Last week I had the luxury of riding Frozen Ever After with my little preschooler early in the morning with no wait. The experience reminded me that this ride is full of beloved characters, but it can be scary for little littles. As my son and I ventured aboard a Viking-style boat through the kingdom of Arendelle I helped him through some of the frightening parts. Then I thought about the countless families who head straight for this ride without any idea that their tiny tike might be frightened by it.
On our site and our Lines app, we have ratings and info, including Expected Actual Wait Times for each attraction. Frozen Ever After rates highest with preschoolers and grade school children.
Here are my tips as a mom of a preschooler, for riding Frozen Ever After:
- Show them the queue, look at details together
- As you get close to boarding the boat, point it out and talk about it
- Ask for the last row of the boat
- There are two small drops, one that is backwards, and one forwards
- You will get at least a little wet
- During the dark portions reassure your little one
- Point out the characters and the familiar songs
- When the ride is finished reassure and congratulate your child, but don’t go overboard
The queue for Frozen Ever After is relatively small, and with physical distancing you’ll most likely be waiting outside for a bit. But, once you’re inside, the queue has wonderful details telling the story of the celebration that is happening in Arendelle that you’re about to be a part of. Share this with your little one. Let them get comfortable in the environment and get into the story. The ride is dark and so is the queue, so by getting them comfortable with their surroundings from the beginning it will be an easier transition into the ride.
The Viking-style book can appear large and looming to little ones. And now that there are plexiglass dividers the boat may look a little strange. So as you near the loading dock to get on the boat, talking to your tiny tike about the boat, ask them what they see. I recommend asking for the back row. This allows you to talk with your child through the ride with less disruption to your fellow passengers.
The rest of this post could be deemed a SPOILER so if you’ve never been on Frozen Ever After, or Maelstrom before it, and you don’t want any spoilers, maybe “let it go” and enjoy one of our many other wonderful posts. Let’s talk about the two drops. About halfway through the ride you’ll enter Elsa’s Ice Palace where she is singing “Let it Go” and I guess she quickly decides she’s had enough company because she forces the boat to change direct and go backwards down a small, tiny drop. This is one of the reasons I recommend the back row. At this point have you and your little child turn around and look out the back of the boat and notice how small of a hill it is.
When I was on the EPCOT Dream Squad, back when the ride was Maelstrom, I was fortunate enough to help families get on this ride as a “human FastPass” on occasion. And if I was riding with a little one I would have them turn around and look out the back of the boat before the drop and it helped their nerves, every time.
The second drop, or slope, comes shortly after the first. Once you have gone down the little slope, backwards, you will continue to travel backwards, in a pretty dark and scary setting. It is at a relatively slow speed, but still, for little littles it can be unnerving. After about 30 seconds of traveling backwards the boat will come to a stop and begin to change direction, while facing the big snow monster Olaf calls “Marshmallow.”
Once your boat has slid over to other side of Marshmallow the boat will head down the second drop. This one is longer than the first, but you can see it pretty well. And being in the back of the boat allows you to see out ahead and you can point out the people in front of you as they start the little drop first, “there they go, weeee!” There is a bright flash on this drop as your on-ride photo is taken.
The great news is, there are multiple appearances of the characters from Frozen. There’s songs and lots of happy moments. Once the ride is through, maybe you’ll want to congratulate your brave little one. Go for it! And if they’re still shaken up, then maybe a sugary snack from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe will help.
Do you enjoy Frozen Ever After? What are some of your tips for little ones going on this ride? Let us know in the comments!