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Frozen's Elsa & Anna at Epcot

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yesterday John and I went to check out the Easter egg hunt at Epcot - which I'll post pics of soon - but along the way we stopped over in Norway to check out the infamous line for the Frozen princesses. It's easy to spot, since it stretches outside the land's boundaries, and a helpful cast member informed us the wait time - on a Wednesday afternoon, mind you - was about 4 hours. FOUR HOURS. And I'm told that's about average. (!!)

Then he told us you can walk through the side gift shop and sneak a peek at the princesses through a large doorway. Sold!

Of course, that doorway had it's own huge crowd, but after waiting five or ten minutes near the back I managed to worm my way up to the rope. Then I had this view:

The velvet rope keeps the crowd back and to the side, so everyone just leans as far over as they can and sticks their cameras out. Since I was at the back and too short to lean, I just had to zoom through the sea of arms and hope for the best.

Happily I got a few Ok shots, though! Here's the full meet & greet set:



The window backdrop is really lovely, with a view of Elsa's ice castle in the distance.

Elsa and Anna themselves were true to their film personalities; Anna was a little more gregarious, while Elsa was more regal, playing it cool. [pun intended, always]

 

I only stayed long enough to see a few families come through, but it's easy to see why this is one of the toughest jobs on property, making hundreds of "magical moments" for hundreds and hundreds of families - who've waited that long! - every day, on demand. The sisters even took the split seconds between families to throw us bystanders a quick wave and a smile:



 They called this "the sister hug:"

 

 My favorite was when this little girl dressed as Elsa came through:

 

 And my favorite shot:

Look at that face! I bet that expression made the four-hour wait worth it for her parents. 
(Even if I DO think they're crazy to wait that long. Ha!)

Hope you guys are having a great week! I still have SO many pictures to sort & share, but look for the Easter egg hunt & the final FINAL batch (really!) of Megacon costumes soon.

Posted by Jen at 3:44 PM Labels: ,

40 comments:

  1. I got to talking with a park attendant when we were there last week, and she said during the Spring Break weeks, people were waiting up to NINE HOURS to get pics with these gals. Another lady we met on the bus back to POR said she'd gotten very lucky and ONLY had to wait three hours. We then heard tales about the dads lining up two hours before the park opened, then racing to the World Showcase entrance nearest the Norway Pavilion to stand for three more hours, before running full tilt boogie to get in the first of the TWO lines. At least Disney's allowing the parents to tag team and aren't forcing the kids to wait there, too.

    What must it be like to be these ladies, knowing that they are, for all intents and purposes, two of the most popular people in the world, not an exaggeration? From everything we heard and saw, they're both EXTREMELY good at their jobs and are really representing Disney beautifully. But it's just got to be CRAZYPANTS to be them, all these kids (and adults) desperate to meet you just because you happen to wear a particular dress and wig and can act a certain way.

    My 8 year old son's comment as he looked at the flock of little girls in their Elsa and Anna dresses? "Mommy, I'll bet you're glad I'm a boy right now." Truer words were never spoken, my son...

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    1. Yes! We have a Princess friend who told us the same thing about the early morning "Dad dash." Ha! I wonder if we should tell the parents to save their money & time and go to a local conventions instead; they'll have their pick of Elsas & Annas there! ;)

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    2. (Sometimes signed it as tal, but too lazy to do so before bed. My computer is REALLY slow.) Anyway, you might have a million dollar idea there--albeit from a parental standpoint, not a we can retire and move to the Bahamas standpoint. Parents can take their Frozen-obsessed kid to a convention, and they might just end up inspiring an interest in a superhero or Star Wars character or something, giving the parents from all the pink and glitter. :)

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    3. Never been more happy to be a mom of boys than now. Cons are a also a GREAT way to meet superheroes. (And Karl Urban..ahem...)

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    4. I was a member of the Early Entry Dad Dash at Disneyland! It magically changes 4 hours into 1 hour minutes.

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  2. OMG, my middle son waited an hour to meet Buzz and Woody in February and I thought I'd tear my hair out. I just don't remember there being lines to meet characters in the 80's when I was a kid. Why is it so different now? Would it be so hard to just boost the number of characters out there? At least for the masked characters. Are there multiple actresses playing the princesses or is it just one each?

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    1. I think the increased interest is because Disney really pushes the characters (& corresponding merchandise, like the kids' costumes) more these days, so combine that with great movies, and you've got a new legion of fanboys and fangirls. ;) Disney also used to allow characters to freely roam the parks (which they sometimes still do at DL, at least), whereas now they want you to make a reservation and/or get in a line for everything. So if you want to see Mickey in person, you have to go queue up inside a building; there's no chance otherwise of your seeing him in the park at all (excepting parades, of course.) Sad, really.

