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Anna and Elsa head to Disney's Hollywood Studios - but will the crowds go with them?

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Published: June 26, 2014 at 1:31 PM

With wait times to meet Anna and Elsa in the Magic Kingdom still exceeding two hours, and beyond, Walt Disney World is adding more opportunities for families to see the stars of its hit animated musical Frozen.

Anna and Elsa at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Photo courtesy Disney

"Frozen Summer Fun – Live at Disney’s Hollywood Studios" starts July 5 and will feature several Frozen-themed events each day through September 1 (though no meet and greet with the royal duo):

  • An 11 a.m. horse-drawn procession up Hollywood Boulevard, with Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff, finishing with a short ceremony at the Hat stage
  • Sing-alongs and storytelling with Anna and Elsa in the Premiere Theater (on Streets of America)
  • Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Frozen Funland in Soundstage One (near the Studio Tour exit), featuring a play area and Frozen merchandise
  • A 5:30 p.m. DJ dance party at the Hat stage, with Frozen music in the mix
  • And the finale, at 9:45 p.m., with a Hat stage character show leading into nightly Frozen-themed fireworks

Given that one of the main reasons behind Walt Disney Word's new MyMagic+ system is to use advance scheduling to redistribute guests from overflowing queues into less-crowded queues and areas of the park, this collection of Frozen-themed events seems designed to advance that same goal. If it manages to coax a few people from Disney World's most overcrowded queue — the wait for the Anna and Elsa meet and greet — into otherwise unused areas of the resort's least-attended park, Disney will count it a wild success.

What do you think? Will you include these events in your Disney World plans this summer?

Readers' Opinions

From David Ackerman on June 26, 2014 at 1:48 PM
Wait times exceeding 2 hours... Try more like 5 hours. Every time that I have been at MK since Anna and Elsa arrived, the posted wait time has been in the 250 - 300 minute range.

The only good thing is that some many people have been sucked into the combined vortex of Frozen and Seven Dwarfs that the rest of the lines have been manageable. And no, they are not manageable because of FP+.

From Joseph Smith on June 26, 2014 at 2:16 PM
Is it the 90s? Disney embracing a mega-hit film, with fireworks no less, at the Studios!?! I'm shocked, yet a bit impressed. Maybe it's due to spreading around the MagicBand crowds, but is also likely a minor Potter swatter. They may need to goose attendance at a Studios park with little to do and less that's new (or even updated).
From Rob Pastor on June 26, 2014 at 2:23 PM
Good concept to increase DHS attendance short term & maybe lessen the Magic Kingdom crush. I noticed that DHS crowds have constantly been considerably smaller than Touring Plans advance daily projections, which indicates attendance issues. This should help alleviate that problem since Frozen is really "hot" right now.
From Tony Duda on June 26, 2014 at 2:59 PM
I just checked MDE for a few days in July and saw that there are no fast pass plus listed reservations for any Frozen show. I guess the Premier Theater shows are only stand-by.

If I am at DHS when the Frozen shows are playing, I will probably see some but I am not planning a special trip just for them.

From TH Creative on June 26, 2014 at 5:18 PM
Clearly this announcement serves as yet another substantial affirmation that The Hat should be counted among the most powerful and awe inspiring pop culture icons in Disney history. I am pleased to see that The Hat will lend some artistic cred to this fledgling cartoon that still has a chance (albeit remote) of becoming a Disney classic.
From James Trexen on June 26, 2014 at 5:37 PM
You know, TH, I actually like the Hat. Yeah haters, I know, it blocks the Chinese Theater, but wasn't this the only way to keep the facade without legal issues. My problem, and everyone here knows because I've been harping about for years on sites I visit, is it's current usage with the stage in front of it. I consider to stage a huge eyesore with a tacky purpose (who's gonna come all the way to Disney, pay huge prices, and spend their time dancing to music instead of going on rides?). I used to love seeing the Hat at night (come on haters, you can't deny that sight) and taking the forced perspective shot, both of which are ruined. Sadly, today's announcement doesn't leave a positive effect on me because it keeps the stage there one summer longer.
From Rob Pastor on June 26, 2014 at 7:21 PM
James: You're so right. The stage (especially the permanent one) really takes away from the park's aesthetics. I don't particularly like the Hat, but I wouldn't mind it if they put the stage over the Streets of America area instead, or just get rid of those terrible dance parties with the annoying music. Disney has some excellent songs in their library, why not use them.
From Robert Niles on June 26, 2014 at 9:14 PM
Everyone complaining about the Hat and the stage: you really need to just let it...

(Ugh, no, I can't do it.)

From 108.184.206.15 on June 26, 2014 at 9:37 PM
Wait, did they put the Hat there because of legal issues with the Chinese Theater? Robert, can you answer this?
From James Trexen on June 26, 2014 at 11:30 PM
Come now. We're only hoping this experience will help fix that plaza's problems in summer. After all, Hollywood Studios will be getting more guests than Magic Kingdom for the first time in forever. TH, do you know a fixer-upper who can get everything ready by July 5?
From Tad Daily on June 27, 2014 at 5:09 AM
When does Blizzard beach get it's Frozen makeover?????
From Joseph Smith on June 27, 2014 at 5:25 AM
Two things I noticed at Star Wars Weekends the day after the 24-hour party this year:

1) During the dance party prior to the fireworks, the crowd--kid, dad and twenty-somethings alike--was loudly singing along to a Let It Go remix. It was one of those shared (ahem, magical?) moments that Disney music triggers.

