Frozen Summer Fun at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Written by Shelby Pickett. Posted in Disney Hollywood Studios, Disney Parks, Features

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Published on September 02, 2014 at 2:00 am with 26 Comments

Yoohoo, big summer blowout!

If you’re a fan of Disney’s “Frozen”, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is hosting “Frozen Summer Fun” from now until September 28th.

The event is based on Disney’s popular film “Frozen” and features all of your favorite characters from the film hosting various events, activities, and merchandise locations, a Royal Processional featuring Anna and Elsa, a DJ Dance Party, a Sing-A-Long, Frozen-themed merchandise (including Limited Edition Olaf, Anna and Elsa Magic Bands), and Frozen-themed fireworks. The event was originally slated to end August 31st, but was extended to September 28th due to popular demand.

The Details and the Theming

Disney has always excelled in telling stories, and putting great detail into those stories. With the use of various props, banners, and borders, the park has been transformed to emulate the locales from the film. However, the effort here to produce the Disney-quality event one would expect seems to have fallen somewhat short in both “Imagination and Execution” in this case.

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While the printed banners along the light posts inside and outside the park, as well as the facade of the Trading Post and the Merchandise shop in Wandering Oken’s Trading Post look very professional and well thought out, the “Snow” on the stage, the “Ice” around the vending carts, and the “Forest” surrounding Oken’s, look as if they were last-minute “Fixer Uppers” that were hastily completed overnight.

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Many will say “It’s a temporary event that was meant to last only a few weeks.” Well, the same could be said about Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Star Wars Weekends and the various Anniversaries held for the parks. While I do like the event for what it is, it certainly could have used a bit more creative effort. . . especially for a franchise which has proven to be tremendously popular.

Anna and Elsa’s Royal Processional

Each morning at 11:00am, Anna and Elsa welcome their subjects to the park from a horse-drawn sleigh. The processional lasts just 10 minutes, and can only be viewed from along Hollywood Blvd.

Take Home Olaf

At the entrance, as well as other locations throughout the park, you can find your very own Olaf-on-a-stick.
No, Olaf hasn’t been impaled, he’s just similar to the Duffy Bear and Perry-the-Platypus given out at Kidcot locations in Epcot.

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It features Olaf, under an umbrella (and wearing sunglasses) on the front, and the facsimile signatures of the four Main Characters on the back.

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  • Tip: If you love your Olaf, yet try to use him as a fan or as a Shield from the relentless Florida Summer Sun, he will quickly become detached from his stick.

“For the First Time in Forever” – A “Frozen”
Sing Along Celebration

Scheduled: Each Sunday and Monday at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30, 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 9:25, 10:25, and 11:30am, 12:35, 1:40, 2:45, 3:50, 4:55, 6:00, and 7:05pm, and, Fridays and Saturdays at 10:25, 11:30am, and 12:35, 1:40, 2:45, 3:50, 4:55, 6:00, 7:05 and 8:10pm.

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Be sure to visit the Premier Theater, located between Muppet Vision 3D, and the San Francisco facade,
to enjoy a 20-minute Sing-A_Long with some of your favorite Frozen Songs!

Tip: The show is not an “open door.” Be sure to get to the Premier Theater early to secure a showtime.

FastpassPlus will also be available for the September showings.

“Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party

From 5:00pm – 9:15pm Sunday, Monday, Friday and Saturday, and 4:30pm – 8:00pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, Frozen Summer Fun hosts a DJ dance party at the stage in front of the Sorcerer Hat for people to Rock Out and show their “Disney Side”. This is a very upbeat, high-energy, dance party with flashing-light effects. If you are in the park and looking for a party, this is the place to be.

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If your looking for a peaceful Dinner and some down-time, you will have to visit the back of the park, Sunset Blvd., or the dining room inside the Brown Derby.

As I had mentioned in previous posts, the peacefulness of the Patio Bar at the Derby is interrupted by the Dance Party.

TIP: They DO take breaks at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30pm on Sunday, Monday, Friday and Saturdays, and at 4:30, 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30pm. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays for “Icemen of the North – Live in Concert!”.

Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post………and Frozen Funland

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This location, operating from Park Open until 7:30pm, was “Imagined” better than most of the others. Upon entering the left-hand door, you are greeted by the facade of “Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post”.

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Snow?

As you round the corner, you are in a hallway surrounded by trees and “melted snow”. Finally you arrive in a Wintery Wonderland featuring Olaf’s Snow Playground, an Ice Skating Rink ($10 skate rental fee applies for 30 minutes), a small cart selling Frozen- themed treats, and backdrops that, upon first looking at them, seem plain, but if you stand in a designated spot and use the Aurasma app (available for Free in the App Store and Marketplace), it brings the Frozen characters to life and allows you to get a unique picture of yourself with animated versions of the Trolls, Anna and Elsa, or Sven. They also host “Oaken’s Cousins on Ice”, which is an ice skating show with a soundtrack that includes a medley of Frozen songs at 12:15, 1:15, 2:15, 4:15 and 5:15pm.

