Welcome to Extinct Attractions. This week, we’ll be reliving the Frozen fever of what feels like both yesterday and forever ago.
Preview shows for the Live-Action Reimagining of The Little Mermaid began today with early reviews generally positive, so we’ll see how dominant it is at the box office today. The film is the fifteenth live-action version of a Disney classic in the past ten years, with a dozen more in the pipeline in the next few years. Shockingly, Disney has yet to announce a live-action version of Frozen, with the film and its sequel being the highest-grossing animated films of all-time worldwide. Then again, Frozen III was announced a few months ago, so they likely need the film to fade a bit more in popularity before reigniting the brand with a live-action version.
Via Disney Wiki
With the amazing success of Frozen, I’m sure you remember that by 2015, the characters had basically taken over the Disney Parks, with basically every park having Anna and Elsa representation in character meet and greets, parades, and firework shows. Tokyo Disneyland was no exception, launching Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy in January 2015 for a two month celebration of all things Frozen, including a castle show, meet and greet and fireworks show. All that was missing was a parade, but they made sure to rectify that when the celebration returned the next year on January 12, 2016 with a complementary parade called the Frozen Fantasy Parade.
The show started with some flags of Arrendale followed up by some live musicians, playing a myriad of brass and percussion instruments. They had a lot of fun energy and really set the stage well for the rest of the experience.
The first major float started off with a bang with an animatronic Sven pulling Anna and Kristoff in Kristoff’s sled. In the majority of the parades, Anna and Elsa are together, so it was fun to see Kristoff and Sven get a bit of love after so often being relegated to the sideline. Trailing the sled were Kristoff’s fellow ice pickers, who never really get a chance to shine, even being quickly removed from Frozen the Musical at the Hyperion in Disney California Adventure.
My favorite float popped up next with the trolls getting an entire float to themselves, with some of the trolls even “standing” on top of each other (and looking like they actually required a tall actor to play them instead of a shorter actor as you’d expect with trolls). All the while, songs from the movie were playing, though they didn’t necessarily align with the characters that were in front of the guests.
Olaf had a whole posse of dancers wheelbarrowing “non-living” versions of himself to heed his arrival in true Olaf fashion. I loved the little touch to have some summer behind him because who is Olaf without being near all things warm?
But his snowy self was a perfect transition to the Ice Queen herself, Elsa, who had a fun little build-up of icicles before she appeared on a modified ice castle. Once she pulled in, it was time for a show stop in typical Tokyo Disneyland fashion. The creator of the video clearly chose to go with Elsa for the show stop, but I can’t say that I completely agree with his decision because they really didn’t give her a ton to do while she was perched up on her float by herself. She just kind of walked around in a circle and waved her hands and arms, but there were no cool smoke effects or anything like what one generally sees in show versions of Frozen. “Let It Go” was a bit underwhelming for those reasons, but it was pretty fun getting to hear the song in Japanese.
Once the song ended, there was one more float with the giant Marshmallow roaming around and roaring at guests, plus a little surprise in Hans trying to get help behind him. You don’t often see him in the parks, so it was pretty fun to get to see him there.
Overall, the parade was pretty fun, but it wasn’t particularly spectacular. It was a fun nod to the 90s when there were so many parades that were based on just one movie during the time. Frozen Fantasy Parade ultimately ended up lasting for three winters, closing on March 19, 2018. There hasn’t been a non-Christmas winter celebration at Tokyo Disneyland that I’ve seen since then, so there’s no specific replacement for the parade, but there are so many parades at the park that guests have plenty of options for parades to this day.
As always, don’t forget to check out my interactive maps of the Disney Parks throughout the years where you can watch or learn more about all the attractions from every Disney park around the world.
Thanks for reading and have a magical day!