Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Written by Cory Disbrow. Posted in Dateline Disney World, Disney Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World

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Published on July 09, 2014 at 4:00 am with 64 Comments

About Cory Disbrow

Cory likes Walt Disney World so much, he recently packed his bags and moved to Orlando. Cory is a photographer and writes MiceChat's Dateline Disney World columns every Friday.

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  • WDWfanBoston

    “The Frozen hype is something that has actually turned me off to the franchise, and the event here at DHS kind of screams cash-grab to me. ”

    Ah, the old “Disney cash grab” argument. I hear that phrase get thrown around so much without much thought or context. Isn’t the Emporium a cash grab? Charging for premium seating at fireworks?

    The cash grab term seems like the newest lazy way to criticize Disney. I am much more concerned about the lack of capital spent on rides (which effects everyone) than Disney monetizing the Frozen addition (which only effects those willing to pay).

    • Anonymouse

      Why? “Cash Grab” may not be the most accurate of terms, but it does describe how Disney is handling this franchise. (Money is obviously involved, but the DHS stuff is more of a “People Grab” since they’re trying to counter-program the new HarryPotter stuff).

      Frozen was NEVER projected to be a big deal. They knew they had a soundtrack but they were uneasy about how much to invest post-film considering Merida/Tiana stuff never really took off. There was far less marketing and less merchandising efforts put into Frozen than there was in Princess and the Frog or Brave so they were caught completely off guard by its success (and the shortages only fueled the popularity). So, in order to “make the most of it” then they’ve scrambled to maintain and propel the hype FAR beyond any sort of respectable level.

      Disney has always been about making money, but with Frozen then there’s something very undignified about how blatantly they are doing it. What we have seen in the parks was clearly (and admittedly) rushed. And since that is a FACT, then all this Frozen hype is indeed a grab for cash.

      • TheBig2na

        People are lining up hours early at the Disney Store near me to get their hands on anything Frozen related. This is feeding a demand, not a cash grab. This is what people want. Yeah they got caught of guard, which happens, but when you can give children what they want, (and let’s remember this is Disney’s demographic, not us old people), then they are doing their job. All little girls want right now is Anna and Elsa, and everyone wants Olaf. Could you imagine how upset your kids would be if they didn’t get to meet them or grab a stuffed Olaf? Whether it is Broadway quality or not isn’t even up for debate, but most 4-12 year old girls don’t care about that. They just want to see them and hear them and meet them.

      • cruise

        “Whether it is Broadway quality or not isn’t even up for debate, but most 4-12 year old girls don’t care about that. They just want to see them and hear them and meet them.”

        Nothing could run more contrary to Walt Disney’s original philosophy for his parks. You have just proved that the original Disney brand mentality is deteriorating.

        Giving people “what they want” may be an effective short term strategy, but eventually Frozen’s popularity will decline. Without a solid investment in an attraction that has some longevity and lasting power, Disney is left to rely solely on constantly producing hit films and then cheaply making as much money off it in the short term as possible.

        A good business strategy? Maybe. A company that I can confidently support? No.

        Just because something is good business doesn’t mean I have to thus support the company. The reason I originally so passionately loved Disney was their they were able to both be successfully business wise while creating a product that I felt was unique and special. There is nothing special to me about a temporary ice rink in a temporary building and the sale of plush.

      • Cory Gross

        Cruise, you make it sound like Disney hasn’t ALWAYS done this sort of thing. Right from the day Disneyland opened they were putting in cheap, “temporary” exhibits like the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit or the Kaiser Hall of Aluminum Fame. Certainly the big attractions have endured because they were supposed to, but that didn’t stop Walt from shoehorning Mary Poppins into Disneyland’s “tencennial.”

      • TheBig2na

        IF the Walt Disney Company was run by Walt only or people that were just like him, it would have ceased operations decades ago. A dreamer needs a money man. Unfortunately right now there is no dreamer, just money men. Saying that there have been additions and I think the Frozen productions are a great addition for those who were already going so they can get a taste of it. I have a feeling we will see an attraction based on this that is well thought out sometime in the future. For now they just need to get something into the parks for the kids and if I had booked a trip a couple of months back and they announced this I would take it as a bonus. And I would take out a second mortgage if I had a daughter old enough to be into Frozen.

      • cruise

        “I have a feeling we will see an attraction based on this that is well thought out sometime in the future. For now they just need to get something into the parks for the kids and if I had booked a trip a couple of months back and they announced this I would take it as a bonus.”

