Frozen Attraction Announced For Epcot and More Frozen Fun!

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©Disney
©Disney

Well, we all knew it was just a matter of time before it would be officially announced, and today on the Disney Parks Blog Tom Staggs confirmed the rumor we’d been hearing for almost a year: Frozen is taking over Maelstrom in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. A brand new Frozen-themed attraction will take guests to Arendelle, where they will be included in their favorite scenes from the movie. Of course, the music from the film will also play a large role in the attraction. Maelstrom’s last day of operation should be Sunday, October 5, 2014, and the new attraction is expected to be complete by early 2016.

In addition, a meet and greet opportunity will be added back to the Norway Pavilion, so – unless things change at Princess Fairytale Hall at Magic Kingdom – guests will have an additional location to meet both Anna and Elsa.

Over at the Magic Kingdom, during the Holiday Season Elsa will take over the Cinderella Castle Holiday Lighting Show (which previously had The Fairy Godmother as the host of the show, called Cinderella’s Holiday Wish). Elsa will use her wonderful powers to transform the castle into an icy wonderland during the nightly show, which will begin on November 5. For those looking for more Frozen excitement, during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party guests will be able to catch Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and – yes – even Olaf, who will all appear in “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.”

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©Disney

Finally, a few Frozen Summer Fun Events will continue past September 28 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For The First Time in Forever – A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration will continue, and guests will still be able to stop by Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post, which will be moved to a new location closer to the sing-along and will feature a larger play area featuring real snow.

Whew! That’s a lot of news right there! What are your thoughts on these developments? Are you excited or sad to see Maelstrom go? I will of course make sure to keep you posted as more information gets released.

Rikki Niblett

I am a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and do lots of other fun Disney stuff all around the interwebs! You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram at @RikkiNibs or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rikkinibs

35 thoughts on “Frozen Attraction Announced For Epcot and More Frozen Fun!

  • September 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm
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    I’ll admit it- I’m excited! I really like Frozen, and I appreciate the fact that they are updating some admittedly older rides. I’m not in the “never change anything” bandwagon, so this sounds great! I’m also pleased about the Holiday related offerings- I look forward to experiencing them in my December trip.

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  • September 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm
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    KAK! what if we do not have any little girls and are not a fan of this movie? so does this mean i can scratch Norway off my list of things to see in Epcot now?

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  • September 12, 2014 at 2:22 pm
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    Will they still show the Norway movie after the ride??

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    • September 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm
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      I’m thinking they’ll reconfigure the sequence so that you start with a mini frozen movie and then exit to the ride. That will force guests into a longer time commitment for the attraction.

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  • September 12, 2014 at 2:30 pm
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    I’m not sad they are closing Maelstrom, but I wish I would have ridden it one lady time on my most recent visit. It’ll be nice to have something new. Also, I’m surprised it took them this long to add on additional Anna and Elsa visits bathe long lines have been absurd.

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  • September 12, 2014 at 2:35 pm
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    Anna and Elsa should be doing the photo op at Akershus instead of Belle, who should be roaming with the other Princesses between tables.

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  • September 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm
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    This is disappointing. Not just because I don’t like Frozen and enjoy Maelstrom. Well, partly 🙂 As I see it, the bigger problem is that instead of building a new attraction and adding capacity (which the parks desperately need), they are taking an already popular attraction and changing it. I refuse to call it “plussing” because I don’t think showcasing a fictional country in WS is plussing. Bummer, Disney.

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    • September 13, 2014 at 10:14 pm
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      I think that’s the thing that’s frustrating about this. It’s like there’s a rule that WDW cannot get a new ride without losing another. Adding a ride would have been a great improvement. There’s an unused pad between Mexico and Norway that they could have used for an expansion – imagine an expanded Norway on the scale of New Orleans Square in DL. They could keep (and update, of course) the existing attractions and restaurants, and add with a Frozen ride, a dedicated meet and greet, a new character dining restaurant.
      OK, I’m gonna go be depressed now.

