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.
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.
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.
Over at the Animation Academy, I sat in as our artist taught us to draw Elsa's ice castle guardian Marshmallow.
Here's my effort:
It's not officially part of the Frozen Fun celebration, but Arendelle has joined the lineup in Disneyland's Storybook Land, too.
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.Tweet
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