Disney just unveiled a brand new World of Frozen land. It features two attractions, shops, and a new restaurant. The land also has incredible Imagineering details throughout that deliver the magic of the Frozen story for guests. You’ve probably seen the land featured across our coverage here on Mickey Visit, Disney Parks’ own social media channels, and even in multiple features on ABC’s Good Morning America show.
This land sounds exciting and enticing for a visit for fans across the United States. However, this new land isn’t located at Disneyland in California or Walt Disney World in Florida, it’s located at Hong Kong Disneyland. There has been a large push by the Disney Parks team to get the details of this land out there. Disney’s marketing of this land is peculiar, largely for the fact that most US consumers won’t ever visit the international theme parks. This points us to believe that Disney is using the marketing of the land to gauge reactions from guests in the United States and to demonstrate to leadership that the land would be popular with US guests. As we’ll note below, Disney is already strongly hinting at a new Frozen addition to Disneyland.
There are plenty of other reasons that Disney could be marketing the Frozen land – general positive buzz around Disney Parks, attempts at driving US tourism to the Asian Disney Parks, and an opportunity for increased exposure around the Frozen property. That said though, all of these reasons still help to create the demand for a Frozen land in the United States. We believe that as part of Disney’s big plans to invest $60 Billion into the Disney theme parks to turbocharge the offerings (see what that actually means here) that a Frozen land will come to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.
Inside New World of Frozen Land
Before we get into the discussion of a new domestic Frozen land it’s important to set the scene with a look at the new Frozen area that just opened. The World of Frozen at Hong Kong Disneyland is stunning and features two new attractions. The “Frozen Ever After” boat ride which is largely a duplicate attraction from Walt Disney World with improved technology effects and the “Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs” roller coaster are both two key highlights of the land. The centerpiece of the new land is the “Bay of Arendelle” lake (seen above) which is an incredible centerpiece.
The land also features a sit-down restaurant known as the Golden Crocus Inn. This restaurant includes tributes to the Frozen characters and a nautical theme. The land also has a special meet and greet to meet Anna and Elsa called the Playhouse in the Woods.
I highly recommend that you check out our full guide to Disney’s first Frozen-themed land for more incredible photos and a look at the new land.
More Frozen Films Coming From Disney
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced on the day of the dedication that Walt Disney Animation Studios is making more Frozen films teasing that in addition to “Frozen 3” there was a “Frozen 4” already in the works. During an interview on Good Morning America Iger shared that “I don’t have much to say about those films right now…but Jen Lee, who created the “Frozen” and “Frozen 2” is hard at work with her team at Disney Animation on not one, but actually two stories.”
Here’s that clip from the show:
It makes sense that Iger would move these projects forward as the first two films both grossed over a billion dollars at the box office and cascaded successfully through the Disney machine to drive merchandise sales and streaming views. The characters continue to also be popular in the theme parks and theme park entertainment.
Iger stated in the appearance as seen above that the Frozen franchise was “one of our most valuable franchises” and that the Frozen story is “ripe for building the place that Frozen takes place in.” He also generally said that the parks have and will continue to build immersive lands to bring fans into the worlds of their favorite films.
“For years at our Disney Parks we have been creating these large immersive worlds. Essentially they are the physical embodiment of some of the greatest stories that we have told – whether it is Cars Land, or Star Wars, or Pandora.”
Describing more on the story Iger said that the new World of Frozen is just a “fantastic land that enables people to get immersed in the world of Frozen and interact with the characters from the film.”
All of this news about the sequels coming for Frozen is well and good, but I still believe that we wouldn’t see Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge-level opening hoopla for this new land here in the US if it wasn’t meant to be marking the beginning of a bigger set of announcements. Maybe the Frozen 4 announcement on Good Morning America was a big enough reason combined with the fact that Disney needs to emphasize to shareholders that their franchises still have global power, but I still believe there is something more here. The land is also destined for Disneyland Paris and a new part of the major expansion in Tokyo Disneyland will be Frozen-themed but those all are still international parks.
Compare the roll out for the World of Frozen with the new Zootopia land coming to Shanghai Disneyland which also opens this year. Zootopia was also a billion dollar box office hit for Disney and a sequel was announced the same time that Iger announced the next “Frozen 3”. Why haven’t we seen as much coverage and content on that new land? Likely because it won’t have as much of an impact on US consumers because there are no plans to bring a theme park presence to the US.
