Cool Off With Frozen-Inspired Travel
The hottest animated movie ever inspires some cool adventures!
It’s now the fifth-highest-grossing movie of all time, and the most successful animated feature ever. But if you’re a parent, you most likely know Frozen by the earworms you inadvertently sing along to all day, every day. If you’re still immersed in Arendelle at home, rather than duking it out at the Disney Store for that last remaining singing Olaf, or emptying your retirement fund for a knock-off Elsa gown on eBay, consider planning a family adventure based on Disney’s newest classic.
Guests can join a Frozen sing-along with a virtual Olaf and check out ice sculptures and other activities at Wandering Oaken's Trading Post & Frozen Funland.
Walt Disney World – Orlando, Florida
Magic Kingdom’s Princess Fairytale Hall, located in the centre of Fantasyland, is the place to be for a meet-and-greet with Arendelle’s famous sisters. Elsa and Anna appear daily, with another visiting princess from the Disney court, to greet fans and friends in air-conditioned comfort. Wait times can be long, so your best bet is to secure your rendezvous by utilizing the FastPass+ option as soon as you arrive at Magic Kingdom. And until September 28, they will be making multiple daily appearances at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Anna and Elsa arrive in a horse-drawn carriage with an appearance by Kristoff and his ice buddies. Guests can then join a Frozen sing-along with a virtual Olaf, and check out ice sculptures and other activities at Wandering Oaken's Trading Post & Frozen Funland. Then, top off your trip with some respite from the Florida sun – Disney’s Blizzard Beach Waterpark is themed like a melted ski resort. Love must have thawed that, too.
Adventures by Disney – Norway: Fjords, Bergen, & Oslo
Crafted from a partnership between Adventures by Disney and Walt Disney Animation Studios, this tour of Norway showcases the places, the people, and the beauty of the country that inspired the setting and the look of Frozen. Discover the city of Bergen (the real-life inspiration for the kingdom of Arendelle), explore Norway’s capital, Oslo, and bond with your family amongst the fjords over hikes, rafting, fishing, and Norwegian folk dancing.
The eight-day/seven-night trip starts at $5,099 US per person ($4,849 US per child) and includes accommodations and most meals, luggage service and transportation within your tour, admission fees to attractions and performances, the services of two guides plus cultural experiences with local experts, and family activities and special events just for kids. Recommended minimum age for this trip is 6, and transportation to/from Norway is not included.
Disney Cruise Line – Norwegian Fjord Sailings
Beginning in the summer of 2015, Disney Cruise Line will introduce seven-, nine-, and 11-night sailings through northern Europe with stops in Norway’s fjord region, Iceland, and Scotland. Departing from Copenhagen, Denmark, the itineraries for the Disney Magic cruise ship include several ports of call throughout the Norwegian fjords, where the mountains, waterfalls, and towns provided inspiration to the creators of Frozen. Prices start at $5,225 US for two adults and two children in an interior stateroom.
There’s Snow Place Like Home
If Florida or Norway is not in the cards, you can still enjoy Frozen-inspired adventures a little closer to home. After all, we are winter, even in summer.
The Columbia Icefield, Alberta
No need to commission an ice seller and his trusty reindeer for cruising Alberta’s breathtaking Icefields Parkway, but you may believe that Elsa had a hand in decorating the wall-to-wall mountains. Midway between Lake Louise and Jasper lies the Columbia Icefield, home of the 10,000-year-old Athabasca Glacier. Step out onto the ancient ice as part of a Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure tour. Board a specially designed Ice Explorer bus, and learn more about glaciers, icefields, and their impact on the environment. New for 2014 is the Glacier Skywalk, a glass-floored platform suspended 918 feet over glacier-formed valleys and waterfalls. Reminiscent of the terrace off Elsa’s ice palace, the skywalk is the perfect spot to belt out a family rendition of “Let It Go.” The Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre is open daily from mid-April to mid-October.
Quebec City, Quebec
If the cold never bothered you anyway, then definitely earmark Quebec City for some winter fun. This year, the city’s famed Hôtel de Glace featured a special Frozen-themed guest suite and activity cave, designed and supervised by Michael Giaimo, the film’s art director. Although it’s too early to know whether Olaf will partner again with Bonhomme next winter, every year Quebec City is the place to celebrate the magic and beauty of winter, from the holiday decor of Vieux-Québec to the fun and festivities of the world’s largest winter carnival. With the Ice Palace and snow sculptures combined with canoe races on the river, dogsled races, and night parades, the Quebec Winter Carnival, held every February, will fill you with more good feelings than a quart of lutefisk.
Corinne McDermott is the editor of Movie Entertainment.