        I agree completely. I just don’t understand why a bungalow with sticks on the window is an answer. Would it be that hard to produce a theme facade for the building in 6 months???

    • cruise

      Here’s the difference between the Emporium and this Frozen summer thing… the Emporium isn’t a hastily thrown together group of themed cutouts and stickers.

      Of course its okay for Disney to aim to make money… but the reason we pay so much to go to Disney is that its supposed to be something different. Here, this is a merchandise cart, a room filled with cut-outs with some stickers on the door (with an up-charge to skate) and a cart that sells booze at night. Further, the “theming” seems to be nothing more than superstructure covered in frozen printed banners.

      It’s cheap, its quick, and the focus is more on making a quick buck rather than providing a quality product that the company has become known for. While those blinded by anything Disney does will foam at the mouth for anything Frozen related, some of us are beginning to tire of theses cheap half-baked merchandise pushes in lieu of actual themed attractions.

      • SRGFernandez

        Exactly how I feel. It’s not so much that they’re shoving Frozen down our throats(which they are everywhere we go Parks/Stores/Cruises) it’s the fact they found out they can do it cheaply and fast that doesn’t represent Disney good that makes me upset. DHS is(for the most part) a very well themed park and it saddens me they practically turned it into “FrozenLand” for the summer. As someone else said they discovered something every corporation loves, they can make more money without spending a lot.

      • Cory Gross

        “While those blinded by anything Disney does will foam at the mouth for anything Frozen related”

        You mean “people who actually like Frozen and are in the target demographics for these activities.” I still fail to grasp why having different tastes than you guys has to become a moral issue.

      • solarnole

        Now people that go to the park to go on rides get screwed as the most popular newest ride in the park closes before the rest of the park closes.

        This is great if you love malls but not if you love theme parks. I’m surprised they didn’t add a kids mall train to go with the ice skating rink.

        Plus they did not even give the people what they really want a second meet and greet for the Frozen characters. You can’t even meet them if you pay $60 for that rip off package. The kingdom of Hollywood land screams cash grab

      • TheBig2na

        I sometimes feel that people forget Walt Disney World is allowed, and should do, things for small children. an 8 year old isn’t wondering where the multi-million dollar attraction is. Not everything they do is for enthusiasts like us. Seeing things through the eyes of a child is a great experience. You don’t see burnt out light bulbs and chipped paint or an animatronic that is in B mode or Off mode.

        As an enthusiast are those things good? Of course not. Is this Frozen production of the highest quality? Nope. But isn’t it great that little kids can get a T shirt, a stuffed animal, and meet their favorite Princesses? As a parent there is nothing better than seeing your kids hug Mickey or a Princess because to them it is all real, and that is what its all about…

      • Cory Gross

        “This is great if you love malls but not if you love theme parks. I’m surprised they didn’t add a kids mall train to go with the ice skating rink.”

        And then charge you a parkhopper ticket to ride it.

      • cruise

        Can we just take a step back and realize that this is a bungalow with stickers on the windows that exists is a Disney park. I can’t wrap my head around how anyone could defend it. Surely a themed facade or something would have been possible to enhance the attraction. If you all want to accept and defend it thats fine… but just expect more temporary merch bungalows with stickers of your favorite characters slapped on to pop up in the future.

        “And then charge you a parkhopper ticket to ride it.”

        Lastly I just really don’t understand this criticism of the Hogwarts Express. I mean, you need a ticket to ride the monorail at the DLR don’t you? And of course Universal’s aim here is to make more money, but the major difference is that they are doing it with a fully immersive themed attraction… not a bungalow.

      • Cory Gross

        “I can’t wrap my head around how anyone could defend it. Surely a themed facade or something would have been possible to enhance the attraction. If you all want to accept and defend it thats fine…”

        The weird recursive loop here is that a fully themed exterior would actually look out of place in the context of DHS. Personally I think this event would be more appropriate for the Magic Kingdom (no, not EPCOT… Arendelle is not Norway). However, accepting that it is in DHS for very pragmatic, economic reasons, what would actually fit into DHS’ theme? Could they have done better to add some fiberglass snow and stuff? Probably, but I’m not sweating it.

        The defense of it is less of a defense of putting stickers on a soundstage as much as it is a reaction of “oh no, here we go AGAIN with bashing anything Disney does…”

        “I mean, you need a ticket to ride the monorail at the DLR don’t you?”

        This is not equivalent. The monorail at DLR is a form of entrance to and egress from the park. A more equivalent situation would be if half of Carsland was in Disneyland and half in DCA, and you had to buy a parkhopper to ride Radiator Springs Racers. And if Disney did that, Disney haters would excoriate them for it.

