Frozen Summer Fun: Should You Book The Premium Package?

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Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package Credentials
Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package Credentials

To continue cashing in on Frozen mania, Disney announced earlier this summer that Walt Disney World would be offering special events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as a “Frozen Summer Fun” event running from July 5 to September 1, 2014. Also announced was a Premium Package, which includes a dessert party and priority access to some of the events. The premium package sold out quickly. Don’t worry about getting left out in the cold though – Disney added more dates for both Summer Fun and the premium package – extending summer to September 28 and adding the premium package to the following weekends: September 5 – 7; September 12 – 14; September 19 – 21; and September 26 – 28, 2014. Interestingly, the price for the package has also increased with the new dates – to $69 for adults, and $39 for children. The following is a review from earlier this summer, before the price increase. Call (407) 939-1939 to book. Official information about the event is on Disney’s web site.

TouringPlans bloggers Kylene Hamulak and Julia Mascardo both booked the package separately and attended on different days. Kylene also had the opportunity to experience all of Frozen Summer Fun on a different day without the Premium Package. Here are their impressions.

Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome Parade Viewing

Check-in for the event is located at Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner at 10:30 AM. At that time you receive a badge on a lanyard for the day and are able to select your time for the First Time in Forever Frozen Sing-a-Long. Once everyone has been checked in, you are allowed to enter the parade viewing area, at the end of Hollywood Boulevard in front of the stage. Unlimited free bottled water, bottled soft drinks, and frozen treats (Mickey Bars and Frozen Lemonade and Strawberry Lemonade Cups) are available. The parade lasts less than 10 minutes, with a brief stage show halfway through the parade route.

Frozen Summer Fun Royal Welcome - Kristoff, general seating, photo credit Kylene Hamulak
Frozen Summer Fun Royal Welcome – Kristoff, general seating, photo credit Kylene Hamulak

Julia: I hate camping out early for a parade on a hot day, so I thought that this would be a great way to avoid that. Unfortunately, we still ended up camped out – just in the priority seating area. The frozen treats and bottled drinks were helpful, as sitting on the pavement without any shade was pretty brutal. Unfortunately, if you are going to get the Mickey Bars, expect to be covered in chocolate as it melts everywhere. (Or do what we did, and bring wet wipes!) The other disappointing thing was that there is a “kid’s seating” area in the front where a child can be accompanied by one parent. The other parent will have to stand in the back. The viewing location was excellent, however, and when Elsa pointed to my daughter’s Frozen shirt and said “I love that shirt!”, I teared up a bit…or a lot.

Kylene: Like Julia, I was looking forward to reserved parade viewing, and I was disappointed that the package wasn’t quite as convenient as I had hoped. We don’t mind waiting for parades if it means getting a clear, unobstructed view, but, as Julia noted, the reserved area has very limited “front row” seating. While the event officially begins at 10:30, we were told to check in at 10:00 AM. Wouldn’t you know, when we walked to the area at 9:45 AM, guests were already checked in and seated along the rope. In contrast, the day we enjoyed the event without the package, we found space – front row – directly across from the reserved seating at about 10:30 AM.

Moral of the story: You’ll still need to arrive early.

Frozen Summer Fun Royal Welcome, photo credit Kylene Hamulak
Frozen Summer Fun Royal Welcome, photo credit Kylene Hamulak

Unfortunately, the procession lasted just over three minutes for us (literally – I have the entire thing on video) before a huge Florida thunderstorm arrived. There was no stage show, and they rushed through Anna and Elsa’s arrival to get the cast under cover. Cast Members gave some guests vouchers for free popcorn as they hurried for cover, but it seemed to depend on who you happened to run by, and there was no other compensation. While Disney is clear that there are no refunds for weather, it would be nice for them to offer something in place of missing almost the entire event. There is no meet ‘n greet associated with this event, but we would’ve appreciated some sort of character experience for premium package holders once the event was cancelled. Popcorn doesn’t quite have the effect on a Frozen fan that seeing Elsa does.

 

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-a-Long Celebration

A half-hour indoor show combining a sing-a-long of many of the most popular songs in Frozen interspersed with a retelling of the movie by the always-amusing Royal Historians of Arendelle.

For the First Time I
Frozen Sing Along with Premium Package Seating – photo credit Kylene Hamulak

Julia: I knew this is what my daughter would love most of all. The show was better than I expected. The comedic interludes done by the Historians were fantastic. Having the Premium Package meant not rushing to get the time we wanted, walking in 5 minutes before the show started with no wait, and being seated in the third row. Really wonderful experience and a great perk for the Premium Package.

