May 19, 2016

More Than Just Frozen Ever After at Walt Disney World

Frozen Ever After opens soon in Epcot's World Showcase! Elsa, Anna, and friends make their splashy debut in Norway. But that's not all- there's more! 

Like so many of you, I have long resigned myself to the sad fact that Frozen is now taking over the Maelstrom attraction at Norway. Just to recap old ground, I'm not opposed to the film being turned into an attraction at Walt Disney World. It's just in the wrong park. And no, Maelstrom was not an Epcot Center "E Ticket" attraction of old (that designation would belong to Journey into Imagination, World of Motion, and Horizons). What was it? An old attraction that needed a refreshing, not a character infusion. Now that is all settled...

It's clear to this writer that Frozen Ever After just doesn't apply to the ride replacing Maelstrom. In fact, if you look for it, you can find it all over Walt Disney World!

It seems temporary attractions and changes really aren't, broken effects stay that way, and it's now all about guest manipulation versus guest satisfaction and providing the best experience for the travel dollar. Each park suffers from the malady of Frozen Ever After:

The Magic Kingdom- Where to start? Tomorrowland's Carousel of Progress. Stitch should be ditched. No love from Disney suits, but The Hall of Presidents will be getting a forced upgrade due to the Presidential Election. (And both choices are awful!) Adventureland is a disjointed mess, but at least the New Fantasyland feels somewhat fresh from what I can tell. 

Animal Kingdom- This park has probably made the most strides going forward in light of the coming Avatar / Pandora addition. Yet, Dinorama remains a blight on the landscape, Kali River Rapids continues at best to be a waste of an attraction, and the Yeti on Expedition: Everest sadly continues to trip the light fantastic. 

Disney's Hollywood Studios- Aerosmith needs to be booted out of Rock 'N' Rollercoaster. In spite of the still great songs like Walk This Way, Imagineering needs to bring the attraction into the New Century. Over at the Great Movie Ride, new scenes and updated film choices need to be added, but the dancing girls of the opening scenes are still Frozen Ever After. Fantasmic! needs a serious retooling, and in an odd twist of fate, the one attraction that doesn't need an overhaul seems to be in line to get one: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror as it converts into a Guardians of the Galaxy mess. In reality, the whole park is a disaster. You can't give the guests meet and greets and new dining locations to make up for shuttered attractions and construction walls.

Epcot-  My how the once mighty have fallen!  Circle of Life is in the state of rigor mortis, Figment's personality and face lift need an overhaul, but then so does Ellen at Universe of Energy and Martin Short in the Canada film! Ellen looks particularly stuck in the 90's.
That's just Future World! Things are equally bad over at the World Showcase half of the park. Isn't it time for a whole new country to be added to the place? Or at least brand new films for the countries represented? Or even brand new attractions instead of just milking the guests with new places to wine and dine? 

Yes, Walt Disney World is Frozen Ever After- and not in a good way.

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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