      • solarnole

        I cannot fathom how they cannot afford a second meet and greet location or adding the Frozen sisters to the princess dinners. It’s not like they adding new attractions and even the monorail hours have been cut back.

        Most children that go to WDW do not even get to meet the Frozen characters because they only meet for limited hours at one location in Magic Kingdom. The wait is usually over five hours. Think of the children

        Hopefully this Frozen event will bring back the old MGM/DHS tradition of having a new themed parade to the latest Disney movie. The camels from the Aladdin parade are still in Adventure land and the Lion King floats are still in Animal Kingdom. Sadly now new floats are too expensive.

        It seems cheap and thrown together at the last minute. Plus they canceled the just announced “show your Disney side” DHS summer dance parties but WDW did show their Di$ney $ide.

    • Anonymouse

      “The cash grab term seems like the newest lazy way to criticize Disney. I am much more concerned about the lack of capital spent on rides (which effects everyone) than Disney monetizing the Frozen addition (which only effects those willing to pay).”

      Its odd you call the say this when the “lazy” cash-grab criticism is EXACTLY what gets in the way of creating new rides. WHY BUILD A RIDE WHEN WE CAN BUILD A SNOWMAN… (I know its a bad joke but it’s the reality of whats going on here)

      Avatarland
      Avatarland is a direct result of Disney trying to attract more guests to Animal Kingdom. It’s costly, its disruptive and it’s brought out a lot of negativity BUT (theming complaints aside) the end result will be Disney investing heavily into an entire new land of rides and attractions in Animal Kingdom. This is what Imagineering is all about.

      Frozen Summer
      Frozen Summer took two weeks to plan and roll out. There are no rides, no construction, no downtime. They just needed to redress a few old floats, rent a snow machine, buy extra bottled water (for those poor CM’s forced to wear winter gear), put “Let it Go” on repeat and they’ve tripled attendance.

      So, for you to call the cash-grab criticism “Lazy” seems silly considering Disney has just learned that they don’t really have to spend money to make it.

      • TheBig2na

        ” Disney has just learned that they don’t really have to spend money to make it.”

        This is every companies dream.

      • cruise

        It may be every company’s dream, and it may make Disney money, but that doesn’t mean I have to support it.

        I don’t blame Disney for making money, but I can’t passionately support a temporary ice rink in a building with stickers on the doors like I can a fully themed immersive ride or environment.

        There are lots of ways to make money, I loved Disney because they used to do it by pushing a quality product.

      • Cory Gross

        “Its odd you call the say this when the “lazy” cash-grab criticism is EXACTLY what gets in the way of creating new rides.”

        I think this is a significant disconnect and explains a great deal of why many people on here seem to treat Disney doing things they don’t like as a personal offense and anybody who does like it as being morally inferior.

        For all you know, Frozen Summer Fun might be testing the waters and providing the funds for a Frozen attraction. It might even be one of those E-tickets that people think cure all problems, even the problems Disney doesn’t have. But that’s irrelevant… it really comes across like you guys are seeing Frozen Summer Fun as somehow DENYING you an E-ticket. Like, y’know, if it wasn’t for this quick set of events and activities thrown together in one of the lesser performing parks to capitalize on a currently popular movie while it’s still popular was something you were getting INSTEAD of a Frozen E-ticket simulation coaster animatronic ride that I guess Disney is supposed to build in a month or something. Yeah, sure, it’s quick and off the cuff, but so what? Designing and implementing a full-scale attraction takes years, and I think it’s simply a GIVEN that a Frozen ride is coming. Can you really blame Disney for wanting to monetize Frozen NOW? If you’re really a Frozen fan, are you actually going to balk at enjoying some cute Frozen shows that aren’t, y’know, hurting anyone? And if you aren’t a Frozen fan, why do you care at all?

      • TheBig2na

        Bingo Cory Gross.

      • cruise

        “Yeah, sure, it’s quick and off the cuff, but so what? Designing and implementing a full-scale attraction takes years, and I think it’s simply a GIVEN that a Frozen ride is coming.”

        The ‘so what’ is that I’d expect something like this from a Six Flags or a mall. If something like this had popped up in another other park – say a Universal or Seaworld park – every Disney fan would be all over it in terms of its lack of production quality. But I guess it gets a free pass because its Disney? For gosh sakes its a bungalow with stickers on the doors! Am I the only one who saw that photo?

        “Can you really blame Disney for wanting to monetize Frozen NOW?”

