Anyone who saw this winter's wonderful animated adventure "Frozen" probably thought that the story, about a pair of princess sisters, one of whom has locked her kingdom in a frosty perpetual winter, was ripe for a Disney theme park attraction. The movie already felt so classic that a ride, potentially in the "dark ride" mold of things like Peter Pan's Flight or Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, seemed like a foregone conclusion. And you know what? It kind of is.
Disney historian Jim Hill, while appearing on the Disney Dish Podcast with Touring Plans founder Len Testa, described what the Mouse House has planned for "Frozen," at least when it comes to its theme park presence. Apparently the first place the movie, which just beat out "Monsters University's" $268 million gross by a few million, is first headed to the Norway pavilion at Florida's EPCOT.
This makes sense, of course, considering the movie's Nordic setting and the fact that the Norway pavilion has been home to both exclusive "Frozen" merchandise and the all-important Elsa and Anna character meet-and-greets since before the movie even premiered.
"That's really filtering out. They're already looking at 2014/2015 and where does that fit into our holiday plans," Hill explained. "Those of you who love the Maelstrom might want to go visit it." Hill is referring to Norway's boat ride attraction the Maelstrom, which, like "Frozen," features tons of trolls. It seems that the ride might not be long for this earth, which is a shame because, since opening in 1988, less than a decade after EPCOT Center opened its futuristic doors, the Maelstrom has been one of World Showcase's brightest spots. Not that it has aged terribly well or anything.
"Disney's not going to make the mistake they made with "The Little Mermaid" again. They're not going to wait 20 years to get a ride," Hill went on to explain, referencing the Ariel's Undersea Adventure attraction that opened in Disney California Adventure on May 26, 2011 and in the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland on October 12, 2012, more than 20 years after "The Little Mermaid" debuted in theaters. Hill went on to address the advanced timetable: "There will be something in the next 18 months. Supposedly there's something larger in the works for Disneyland but that's in line behind the Marvel and the 'Star Wars' stuff."
So, in brief: expect a "Frozen"-themed attraction for Norway at EPCOT very, very soon and in Disneyland sometime a little bit later. Sound burrrrrr-iliant!