Frozen is a phenomenon that seems to have taken the world by storm. Disney’s Hollywood Studios introduced a new summer event that started this past Saturday and runs through September 1st. The special event is called Frozen Summer Fun Live! and has different entertainment and shopping opportunities throughout the day. Please note that there will not be fireworks the evening of August 23rd since that is the night of the special hard ticket event Villains Unleashed. All other aspects of the Frozen Summer Fun Live! should take place as scheduled on that date.
Being that this was the first day and a holiday weekend, I thought it best to make good use of the fact that I was staying at Port Orleans French Quarter and took advantage of Extra Magic Hours. The first scheduled event for Frozen didn’t take place until 11am, however I had a feeling the lines for merchandise might get a bit out of hand the later into the day it got. So, arriving at the park before EMH at 8am wasn’t exactly fun, but ended up being the right call. When Shelley and I arrived, we were greeted (okay, along with all the other guests) by snow on Hollywood Blvd, which was a nice touch.
After stopping for a few pictures along the way, we arrived at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post at 8:10am. The line was already a couple of switchbacks deep at this point. Thankfully, we made it inside to check out all of the Frozen merchandise with only about a 15 minute wait. Later in the day this time soared to several hours, so if you are going on a weekend especially and staying on property, get in early for EMH and get out of the trading post. I’d like to note that the procedures changed throughout the day (keep in mind it was the first day of an event that seems to have come together relatively quickly as events go in the parks). At one point, when we arrived, there were separate lines for the Trading Post and for Oaken’s Frozen Funland, but when we returned later they were combined lines. We decided to skip the Funland for now and returned later when the line subsided some.
Once we grabbed breakfast after finishing our shopping, we decided it was getting close to 10am, so we should probably find a spot for the first event of Frozen Summer Fun at 11. Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome starts near the front of the park and proceeds up Hollywood Blvd to make a stop at the Sorcerer’s Hat stage. After a brief singalong to Let It Go, most of the processional returns to their floats and continues along the parade route in front of American Idol, ending by the Jedi Training Academy stage. This was a short processional, but a nice way to see the characters, and was the debut of Kristoff. Some guests may recognize familiar elements borrowed from the Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade featured during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. Shelley watched the parade from Hollywood Blvd near the intersection of Sunset Blvd and I watched from the benches across from the restrooms near Backlot Express. I think for a first timer, it is a better experience on Hollywood with the snow and then being able to follow up to the stage for the singalong. As far as we could tell, the only thing I missed out on from my location was the small group of young Frozen fans included in the parade. For repeat viewing though, I loved my spot on the benches with nobody allowed to stand in front as it is close to where the floats come.
We learned while we were waiting for the parade that tickets were required for the next event, the For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at 12:30pm. This is why I ended up splitting from Shelley before the parade started. Tickets are handed out back at the corner of San Francisco Street by the Premiere Theater from park opening (not EMH). Each guest in your party should be present to collect the ticket for whichever time of the show you’d like to attend. There are several shows each day, usually about an hour apart starting in the afternoon. I got there around 10:25am and there were still several hundred tickets left for the first show. On the ticket, a return time is listed to queue up near the extended queue for Muppetvision, which is often used during Star Wars Weekends for shows in the same theater.
For me, the singalong was what I was most looking forward to, but it even ended up exceeding my expectations. Since this was the first day of Frozen Summer Fun, we didn’t have a lot of information or really know what to expect beyond what was in the times guide. The approximately 30 minute show featured stage performers, primarily Eric and Aria, the Royal Historians of Arendelle, as well as Princess Anna, Queen Elsa and Kristoff. The historians help tell the story of Frozen and lead guests along in a singalong of most of the songs from the movie where one can follow the bouncing snowflake on the video screen along with clips from the film. The performers were fantastic and added so much more humor to the story and what could have been your usual old singalong. For us, this was absolutely the highlight of the day and Frozen Summer Fun! I’ve even included a video below of some of the highlights, but left out the surprise ending.
Later in the day, we made our way back to Oaken’s Frozen Funland to check out the indoor ice skating. Since I’ve got a bum knee and aversion to most things cold, I opted to simply watch the fun unfold. For those who have been in Sound Stage 1 before for things like Darth’s Mall during Star Wars Weekend, I will say they have made an amazing transformation of the same space. It was absolutely incredible how you felt transported to Arendelle! I loved that there were some Magic Shots created just for this event and Photopass photographers were setup inside and out for several of these locations. Luckily, I had Memory Maker for this trip and have included some of those shots here. The highlight of the space is definitely the indoor ice skating on real ice. There’s even a mini Zamboni to clean it! We were fortunate enough to time our visit right and to catch the performance of Wandering Oaken’s cousins and their ice skating to some of the songs from Frozen. This was fantastic and so much fun. I also loved seeing the young kids (and their parents) get to play in the Do You Want To Build A Snowman Snowground.
Due to some prior commitments, we were not able to stay for the dance party and fireworks, but that gives us something to look forward to catching over the next few weeks. I absolutely loved the Frozen Summer Fun celebration and think you should check it out. Even some of my friends who aren’t as big of Frozen fans as I am thought that the event was well done and were impressed with what they had seen. Have you been yet to Frozen Summer Fun Live! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? If so, what were your first impressions? Will you be heading back like I will be several times over the next couple of months?