        No. But there are better ways than this to do that.

        “If you’re really a Frozen fan, are you actually going to balk at enjoying some cute Frozen shows that aren’t, y’know, hurting anyone?”

        No. I assume Frozen fans would love this. But Looney Tunes fans also love the Looney Tunes land at Six Flags. Just because people like it doesn’t automatically make it Disney quality.

        “And if you aren’t a Frozen fan, why do you care at all?”

        I am a fan of Disney Parks, not necessarily any particular IP. The reason I have an AP to the DLR and not Six Flags is because Disney produces fully themed attractions an environments unlike other amusement parks. Thus, when they produce something that feels like it could be found anywhere, I am upset.

      • Cory Gross

        “If something like this had popped up in another other park – say a Universal or Seaworld park – every Disney fan would be all over it in terms of its lack of production quality. But I guess it gets a free pass because its Disney?”

        From what I saw, it already DOES happen at Universal, but that isn’t really my issue. I wouldn’t be all over it because of my general lack of concern about Universal (anything I say about it is a general reaction against the Disney haters who constantly give Universal itself a free pass for things they endlessly moan and complain about Disney doing). For me, it doesn’t get a free pass because it’s Disney, but because it is a temporary event that isn’t WORTH getting worked up about. Stickers on a soundstage for a couple months is not the end of the world. The only reason I’m even saying as much as I am to defend it is merely a reaction against yet another round of bashing anything Disney does because Disney did it.

      • cruise

        I’m not giving Universal a free pass. Universal has its own issues, many of which are far more major that anything at Disney. Most are holdovers from Universal’s early days. IMO most everything they have put out in the past 4-5 years has been incredible, save for maybe the lack of themed queue in Despicable Me.

        Either way, Disney has had its fair share of wins too. Dwarf’s Coaster looks amazing and is more appealing to me than any simulator Universal has put out.

        I completely understand that you feel that its not worth getting worked up about. Maybe its not. But I cannot in good faith look at the shot of the doors with stickers on them and think “this belongs in a Disney park.” There I think we just disagree.

    • PLAZAINN1

      Wow, this is all Disney can do in light of Universal’s Harry Potter attractions. I will agree that this is a cash grab type of situation, yet people pay for it.

      • TheBig2na

        Diagon Alley also wasn’t conceived and implemented within a few months of the first movie coming out either. This is not the proverbial Potter Swatter That everyone is waiting for. TO be honest after seeing Diagon Alley just on TV, I don’t believe there is such a thing. That is one incredible land that stands alone atop the ride race

  • Terrytiger

    The only thing about the Frozen stuff at the Studios that interests me is the fireworks show. WHY no mention of it in an article about the additions???

  • ufmaule

    Obviously this is temporary and they are going to have to do something long term, but I look at the “cash grab” issue another way. I WISH they would be MORE cash grab. As the dad of a 3 year old girl, I can’t find anywhere to buy this stuff except online. Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, and other local stores are all sold out consistently of anything Frozen. In fact, every toy we have of Frozen we have bought from the parks so I am thrilled to see them adding stuff.
    Disney Merchandising as a whole has been really slow lately. My daughter watches Disney Junior all the time and loves newer characters like Sheriff Calie and Henry Hugglemonster and there are no toys to be found at the parks, in stores, or online. I would love to give them more cash for this stuff, but they aren’t trying hard enough. I even went as far as buying a Henry Hugglemonster plush on Amazon from the United Kingdom. I got the cash, just need more things to spend it on. (And yes in case you are wondering, we own just about everything Doc McStuffins and Sofia The First related. She’s an only child and spoiled like crazy) :)

  • FarFromHome

    I think the Frozen thing is just a distraction from Harry Potter. It gives the younger girls something to be excited about, while the boys get excited about Potter. Kind of gives families a reason to visit both.

  • mm522

    Yes it’s a cash grab, but you seem to overlook that they are offering a parade/cavalcade, a special sing a long stage show, and a fireworks show all for free. Oaken’s Funland is the only attraction where you might possibly spend money on the ice rink and merchandise. Disney is offering a large amount of additional entertainment in a park that needs it for no extra charge. This used to be the norm in the 90s for all of those great movie musicals. They all got parades or stage shows or some kind of other temporary offering in conjunction with their release. I applaud them for doing this. It’s a cash grab but in the right way.

    • cruise

      “This used to be the norm in the 90s for all of those great movie musicals. They all got parades or stage shows or some kind of other temporary offering in conjunction with their release. I applaud them for doing this. It’s a cash grab but in the right way.”