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Each time I’ve been in there, it has been extremely crowded with little room to move. Sadly, the “Designated Exit” leads you to an undecorated backstage area. For me, this blows the theming.

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The right side of Wander Oaken’s utilizes a separate entrance. It is here you’ll find yourself in the Trading Post Merchandise Store featuring shirts, key rings, plush Svens, Olaf’s, Anna’s and Elsa’s, Frozen DVD’s, CD’s, Costumes, Limited Edition Magic Bands, Cups, Hats, Christmas ornaments and sweet treats. Just about anything one could dream of finding themed to “Frozen” can be found right here.

  • TIP: The Trading Post Merchandise Store stays open until 8:00 PM.
  • TIP: This is the ONLY loction in the park that sells the Olaf Magic Bands.

The Speciality Food, and Drinks

The event offers various Speciality Food and Drink items. They are:

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  • Let it Glow (Non Alcoholic) – Pineapple Juice, Grenadine, Ginger Ale and a Souvenir Glow Cube
  • Summer Berry Margarita – 1800 Silver Tequila, Triple Sec, Monin Wild Berry, Sweet-And-Sour and a Souvenir Glow Cube
  • Blue Daydream – Skyy Infusions Citrus Vodka, Blue Curaçao, Peach Schnapps, Sweet-And-Sour, Pineapple Juice topped with Lemon-Lime Foam and a Souvenir Glow Cube.
  • These can be had at the tent near the a Sorcerer Hat, The Hollywood Brown Derby Patio Lounge, and the Tune In Lounge next to the 50′s Prime Time Cafe.
  • The speciality food consists of an “Anna Cupcake” which is Chocolate with Buttercream Icing, an “Olaf Cupcake” which is Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing, and an “Elsa Cupcake” featuring Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Icing. These are only available near the ice rink in Wandering Oaken’s.
  • The other offerings are your typical Disney case treats decorated like Olaf and other frozen characters. These can be found in The Trading Post Merchandise Shop.

Frozen Fireworks Spectacular

Taking place nightly until September 5th, then Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays until it ends September 28th, the park will host a special Frozen-Themed fireworks show featuring narrations by Olaf, Anna, Elsa and Kristof, as well as a soundtrack featuring songs from the movie. Since we so rarely get to view “free” fireworks at Hollywood Studios, this is a nice addition to the experience.

Finale

To end, I continue to enjoy Frozen as a movie, and I will continue to enjoy this event for what it is, the only real-life way to experience Arendelle and it’s subjects.

I do, however, feel that Disney could have done a good deal more “Imagineering” on the Decor, Entertainment offerings, Fireworks and Crowd Control, to make this a truly “Magical” experience. If folks can’t get enough Frozen . . . give them more!

I guess we will just have to “Let it Go” for now and see what happens in the future.

Have you visited the Frozen Summer event? What were your impressions?

 

 

 

 

 

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26 Comments

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  1. The biggest disappointment in the whole Frozen Summer thing is the message it tells Disney.

    “Effort is not required to get an audience”

    In the last few years then Disney has poured tons of creativity and money into rejuvenating California Adventure, new concepts in building Disneyland Shanghai, Cars land, Paris and even (groan) Avatarland. But in the end then all this gushing over Frozen has taught them that a few cardboard cutouts, some unfinished Olaf CGI and some slight modifications to some old seasonal gear in storage will give them the same results.

    It’s great that they were able to create an entire summer event in only 10 days, but I really don’t feel that is something to be bragged about because with such brilliant minds on the Imagineering payroll then the fans (and the Disney Brand) deserve better.

  2. Unfortunate that there’s a high possibility that a real place, Norway, will be replaced by a fictional place in Epcot for a movie. Not the message of Epcot at all. Enjoyed the movie, but disappointed in the proposed park plan.

  3. Eew it all look so cheap and last-minute. Decals and rotting fake snow from the dollar store are NEVER acceptable in a Disney park. My local mall makes a better effort in decorating for events and holidays.

    After a very disappointing visit in 2012. I sent Disney a letter stating that unless they stopped running WDW as a second-rate mall, I wasnt returning any time soon, yet after this I can see that things have jusr spiraled downwards.

    Sad.

    • I’d put New Fantasyland a slight step above a second-rate mall, LOL.

      • I went early in the year so that wasn’t open yet, and it is nothing that got me even the slightest excited.

    • Wow! A letter!

      I bet they hopped right on that.

  4. The kingdom of Hollywood land looks like a bleak soundstage gift shop with cheap banners and doesn’t even offer a second meet and greet. Hollywoodland turned the sisters into gold digging divas.

