What is the Frozen Ever After Ride At Epcot REALLY Like?

Did you know that the Frozen Ever After ride is one of the most popular attractions at Epcot?

You may not be a raging Frozen fan, but no one (and I mean NO ONE) can deny that the royal sisters of Arendelle– Anna and Elsa melted your heart straight away– frozen or not.

And now, you are joining in on the Frozen fever (pun intended) and want to hop on the Frozen Ever After ride as well! 

The Epcot Frozen Ride is quite spectacular for a mere boat ride. The scene is set on the day that Elsa uses her magical abilities to make it snow during the hottest part of the year in Arendale– the Summer Snow Day! 

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What to Expect on Frozen Ever After Ride at Epcot

During the ride, you get to see very life-like animatronics recreating iconic Frozen scenes from both the first movie and the short film after it. Elsa’s Let It Go number is especially well-designed (that animatronic wrist movement is unbelievable), as is the cute little Olaf skating around in the ice.

Epcot Frozen Ride with Olaf Snowman

The Winter in Summer celebration is also a treat to watch! Even Kristoff’s adorable reindeer Sven makes an appearance!

You can cruise through the beautiful kingdom of Arendale with its frozen willow forest as well as the King and Queen’s palace. But that is not the only palace you will see– you will also visit Queen Elsa’s Ice Palace high up on North Mountain (look out for Marshmallow, the snow monster guard).

If you are alert, you might even catch Anna trying to get up the mountain to convince Elsa to come back home!

There are also a few bumps along the way (you know, to keep things interesting)– you may be plunging down a waterfall or shooting backwards down a slope. But don’t worry, Frozen is a completely family-friendly ride with NO height restrictions. All the bumps in the ride are completely baby-proof!

Snowgies on Frozen Epcot ride

Starting with Kristoff’s family of “boulders” from Troll Valley and with all your favorite Frozen tunes playing in the background, this ride will be etched in your memory forever. 

If you’re super-excited already, I have one last grand surprise for you– you can actually see Anna and Elsa at the end of the ride!

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History

The ride’s story begins on a snowy day in Arendale, or (if you want to take the romance out of it) a blockbuster movie that had Disney scrambling to get merch on the stands. 

The Frozen franchise remains one of Disney’s most profitable movie franchises, with Frozen 2 undoubtedly ramping up the revenue even more.

Frozen Ride Long Line at Epcot Theme Park

Frozen Ever After ride was of course designed to truly complete the viewer experience and cement their magical memories of the beautiful kingdom of Arendale.

This ride at Epcot is located in the Norway Pavilion. It replaced its predecessor the Maelstrom and even took over the tracks that Maelstrom was using.

Maelstrom

For those who lived before the time of Frozen, Maelstrom was a boat ride through Norway that told you about the history of Vikings. As the tracks were the same, Maelstrom also had a few bumps in the ride as well– just enough for a short burst of adrenaline that fizzled away as you walked out.

Maelstrom Entrance at Epcot
R.I.P Maelstrom: October 2014

If you’re wondering what a ride-slash-crash-course on Viking history was doing in Epcot, you clearly read Disney’s agenda wrong. 

Epcot was originally supposed to be an educational park full of the history and culture of different countries (hence, the names of the Pavilions).

However, Disney has definitely deviated a little from the original agenda (maybe because it sounds a bit.. well.. boring to some) by including Frozen in Norwegian history. 

Norway Pavilion in Epcot at Disney with Viking in front of Stave House.
Norway Pavilion in Epcot at Disney

Apparently, the lead animator was on a research trip to Norway when he came up with the idea of Frozen. That’s a good enough thread to tie Frozen to Norway Pavilion… sort of.

Anyways, the most important bit is that after a heated discussion, Frozen took over the Maelstrom ride and was opened to the public on the 21st of June in 2016.

Long line sign holder for Frozen Ever After Ride at Epcot

Since then, it has been a hugely popular attraction with wait time reaching five hours on a good day (or a bad day if you are the tourist).

But don’t let that alarm you! Check out the tips section for hacks to speed up your queuing time!

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Something You May Not Know about Frozen Ever After at Epcot

Anna, Elsa and all the other characters who appear on the ride are actually faceless. Horrifying as that may sound, you don’t have to shut your toddler’s eyes for this one.

Frozen Ever After Ride with Elsa

The actual faces are projected onto the animatronic characters to make more dynamic and real-looking expressions. This cool technology actually elevates the entire experience and is so much better than the robotic plastic eyelids that are known on most Disney animatronics. 