      Right… except that’s explicitly NOT what we’re getting here. A cavalcade is not the same as a new fully themed parade. A sing-along screening of the movie is not the same as a new fully developed stage show. Olaf’s Funland is a room filled with cutouts designated on the outside by two stickers on the doors.

      What DHS is getting are cheaper versions of what Disney used to produce in conduction with its film releases. I happen to think scaling back on quality is the wrong way to make money when your customer base was originally attracted to the brand because of that quality. I DO NOT applaud that.

  • AaroniusPolonius

    From a marketing and branding perspective, there’s a little inconsistency. Is it “Frozen Fun” or “Frozen Summer Fun” or “Frozen Summer Fun Live! At Disney Hollywood Studios?” (That last sign is useless: if you see it, you know where you are and what the event is. You are there!)

    Either the event was rushed or they need a new copywriter.

    I don’t mind events like these, although I wouldn’t pay an up charge for VIP access. The franchise is popular, and this was a relatively easy way to create a special event around the franchise.

    If they are going to do this, however, I’d really like for them to go all out and drop a Frozen icicle ball all over the park. It seems like Frozen is a natural fit for a variant of the Christmas in July concept, and that the whole park could have been winterized and Frozened. Who knows? Maybe this was a test run for something larger.

  • Orlando71

    If they are considering a permanent frozen attraction, I wonder which park they would put it in, considering it now has/had a presence in epcot and magic kingdom also. I’m not sure how I feel about replacing maelstrom and since they just did new fantasyland my bet is on epcot or Hollywood studios.

  • Chazbo6

    Read another review of this offering from someone who paid the VIP upcharge. Based on their experience (and the reasonable price) it seemed well worth the extra $$ after all the food, beverages, and seating access it provided. My girls would love to see this…. we already have VIP seating for the Frozen – Disney on Ice show in December.

  • Anonymouse

    “The Frozen hype is something that has actually turned me off to the franchise”

    This! Hype is the exact term that should be used because that is exactly what is going on. Unlike Lion King where the hype was distributed among half a dozen songs, Frozen is so laser focused on a single anthem. The DHS Opening Ceremony, Parade, Sing-Along and Fireworks all are based on playing “Let it Go” over and over (and over) again.

    Dont get me wrong, when Frozen came out then we played the soundtrack to death. But that was in November. So for Disney to STILL be pushing it in July just seems silly. Sure, people are excited now but if the franchise is worthwhile (and it is) then give it a rest in order to make it “special”.

    • Jabroniville

      The problem is that the songwriters seemed to put all the effort into the one song… and also that Idina Menzel was probably too busy to do multiple numbers (it’s really just the one song, and tiny bits of two others), given that she was working on an original Broadway production at the same time. With MULTIPLE Idina songs, they may have had more luck. Instead, everything got concentrated on the one anthem, while most of the other songs (some of which are decent, but few are GREAT) got a bit ignored.

  • KENfromOC

    We were there last week on Sunday and my daughter who is 7 loved the snow and the whole Frozen environment- going from hot, humid and stormy to snow was fun for all of us!

    • TheBig2na

      And this is what it is all about. Glad you enjoyed it as a family.

  • sixalex

    And on a different note…Wow! What nice pix of Hollywood Studios!

    I love all the little details that Disney Imagineers create and produce and the “Old Hollywood” theme has always been one of my faves. Now that DCA has became new with old theming ideas, I am very happy to just wander about Buena Vista Street drinking a Starbucks and listening to the Five and Dime or Newsies, talking to Officer Blue or Phiphi the Photographer.

    When I recall my ONE time at Hollywood Studios I wish I had then spent more time just wandering and doing the same. It would have been time better spent then going to “Sounds Dangerous” or the the back lot snoozefest.

    I really appreciate the offbeat photos and respectfully ask for more, More, MORE! Maybe even a pictorial introduction to the cast of characters that wander the Hollywood streets in Orlando?

    The details are what make Disney great. It is what makes ANY theme park great and I look forward to one day seeing the Harry Potter place as well. Imagine, they could have just slapped a large sticker of a Hogwarts door on an existing storage building and called it done, but they went to all the effort of crafting and creating an immersive experience for ALL their guests, young and old, male and female, to enjoy. Way to go Universal!

    Hrmmm…seems like I got sidetracked. Is it slippery around here? Is that ice? No. Just some plastic with a little sugar water. Careful.