A fun note, our World of Frozen coverage has also performed super well including the fun reel of the land that you can watch below.
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With no insider information here, I would bet that there was some debate whether Iger should have announced a Frozen land coming to Disneyland in the slot that they announced the Frozen 4 being in the works. With that said, let’s dive into what has been said about a Frozen expansion for Disneyland.
Frozen Land at Disneyland in California
All across social media whenever we have shared our coverage of World of Frozen fans have begged for the land to be added to Disneyland in California. There have been rumors and credible comments about the new land coming to Disneyland Park as a Fantasyland expansion for a number of years. There has been a Frozen presence at Disneyland before with temporary marketing pushes and entertainment after the opening of the first film, but nothing ever permanent. A new land or attraction would change all of that.
Before the last D23 Expo there were a couple of key moves made by Walt Disney Imagineers and specific details mentioned about Fantasyland at Disneyland that led us to believe that a Frozen announcement could have been. The wheels were turning within Walt Disney Imagineering it seemed. No announcement was made at that expo but our senses remained strong that some presence for the film could be coming to Disneyland.
All of this would still just be rumors and hunches if we didn’t have a solid comment from Disney. Just two months ago at the same time that Disney was talking about their plans to turbocharge the Disney theme parks with new investment, Josh D’Amaro, head of Disney Parks, made a specific comment about Frozen at Disneyland.
D’Amaro stated at the time during an investor presentation that “Frozen, one of the most successful and popular animated franchises of all time, could have a presence at the Disneyland Resort”. Of course we need to emphasize the “could” in the quote and that this is not an announcement but it does line up almost too perfectly with the major empahsis on the new World of Frozen land. Disney included in that piece on their official news blog that “Already, new Frozen-themed lands are coming to Hong Kong Disneyland” but added that “Disney will explore even more characters and franchises, including some that haven’t been leveraged extensively to date, as it embarks on a new period of significant growth domestically and internationally in its parks and resorts.”
D’Amaro also mentioned Wakanda and Coco as ripe for additions also, but only Frozen got the mention of a specific location. They choose their words carefully and included the location in that release gives us a great sense that this is still moving forward.
Now, where would a Frozen land at Disneyland be located? We would guess that the land would likely be located back by the recently refurbished Mickey’s Toontown area where the Fantasyland Theater space is currently. The land could also work around the land footprint of the Matterhorn and Autopia to fit into the area where the old boat cruise dock is located. This option wouldn’t allow for as much immersion and might perhaps include an overlay of the Matterhorn, but could likely be completed earlier. The land entrance for either of these locations could be in multiple locations and connect back around into different areas potentially.
The one area that I hope that they don’t mess around with at Disneyland is the Storybook Land Canal Boats / Casey Jr. section. This is such a special section at Disneyland.
Again, this part is all speculation. I would again bet that master plans have been done to include a Frozen land in both of these areas at Disneyland. We know that when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was planned for Disneyland it was moved around a number of times before it was settled into the back of Frontierland.
I would be fine if we saw a variation on the World of Frozen offering that just opened in Hong Kong. We could see Disney just bring the popular boat ride attraction that is now located at both Hong Kong and Walt Disney World or see a broader land area. The placemaking work that Walt Disney Imagineering did for the World of Frozen is incredible as are the details. I’d love to see them bring at least some of that here even if we don’t get a full land. Maybe we could just get the one attraction, shop, and restaurant. Of all the additions to the new land, the second coaster attraction looks least impressive and I would bet would be the thing that is not included in Disneyland’s version. Having this new Frozen land would sure be a great addition back by Mickey’s Toontown.
So, this could mean that a new Frozen attraction will be among the new rides at Disneyland. We’ll look to the D23 Expo 2024 filled with hope for a big suite of announcements for Disneyland that include comments about a new Frozen area, the new Avatar “experience” that no one seems to have all the details about, and the previously announced multiverse Marvel attraction for Avengers Campus. All of these will be part of the big investment planned to turbocharge the theme parks.
The next big question will be which of the above attractions gets the greenlight first and how fast do they move because I am ready to have a Frozen land at Disneyland yesterday.
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