Kylene: Agreed – we loved this show as well! Once again, however, we found that our non-premium experience was very comparable to the package. We booked the package with this in mind, assuming it would allow us to save hours of waiting to get into a show. Once they began distributing tickets for standby entry to a particular show, however, the value was somewhat decreased. While package holders are seated in rows three and four, there are only a couple of bad areas to sit in the entire theater. We were seated in row three, with rows one and two reserved for handicapped guests. Unfortunately, about ten minutes before the show was to begin, the seats were filled with latecomers who did not require accessible seating. Per the Cast Members we asked, they were simply standby guests who arrived late, and they were now sitting in front of those of us who paid for the premium package. While it’s only a row or two, if you’re unlucky and short like me (or a child), having a giant head in front of you can change your experience. With that being said, we have heard that in other shows, the first two rows were reserved for groups in need of accessible seating only – if they weren’t filled for that particular show, they were left empty.

It’s also worth noting that, even though we checked in for the Royal Welcome prior to 10:00 AM, the 12:30 PM sing-along was already unavailable, so even with the package, we did not get our first choice of shows. On our non-premium day, we got passes for an early afternoon show. We joined the queue about a half hour before show time and were seated towards the back, but certainly not with a bad view.

 

Frozen Summer Fun Dessert Party, outdoor set up - photo credit Kylene Hamulak
Frozen Summer Fun Dessert Party, outdoor set up – photo credit Kylene Hamulak

Dance and Dessert Party

Beginning at 5:30 PM, a live DJ spins dance tunes including some remixes of Frozen songs. With the Premium Package, you get a dessert party with unlimited drinks (including specialty alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic drinks, and bottled soda and water), a chocolate fondue station, and unlimited miniature versions of the desserts sold at Wandering Oaken’s Funland.

Julia: There was a light drizzle in the area, and so our dessert party was moved inside the Disney Jr. building. That worked better for us, as it was quieter than it would have been in front of the stage during the dance party. What we heard of the dance party made it sound like it was a lot of fun, and we might go back to do it some other weekend. As far as the desserts go, I have done other Disney dessert parties before, and the selection at this one was the best I’ve ever been to. I’m not much of a drinker, but I did enjoy one cocktail and really enjoyed the non-alcoholic blueberry lemonade. I tried most of the desserts, but the Olaf carrot cake cupcake was amazing. We also took bottled drinks with us from the party and one of us may have also taken a dessert home to get through the next day’s deadline. For me, I would have paid the $59 fee for just this dessert party and not felt like I had wasted money.

Frozen Dessert Party treats - photo credit Kylene Hamulak
Frozen Dessert Party treats – photo credit Kylene Hamulak

Kylene: Like Julia, the rain moved us indoors for our dessert party, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere and set up of the event. Great care was taken to present everything with the Frozen theme, including the names of foods and drinks. The desserts were delicious, but you can only eat just so many decadent foods – and I’m not sure that it was $59 worth for us. They let us in just after 8:30 PM, and we were relocated to the fireworks area at just after 9:00 PM, so we had about a half hour to sample everything. We were also encouraged to take drinks and desserts with us as we moved outside – it was nice to have a hot cup of tea to wash down all the sugar.

Without the package, we enjoyed the dance party from the area near Keystone Clothiers on Hollywood Boulevard. It was a fun mix of music and Frozen references, but we didn’t miss much by having our party indoors instead of outside.

 

Frozen Fireworks Spectacular

Most would agree that no one does fireworks better than Disney. Set to the music of Frozen, this fireworks show also includes live action segues on the main stage.

Julia: Truthfully, the reserved location wasn’t the best to really see the fireworks themselves, but it was the best location for seeing the stage show that went with it. However, knowing that we didn’t have to camp out on Hollywood Boulevard shoulder-to-shoulder with our squirmy four-year-old child and could let her run around and even dance and twirl during the fireworks made the less-than-ideal location for the fireworks perfect for us. Because we’re local, we’ll be back again to see it from a better vantage point for the fireworks because this fireworks show is one of the best that I’ve seen.

Frozen Summer Fun Fireworks - general access
Frozen Summer Fun Fireworks – general access

Kylene: Because the reserved area really is ideal for the stage show, we enjoyed the fireworks from our non-premium spot on a different night. While in the reserved corral, we did disperse to catch the fireworks from different spots that were less obstructed by the stage, and it was actually nice to be able to move right back towards a good view once the action moved back to the stage.

For our non-premium night, we grabbed some pavement in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard to enjoy the dance party about a half hour before the fireworks were scheduled to begin, and I’m really glad we got to see it from two places. There are large screens to show the action on the stage, so you don’t miss a thing even if you’re standing closer to the park entrance. If you’re booking the premium package, it’s worth spending two evenings in Disney’s Hollywood Studios to get this view in addition to the reserved one. As Julia said, the fireworks show is one of the best, and the music and “snow” really make it a special experience.

