December is always a hectic time for the Disneyland Resort, and this year was no exception. Christmastime tends to draw in massive crowds to the parks, and guests enjoyed the 60-foot tree on Main Street USA and the snow-covered castle. In California Adventure, December brought the World of Color Winter Dreams spectacular and Buena Vista Street’s own tree and tinsel. As the park gears up for its annual refurbishment-heavy season (January-March), small changes have already been underway to bring one particular franchise into the park…and I’m sure you can guess which one it is.
Frozen has finally arrived in full swing at both Disneyland and California Adventure, and though some of the new attractions may be temporary, the franchise’s stepped up presence will undoubtedly become a permanent fixture at the resort. Most of these changes come to California Adventure’s Hollywood Land, but Disneyland has also stepped up its Frozen features.
In addition to the Anna and Elsa Meet & Greet and the Frozen parade float, which have been in the park for most of the year, Disneyland added another tribute to Frozen this month in the Storybook Land Canal Boats. Guests taking the boat tour through Fantasyland can now see the kingdom of Arendelle, Elsa’s ice palace, and Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post.
Over in California Adventure, the cast of Frozen has taken residence in Hollywood Land. Guests can now meet Anna and Elsa inside Disney Animation, though this feature is likely only for the winter. Next door to the theater is another temporary Frozen event: Olaf’s Snow Fest. Guests attending Olaf’s party step directly into a winter wonderland, complete with real snow. This area has all kinds of activities, from a snow slide to live music to a meet and greet with Olaf himself! And if you still haven’t had your frozen fix, stop by the store on your way out of the back of Hollywood Land. What was once the “Studio Store” is now a miniature Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post.
A potentially more permanent change to this part of the park is in the theater. Once the home of Muppet Vision 3D, the Hollywood Land theater has been transformed into For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-A-Long. This show celebrates the music and characters of the film, and the interior of the theater has been transformed in the style of Arendelle’s castle. While there is no official word on whether or not Muppet Vision 3D is closed for good, it seems likely that Princess Anna and friends are here to stay.
Like World of Color, Fantasmic! has become a fast pass show. Previously, guests could line up hours before a show to guarantee a good viewing spot, but this is no longer the case. Instead, guests must either obtain fast passes from the kiosk in Frontierland or purchase a dining package that comes with fast passes. Currently, the restaurants offering dining packages for Fantasmic! are the Blue Bayou, the River Belle Terrace, and The Hungry Bear Restaurant (though this is only a dessert service, not a full dinner!). You can find more information about the Fantasmic! dining packages here.
(the view from the dining package section…which is a seated section!)
And finally, there are major changes brewing in Cars Land for the coming year. Though all reports have yet to be confirmed by Disney, Luigi’s Flying Tires has been closed, with no slated reopening date. At this point, most fans believe the ride will quickly be replaced by another Cars-themed ride as quickly as possible. I for one am excited; that space is in a great location and has so much potential, and the existing ride just wasn’t cutting it.