waited a little over two hours then. It’s sad that the buzz is crazy for Frozen and it includes Santa. We like going to our mall in Tampa because the Santa actually looks authentic. I only fear the frozen version is going to make seeing Santa a very long wait. These two should be separate events.

  • Jenny

    OMG are there any plans to bring this to Canada?

  • Diane Petrozzo

    the exhibit was wonderful. we took our 3 1/2 yr old granddaughter today and she was overwhelmed. however, we had to wait in line for 3 hours!!!! if there were some characters interacting with the children that would have made the wait more bearable. the main reason for this long wait is that before entering the ice palace you have your photo taken with olaf on the throne. this involves, getting the kids together, calming them down – which was necessary in many cases, getting the shot and then having the parents approve the photo. if they didnt like it, they started all over again! not counting the time the employee had to tend to the camera, rewind tape, replace film, etc. this is NOT the right place for this photo session. this should be done at the END so once they get to that point, they wont be holding everybody up for so long. other than that it was great. one point – the palace could have been a bit larger with maybe more interactive things inside, and maybe some people dressed up as the characters, but it was a great time. thanks and keep up the good work!!

  • Sandra Deffner

    Took my daughter today in California.there were no line’s you didn’t have to do pictures with olaf or Santa.My daughter had fun playing in the fake snow and there were several other kids enjoying it as well.We did do a olaf picture and Santa gave my daughter a book and talked to her even without a picture.I was hoping for more”cut outs” but I am very happy with the good time my daughter had.P.S. In March I waited 4 hours yes 4hours to see Anna and Elsa .this was a breeze.

  • Barb Swan

    Is there a cost to get into this? And if so what is it?

  • Nancy marie

    There’s a great display at Ridge Hill in Yonkers by Dreamworks. You can download the Dreamworks dream house app and make an appointment instead of waiting in line. They have a whole Santa experience including a cool ride to see Santa with wind and rain… And it’s free!,, awesome shops in the mall too like LL Bean and Whole Foods.

  • Miranda Sweat

    wish this would come to the florida mall.

  • VERYDISAPPOINTED!!!!

    This was a complete waste of time!!! We got to the short hills mall around 4:30pm today, waited in line for 2 hrs and then were told that Santa needed to take a half hour break for dinner and they needed to “cleanup”. In the meantime, people went around the ropes and went into the display and delayed the whole cleaning process all while the people “running” the display allowed this to happen. It was disgusting! They were originally only letting about 10-15 people in at a time and there was NO time limit on how long someone could stay in the “castle”, which of course meant that people were taking there sweet time in there delaying the whole process! Who came up with that dumb idea! Each group should have a set amount of time to be allowed to stay in there. When it came to after 7:00pm, when we were let in, they let in about 20-25 people! It was absolutely crazy and unacceptable. I would NEVER recommend this to anyone unless there was no line and you just wanted to pass thru. Why wasn’t there a “2nd” Santa to fill in for the half hour the one went on break? Many people didn’t even want a picture with Santa but they wouldn’t let you just do the Frozen display. WORST THING EVER!!! EXTREMELEY UNORGANIZED!!!!! DON’T GO and definitely don’t spend your money to get a pix with Santa!