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Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

P. 118: Guardians Cosmic Rewind opening May 27th!

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Some thoughts and musing about the Frozen attraction at Epcot... Please READ this!!!

 

If you've followed TPR for any length of time, you've probably come to realize that we are fans of Frozen. We like the movie, the music, the characters, and yes we are excited that a new attraction is coming to Epcot. But I realize some of you are not.

 

While I respect the opinion (even though it may be wrong) that not everyone is into Frozen, or some people may now be sick of it, or it's just simply not your thing, whatever, there is something that I think everyone needs to understand and get on board with...

 

That movie...the characters...the music, everything that makes up Frozen has done something for Disney that they have not been able to re-create since The Lion King, and it's not just about making a good animated movie, but about creating an entire world that people can connect with.

 

Tonight I went with some friends to Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World who were from out of town to see the Frozen Fireworks show. I thought for sure that since we are ten months after the movie release, the Frozen Summer Fun event has now been going on for a while, and it was a Sunday night no longer part of the busy summer season, that it would be pretty low key at the park and we wouldn't have a problem getting a good view for the Fireworks.

 

Boy was I wrong! Well, not "wrong", because we still got there plenty early to get a good spot, but the people POURED into the park! It was *PACKED*!!! Just as packed as it was the opening weekend for the event and all summer long. The crowd went from the front of the stage all the way back to Crossroads and the entrance of the park. All the side areas were packed with people. It was INSANE! And all the kids were there singing along with the songs in the show like the movie had just been released a few weeks ago.

 

Now I admit that, even though I'm a fan and I like the characters being included with things at the parks, the merchandise, etc, I haven't watched the movie or listened to the sound track in a few months. But being surrounded by THOUSANDS of people in the park who came out specifically to see this fireworks show (I haven't seen a crowd like this for Wishes on Main Street in a LONG time) just proves the staying power of the property and how much people absolutely LOVE it. Even nearly a year after the initial release.

 

Now you can argue as much as you want how "Frozen doesn't belong at Epcot" or "This is going to ruin World Showcase", blah, blah, blah. I don't care. People said the same damn thing in 1987 when Star Wars came to Tomorrowland at Disneyland. "What??? OMG! George Lucas and Star Wars don't belong in a DISNEY park!!! BLASPHEMY!!! This will *RUIN* Disneyland forever!!!" Funny how views have changed since then, huh?

 

What I'm hoping to accomplish by writing this is that, even if you're not a fan, even if you're now sick of Frozen, there *IS* something about the property that people really do connect with. More so than anything I've seen Disney produce in decades. And I get it. I know what it's like not being a fan of something that other people are going crazy over. You want to hate it. It's EASY to hate it. But that's not accomplishing anything.

 

I'm not a Potter fan, for example, but I *DO* understand the importance of Diagon Alley and how people connect with that world. And I can appreciate it for what it is, even though I'm not a fan of the property.

 

Frozen is going to allow the parks to do some amazing things. Maybe you don't want the ride in Epcot. Maybe you don't want Elsa lighting Cinderella's castle at Christmas. But you know what? Embrace it. Deal with it. I'll tell you, because of those things, hopefully you'll see something come to the parks that you WILL connect with. And until then, let those who do connect with the characters and world of Frozen enjoy it. Because there are a LOT of them. And they love it! This photo from tonight is living proof!

 

OK, that's my random thought on this for tonight which was inspired by standing in the middle of thousands and thousands of kids singing along to what is now the biggest, most popular animated movie in Disney history. And I think that's important to remember.

frozen_crowd.thumb.JPG.aa743b0a1560fac6d954d14853efdac5.JPG

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That movie...the characters...the music, everything that makes up Frozen has done something for Disney that they have not been able to re-create since The Lion King, and it's not just about making a good animated movie, but about creating an entire world that people can connect with.

 

Couldn't agree more. Disney have had a few OK animated films since The Lion King, but none of them captured imaginations the way that movie (along with Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid) did.

 

Even though I merely enjoyed the film and don't really get the hype, it's clear that Frozen has also strongly resonated with the public. It's not just any film that can get people to wait 3 hours for a meet and greet almost a year after it was released!

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I think even Disney was shocked at how popular Frozen became. As for why, it could be that they finally found the right "balance" between an "old-school" Disney feature, like Cinderella, and the current, less reverent animated movies by Pixar and other studios. They were able to poke a bit of fun at the whole "Disney princess" idea, while staying true to it. Like any good story, it's about making audiences care about the characters (Wreck It Ralph succeeded here, too).

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I was at Opening Day too. I usually go to Food & Wine & Beer 8 times during the Festival, sampling 3 or 4 countries wares during each visit. Friday I hit up the two new pavilions: Scotland and Puerto Rico. Let me tell you, Scotland is a BIG WINNER: the Seared Sea Scallop with Spinach-Cheddar cheese sauce was AMAZING and the potato pancake with smoked salmon and herbed sour cream -- well the only thing missing was a bagel! So delicious! And then there is the Innis & Gunn Oak Aged Beer; it premiered last year and was an instant hit -- I think it's the BEST BEER at F&W, even better than Belgium's Leffe Blond, Germany's Grapefruit Beer and the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. At Puerto Rico I had the Conch Salad with onions, tomato and cilantro which is another winner -- served in a paper cone; you immediately want more. But I can't believe Robb missed the CRONUT which debuted at the Refreshment Port this year! OMG, it's really good; and you don't have to wait an hour and a half for one like you have to do in NYC where it was invented -- just 30 seconds at Epcot; Ask for the Croissant Donut - CRONUT is trademarked -- and not by Disney -- and besides tasting like the love child of a donut and croissant -- is sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Betcha can't eat just one!

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RE: Frozen. I agree with Robb -- Frozen is the first movie from Disney (not Pixar) that's had such an astonishing success because everything about it -- the story, the characters, the humor, the peril, the design and animation, and especially the astonishing song score by the Lopez husband and wife team -- worked. While Frozen doesn't take place in Norway (it was based on a fairy tale actually created by a Dane), it's inspired by Norwegian architecture and will fit within the pavilion. I've loved Maelstrom since it opened but the ride mechanism is getting rough and the ride is really too short. It will be exciting to what the Imagineers come up with within that small space (will the pavilion be extended?). As for Cinderella's Castle lighting -- well frankly Elsa's powers to create frozen structures fits the theme of an icicle covered castle even more than Cindy's Fairy Godmother doing same. We've been getting used to Muppets and Pooh and Star Wars and Indy and Pixar and now Marvel characters (and AVATAR too!) appearing in Disney parks and if done well, it works. I welcome these attractions. I'm just wondering who will get the Hobbits - Universal or Disney?

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I am glad Puerto Rico got special attention. I am a little disappointed they have yet to introduce the unofficial national dish of Puerto Rico : Mofongo. But nonetheless I love the look and the food is great.

 

I love going to the Food and WIne Festival, hopefully I get a chance to go.

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I can't imagine how many weird looks you must have gotten walking around Norway with Anna and Elsa dolls.

We were smart about it. I waited until 8:59 to go into the ride, there was NO ONE there, so I had a boat all to myself, and then I shot the little into/outro bit well after Illuminations was over so there wasn't anyone around. There was one cast member who laughing hysterically while we were doing it when I told her what we were doing.

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