 

In addition to the events included with the Premium Package, the Frozen Summer Fun event also has some new attractions.

Oaken’s Frozen Funland

Meeting Olaf via Aurasma app
Meet Olaf and other Frozen characters with the Aurasma app on your phone!

Attractions in this building include opportunities to ice skate (for an additional fee), build a snowman, take enhanced pictures with the Aurasma app, purchase desserts and hot chocolate, and watch an ice skating show.

Julia: I moved to Florida from Maryland so I wouldn’t have to build a snowman (and certainly not out of crushed ice)! Ice skating was also something that I really didn’t gel with. The ice skating show was good, but nothing extraordinary. Sadly what I liked most of all was the music for the Zamboni driver. Seriously, that needs to be my ringtone. Glad we went in there, and no desire to do it again. Truthfully, I would have liked there to be an ice skating voucher with the Premium Package. I wouldn’t have used it, and it wouldn’t have cost Disney anything to provide, but it would have been “value added” for someone out there.

Kylene: I appreciated Oaken’s for what it is, and I suspect there are some warm-weather families who are quite delighted at the prospect of enjoying all things winter! We live in Connecticut, so we weren’t quite in that demographic, but it was a fun place to visit. We spent most of our time trying to get the Aurasma app to work with our phones to take some fun photos. Tip: If you can’t get the app to capture your moment, ask someone who looks like she’s between the ages of 12 and 18 for help. Cast Members were pretty clueless, but the young guests can figure out your technology for you!

 

Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post

Your one-stop shop for all things Frozen, including special Frozen MagicBands.

Julia: They have some cool merchandise (pun intended), and I did get my daughter an Elsa MagicBand. It’s not as neat as the experience of Darth’s Mall, however. It really just is a temporary store and nothing more. Thankfully we never had to wait to go in, and hearing the Cast Members at the registers saying “Yoo hoo” to signal the next person in line was really amusing.

Kylene: I was on the prowl for Frozen merchandise throughout the resort, and I did find this to be the best selection on property. If you’re not looking to open your wallet for your Frozen-obsessed kid, don’t go in – you WILL end up buying something. I also liked the “Sauna” door, although I think it would’ve been even funnier as an exit to the Florida sauna outside!

 

Overall Impression

"Snow" falls on Hollywood Boulevard during Frozen Summer Fun
“Snow” falls on Hollywood Boulevard during Frozen Summer Fun

Julia: As we walked out through the snowfall on Hollywood Boulevard, my first thought was that I wanted to book it again. (Maybe it’s the party talking or the chocolate fondue?) If I did it again, I’d probably skip the parade itself (but pick up the free goodies), but I would take advantage of all the other parts of the Premium Package. All total, I probably broke even when it came to food and drink consumed for the cost of the event, but it was really nice knowing that everything was all taken care of – I could show up right before the event if I wanted to and not wait for anything. That level of convenience really is priceless to me.

Kylene: I had the opposite impression, actually. I was happy we did it, but our family wouldn’t consider booking again. Maybe it’s because the rain spoiled one of our events, but we just didn’t feel like the package gave us enough of a premium experience. Except for the dessert party, we experienced all other aspects of Frozen Summer Fun in a comparable way, as we found ourselves waiting even with the package – we were just entertained with food as we did it. It’s also worth taking note that, as previously mentioned, Disney does not offer any refunds for weather related cancellation, and there are no guarantees that any aspect of the outdoor events will take place. With the summer weather, this means both the Royal Welcome and the fireworks stage show can frequently be at risk. It’s a big investment to make if it ends up basically being cupcakes and cookies for a family.

Whether the Premium Package is an option for your family or not, the Frozen Summer Fun events are definite must-dos, especially for fans of the film. Check out the recently updated Disney’s Hollywood Studios Touring Plans to help make the most of your visit. Even if you don’t have Elsa-obsessed kids or know any of the words for the sing along, the fireworks and atmosphere for this limited-time offering are not to be missed!

Kylene Hamulak

Though she lives in Connecticut, Kylene considers "home" to be the land of purple signs leading her to the Magic Kingdom. She is currently training for her first runDisney event - The 2015 Glass Slipper Challenge - while watching Frozen on the treadmill every Saturday morning. Kylene loves storytelling and has been known to frequently suffer from eye sweats when walking down Main Street, watching any fireworks finale, and, especially, hearing the first 7 notes of When You Wish Upon A Star.

15 thoughts on “Frozen Summer Fun: Should You Book The Premium Package?

  • August 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm
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    Do you think the extension of this event will affect September crowd levels? Our first day in the parks is slated for 9/28, and we had planned on that as our Animal Kingdom day. Should we move AK to 9/29 and instead do HS on 9/28 (we have the reverse planned for now)?