      Reply
  • September 12, 2014 at 2:56 pm
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    Maelstrom is odd and outdated. I won’t be sad to see it go and hope the whole thing is gutted for this new attraction.

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    • September 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm
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      The whole problem with this strategy is that Disney is replacing a ride with cultural ties to Norway with a a ride with zero cultural ties with Norway. I’d hate to see this happen in general in the “World Showcase”. The World Showcase isn’t supposed to be about movies whose popularity will eventually pass (Frozen mania has already waned significantly in my wife’s classroom of 3-year-olds).

      –Lee

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      • September 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm
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        Totally have to agree with Lee. The best thing about EPCOT’s World Showcase is that there are very little Disney characters around. Disney’s answer to a lot of problems–when it comes to attractions–is to just add characters to it–they did the same thing to Small World in Disneyland.

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      • September 13, 2014 at 10:24 pm
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        Yeah, Frozen seems to have “jumped the shark.” The lines for the meet and greet at Princess Fairytale Hall seem to be dropping too.

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  • September 12, 2014 at 4:49 pm
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    Frozen does not take place in Norway. It takes place in a made up country. I have no problem with the meet and greet, but the attraction? It is supposed to be about the country in the World Showcase.

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  • September 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm
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    I do love Frozen, so I’m excited about this. I agree though that world showcase is about real countries…I think (hope) Disney will stay true to this…let’s see how they do it. If you saw the ABC special on the making of Frozen (you can google it and watch it online), you saw how the creators and animators went to Norway and based the setting of the movie and even used many cultural references to Norway…so maybe the new attraction will show the parallels? We shall see!

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  • September 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm
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    If you click on Maelstrom in the Epcot attraction list on the WDW website it says ‘Note: The final day for this attraction will be October 5, 2014.’ Only three weeks to get those final rides in.

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  • September 12, 2014 at 6:40 pm
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    I HATE This! Frozen belongs in MK or Hollywood Studios.

    The EPCOT World Showcase should be about real place in with World.

    Last time I checked, there is no place called “Arendelle” in Norway!

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved the movie “Frozen” – but the real countries & culture is what sets World Showcase apart from the rest of the Disney Park attractions.

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  • September 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm
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    As always, the tp blog doesn’t disappoint when it comes to extremely useful information. Our trip is in two weeks and we have a FP+ for Maelstrom on 10/2. So glad my kids will get to experience this ride before it goes away.

    On another note, when will the touring plans be updated to include the extended dates for the Frozen Sing Along at HS? I would like to update. I just scored a FP+ for it, but not sure if it is the right time slot, because I need to see it in my plans. Many thanks!

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    • September 12, 2014 at 8:11 pm
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      You should be able to add the Sing-a-long shows now to your touring plan. Disney has at least some of the showtimes beyond September 28 on its website, but we might not finish incorporating those until Monday, and distant dates will just have guesses. It’s always a good idea to revisit your plan close to your touring date and re-optimize it to reflect the latest wait predictions and show times

      Also, like for most shows, FastPass+ may get you a better seat for the sing-a-long, but it won’t necessarily save you any time.

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      • September 12, 2014 at 8:55 pm
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        Thanks, David! I was able to add it for our trip in 2 weeks and now my plans are perfect and complete 🙂

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      • September 13, 2014 at 10:57 pm
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        Booked fp+s for the Frozen sing a long on Nov 4th. Will the show still be in its current location or be moved to American Idol location by that date? Makes a difference in my touring plans. Thank you

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  • September 12, 2014 at 7:14 pm
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    Just wanted to let you all know I’ve updated the post with dates.

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  • September 13, 2014 at 3:07 am
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    I am so glad that these rumors are true. I recently went to Epcot and I liked Maelstrom, but I think a Frozen ride would be amazing.
    I am starting a blog that will help young adults in their travels to Disney World and was hoping if you had any advice on what I should include in my blog.

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  • September 13, 2014 at 8:29 am
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    This worrys me because that area is very cramped to begin with. The foot traffic is going to make the tiny entrance very hard to negotiate.