    Thank you Cory for another fine report and the really nice pictures.And for the Ron Howard bronze bust awareness poster. Who new? ;)

  • Big D

    I could care less about Frozen, but it would be very nice to step inside to an ice skating rink for a half an hour or so and just sit down and watch people ice skate and get away from the terrible heat and humidity of a July day in Florida.

  • Cory Gross

    We were already planning on going to DHS on Sept. 1st when we found out about this. It was a happy coincidence that we’d be seeing it on the last day, and we’re going to take advantage of it by getting the VIP pass. Neither myself nor my wife-to-be are particularly big Frozen fans (I think it’s solidly at the same level as The Rescuers or Aristocats), but we decided to splurge for our honeymoon. Just add the words “VIP seating with special desserts” and we’re there. Even though we’re not THAT into Frozen, it still looks like a fun thing to have stumbled upon.

    Besides the fact that they still upcharge the skating even after you get the premium package, the only really incongruous thing about it is that it’s in DHS and not the more logical Magic Kingdom. Visiting the Enchanted Forest from Arendelle makes much more sense, and their visiting “Hollywoodland” lends itself to the cheapness of presentation. However, from a business perspective I totally get why it’s in DHS, to draw visitors to actually go there and spend a whole day. It rejiggered our own plans from a half-day to a half-day-then-return-at-night-for-the-fireworks.

    Despite those misgivings about it being maybe a little on the cheap and a nonsensical location and us not being THAT big into Frozen, it’s still something fun and new to enjoy at a Disney park. God forbid trying to enjoy stuff and have fun, I know, but still. That’s kinda’ the goal of our honeymoon and if we get some extra fireworks and desserts and an effective FastPass for a sing-a-long, then sure, why not?

  • Klutch

    Unfortunately, it takes many, many months of ramp-up time to produce themed merchandise like Frozen toys, plush and costume dresses. Yeah, this whole Frozen sensation caught Disney completely off-guard. However, I saw a segment on CNN which previewed all the new Frozen merchandise coming for Christmas. It actually looks pretty good; skating Anna and Elsa dolls, lighted costumes and more. Everyone I know who has little girls tells me their girls are STILL enthralled with everything related to Frozen.

    There’s no way Disney can create a high-end Frozen-themed area very quickly. They did what they could which was to throw in some banners and stickers and offer lots of merchandise.

    As for the Universal Harry Potter comments, get real. This Frozen thing has absolutely, positively, nothing to do with that. In fact, Disney is publicly ignoring the whole thing. I strongly suspect they have many new things up their sleeves, but we won’t know about for some time.

    • cruise

      “There’s no way Disney can create a high-end Frozen-themed area very quickly. They did what they could which was to throw in some banners and stickers and offer lots of merchandise.”

      No one expected a new land or ride. But I think everyone expected more than a bungalow with stickers on the windows.

      “As for the Universal Harry Potter comments, get real. This Frozen thing has absolutely, positively, nothing to do with that. In fact, Disney is publicly ignoring the whole thing. I strongly suspect they have many new things up their sleeves, but we won’t know about for some time.”

      The Harry Potter expansion has everything to do with it. Once Universal acquired the rights to a very successful franchise, they didn’t start selling merchandise right away, but instead developed a quality product, and then released it to stunning success. Most importantly it has lasting power.

      Also…. why is every Disney fan so content to say that “Disney have many new things up their sleeves, but we won’t know about for some time?” Every theme park should always have something planned for the future, that’s a given… but the fact is that the pace at which Disney is working on substantial lasting improvements at its Orlando property is depressingly slow. Are you really content that Disney has something new up its sleeve to release every 5 years?

      • TodAZ1

        Have to agree. How long did it take them to build SW Mine Train coaster again??

      • AaroniusPolonius

        It’s worth noting that when a temporary, “Glow Fest” level of event is the “what’s new” story at your theme park, it might be well past the time to make a serious investment or six in genuine attractions.

        I’d get on the cheapness of some of the elements here (and I’m totally tempted to make a Cold Mitzvah party joke about the party room,) but I mean you’ve gotta be happy that they added anything to DHS. Anything at all!

        I’m frankly astonished they didn’t drop a bunch of sandbags on the street, stamped them “Disney” and “Frozen” and called it a day. Because clearly and obviously, people will come and pay for just about anything branded appropriately.

        Seriously, you want Disney to stop cheaping out and start being Disney again? Don’t go.

      • danielz6

        Cruise your posts are spot on. And people seriously stop saying Disney has stuff up their sleeves. Don’t you get it? It’s staying in their sleeves for another decade! They have no incentive or passion to invest in such heavily profitable parks. You’re going to have to go to China or Japan if you want to experience the best and newest Disney attractions.

