Theme Park Insider

Fans pack Epcot for Disney World's Frozen Ever After

June 21, 2016, 8:29 AM · Frozen Ever After opened to the public at Walt Disney World's Epcot this morning, as thousands of fans pushed wait times to four hours and beyond.

Disney World's My Disney Experience app reported the mid-morning wait time at 240 minutes, though some in the park said that's only because the time counter maxes out at four hours... and that the actual wait would be even longer.

Disney tried to alleviate the discomfort of the long wait in the Central Florida sun with free water for guests. And fans who endured the epic queue around the World Showcase lagoon into the Norway pavilion found a clever reskinning of the old Maelstrom ride. Frozen Ever After doesn't introduce any new narratives into the Frozen canon, as Disney's Imagineers opted instead to deliver familiar musical quotes from the Academy Award-winning animated hit instead.

Disney's used the animatronic technology it employed on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to create finely animated animatronic characters throughout the ride, including Olaf, Anna, and in the big climax, Elsa singing "Let it Go." (If you remember Maelstrom, that comes at the moment when your boat reverses direction and falls backward into the first drop on the ride.)

Here's a POV video:

Disney cancelled its planned press preview for Frozen Ever After, as local parks cut back on press events following the Pulse nightclub shooting last week, so today was the first opportunity for anyone outside the company to see the new ride.

Rate and Review:

Replies (52)

June 21, 2016 at 8:34 AM · Here's my review from the discussion thread.

Very good ride. Much better than Maelstrom. Nitpick, Too much Olaf (dump his second scene where he is ice skating after the lift) and the Snow Creature didn't do anything (wasted space). Overall, makes good use of the short track length. Excellent animatronics. Not enough Anna and other characters.

June 21, 2016 at 9:07 AM · Nice ride for the little ones. Disney knows their target audience and I give them credit for that. Plus Epcot needs some new things and this is a great start...

But 300 minutes (5 hours)- not for me... This is not WWOHP, it is just one ride....

This goes to show you how popular Disney is and the need for new rides\attractions.

June 21, 2016 at 8:52 AM · Looks like a fun ride that made good use of the ride system. The capacity issues concern me, but the attraction itself looks well done.
June 21, 2016 at 9:05 AM · I have to assume they moved the load station downstream closer to unload to give the additional space for the first scene with Olaf and the scene with the trolls prior to the lift. Can anybody confirm?
June 21, 2016 at 9:18 AM · If it has a lot of AAs similar to the quality of the ones in 7DMT, this ride must be a lot better than I expected.
June 21, 2016 at 9:19 AM · People in Orlando must be seriously ill. There is no logical, good reason to stand in a ridiculously long line for a Frozen ride. The ride will be there tomorrow, next week, next month, and even next year. It's a sad state of affairs when people waste away time like that. It will never meet expectations with a line that long.
June 21, 2016 at 9:34 AM · Wow, just imagine waiting four hours to ride that travesty and then have folks in your boat holding their cameras up for the duration of the ride. It's sad that they removed the polar bear. It had more movement than the Yeti on Everest.
June 21, 2016 at 10:37 AM · This looks close to an E ticket, but can't absolutely tell from a video. Somehow it does look better than Little Mermaid, maybe I'm impressed by the walking Olaf.

Instead of retelling the movie, the time frame is after the movie, (actually after the short film which was after the movie) and they're reprising the songs, which is fine with me. It doesn't go into any of the dramatic moments with Hans, etc, but that's ok. It would have to be a much longer ride to do that, and maybe not necessary.

The face projections look a little funny, though, although again it may look better in person. A human non-cartoony character has less range of expression, so I'm not sure if the projection is better than a regular animatronic. I can see the projection being better on a cartoony character like the dwarfs.

Marshmallow just lies there, but if he did anything else, it would probably scare the kiddies.

It does look pretty good though, Epcot just needs more attractions in World Showcase, maybe the Ratatouille ride in France and a Swiss Pavilion with Matterhorn. Then re-haul almost every ride in Future World, start with Energy and Imagination.

People remember Epcot in it's glory days of the 80s and 90s, it's time for a second golden age.

June 21, 2016 at 10:38 AM · Ignoring the inevitable trolling that will great the opening of this attraction I have to say from that POV that it looks solid, decent, and a sure-fire 'wow' for girls of a certain age (a major Disney demographic). It even manages to feel longer than Maelstrom.
For a make-over this knocks spots off many purpose-built dark rides so congratulations to Disney on a job well done.

Is it worth a 4 hour wait? Of course not. But then neither was Harry Potter.