    This makes no sense what’s next Anna and Elsa at the kingdom of animals or the kingdom of shopping and eating aka downtown Disney. At least at Animal kingdom they could had used the Everst mountain to make it look less like a mall event.

    It’s sad that Universal treats their IP better then Disney. They would never let Harry Potter visit New York City and use magic to create a twister themed gift shop and give out Dobby on a stick.

    I’m surprised that people let Disney get away with this.

    • Are you kidding? Sure, I understand your ire at DHS (and all things Disney, at least theme-park-wise) but as an example you use Universal’s life-saving IP? What about Marvel? What about the almost-never-working Jaws? What about almost EVERYTHING they had before the game-changing Potterland?

      Like I said, I understand your beef against Diz, and you’re obviously not alone. Nor am I defending them. But at the same time try and make a better argument/example out of it.

  5. As a stockholder, I love how Disney does these things. No money, no effort and the people keep coming. My stock goes up and my dividend grows.

    The competition spends tons and yet Disney finds ways to make more & more without doing a thing. I love it.

  6. This reminds me of when Jack Frost became Santa in The Santa Clause 3 and turned the North Pole into a tacky, shameless cash grab. I’m surprised they don’t have an actual reindeer somewhere being forced to take pictures with thousands of people every day.

  7. First, thank you Shelby!

    I think this is a win/lose situation for Disney and the fans. On the one hand, it’s wonderful that Disney is providing some Frozen entertainment seeing as how it is a massive franchise that they have yet to match the consumer demand for. However, the implementation here is so cheap that it’s an insult to guests paying top dollar to visit the parks. Disney owes their guests better than this . . . even for a temporary event.

    They should work on a Frozen stage show. They’ve got several spaces in that park that they could take over. The horrible Little Mermaid show would be a good place to start. They could even keep it as a backlight show to keep the costs down and still maintain an animated look.

    Eventually, they are going to need a dark ride or other experience. I’d hate to see Frozen take over the Norway pavilion. But think that a Frozen boat ride or simple dark ride could be very successful. Great music and visuals would lend themselves well to a ride.

    But cheap cardboard props in barely themed warehouses is not going to cut it. I fear that because of the success of this craptacular experience, Disney will feel justified in offering more low quality fare. “Look, the less we spend the more the guests are willing to pay.” Of course, they should be ashamed of themselves for the poor execution, but you just know that they are all slapping each other on the back right now over the huge success of this project.

  8. So it’s nearly $100 to get into the park and get access to any ride, but to ice skate you must pony up an additional $10.00. Yay.

    • Can you bring your own skates?

  9. There are almost no Disney attractions I skip, but I’d skip this. You look at how GREAT Enchanted Tales with Belle is and then you see the Frozen rink and marketplace – Oh Disney Please. What will they do next? Blizzard Beach gets an Olaf cut out and a new name Frozen Beach? Or maybe shut BB at 4pm and do a hard ticket for Frozen Beach with Olaf and Friends. That’s for you shareholders – you are welcome.

    There are two great things about Frozen at the Studio – 1) Fireworks 2) Frozen Fun Land pulls some people away from other attractions

    • I heard that the Disco Yeti at Animal Kingdom is going to become Elsa’s ice monster from Frozen since he’s already been frozen in a broken state for 10 years and during each track switch they will blast “let it go.”

  10. I experienced the Frozen Summer Fun event and thought it was a great addition to the park for the summer. To compare it to a hard ticket annually recycled party or a years-in-planning year long anniversary celebration is an apples to oranges argument.
    The Sing along is actually a very entertaining show, and it’s great to see something fresh in the underused Premier Theater for a change! (Any new stage entertainment is welcome in DHS!)
    The merchandise and food is to be expected, but the morning procession, music and dance party, and fireworks are all plussed on entertainment we wouldn’t be getting otherwise.
    Guests loved the Olaf fan, and trust me, the kids with us were totally excited with all the Frozen fun.
    As for the Olaf cupcake – it was not exclusive to Wandering Oaken’s. I got it is as dessert on the Disney Dining Plan at ABC Commissary.
    Frozen Summer Fun is not much different in scope to the Mickey’s Starland theme in Magic Kingdom in the early 90′s with the Disney Afternoon theming. And I loved that too! It is meant to be temporary, and think they did the perfect execution for that. We had 3 scripted stage shows, themed shopping and entertainment areas, photo ops, park decorations, themed food and beverages, the best printed show schedule guide for any park at WDW, new design of park map (thanks Epcot for boring Soarin’ recycled park map cover), themed fireworks and really, how often does it snow in DHS?