    • August 7, 2014 at 6:14 pm
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      Hi Kristina,

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the crowds with either of those plans. You’re going at a time of year that is delightfully low in attendance. But if you want to see any of the Frozen special activities, the 28th is the last day, so you’ll want to be in the Studios that day to see it all. If you’re not interested in things like the Funland ice skating/snow play area, the parade, or the sing-along, and keep your day at AK as scheduled, I’d still suggest that it is worth your time to go to the Studios after you leave AK to go see the Frozen Fireworks. They’re really wonderful and worth a separate trip. If you don’t have Park Hoppers or an AP, you can still enjoy the fireworks by just hanging out in the area between the Friendship dock and the main entrance, too.

  • August 7, 2014 at 4:47 pm
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    We will be there next Saturday, and don’t have the package. Where is the best spot for viewing the fireworks and stage show that goes with the fireworks? Is it possible to get a spot to see both?

    • August 7, 2014 at 6:18 pm
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      Hi bf,

      Unfortunately, the location where the fireworks are shot off from makes it largely an either-or proposition. Either you end up getting a good view of the stage show (which means getting there early and camping out in front of the stage area during the dance party) or you pick a place that is good for the fireworks, but only see the stage show on video screens — like the one over by American Idol or by the tip board at the corner of Hollywood and Sunset.

      If you like the experience of being right in the middle of the fireworks show, going by American Idol and then watching the stage show (which isn’t all that impressive, truth told) would be a good location. If you’re more interested in taking in the whole experience as a whole, camping out from around the tip board back towards the main entrance would also be a good spot. For a really quiet spot, last weekend my family and I went to the area next to Echo Lake right in front of the entrance to the 50s Prime Time Cafe — next to no crowds, and a great view.

  • August 7, 2014 at 7:19 pm
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    What a great review. Really helpful for me too as we are going this Saturday and there was no premium package available 🙁 so we are in the hands of relying in great tips like these.

    My Dad has poor vision and a DAS card – do you know if there is any special viewing areas we could use for him?

    Thank you again.

    Alex x

    • August 7, 2014 at 7:50 pm
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      No worries, Alex – you can still have a great time, even without the Premium Package! There is definitely special seating at the Sing-Along and along the parade route for DAS guests. When we went, the corralled area for accessible seating was right in front of the stage, facing the American Idol Experience, and the first two rows were reserved at the Sing-Along. For the fireworks, I would recommend taking Julia’s advice above and aiming for a better view of the fireworks than the show – your dad will likely appreciate the “big picture” more than the stage show, and from the Echo Lake area you’ll have a good view of the large screen.

      • August 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm
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        Thank you x

  • August 7, 2014 at 7:38 pm
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    If you buy the Premium Package and attend the Dessert Party, do you have to go to the reserved area for the Fireworks? From reading this article, it’s better to watch the Fireworks from further back to get the full experience and just watch the Stage Show from the screens.

    • August 7, 2014 at 7:46 pm
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      Good question, Bec! While at the dessert party, you have the freedom to move around as long as you have your credentials visible. If you are lucky enough to have fair weather, your dessert party would be set up outside which may make the corralled area a little tougher to maneuver, but I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be allowed to move out of the area if you wanted to. In fact, you’d be in pretty good position to catch it from the Echo Lake area Julia referenced, viewing the stage show on the AI screens! The only thing I would caution is that, at least in July, the crowd filled in a lot, which would’ve made it hard to get down Hollywood Blvd too close to the start of the show.

  • August 7, 2014 at 8:23 pm
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    How does the timing of the fireworks coordinate with Fantasmic. We will be there in early August and there is only one Fantasmic show, I’m just wondering if it’s possible to do both. Thanks!

    • August 7, 2014 at 9:41 pm
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      Hi Adam! Obviously, the timing of Fantasmic can make a big difference, but when I checked the August calendar, it looked like Fantasmic is at 8:30 on nights where there is only one show – you should be able to see the fireworks at 9:45. Of course, schedules are subject to change and the timing of the Frozen finale may be different for your trip, but my family was able to do the 9:00 Fantasmic and still see the fireworks from around the tip board that same evening. I would recommend seating with easy access – at the end of a row half way up or higher in the stadium – so that you don’t get caught up in crowds upon exit.

  • August 8, 2014 at 6:30 pm
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    Fun fact: a beach umbrella background was added to the take-along Olaf to prevent decapitated/arm-less Olafs. The parking lots were littered with Olaf heads.

    • August 8, 2014 at 11:07 pm
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      Ha! Is that really why, Maddi? Smart move! None of our Olafs were decapitated or armless, but several of them did get accidental haircuts!

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