Disney is actually implementing this in many other rides as like The Little Mermaid ride and the Seven Dwarfs ride. 

5 Top Tips for Not Waiting in a Long Line for the Epcot Frozen Ride

Frozen Ever After Ana and Elsa Topiary at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
Ana and Elsa Topiary

1. Don’t rush before asking

The Frozen Ever After ride sometimes doesn’t open immediately after the gates to Epcot have opened up.

If you are planning to beat the long queue by being the first one there, simply ask a Disney Cast Member whether the Frozen ride is open or not before making your way there.

You can also make your Epcot FastPass+ reservations in advanced (once they return) just to be on the safe side.

2. Get onto their guestlist

It is no secret that guests who stay at Disney resorts or hotels get extra perks. One of these perks includes the ability to book Disney FastPasses days prior to their visit. Mind you, the Frozen ride FastPasses do get booked pretty fast, so you need to be dot on time.

Update: Please note that the Disney FastPass+ system is currently suspended.

3. Treat Yourself!

There is, of course, a much yummier hack. You can actually get right next to the Frozen ride before anyone else gets there! You just have to book an Early Epcot Characters Breakfast once this feature returns.

This is served right next to the Norway Pavilion at Akershus. However, you may not want to rush through this experience. Don’t worry! I have a solution! 

Akershus at Epcot near Frozen Ride

You can book the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party! After hogging on an assortment of Frozen themed desserts, you will be escorted straight to the ride. That’s right– no queue!

4. Call out their bluff

Everyone hates working overtime, even someone working in the magical land of Disney. However, Disney has a policy that anyone waiting in line for a ride before the park closes has to have a go at the ride.

Disney may or may not be falsely increasing the wait times at popular rides just before closing hours (it’s our little conspiracy theory…haha!). 

So, if you see a fifty minute wait time an hour before closing, just hop in line. I’m sure you will get on the ride before half that time has passed.

Epcot Drinking Around the World Passport

5. Plan your entrance

Epcot has so many entrances, I doubt even the employees know all the names. But if you want to be the first one in line for the Frozen ride, you need to use the International Gateway. It is the closest gateway to Norway Pavilion because it is the entrance to the World Showcase.

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What to Know Before You Go

Now that you know what to expect on the Frozen ride at Epcot, let’s go through a few of the most commonly asked questions.

Is Frozen ride at Epcot scary?

The Frozen ride has a few waterfalls and one short bit in which the boat moves backwards on a tiny slope. But overall, you have nothing to worry about. It is a very family-friendly ride that even your youngest child will enjoy.

Do you get wet on the Frozen ride at Epcot?

Though it is not a given, there is a chance that you might get wet at the Frozen Ever After ride at Epcot. It is, after all, a boat ride around indoor waterfalls.

Frozen Ever After Ride at Epcot with Ana and Elsa in their summer attire

Is Frozen ride at Epcot worth the wait?

It depends on how much of a rabid Frozen fan you are. However, don’t let the wait times put you off! In this article, I give loads of tips about how to get into the line first, or even better– avoid the line altogether!

What time does Frozen ride open at Epcot?

The Frozen ride at Epcot opens at 9:00 a.m. usually and at 8:00 a.m.  during the Extra Magic Hours. You may be confused because the World Showcase opens at 11:00 a.m.  

But let me make it clear– the World Showcase is roped off till 11:00 a.m., but there is a little path for to the Norway Pavilion for those who want to jump on the Frozen Ever After ride.

*Update: The hours mentioned above are for Epcot’s normal hours. Due to the 2020 crisis, Epcot now opens at 11 a.m.

How long is the Frozen Ever After ride?

The ride lasts about five minutes in total– slightly longer than some of the other Epcot rides.

Where can I meet Anna and Elsa?

You can usually meet the royal sisters right after you get off the Frozen Ever After ride at the Royal Sommerhus. Right now, due to the global pandemic, meet-and-greets are suspended, but hopefully they will be back.

Royal Sommerhus at Epcot from Frozen Ride

Just make sure that you don’t be shy and make sure you get a few good pictures in!

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Let’s Wrap Things Up…

I think all you Theme Park Hipsters are well prepared for this now. So, jump onto your computer and book those FastPasses and/or Disney Park Reservations for the Frozen Ever After ride at Epcot!

The princesses await!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

Frozen Ride at Epcot with Ana and Elsa
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UP NEXT: Soarin’ at Epcot (What to Expect on Your Flight Around the World)

(Original Article Date: April 27, 2015/Updated February 8, 2021)

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