June 21, 2016 at 10:38 AM · Not bad! Definitely beats Maelstrom in my opinion. Great animatronics that look like they are right out of the movie.
June 21, 2016 at 10:48 AM · Will be there next month, so no videos for me.
June 21, 2016 at 11:09 AM · Honestly, this is better than I expected and looks like a pretty solid D-ticket ride. However, it does have a lot of the same problems as Little Mermaid in that it is just a collection of song sequences from the film rather than a unique narrative. I do like that they did change some things up, but this is definitely one that would fall flat if you weren't familiar with the film. On the plus side, the animatronics (particularly Olaf) are great and the screen effects are integrated well. Now, is this worth a 300 minute wait? No way, it would take something on the level of Indiana Jones Adventure to justify that. Is it worth a 30-45 minute wait, however? Yeah, I'd probably do that.
June 21, 2016 at 11:14 AM · A very solid D-Ticket ride. Great level of details, even in the pre-show. Even though I was quite hopeful about this ride, I am pleasantly surprised by the number of top-notch AA. The spirit of the animated feature is here. Of course, they took the positive of it for this ride but this choice is a smart one. Expect the shop to be a cash machine...
June 21, 2016 at 11:18 AM · Oh no. App says "Temporarily Closed". Get out of line or stay longer.
June 21, 2016 at 11:38 AM · Like AJ said, this looks better than expected.
June 21, 2016 at 11:49 AM · It seems more complete than Little Mermaid, although I'm not sure which is actually longer. LM was more of a book report ride, trying to relive the story, but this is more of a recalling of the story after the story happened. The other things that bother me about LM are the non-moving fish that are just stuck to the walls of the cave, and the caves themselves, there should be a more convincing illusion of being underwater, Pirates in Shanghai shows that they can make a convincing underwater illusion.
June 21, 2016 at 11:45 AM · Rob - You are correct. Everything between the now load/unload area and the lift hill was formally the load area for Maelstrom. The Maelstrom ride started with the lift hill and the Frozen ride added the opening scene with Olaf and Sven AND the trolls before reaching the lift hill. Imagineering definitely gained additional space by combining the load/unload area for Frozen. Very smart, very well done. I'm guessing the theater that housed the 5 minute Norway film that followed the Maelstrom ride has been integrated into an expanded queue area.
June 21, 2016 at 11:46 AM · I, for one, really like the strong Olaf presence. It makes the whole thing really cute! I also thought it was pretty long and I absolutely loved the "Let it go" scene. Very well done! I am happy they kept the ride system and the same vessels... I agree with the idea of having more rides in the Showcase... Make Epcot great! :)
June 21, 2016 at 11:46 AM · I, for one, really like the strong Olaf presence. It makes the whole thing really cute! I also thought it was pretty long and I absolutely loved the "Let it go" scene. Very well done! I am happy they kept the ride system and the same vessels... I agree with the idea of having more rides in the Showcase... Make Epcot great! :)
June 21, 2016 at 12:05 PM · I cannot believe I am saying this, but Frozen Ever After may be the best new attraction of 2016.
Yes, Kong is good and Lightning Rod is cool (when working) and Mako is awesome and Cobra's Curse is good as well, but this ride exceeded my expectations, more than the other new rides did. The redone Norway area and Frozen attraction are fantastic!
June 21, 2016 at 12:44 PM · Frozen = Harbinger ... The effects that will be featured at 'Pandora: The World of Avatar' are going to be INSANE!
June 21, 2016 at 12:57 PM · Better than I expected as I thought it might be a "bargin" construction but the Olaf AA looks terrific and the effects great and clever how they work the old Malestrom ride with the Frozen stuff. I see the long lines due to Frozen fever plus just a new attraction at Epcot, should cut down soon enough (I mean, it's the first day, everyone wants to ride it fast to post videos and such). While I was a purist who hated Malestrom taken out, I have to admit, this is one of the better efforts by Disney in Epcot for quite a long time.
June 21, 2016 at 1:13 PM · Now if only Disney wasn't so damn cheap and gave this IP it's own land as it deserves instead of shoving it where it doesn't belong. This is going to be a capacity nightmare that will put Soarin' and Midway Mania prior to their expansion to shame.
June 21, 2016 at 1:49 PM · Looks well done. It doesn't fix the Epcot problem, but it does improve what was an existing attraction.
June 21, 2016 at 2:22 PM · I'm...pleasantly surprised. I really expected this to be a flop, considering the old ride system and the seemingly rushed nature of the project. It certainly isn't worth a 4+ hour wait, but it'll definitely be a booster for EPCOT and hopefully relieve some stress over at Magic Kingdom. It'll be interesting to see if they add more of these types of attractions around the world pavilion. The Ratatouille ride in France would be most welcome (especially if we get the Paris version). I'm also thinking a Mary Poppins, Sword in the Stone, or (fingers crossed) Mr. Toad's Wild Ride 2.0 would fit perfectly in Britain's section. Other ideas would be an Aladdin attraction in Morocco, Big Hero 6 in Japan, Mulan in China, or even a Pinnoccio attraction in Italy.
June 21, 2016 at 2:38 PM · Keith, I suppose you are not considering Shanghai Disneyland when you say that Frozen Ever After may be the best new attraction of 2016!!!!
June 21, 2016 at 2:53 PM · I'm not sure I'm ready for a full on Fantasyland-A-Facation of World Showcase. While tastes in theme park guests changes all the time, I'd hate for the cultural experiences that World Showcase was built on to simply become background environment supporting rides based on Disney characters. It would be disappointing to see families rushing past the gardens in Japan to experience the Big Hero 6 ride, or not pausing to pose for photos in the big red phone box in the United Kingdom while making a bee-line to ride the Mary Poppins carousel. Only time will tell.
June 21, 2016 at 2:55 PM · Looks good, but why are there penguins? Or did I miss-see just black and white birds?
June 21, 2016 at 3:09 PM · Rob, I sympathize with what you're saying, but if this Frozen ride is as successful as what it seems I don't see it going any other way and EPCOT will turn into just another theme park. I personally won't be upset too much by this change, I'd much rather see the countries in person rather than the Disney version. I do appreciate that that is beyond the means of many people.
June 21, 2016 at 3:11 PM · Is there any plans for this to be built at Disneyland?
June 21, 2016 at 3:16 PM · No plans for this at Disneyland. It only happened at WDW because they could overlay the old Maelstrom ride, which doesn't exist anywhere else.
June 21, 2016 at 3:20 PM · They need this at Disneyland, put it in the old Motor Boat Cruise area, it fits next to the Matterhorn. The Maelstrom configuration works nicely. This is ten times better than having the Frozen show at DCA.
June 21, 2016 at 3:55 PM · Disneyland's Frozen ride, assuming it happens, will not be a copy of this one and will instead be a brand new ride. At the moment, the strongest rumor is that the Fantasyland Theater will be removed to create an Arendelle mini-land and a trackless dark ride will be built in the space between Star Wars Land and Toontown (the queue would go under the railroad tracks to a show building). Latest I've heard says they're shooting for 2020/2021 on the project, but it may be adjusted based on when Frozen 2 ends up being released. There was a plan to copy the Florida attraction in the Motor Boat Cruise area, but there just isn't enough space for it without removing portions of Autopia and the Monorail so that plan was dropped.
June 21, 2016 at 4:59 PM · Looks great but still feels incredibly out of place in Epcot. I know it's been said millions of times, but this is far from the wonder of Horizons and World of Motion. This is a Magic Kingdom ride. Sure, my son and I will still love it I'm sure, but I wish Disney would give Epcot the love it deserves. Maybe after AK and DHS they can do Epcot.
June 21, 2016 at 5:25 PM · I don't like a ride based on a fictional country placed in an Epcot World Showcase exhibit, am generally indifferent about the movie Frozen, and will miss the old Maelstrom ride.

