Frozen is that one of a kind wonder, the type of which that occurs once per generation and then marks it. There really is no escaping the buzz around Frozen; and that is just fine, Frozen is a fantastic film and the second instalment is a darker and more gritty tale in the series. Following on from the release of Frozen 2, Disneyland Paris launched the Frozen Celebration which consists of one show on Central Plaza, the Frozen: A Musical Invitation show in Animation Celebration, an Olaf Meet and Greet and an extensive range of snacks across the resort. All of these items together form the season, but only the Frozen 2: An Enchanted Journey is a limited time offering until May 3rd 2020.
A mini-parade that hits the sweet spot for Frozen fans
Since the debut of the show on January 11th 2020, social media has been awash with criticism, but that is from the die-hard Disneyland Paris fans, when you remove all that baggage, what are you left with? Honestly, a show that the casual Frozen fan is going to love.
The float design is stunning with the Water Nook, Anna on her ice boat and the Ahtoallan summit (6 meters tall!). On a grey day, the colours and lighting allow the float to really pop out. But the highlight of the float is, without a doubt, a giant puppet Sven who dances along to the parade and show whilst interacting with performers and characters in the most fun way.
The dancers also have costumes representing the elements (fire, wind, earth and ice). These costumes are very cute and detailed, particularly the Fire and Wind combination, this works really very well.
Then we have the music, the remixes version of our favourite Frozen tunes work well in a high energy type environment – mixing Vuelie and Into the Unknown in particular is enjoyable to the ears. However, it doesn’t work as well for Olaf’s song When I’m Older, it takes on a more karaoke type sound which feels unnecessary and out of place.
Once again, returning to Sven – and mostly because it is really is important to not underestimate him – he is, by a long way, the most impressive part of this float. He is cute, entertaining and huge. A good way to watch the show stop is to stand roughly by the merchandise cart on Central Plaza and stand and watch Sven for 5 minutes.
A show stop that misses that little something
I’m not going to beat around the bush here: the show stop on Frozen 2: An Enchanted Journey needs a bit of love. But, here’s the good part – all the ingredients are there, you have Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and a bunch of fantastic dancers and 4 big stages in Central Plaza.
There are two really big issues with the show: the first is story – you’re never really given a reason as to why all this is happening, but because there’s no story there really is not much for Anna, Elsa and Kristoff to do other than stand and wave. This feels partially by design so that everybody can get a nice photograph, but there just needs to be something, it does not need to be complex just more than nothing.
Secondly, there feels to be a complete misunderstanding as to why previous seasonal shows on Central Plaza worked. We love standing in the middle of these four stages and enjoying the magic take us away all around us (a 360 degree experience). The atmosphere turns from something passive into active, we’re all celebrating these moments – I think a large chunk of this show is fixed by allowing guests to enter Central Plaza and enjoying these types of moments.
Other than that, the song choice is great, the dancers are amazing and the Frozen characters are fun to see out and about in the park.
Frozen 2: An Enchanted Journey has work to be done, but it’s not all bad
So Frozen 2: An Enchanted Journey is not perfect, it’s perhaps one of the weakest Disneyland Paris offerings of recent years; but it’s not all lost – for fans of Frozen there is a lot to enjoy here, and the problems that are in the show are fixable. I wonder how long fixes and changes will take, but we know that Disneyland Paris are usually quite reactive – I don’t think the show that ends on May 3rd 2020 will be the one that we see now, at the outset of the season.