Recently, I wondered whether or not Frozen was the only recent animated movie that Disney mattered. It was just kind of a random thought I had really, as I was thinking one day, “y’know, ever since Disney’s bought Marvel and Star Wars and everything, it seems like the only animated movie they focus on is Frozen. I wonder if there’s any correlation to that?” and just sort of made a theory that they were mainly focusing on Frozen because their animated movies were no longer their only big franchise. The original article sparked a conversation about movie merchandise that I would like to follow up on.
I don’t know about you but where I live Frozen, almost 3 years after it came out, is still inescapable. If you go into any store, you’re bound to run into some Frozen merchandise. Not only that but there always seem to be families (and sometimes childless adults) that seem to have some sort of Frozen thing with them (like a backpack or something).
Join me and Elizabeth as we discuss the new “Frozen Forever” attraction in the Norway pavilion at Walt Disney World’s Epcot. You’ll notice that I’m still munching on my school bread, but hopefully that won’t put you off. The attraction has been controversial due to the fact that the movie Frozen doesn’t actually take place in Norway. We won’t really be addressing that in our review, but will keep the focus on the merits of the ride itself.
Thanks for watching!
Below you will find the introduction for an article I first wrote in May of 2016 detailing my estimation of the Disney movies you should have seen before a Walt Disney World vacation in order to understand and appreciate best what you’re most likely to see there. It is now July of 2017 and there have been enough changes to the parks and resorts that I have decided to update this article. With the exciting new announcements at this year’s D23 convention it should be obvious that these ratings will not hold up for much longer than they did this time. My intention right now is to update these rankings whenever necessary. You will notice that some movies, like Lilo & Stitch and Pinocchio have dropped out of the top 20 while others have jumped up into this list. This is truly a moving target, but those movies are still great and ones I would recommend whether you’re going to Walt Disney World or not.
Recently, a co-worker of mine told me he and his wife are taking their kids on their very first trip to Walt Disney World in Florida this summer. Apparently he’d heard I’m something of an enthusiast on the topic. After a quick rundown of where they’re staying and eating, he expressed some concerns over the quickly approaching date for reserving the family’s Fastpasses and worried that his young kids might be scared of some of the rides (he has a 4-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son). I told him they probably would be a little tentative and suggested that he sit down with them on YouTube to get a preview of some of the attractions he thought they were targeting. I’ve heard from some parents that this has helped to demystify some of the gentle dark rides and can act as a stepping stone for the overall experience. He seemed pretty pleased with this suggestion and I came out of the conversation feeling rather happy with myself. It was a win-win.
Unfortunately, he came back a couple of days later with a completely different problem. He had watched several ride videos with his kids like I’d said, and he hadn’t gotten much feeling that they were frightened by what they saw. But maybe that was because they had spent the entire time asking him who all of the characters were! This came as quite a shock to both him and his wife. After all, they were pretty sure all kinds of cartoons were on in the house on a rather regular basis. But there he was, trying to explain the seven dwarfs, Peter Pan, and even the Little Mermaid to his kids. A cursory investigation of the family’s available Disney movies revealed part of the problem: they weren’t the ones with rides based on them. Frozen had been played past one family member’s tolerance, but that ride isn’t open yet. His son had practically worn out a copy of Pixar’s Cars, but there is next to nothing at Disney World featuring those characters. There was a lot of Disney Jr stuff like Doc McStuffins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates available, which really just covers one stage show and maybe a character meal. He snatched out a copy of Beauty and the Beast and insisted to his kids that they had all watched it together a couple of times. Maybe they had, but at that moment all he was getting were blank stares. “For crying out loud,” he said to me (or something less printable here), “What the heck do they need to see before we leave in nine weeks?!” Clearly, the stress of trip planning was getting to him.
I smiled and told him I’d have a list for him in a day or two, but that a refresher on Beauty and the Beast couldn’t hurt in the meantime. Join me as we look at a big part of that promised list.
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Okay, so we knew this one was inevitable. What was not expected was the fight “I See the Light” gave this cultural phenomenon for this spot on our list. Until very late in voting, the love duet from Tangled had clung to a slim lead over Frozen‘s iconic anthem of empowerment. But a late surge meant the unexpected upset wouldn’t occur and nudged “Let it Go” into our top 3. Is it the sort of spot in peoples’ hearts we will see it maintain in future years? There’s no telling, but for now, Frozen mania puts the song in rarified company.
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As will become very obvious in the coming days, Lebeau and I are both taking Disney-related trips later this month. Lebeau and family are taking their first Disney cruise while I am in Anaheim at roughly the same time. As such, Disney and vacations in general will dominate much of June here at Le Blog.
Instead of our typical bracket game, I’ve decided to fill the first three weeks of the month by writing about one song from an animated Disney feature film each day. You, our faithful readers, will have a hand in deciding which songs I will write about by ranking four different lists of songs provided below. Polldaddy only allows ten candidates in each ranking group, so I separated forty famous songs from the house of mouse into four different groups.
The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year. New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom. These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion. But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years. I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report. But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up. So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.
We are less than a month from our next family trip to Walt Disney World. At this point, the plans are mostly finalized. As I write this, Disney has just opened up FastPass+ availability for their latest attraction, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I was able to make a couple of FP+ reservations for the ride early this morning before the demand for FPs crashed Disney’s system. So with those FPs taken care of, there isn’t much left to do but wait.