Headed towards the Norway Pavilion? Check out these Frozen Ever After facts before your next trip into the unknown at EPCOT.
The first time my wife and I checked out Frozen Ever After, we were taking advantage of what was then known as late-night Extra Magic Hours. As most of the crowd headed toward the exits after the nighttime fireworks show, we headed over to the Norway Pavilion.
While waiting in line, we met an excited (yet undeniably sleepy) little girl in front of us, who was fighting her exhaustion the best she could to be able to see her favorite Frozen characters.
Finally, we made it to the front of the line and went on our journey through Arendelle. After we disembarked our boat, we asked the little girl if the ride was worth the wait.
But before I share her response, here are 5 fun facts about Frozen Ever After at EPCOT.
1. The Ride Formerly Known as Maelstrom
In the beginning, EPCOT was free of attractions attached to an intellectual property (IP). However, the Finding Nemo rebranding of The Living Seas began the slowly expanding wave of IP through the park.
Norway’s Maelstrom ride was one that got the IP treatment and closed to be relaunched with a Frozen theme in 2016.
While the film’s characters and storyline were added to the attraction, Maelstrom fans will notice that it doesn’t feel too different beyond its appearance. That’s because Frozen Ever After follows the same track as its predecessor.
Do you wonder why the Frozen Ever After characters look incredibly smooth compared to animatronics in other attractions across Disney World?
The answer lies in how the Frozen characters were built. Frozen Ever After was the first attraction to use all-electric animatronics. Other attractions were built with figures whose movements are powered by either air (pneumatics) or water (hydraulics).
The result? A more life-like experience with your favorite characters.
Take a deeper dive into Frozen Ever After in our March 2022 Arts & Animation issue. We review our favorite dark rides based on animated films like Frozen, The Little Mermaid, and even The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Subscribe by Feb. 28 to get your copy!
3. Authentic Voices
If you’re singing along during your boat ride and thinking that the voices sound just like the ones in the movie, you’ve got quite a discerning ear.
In fact, Disney hired the original film cast to record their characters’ voices.
So when you’re enjoying Frozen Ever After, you’re also enjoying the work of talents like Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad.
4. Chilly Thrills
Frozen Ever After is a pretty tame and family-friendly ride. In fact, there are no height restrictions so everyone can have a great experience.
However, there is one moment as you’re traveling through the winter wonderland that features a backward slide. But don’t worry. It’s nothing like the backward drop on Expedition Everest. Really, it is more of a gentle short slope than a drop.
There is another drop to close out the ride, but again, it’s not too intense. It’s pretty comparable to the minor drop on Pirates of the Caribbean.
And just like that ride, this final drop on Frozen Ever After provides an on-ride photo to commemorate your time with Anna, Elsa, and the rest of the crew.
5. Around The World
Since the Frozen films were huge hits across the globe, it’s no surprise that Frozen-themed attractions are planned for international Disney Parks.
In the near future, expect to see Frozen rides pop up in Hong Kong, Paris, and Tokyo.
That First Ride on Frozen Ever After
So back to my story from the beginning. What was the little girl’s response when we asked if Frozen Ever After was worth the wait?
Hilariously, she shook her head with a look of frustration, seemingly wanting to say “I can’t believe I stayed up for this!” In fact, my Olaf-loving wife ended up enjoying the ride more than her.
It’s a good thing the little girl wasn’t there on opening day when wait times were up to 5 hours.
Are you a fan of Frozen Ever After? Or did you prefer Maelstrom? Let us know with a comment on our Facebook page!
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