It’s amazing what the Disney Imagineers can do with a little paint, some intense blue lighting and a few special, sparkly effects. Nowhere are their talents for big makeovers better illustrated than the newly opened Frozen Ever After ride at Epcot’s Norway pavilion.
Opening day for the long-awaited, much-hyped attraction based on the 2013 megahit film Frozen (maybe you’ve heard of it) produced ginormous crowds willing to stand in line five hours for the short boat ride.
Imagineers repurposed boats from Maelstrom, the ride that had occupied the same space in Norway’s pavilion since 1988. It follows the same track, but tells a completely different story about the popular characters Anna and Elsa.
Hug-loving snowman Olaf kicks off the ride. Then Anna and Kristoff sing, the boat approaches Elsa’s Ice Castle and as she sings the anthem Let It Go, the boat goes backwards, makes a turn and then down a little drop before riders disembark.
That’s it. That’s all you need to know about Frozen Ever After. It’s the same ride as Maelstrom — just darker, bluer and with more singing.
Oh — and it can’t claim any educational value like Maelstrom attempted with its truncated history of Norway and short film at the end.
Those who have a passion for Epcot and its original mission to entertain and educate will never accept Frozen Ever After and will always think it is out of place in World Showcase.
Reactions on Twitter and other social media for the revamped ride have been mostly positive so far. We can only assume most of the people who stood in line for hours to ride Frozen Ever After were members of the Disney faithful or Frozen diehards.
The good news? There was no line whatsoever at The American Adventure!