As if Disneyland isn’t already every little girl’s dream, they’ve now added Frozen Fun where you can celebrate the power of snow and ice with enchanting experiences, unforgettable family adventures, and special appearances by Anna, Elsa, and other characters from Disney’s Frozen. Yesterday, we enjoyed all of our favorite Disney rides including Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Aerial’s Undersea Adventure, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and King Triton’s Carousel, but our first and most amazing experience was wandering into a fabulous Frozen world. Singing along with Elsa and Anna and interacting with them was the best experiential gift possible and not just for Athena but for us as well.
When we first arrived, we rushed to see Frozen friends and the royal historians of Arendelle for a fun and frosty interactive showcase. The Muppet Vision 3D is temporarily taken over and reimagined as the Crown Jewel Theatre where you can laugh and sing along to a timeless retelling of Frozen. Two Arendellian Storytellers hosted the festivities and introduced each magical musical number, complete with Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff joining in the fun. We were encouraged to sing along with a few favorite Frozen tunes and the studio was alive with music, singing, and laughing. Athena sat on the edge of her seat and belted out the tunes loud and clear. Watching her eyes light up warmed my heart. I’m so proud of the beautiful, happy Princess that she’s becoming.
Next, we picked up our tickets for Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome. Rather than waiting in line for hours, Disneyland created the idea of a free Fastpass for the experience. We just showed our entrance tickets and received Fastpass tickets with a time to return. We simply returned at the scheduled time and basically walked right in to meet Elsa and Anna. (I don’t know why they don’t have this for Mickey and Minnie too. It’s the best idea I’ve seen for an interactive experience and it allowed us to make the most of our limited time at Disneyland.)
While we waited to meet Elsa and Anna, we made our way over to Mickey’s Fun Wheel, King Triton’s Carousel, and Aerial’s Undersea Adventure. The wait times were surprisingly short and we made it on each ride in less than 15 minutes. The towering wheel adorned with Mickey’s smiling face was Athena’s favorite ride last time so we made sure it was on the top of our list during this visit. We wanted to step it up a notch and try the swinging gondola rather than the stationary option. This choice was maybe a little too ambitious for our budding adventurer. The swinging gondolas glide on interior rails and sway during the trip, creating a sometimes dizzying—but always exhilarating—effect. I ascended 150-feet high in the sky and marveled at the scenic views of Disney California Adventure Park all around me. Athena ascended 150-feet high in the sky, screamed and death-gripped my arm as we glided down the rails and swung to what she must have assumed was going to be her death. Obviously the stationary gondola should have been our pick but we survived to tell the story. (Hint: even if your child says they are ready to go on a ride, use better judgement than I did. We can’t get it perfect every time.)
The carousel and undersea world were welcomed after the terrifying Mickey wheel. Most of the children’s rides have smaller lines in the early morning. Athena was able to go on the carousel three consecutive times without needing to get off. Aerial’s Undersea Adventure was also only a few minutes wait time before journeying under the sea to be part of Ariel’s world.
As we made our way back to Frozen Fun, we spotted Goofy and Princess Sofia along the way. We had enough time for a quick photo opportunity before receiving a royal greeting in Arendelle.
The grand event was here – Athena was about to meet Elsa and Anna. She walked up to them grinning ear to ear. They didn’t rush for a picture or a pose. No… they got down to Athena’s level and chatted with her about their icy adventures and wanted to learn about her as well. It was way more of an experience than I imagined. Athena left feeling like she really met Elsa and Anna.
All of this and it was only lunch time. What grand adventures you can have at Disneyland.
We left for a bite to eat and to take a break from all the excitement. There are lots of food options at Disney and you can even bring your own picnic, but we like to step away from it all during Athena’s nap time. It allowed us to return refreshed and ready to explore the rest of the park.
The rest of the afternoon was spent on the Disneyland Park side. We rode Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Disneyland Railroad, and King Arthur Carousel. There were a few rides still on our list but by 5:00 pm Athena was starting to fade. It was a hot day and we ran from ride to ride. It was time to call it a day.
Admittedly, we skipped Olaf’s Snow Fest. Although it was a delightful opportunity to frolic in the fluffy stuff and build a snowman, the wait time was 90 minutes and we had so many other exciting things that we wanted to do. Athena didn’t even know it was an option so she didn’t know what she was missing but I did feel guilty about skipping it. The only down-side to visiting Disney on a one-day pass is that you can’t fit everything into a schedule. Now that Frozen is part of Disneyland, I’m going to have to consider a season pass. We just can’t get enough of Disneyland.