However, that looked really well done. Amazing what Disney is doing with Anamatronics now. Unbelievable, really. It's hard to judge by a video, but those looked like animated characters brought to life. Well done.

June 21, 2016 at 5:27 PM · P.T. Barnum was so correct.I wouldn't pay the retail price of $99 for one day at any Disney park even if no lines.Under the evil Iger, he has ruined the Disney and ESPN brands with dumbed down programs and attractions while continually raising prices. This CEO typifies greed in our new Gilded age.
June 21, 2016 at 5:42 PM · The Disney Imagineers are having a very good year in 2016 - Shanghai Disneyland, Tree of Life Awakening, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, Rivers of Light (eventually) and now Frozen Ever After. WOW! All of them are really fantastic, a step above anything else yet this year. I cannot wait until next year with the opening of Pandora: World of Avatar!
June 21, 2016 at 5:47 PM · With the success of this redo, the question now is should DCA's Tower of Terror be redone with Guardians of the Galaxy? It might not be that bad and it maybe could be this good.
June 21, 2016 at 6:11 PM · I liked it. Happily surprised.
Way (way) better than Maelstrom.

And, I hated EPCOT when it opened; 13 and the "edutainment" was already behind my knowledge - huge bummer. So more of this Disney-fication of both sections of the park, please!