2) Why isn't the stage under the hat itself? It's big enough. You can tuck the lights up into it. Use the area speakers and hide some more if you need sound. I don't understand why you build a cheap-looking stage--and it always looks cheap, no matter what flair they hang on it--for months.

The idea to put a party stage on the Streets of America ghost town is great. And if they must put a stage on the congested Boulevard, build something that complements the Theatre.

Oh, and I'm no hat fan. I'm not sure I believe the rights issue story, but if true, make a deal already! Pay something, put "when in Hollywood, visit..." flyers at the exit, whatever.

From Tim Hillman on June 27, 2014 at 5:53 AM
I'm with James. I like the hat too.

As far as Frozen goes, it is just OK. The script is just mediocre, and Disney has made far better musicals over the years. Plus the lead antagonist went from good to bad with no indicators which is confusing to small children.

I'm starting to wonder if Disney screenwriters have plot guidelines on the walls in their offices.
1. You must kill off or make non-present one or both parents.
2. If it is a movie aimed at girls, the girls/women have to be smart, beautiful, and courageous and the boys/men must be weak, dumb, ugly, and evil or any combination thereof.
3. If it is a movie aimed at boys, the boys/men can be good or bad looking and smart or slightly dumb but the girls/women must still be smart and attractive.
4. Lead protagonists must have funny/klutzy animal or human sidekicks for comic relief.
5. Somebody has to be royalty - preferably the female lead since it leads to merchandising opportunities.
6. The lead characters must have some kind of notable clothing or accessories that can lead to unique merchandising opportunities.

Did I miss anything?

From Tara Delao on June 27, 2014 at 10:56 AM
I do have to say, these princesses look horrible and nothing like the movie.
Now that I got that out, has anyone been able to get any of these on MDE? We're going to be at Disney the third week in July and I haven't even seen these on the FP+ options.
We were able to get reservations for Anna & Elsa meet & greet on our trip... but not until 9:30 at night!! AND I was on my computer at the stroke of midnight (EST) to select my times. I'm hoping this will open up some times earlier in the day. I'm thinking that there won't beyond three FP+ reservations for us because that last one will be so late.
Hopefully some of the crowd will disperse because of the new shows/attractions. Keeping my fingers crossed!!
From TH Creative on June 27, 2014 at 7:19 PM
Buzz from my friends in Walt Disney World entertainment: This is gonna be HUGE.

The word is Disney has amassed a warehouse full of exclusive merchandise. When the company saw orders from the Walmart and Toys R Us franchises, it drew back and held on to tons of inventory. Retail sales will soar.

In addition, the events at DHS will be spread across the park and throughout the day -- avoiding the congestion (thermonuclear crowds) that the Potter sequel (alley = narrow streets with small shops) may well endure. Events like the dance party and fireworks do not require guests to queue up in order to experience an attraction or merely enter an area of the park.

Of course the characters from 'Frozen' play right into the Disney wheelhouse. The Disney princesses are a multi-billion dollar franchise. These events are dead on target with the demographic that has made the Disney parks the most attended and successful in history.

If the crowds swarm to DHS it will capture some substantial media attention -- buoyed by the success of a film that premiered as recently as eight months ago -- as opposed to three years ago.

Kinda makes ya think Disney's timing was pretty damn shrewd, eh?

From Tim Hillman on June 28, 2014 at 8:11 AM
I'm not so sure that Disney isn't over-marketing this film. My grandkids have already been to at least 4 Frozen themed birthday parties this summer, and my daughter has informed us that we are not to buy any more Frozen merchandise for the them. She has hit the burnout point, and I suspect that a lot of other young parents aren't far behind.

Disney may have been very shrewd about how they have been promoting the Frozen events and merchandise, but at some point the blatant, over-the-top marketing becomes painfully obvious, and people get tired of it. But, that is the genius of Disney because every few years a new crop of little kids comes along and falls in love with the latest Disney marketing phenomenon, and the process starts all over again.

You've got to admire them for their ability to get a lot out of a little, but it is somehow sad how formulaic the whole process has become.

From TH Creative on June 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM
T. Hillman: "I'm not so sure that Disney isn't over-marketing this film."

I respond: Had to decode the double negative. One of the first posts on this thread indicates people are standing in line for five hours for character meet and greets. While parents may eventually become burned out it's unlikely that it will happen this summer ... or (frankly) anytime soon. Again, the film has been out for less than a year. And since Disney owns the product (licensing) it will rake in copious amounts of green while the sun shines. Which is an ironic metaphor considering the film's name.

T. Hillman: "But, that is the genius of Disney because every few years a new crop of little kids comes along and falls in love with the latest Disney marketing phenomenon, and the process starts all over again."

I Respond: Bull's eye! While 'Frozen" is hot (another ironic metaphor) there is an army of little ones stomping around WDW dressed as Belle or Cinderella or Rapunzel. In other words the princesses always pay off. Also (is there any doubt) as 'Frozen' starts to thaw (HAH!) there will likely be another princess waiting in the wings.

From 173.66.194.150 on June 29, 2014 at 5:51 AM
At one point the Frozen M&G lines were up to 6 hours long. !!!! But now with the FP+ and additional hours past 5pm, the lines do not seem to go past 3 or 4. Crazy to say that, I know. Although the full summer season has not yet hit, so we will see.

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