For the first time in forever, guests of the Walt Disney World Resort can now immerse themselves in the Kingdom of Arendelle at the new Frozen Ever After attraction in Epcot‘s World Showcase. Located at the Norway pavilion, this much anticipated low light water ride features scenes with music and characters inspired by Disney’s animated Frozen and Frozen Fever films. The attraction opened on June 21 to guests who were lucky enough to obtain a FastPass or were willing to patiently wait on the Standby Line. We were two guests who experienced two rides during the opening week of the attraction, accessing the ride once using a FastPass and once using the Standby Line.
Frozen Ever After – FastPass vs. Standby Line
If you paid attention to social media on June 21, you probably heard that guests were reporting a 300-minute wait using a Standby Line that weaved past China in World Showcase and over the bridge toward the Outpost. Guests also were reporting multiple shutdowns due to technical difficulties.
When we arrived at Norway at our designated FastPass time on the morning of June 23, we learned that Frozen Ever After was closed “indefinitely, which in Disney World terms could mean many things. Not willing to give up, we passed the time by visiting the Wandering Reindeer gift shop and capturing photos of the Royal Summerhus. It was a good decision, because the attraction opened soon thereafter. When we entered the FastPass line, a Cast Member stood guard with a 300-minute wait time sign on the Standby Line. Yet there were no guests in the line—very curious.
In the following days, the Standby Line regularly sported a 300-minute or 180-minute wait time, even though the line never extended past the FastPass entry. On the morning of June 28, we took our chances and entered the Standby Line when the wait was posted as 45-minutes. The line extending out the door of the Frozen Ever After attraction to the entrance of Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, moved surprisingly quick, and we were on the ride within 35-minutes. One important note—the FastPass line was not being used that morning, which probably had an impact on our wait time.
Frozen Ever After – Queue
There are a friendly, grunting Vikings that regularly appear in the area of Norway, to entertain guests. They are men of few words, but they will happily pose for a selfie or two! On the day we chose the Standby Line we were able to experience the complete wait queue that weaves to the ride loading dock. With Norwegian folk music playing overhead, you enter the quaint village of Arendelle and pass through Oaken’s Trading Post and Sauna. Keep an eye out for Oaken who will peer at you through the door of the sauna! And the curtains on the building facades of the village–do they look familiar to you? One improvement that we might suggest is for Disney to increase the number of boats being loaded at one time (at least more than one).
Frozen Ever After – The Attraction
Overall, we loved the attraction. It is visually stunning, with bright, warm colors and special effects that are unlike other Disney attractions. The ride follows the same track as Maelstrom, with the boat ascending to Arendelle and Anna, Sven, Kristoff, and Olaf who are enjoying the winter weather. Riders then take two thrilling descents passing Elsa in the Ice Palace and Marshmallow and the mini-showmen. And if you appreciate a good sound system, we think you will be impressed.
Bottom line–as overplayed as Let it Go might be, you can’t help but enjoy Frozen Ever After. Have you experienced this new attraction at Epcot? Let us know what you think!
(Photos from the author’s personal collection.)
Looking for Magic is Kathy @ Two Roads Photo and Sean @ Shamrock Photo on Flickr . Kathy is a librarian, walker of many miles, and Paper Bag Princess, who dreams of having coffee with Belle at the castle and co-administering a fantasy book discussion group. Sean is a fire fighter, pilot, and closet superhero, who would like to join the pack with Tigger to use his bouncy and fun powers to make people smile. Kathy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Sean can be contacted at email@example.com