Thanks for saving me 60(0) minutes - and heat - to ride today!! ;-)

June 21, 2016 at 7:23 PM · Looks much better than I expected. Bravo Disney. However, the backward/forward transition seems even more awkward to me now. Seems like a missed opportunity. Maybe it's better in person, but it looked like most everyone was trying to turn around to see what they were missing.
June 21, 2016 at 8:58 PM · AJ: Nice rumor, but if they intend to put in a queue under the railroad tracks, the time to do it is now with the Star Wars construction. The new show building will reduce the size of Toontown, otherwise you must walk a longer distance.
June 21, 2016 at 10:30 PM · I actually think it looks pretty dumb. Disney really squandered the space and made a ride that actually had some detail into a ride with a few AA and the rest blue walls. Why not keep some Malestrom in it?

Plus what are we supposed to learn from this? Nothing!

June 21, 2016 at 11:25 PM · Who would have expected that the Frozen ride would be getting a much more enthusiastic response than King Kong?? And I never expected that I would actually want to ride it! Sounds like a must for FP+.
June 21, 2016 at 11:39 PM · Anon, it wouldn't surprise me if they did the tunnel and show building during/just after Star Wars Land construction and and the rest of the mini-land once Star Wars Land opens in 2019. I've also heard on good authority that while there are eventual plans to replace Toontown with something else, it will not be shrunk first and the land will mostly remain as is until it is redeveloped (with the only exception being possible removal of the Chip 'n Dale Treehouse to create a new connection to Star Wars Land once the area is expanded). With the new train route set to hug the back of the Fantasyland Theater, the difference in walking distance would only be 100-150 feet anyway.
June 22, 2016 at 7:07 AM · I wish Disney would re-brand Toon Town as Mickey Mouse's Clubhouse. Then put an overlay on the Rodger Rabbit ride and have it be based on Mickey's Road Rally. Today's kids would relate to it much better.
June 22, 2016 at 8:49 AM · Loved it!
June 22, 2016 at 9:54 AM · AJ: Going ahead with a Frozen ride could either mean building the show building adjacent (within Star Wars Land) or replace the Mickey's House meet and greet. I would think the extended queue for Mickey's House meet and greet is on the short list for replacement especially with you mentioning that one day Toontown will be replaced. Nice as it was, Mickey's House is not a big priority today.
June 22, 2016 at 10:19 AM · Now that I've watch the video I'm good. I don't feel the need to actually ride it now. But to be fair I'm not the target audience. Which makes me wonder why so many older adults without kids in tow would be crowding up the queue and making the kids and the parents wait so long? Seems weird and selfish. Anyway, it's been said a million times but this just seems like it belongs in Fantasyland and not Epcot. But with Nemo and now this I think it's safe to safe that Epcot is, if not dead, close to it. Reminds me of Marc Davis' old idea for an indoor Snow Queen ride at Disneyland and makes me think this should remain a one off.
June 22, 2016 at 11:24 AM · Lately I've been really disappointed in Disney's creations, but now I must say that I am quite impressed by this one. Upon hearing that Epcot was getting a "Frozen" ride, I, like many others resented the idea. However, now that I've seen the YouTube video, I must say that I am genuinely impressed. The animatronics are stunning, the sets are pretty impressive, and Disney did a miraculous job at incorporating both physical sets and screen effects. Very glad to see that Disney is still creating quality rides. A job well done to both TDO and WDI.
June 22, 2016 at 3:22 PM · I also think they did really well with this conversion. But wondering about the continued decline of the "and then something goes terribly wrong" ride concept. This has no conflict, just as Radiator Springs has no conflict. For me, that is what makes this a D-ticket rather than an E-ticket. It's not the length or the detail, just that nothing goes wrong to make me feel that I've gone on a real journey and come home safe and sound.
June 23, 2016 at 2:24 AM · The ride looks great! The surrounding are looks great as well. I'm glad they kept the grass roof and I really like the red and white paint on the building. I really hope they do put a Ratatouille ride in the French section. I think that some animated films like it and Brave really emphasize their location and fit well into the world showcase. I feel like they must be thinking of making an area based on the Pacific Islands with a Moana ride. The Pixar movie Coco will be coming out somewhat soon and I imagine they must be thinking of a way to have a ride based in that in Mexico. If they had Frozen, Moana, Ratatouille, and Coco rides in the World Showcase I would think that would really draw the crowds in and bring attendance much closer to Magic Kingdom levels.
June 28, 2016 at 2:10 AM · MarkSharp, those "selfish" childless adults paid to get into that park and have every right to stand in line for any friggin' ride they please. In fact, they paid MORE to get in than those children did! What's selfish are people that believe they have more rights because they've popped out some tax exemptions! Shameful!

On another note, this ride proves that Disney people will buy anything lackluster Disney "creates". I love Frozen and never cared much for Maelstrom, but after watching the video, it's obvious that Disney's just created another slow-moving-trailer-ride. All they need is for a deep voice to intone "In a world that..." at the beginning of each ride. It's funny that Disney movies are in a renaissance, yet the theme parks couldn't tell a story if it became international law.

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