      • Cory Gross

        “No one expected a new land or ride. But I think everyone expected more than a bungalow with stickers on the windows.”

        Soooo… a new land or ride?

        “The Harry Potter expansion has everything to do with it.”

        Well given that the addition of Harry Potter STILL hasn’t propelled Universal into actual competition for attendance with WDW, this statement of yours is just wishful thinking. I know a lot of people REALLY want Harry Potter to be this monster threat to WDW and it just isn’t. The attendance figures just don’t bear it out. If I would submit any park as being the “competition” that spurred on Frozen Summer Fun, I would guess it was EPCOT… Disney execs looking at the attendance figures of each park and trying to figure out how they might be able to bump DHS’ attendance up to EPCOT levels.

        “Are you really content that Disney has something new up its sleeve to release every 5 years?”

        Given that I only attend any given Disney park on average once every five or six years… yes? I’m going to submit that Disney might have a reason – beyond sloth – for more slowly doling out big attractions. If the average visitor is an infrequent one, visiting say once every 3-6 years, then there might be an overall advantage to that strategy.

        “Also…. why is every Disney fan so content to say that “Disney have many new things up their sleeves, but we won’t know about for some time?””

        Probably because people who actually like Disney and already enjoy it as it is don’t really care as much about the rate of E-ticket building as Disney haters do. “Disney probably has lots of stuff up their sleeve” is less of an argument trying to convince you of something as it is coded language to give it a rest already. Remember that Disney fans already speak from a position of empowerment because they already enjoy what Disney does. It is difficult to come up with credible attacks on something that someone already enjoys. It just ends up making you look bad. When you ask “How can you like that?!?” it’s the Disney fans who look at YOU like YOU’RE crazy.

      • TheBig2na

        ” they didn’t start selling merchandise right away, but instead developed a quality product, and then released it to stunning success. ”

        That isn’t true. Harry Potter merchandise was available well before the land opened. Regardless comparing the two is impossible. There is no comparison.

      • Cory Gross

        “That isn’t true. Harry Potter merchandise was available well before the land opened.”

        And keep in mind that the Harry Potter lands at Universal are PRIMARILY shopping experiences. The most innovative thing about them from a theme park design perspective is not that they are so detailed. That’s relatively easy, if expensive and time consuming. What was innovative about them is the design of a shopping district with a big attraction weenie at the end to draw customers in. Each store was then given interactive and animatronic elements to motivate purchasing. Universal revolutionized the act of theme park shopping, turning the act of shopping itself into an attraction.

  • Eddie Davidson

    It was a calculated decision to put Frozen at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in order to boost the park’s attendance. Nothing more. I’m not opposed to elaborated meet & greets and promotional trailers for Disney’s upcoming movies but I don’t see these as actual attractions. What other theme/amusement park relies so heavily on meet & greets? It seems like Disney has really become enamored with these things and judging from the lines so are the jostled masses. IMHO they’ve become too pervasive and are a poor substitute for actually amusements. Honestly that Frozen “attraction” looks less elaborate than what my local shopping mall does for Christmas. And $5.25 for one lousy cookie? Can you say sucker? If y’all are flocking to it just because it’s a place to cool off maybe you need to rethink your plans to visit WDW in the summer!

    • AaroniusPolonius

      Again, it’s the acceptance of this by the public that empowers Disney to keep on trekking in this way. I also think that these add on events and meet and greets would be less annoying if they were coming on the heels of actual attractions.

      • TheBig2na

        If you were there with a 6-8 year old daughter would you avoid it? Not if you want to be invited to her wedding in another 20 years or so. Look who the desired market is for this. It’s not us. If it is unacceptable than people need to do what captainaction has done and take yourselves and your money elsewhere. I wouldnt go to a place that didn’t entertain me or my family or treated me like crap. I just decided on a different All Inclusive vacation because the place I wanted to go had an arrogant attitude and wouldn’t answer an email. There goes thousands of dollars to their competitors.

        If you aren’t happy spend your money in a way that makes you happy. If I ever reached that with WDW I wouldnt step foot in the place again. I can’t see it happening due to my families attachment to the place, but that is just me. The more people that vote with their wallet, the more chance we will see change.

      • AaroniusPolonius

        I find this line of thinking dangerous, and indicative of the problem. If I were with a 6-8 year old daughter at DHS, I’d think that the Frozen Event would be something that we’d have to experience, as it caters to her tastes.

