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'Frozen Fun' Opens at California Adventure, but the Highlight is at Disneyland, Instead

January 7, 2015, 9:16 PM · Disney's Frozen focus shifts west this week, as the "Frozen Fun" lineup of shows and activities officially opened today at Disney California Adventure. Frozen has taken over much of the Hollywood Land section of the park, with a sing-along replacing the Muppets 3D show, a snow play area and Olaf meet and greet taking over the soundstage next door, and Wandering Oaken's Trading Post gift shop moving in between the two. It's all Frozen characters in the Animation Academy in the land's Disney Animation pavilion, where the Anna and Elsa meet and greet also has moved from its previous home in Disneyland's Fantasyland. In the evenings, Frozen now provides the theme for the land's dance party, as well.

Frozen Fun at Disney California Adventure

Despite all the Frozen presence in California Adventure, the best new Frozen-themed attraction in the resort might be the new show that debuted today back in Disneyland, at the Fantasy Faire Royal Theatre next to Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

Fantasy Faire Royal Theater

My. Smyth and Mr. Jones are telling the story of Anna and Elsa now, placing their Tangled and Beauty and the Beast shows on hiatus. Like with those shows, the duo recap Frozen with their usual mix of Elizabethan shtick laced with clever little snippets of music and dialogue from other properties. It's great fun for the adults in the crowd to try to catch all the references while their kids simply enjoy the live performance in front of them. And, yes, Anna and Elsa eventually do appear to participate, as Smyth and Jones play the other parts of their tale (including Olaf).

The For the First Time in Forever sing-along at California Adventure offers more music, with all five of the movie's main songs: "Do You Want to Build a Snowman," "For the First Time in Forever," Love Is an Open Door," "In Summer" and "Let It Go." But they're simply clips from the movie, presented with karaoke-style lyrics on the screen. A pair of actors fill in the rest of the story from the stage, with Anna and Kristoff appearing for moments in between, as well as for a "Let It Go" grand finale when snow falls from the ceiling and Elsa lights up the theater with her magic.

For the First Time in Forever

The Royal Theatre show offers live musical performances instead, with a piano accompanist, choreography and delightful staging that tells what is by now a very familiar story in a fresh and engaging way. If the sing-along leaves you with flashbacks of watching the Frozen Blu-ray for the 10-millionth time, the Royal Theatre show might just remind you how this story charmed so many people in the first place.

Both shows are listed as playing "for a limited time," and the length of time likely will be determined by how long fans keep the queues filled waiting for them. For now, getting a Fastpass reservation is a must for the Royal Theatre show. You'll find one of those quickly-becoming-ubiquitous mobile Fastpass carts on the Hub, distributing the tickets. Fastpasses also are available for the sing-a-long, though many more stand-by seats are available there.

The toughest Fastpasses will be the ones for the character meet and greets: Anna and Elsa, plus Olaf, who is meeting guests at the back of the snow play area. It's hard to imagine the tourists who flock to Central Florida to escape the winter cold wanting to queue to play in the same snow they'd left back home. But here in Southern California, where the locals dominate the parks, snow isn't a tourist repellent; it's a tourist attraction, whether its piled up on the mountains north and east of Los Angeles, or piled into a soundstage at the Disneyland Resort. Disney's set up a gentle toboggan slide on one side of the play floor, and you'll find snacks and souvenirs available inside the building, as well. Olaf's Snow Fest runs through April 30.

Olaf's Snow Fest

Over at the Animation Academy, I sat in as our artist taught us to draw Elsa's ice castle guardian Marshmallow.

Animation Academy

Here's my effort:

Marshmallow drawing

It's not officially part of the Frozen Fun celebration, but Arendelle has joined the lineup in Disneyland's Storybook Land, too.

Arendelle

With Condor Flats at California Adventure now closed for its conversion in the "Grizzly Peak Airfield," Disney's counting on Frozen to help draw fans over to the other side of the park. But with the best Frozen attraction across the plaza, Disney might find many fans heading back over to Disneyland for their Frozen fix instead.

Replies (5)

January 7, 2015 at 11:09 PM · Did they have to replace tangled and beauty? They couldn't leave one of them for those of us that aren't frozen fanatics?
January 8, 2015 at 4:28 AM · When we visited Disneyland back in 2013, I thought both the Tangled and Beauty and the Beast shows in the Fantasy Faire Royal Theatre next to Sleeping Beauty's Castle were outstanding. It does not surprise me those excellent performers offer the best Frozen show as well. Kudos to them. Plus, you can get a Boysen Apple Freeze right near that theater, which I highly recommend, if they are still selling them (ask for an extra shot of "Boysen"). Yum.
January 8, 2015 at 1:01 PM · I suspect that, at some point, the Royal Theatre will revert to offering a mix of shows with Frozen joining the rotation. But for the first weeks (months?) after its debut, when the Frozen show is "selling out" on Fastpasses and everyone with a FP is arriving more than 30 minutes early for the show anyway, that it is best to maximize the number of Frozen performances per day until that demand settles down a bit.
January 8, 2015 at 1:16 PM · I would like to know more about the Condor Flats remodel. No more 911 references like one plane flying out of a restaurant and the airfield strip facing Tower of Terrorism.

I will definitely visit Frozen Fun. I will see everything, but I still hope to get a Fastpass to the cars ride.

January 9, 2015 at 2:43 PM · Back in December they were still rotating Tangled and B & TB. I'd probably seen each one twice because they are so great, so I'm excited to see a new one, but sad it's a huge deal to get a ticket. Oh well.

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