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  • September 13, 2014 at 8:40 am
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    I am so very happy about this! For the nay-sayers, while arendelle is fictional, the architecture and period dress and more were directly taken from norway. In addition, there have been several reports that the movie Frozen has very positively increased tourism to Norway. Malestrom did not showcase the best of norway, it was almost an embarrassing tribute to norway. Norway at epcot will see more tourists than ever before which will translate into more people checking out the educational aspects of the pavilion.

    Yay Disney!

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  • September 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm
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    My family will be looking forward to a new attraction at Epcot, although we wish it was an additional ride instead of a replacement. My gripe is why will it take so long to open. Early 2016? That’s nearly a year and a half of Epcot being down one attraction. UGH!

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  • September 13, 2014 at 2:24 pm
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    Don’t panic yet everyone. Remember years ago when the attraction in the Mexico pavilion was called El Rio del Tiempo? It went down for a refurbishment to add the Three Amigos and people were not happy. Everyone had the same concerns that we would lose all of the cultural aspects of the ride and what on earth was Disney thinking adding characters to the World Showcase? I, for one, like the improvements to what is now known as The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros. I feel like it has a nice mix of Disney and Mexico. Maybe Disney will do the same with the new Frozen attraction and combine the movie with the beauty and culture of Norway itself. Keeping my fingers crossed! 🙂

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  • September 13, 2014 at 10:22 pm
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    I’d love to think that Disney would do something on the order of “Anna and Elsa introduce you to the history and culture of Norway.” If that’s the plan, I’d be totally in favor of it, given that the current attraction is so badly out of date.
    But I’d say the odds are not in favor of that, after seeing The Seas with Nemo. That was an opportunity to tell a new educational story with familiar characters. Instead of learning about the seas, we just get a retelling of the movie’s story in a Fantasyland-style ride.
    I won’t be surprised if we end up with another Fantasyland-style ride in Norway.

    Reply
  • September 14, 2014 at 7:05 am
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    Thank you for an informative article!
    I liked Maelstrom; I even liked the terribly-outdated film. I also understand that things must change or they become stagnant. Disney is a business. Businesses must change to grow.
    The Epcot ‘countries’ are sponsored, and other websites have reported nation sponsorships are drying up with no new funding in sight. It was reported Norway was offered the opportunity to freshen up its place in Epcot but balked at the price, so we see a corporate move in favor of a billion dollar-plus Frozen franchise.
    Purists balk, and with good reason, but that ship is sailing as we write. Step back and see: all World Showcase really has “new” are Kidcot and character layovers, fall food and drink layovers and spring food and flower layovers. They have been very successful in drawing and distracting crowds…so far. But that won’t last much longer.
    Look at how many iterations the “Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village” has experienced to get an idea of how Disney will likely repurpose and re-theme World Showcase.
    (And we haven’t even begun to seriously examine Future World.)
    I enjoy vacationing at WDW and adore Epcot. And I also see big changes ahead. I hope they’re for the better.

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    • September 14, 2014 at 4:17 pm
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      I hadn’t considered the sponsors’ logic in this.
      It’s been pretty clear that Frozen has been a boon to tourism in Norway. So the tourism group that sponsors Maelstrom had a choice of paying for an attraction update and maybe getting a tourism boost (Has anyone here visited Norway based on Maelstom? Show of hands?) or let Disney rebuild the ride as a Frozen ride and get any tourism benefit as a freebie.

      Reply
  • September 15, 2014 at 12:09 am
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    So excited! We will be there in November. I know that the Frozen ride will not be in epcot by then, but do you expect Ana and Elsa to be in Epcot then? Please let me know!

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  • September 15, 2014 at 5:13 pm
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    My husband is completely heartbroken about Maelstrom, even though he loves Frozen, too. We recently moved from Florida and took one last trip on our passes at the beginning of August. We didn’t have a lot of time so we actually skipped Maelstrom. Needless to say, the husband is now not very happy.

    I’m extremely excited about the addition of Elsa to the castle show this Christmas, though. I’m trying to figure how I can swing a trip to see it. It just makes total sense to have her freeze the castle. Well done, Disney!

    Reply
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