        Disney knows this. There’s an equation on some wall in Glendale that indicates just how little they can spend while still getting visitors, and I suspect there’s a sliding scale for investment regarding the level of hot that the intellectual property is. The more in demand the IP, the less shekels required. Hence the icicle plastic wrapping on the glass doors, the Kinkos quality banners and stage wraps and so on.

        So, if the company knows just how little to spend in order to get your business, and they’ve spent the better part of the last two decades readjusting expectations downward as to what to expect Disney to deliver for ever more money, and you’ve got a public willing to go along with it, that’s a recipe for mendacity and mediocrity. And that’s what WDW has been cooking.

        That, of course, wasn’t always the Disney way, and that’s, of course, why the discourse rages on. I don’t need to be the target to appreciate good theme park work. I’m not the target for Dumbo 2.0 and yet I appreciate. This ain’t that…and lest we forget, we’re talking about the largest theme park company in the world and the biggest animated movie hit of all time here. I’d like to think that this is but a test run for a grander version, but I don’t have hope. I have history.

        Let’s also note that for the cash one is shelling out here, one could rent a snow machine for a day, hook up iTunes to a speaker, and set off fireworks to the soundtrack in your backyard as a Summer In July, friends and family BBQ (especially if you bought the up charge nonsense.)

      • TheBig2na

        I must admit that sounds like a helluva BBQ. I think the point is Disney wants to make money and that is about it. There is no Walt or Steve Jobs to say I dont care what it costs make it happen! We live in a world of shreholders and dividend payouts. The Walt Disney Company isn’t a them park business, its a massive conglomerate that has its hands in pies all over the place. It really is a shame that it isn’t like it was a decade ago where every year it seemed like a new ride or theme park was popping up. It also seems like the normally US ebb and flow between East and West. Ask west Coasters how they felt when WDW was getting everything and they got nothing. The tide switched coasts and now they have a brand new second park…again, and a park that is second to none in every aspect. If avatarland takes off and all of a sudden We get Star Wars land the money will stop flowing out west and head back east and the complaints will start there.

        What would make sense is to think things out a little more and quit half-assing parks like DCA part 1 or DAK. Spend the money properly the first time and have plans in place to grow those parks to a full capacity over 5-10 years. Then we might not see a billion dollars have to be invested out there to fix a mistake. Plus MM+ has a lot of dollars tied up in it and a lot of hate. Disney management has a lot of hate all around on the internet, but I don’t think it is that bad. Everything could always be better. I just don’t understand why people spend so much time complaining about something or continuing to go. Passion is a good thing, and wanting your favorite company to improve is never a bad thing. I just say vote with your feet and wallet.

      • AaroniusPolonius

        TheBig2Na,

        I think the critiques are fair, and here’s why. Disney spent decades and billions building up their brand to be as powerful and beloved as it is. They’ve been trading on that brand equity for quite a long time now, to generate massive profits without massive investment. So, if the company gets to enjoy the benefits of rabid, foaming fans, they also have to deal with the flip side of that, which is either former or current, yet disappointed fans calling the company out on their bovine feces, and perhaps more than they would another company, because they’re the power brand. They’re Disney.

        I’m not blaming Disney-as-corporation for trading on their assets, and trying to make as much as they can for as little money as they have to spend to do it. I’d place some blame on corporate leadership, not seeing perhaps the long term ramifications of trading on brand equity for short to medium term profits. Make no mistake: this will catch up with them. The Cimmaron was never a Cadillac, and it took them billions and 25 years to overcome that, for example. (Indeed, one could make the argument that Cadillac is still recovering from their badge engineered days.)

        As for this event, it’s fine. It’s temporary, one hopes. It reeks of cheapness, from the aforementioned Kinkos banners to the super cheap cut outs on a stick. And that’s another trade on brand equity. It also makes plain that DHS is drastically under built, devoid of new things to do, and worse, has always bounced around in this half measured state, with periodic, last minute attraction jolts to wake us all up.

        I’ve been reticent to bring up Universal before now, but since the feud has already vomited over the thread, it’s worth noting that however one feels about the Potter expansion, the intellectual properties on hand or Universal itself, that studio park has churned itself over by about 90% since opening a year after DHS.

        Objectively, without the Disney Rabies infecting one’s mind, they’ve been the company treating their theme park consumers with the most respect for their vacation time and dollar. And I don’t really think it’s an apples and oranges comparison anymore, outside of those that equate Disney branded products as good and all others south of the mouse.

        Sometimes less is less.