You’re going on vacation to Walt Disney World! The only problem? You’re not sure which attractions are right for you and your kiddos and you have questions. Which attractions are too intense for little ones? What rides do I really need a FastPass+ reservation for? What’s the disability access like for certain attractions? We’re answering all those questions and more in our Everything You Need to Know attraction series with today’s focus on Frozen Ever After at Epcot!
What is Frozen Ever After?
Frozen Ever After is a slow-moving boat ride featuring characters and songs from Disney’s 2013 film Frozen.
Where is Frozen Ever After?
Frozen Ever After is located at the Norway pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase.
What is the History of Frozen Ever After?
Disney’s Frozen and its hit song “Let It Go” basically took over the world in the months and years following the its release. Those who were familiar with the parks several years ago surely remember the six plus hour waits to meet Anna and Elsa at their temporary meet and greet location at Epcot’s Norway pavilion. It was basically the guest response Disney was hoping for with Galaxy’s Edge, but I digress…
In September of 2014, Disney announced a Frozen attraction was coming to Epcot and would replace Maelstrom. Maelstrom, which first opened at the park in 1988, was a boat ride showcasing Norway’s culture and mythology. Unlike “it’s a small world” or Epcot’s Gran Fiesta Tour, this slow-moving boat ride sent guests backwards and then later down a small dip.
Maelstrom closed to guests on October 5, 2014, and Frozen Ever After debuted on June 21, 2016 with influences from the original film and 2015’s animated short Frozen Fever.
What Do You Need to Know About the Queue for Frozen Ever After?
Personally, the queue is my favorite part of Frozen Ever After. Guests wind through the charming village of Arendelle at night, including Wandering Oaken’s new store: Oaken’s Tokens. He even makes an appearance in the sauna window! Fans of the film will appreciate the various Easter Eggs and nods to the film, as well as the set-up for the attraction’s story.
What are the Ride Vehicles Like for Frozen Ever After?
Guests ride in the Viking-style boats with four rows of hard bench seats with a hard back. Each row can accommodate about three guests, possibly four if you’re riding with a child. However, many boats leave the loading area with two guests per row. Tip: Those sitting on the right side of the boat are the closest to many of the audio-animatronics. Also, those sitting in the first and second rows on the left may get a little wet during the small drop!
What Do You Need to Know About the Ride Experience on Frozen Ever After?
The story of Frozen Ever After is that Elsa has proclaimed a Summer Snow Day for the Kingdom of Arendelle, and everyone is invited to Elsa’s ice castle. During the journey, the Viking boats sail past scenes showcasing characters singing songs from the film.
The characters are impressive audio-animatronics with video-screen faces, just like the dwarfs on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom. The Olaf audio-animatronic is incredible; he looks like he jumped out of the film! However, the Elsa audio-animatronic is the star of the attraction with her fluid and truly life-like movements.
While there are some impressive sights in this attraction, there equally as many screens. It’s a bit of a departure from Disney’s classic and detailed boat rides and dark rides.
Finally, since Frozen Ever After replaced Maelstrom, there is a portion of the ride where the Viking boats suddenly move backwards. A few moments later, the boats are sent forward again and then down a small drop. This whole experience is mild and not at all scary, but some guests may be surprised by it and want to be prepared in advance. Also, some guests may get a little wet!
What Do You Need to Know About Accessibility for Frozen Ever After?
Guests must transfer to a wheelchair in order to enjoy this attraction. Guests should be prepared to step down into the boat when boarding the attraction.
What Do You Need to Know About Health and Safety Advisories for Frozen Ever After?
There are no health or safety advisories for Frozen Ever After! Apart from a few jerky movements from the boat, this ride is suitable for everyone.
What are the Height Restrictions for Frozen Ever After?
There are no height restrictions for Frozen Ever After so every member of the family can experience it together.
What Do You Need to Know About FastPass+ for Frozen Ever After?
Frozen Ever After is problematic since it’s so popular yet a low-capacity attraction; and since it’s in the same FastPass+ tier as Soarin’ and Test Track, you can only obtain one in advance. It’s also not had much day-of FastPass+ availability, because it’s based on a hit film and is one of the few things in Epcot specifically designed for children. Also, its location in World Showcase makes it impractical as a detour while you’re in Future World – any time you save in line will be spent walking instead.
For those reasons, we think you’ll save more time by choosing Frozen as an advance FastPass reservation than Soarin’ or Test Track.
Does Weather Affect Frozen Ever After?
This attraction is indoors and out of the elements so weather shouldn’t be an issue. Unless the queue is extended outside of the building, guests waiting to ride will be out of the weather as well.
What’s the Best Time of Day to Ride Frozen Ever After?
Unlike most of World Showcase, Frozen Ever After is supposed to open as soon as Epcot does. Along with Soarin’ and Test Track, it’s one of the three attractions that most guests head to first.
We say “supposed to” because Frozen Ever After experiences more breakdowns than most Walt Disney World attractions. If you’re planning to see Frozen Ever After first thing in the morning, ask a cast member if it’s running before you hike all the way to Norway.
This chart shows you roughly how long you’ll wait for Frozen Ever After when you visit on a day with a given Epcot Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average “peak” wait time (that is, how long the line will be at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it’s the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see Frozen Ever After Wait Times.
Did I answer all of your questions about Frozen Ever After? Is this attraction at the top of your family’s vacation to-do list? Let us know in the comments.