  11. I think everyone needs to remember this is an add on, not the only thing in the park. There’s no way they could have gotten a Cars land level Frozen land in less than a year. Considering that they took about 20 years to add non-show Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid attractions, and still no Lion King or Aladdin ones, I think the success of the Summer Fun stuff has gotten them to get a dark ride for Frozen started really soon if rumors are to be believed. This popularity of this temporary Frozen situation probably justified spending the money on something permanent. I’m sure the new permanent Frozen attractions they add will also be very popular and that may encourage Disney to add more in the future. It’s funny-a lot of people complain about new Fantasy Land which Disney did spend a lot of money on and is permanent. By complaining about New Fantasy Land aren’t you sending the message to WDW corporate that you just hate everything they do, so why should they spend money on attractions?

    • It’s the only thing in the park for children who don’t know the muppets or honey I shrunk the kids and it’s a shame that a huge company like Disney cannot afford to run a second meet and greet. A gift shop with an $10 fee to ice skate and you can buy an add on package and still not meet the characters. Not very magical. Think of the children who are forced to wait in five hour lines to meet Anna and Elsa at Magic Kingdom.

      It is a shameless money grab that is good for the stock short term but bad for brand loyalty long term and eventually it will catch up to them. Look at Walmart now.

  12. I actually like everything Disney has done in Magic Kingdom recently.

    The other 3 parks and 2 waterparks? Yeah I’m not gonna be buying an Annual pass.

    Also, 12.25 dollars for a single, small drink vs 14 bucks for a twelve pack of Octoberfest…again, why do I need an Annual pass when I’ve got beer.

    • Yay, beer!

  13. At this point, it’s finally time to let go of Disney altogether. Yeah, investors and analysts are thrilled with the “wring every dollar out of our existing assets” strategy. For actual paying guests? Not such a great deal. For long-term viability of the company? A lousy strategy. Someone is going to have to clean up this mess in five or ten years. It’s going to be pricey, it’s going to be difficult and it’s going to take a long time. But it won’t be Iger, and he’ll be standing by laughing while others appear to have a hard time at what was so easy for him. This is the worst possible way to run a legacy company, but it makes sense on paper for a few years. Ultimately, they’ll sell Disney off to someone who will claim to be able to run it better, they’ll all make hundreds of millions of dollars in the process, and longtime shareholders and fans will be left holding the bag. What a travesty it is to see Disney resorting to exactly the kind of carnival-sideshow tactics the company was created to combat. Well, it leaves more room for a solid leader in the U.S. theme parks industry in 5-10 years, and it won’t be Disney. As for me, it appears my trip to WDW three years ago may very well have been my last one ever. The dumbing down and cheapening of the parks, the lack of concern in the resorts, the “small moves” like charging first a few bucks and now $20 or $30 a night for valet parking, the nickel-and-diming of “added value” theme-park experiences … they all are horrible tactics designed for short-term growth and long-term harm to the company. The Disney I knew is gone. It’s a lovely memory, though.

  14. It’s obvious that Disney can’t please every single person… However, yes, a bigger budget dedicated to the event would have, at the very least, increased the number of happy guests.

  15. Can I ask how many of you actually went to DHS during Frozen Summer Fun?

    This isn’t a new attraction or an added expense to the park guest- it is a very temporary themed overlay with a variety of experiences and entertainment. Yes, the decorations are not Harry Potter quality, nor should they be. It would take Disney 3+years to do anything different than they are doing now!
    Their marketing message is still New Fantasyland, not Frozen Summer Fun, so they are not duping guests that Frozen Summer Fun is going to be like Enchanted Tales with Belle or Be Our Guest ( with its mediorce food quality).
    Trust me, there are many criticisms for Disney’s actions and lack of action in WDW, but I don’t see Frozen Summer Fun being such a misfire.

    • The “have you been there” defense is getting stale. I’ve never been to Uganda but I think the pictures and videos online paint a good portrait as to why one wouldn’t go.

      I think you’re missing the thesis: the argument isn’t about the temporary nature of the Frozen event.

      It’s about the most attended, most popular and most profitable amusement and theme park operator in the world (by a LANDSLIDE, incidentally,) dropping such a poorly themed, poorly executed and poorly funded event into one of their theme parks for a quick cash grab.

      It’s about the current or former standard bearer (depending on your audience,) of theme park immersive excellence and design staple gunning cardboard snow cut outs to the frame of an unthemed stage, and trading legacy for profit.

      It’s about a company that used to pride itself on taking time to do things right going for the cheap buck.

      And more than possibly any if that, as a company is only as strong as it’s customers, it’s a visitation base that does nothing punitive when the company they spend their vacation dollars with pulls this level of cheap, unbelievable crap.

      • Really? “Have you been there?” was a defense? I just thought it was a question. And I can’t believe you compared DHS to Uganda.

        That would be SF Magic Mountain.