Late Monday evening, the Wall Street Journal published a new report that broadly speaks about Disney’s current “franchise” mentality, mentioning things like the current success of Marvel films, future plans for the Star Wars franchise and more.
However, though these points are certainly interesting, tucked away in this report are some very exciting developments about the Frozen ride set to debut next spring at Epcot’s Norway pavilion. Though much of what we learned does confirm some of the long-rumored developments that we’ve reported on before, it also included a few surprises (including a Maelstrom holdover) that we definitely did not see coming!
1. The ride will be named Frozen Ever After
Though we’ve been referring to the Frozen ride as simply ‘The Frozen Boat Ride’ for what seems like forever, it looks like we finally have an official name for this new attraction: Frozen Ever After. Though the name seems to hint that the ride will explore events that happen after the plot of the film, with a sequel confirmed to be in the works, it seems doubtful that there will be too much story development in this brand new ride, with the attraction instead simply mirroring the events of the film, perhaps from a different perspective (much like Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom).
Also, any comparisons to animated short Tangled Ever After are purely coincidental, we assume.
2. Animatronics AND screen-based effects will be used
Because of the accelerated development time for this new attraction, many Walt Disney World enthusiasts were worried that Epcot’s Frozen ride would rely heavily on screen-based effects (which can be quickly installed and are fairly cheap to produce). However, the aforementioned Wall Street Journal article has confirmed that animatronics of characters Grandpappy Troll, Sven, Olaf and of course Elsa are being built for the ride, while concept art showcases some impressive digital projection effects in the background.
Though main characters Anna and Kristoff are notably absent from the list of confirmed animatronic characters, it’s unlikely that a Frozen boat ride would not include the film's second and third most popular characters (we're assuming Olaf doesn't make most 'favorite' shortlists...)
3. Maelstrom’s old boats are back!
Though there had been some speculation that the old Maelstrom ride system was being ditched for the new Frozen attraction, it has now been confirmed that Frozen Ever After will indeed use the same boat ride system as Maelstrom and will also use the Viking-inspired longboats that were a hallmark of this former attraction.
Though we will always miss Maelstrom, it’s nice that at least a small part of this former ride will still exist inside Frozen Ever After.