      And re: increasing characters, Disney has set rules that there can only be ONE of each costumed character visible to the public at any one time in each park. So you can't have one Mickey in the parade while another is doing a meet & greet; the greeter Mickey will be pulled backstage during the parade. I like the rule & the reasoning behind it, but it does result in these kinds of crazy wait times.

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    2. We've been really lucky to meet a lot of characters that just show up in the street at Disneyland. We're collecting autographs this year and after 3 visits to Disneyland are up to about 60. Most we've not had to wait in lines for, or the lines have been really short. However, we've not yet braved the 2 hour + line to meet Anna and Elsa (I can't believe it's 4 hours at DW, though I heard they have a fastpass option--crazy!).

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    3. I also asked one of the water kiosk ladies if it was my imagination, or was there really Frozen merch at Every. Single. Store. She assured me it was not my imagination at ALL. (She also told my son that in addition to Epcot meaning Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow, it also meant "Every Paycheck Comes On Thursday" and "Every Person Comes Out Tired." I love Epcot. :-)

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    4. I read somewhere that at fantasy faire in Disneyland they have two of each princess in these rooms that look the same, back to back, so the kids don't know... you'd think they could do that with Anna and Elsa.

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    5. The 80's was a slump time for Disney. I mean, they were seriously on the outs with money. It is only thanks to the Disney Renaissance, beginning in 1989 that they started actually making a decent amount of money, again. Then hit after hit, and the acquisition of Pixar, and more hits, then the Princess line for girls... well, Disney's basically a cash cow. If they didn't control the crowds, these poor actors would be mobbed.

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  3. This made me cry. My daughter's just turning 2, so she doesn't know anything about princesses (she likes Elmo and Beaker, or Meep Meep as she calls him) but good lord look at that little girl's face! That'll be my little girl sometime soon. ...Somewhere else. In a shorter line.

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  4. I really hope the parents of these girls see your beautiful photos of them with the princesses. Gorgeous work, Jen!

    I'm SO glad I've never in my life had to wait in a 4-hour line for anything, and I'm also glad I don't have a young daughter right now. There sure are some dedicated, patient parents out there, but I would not be one of them.

    I guess I'm going to have to watch Frozen at some point. When I saw the previews, I thought it looked horrible, but I guess it must not be if everyone is going this batshit-crazy over it.

    Looking forward to your final Megacon post!

    KW

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    1. It seems like every new Disney movie gets more and more hype, so I'd keep those expectations tempered. ;) Frozen was quite good, but, yeeeeah. Probably not worth this amount of craziness!

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  5. Epbot is one of the reliable oases of tolerant, levelheaded common sense on the internet. So many sites that touch on this Frozen fandom phenomenon are dominated either by people shrieking in joy or frustration because MEETING DISNEY PRINCESSES IS SUCH A REALLY BIG DEAL, or else by people shrieking in outrage or horror because HOW COULD ANYBODY POSSIBLY BE INSANE ENOUGH TO THINK THAT MEETING DISNEY PRINCESSES IS A REALLY BIG DEAL.

    Then there's Epbot, where we save our all-caps overpunctuated carrying on for the things that truly matter: namely, admiring lovely works of craft and laughing at silly baked goods. Don't ever change, folks.

    Kimstu

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  6. I will admit I waited for them and I am 26 years old. It was back in January and I thought why the hell not. I'm an EPCOT cast member so I have done literally everything in the park several times over. I love meeting characters so my boyfriend, best friend and I got up early and went straight to the park. It hadn't leaked to the internet yet that you could like up for Elsa at 9am even though World Showcase is technically closed except for the French bakery and the restaraunt in Norway. I was lucky to know it because I work for the division that makes sure no one is in the World Showcase who isn't suppose to be. So we got there at about 9:30 and were told we would be in the group that go to see the girls around noon. We all chatted and hung out since I hadn't seen my friend in a little bit (I'm seasonal so I come and go) and the wait was nothing. Also since we knew we were waiting we were smart and made sure we had late fastpass+ reservations. I am so happy I did wait because these girls are totally worth it.

    This isn't the first time I have waited forever though. Last halloween I waited 3 hours to meet Dopey. He is my absolute favorite and I missed meeting him once in my college program so I had my heart set on finally getting my photo with Dopey so I did.

    These are the only two crazy waits thought. I don't typically wait for characters with lines longer than 30 minutes and have been lucky. The next crazy one will be Oswald whenever that rabbit finally makes it across the waters to the USA.

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  7. Next week they start meeting in the magic kingdom with fastpasses. Only the unlucky will have to brave the 4 hour wait then.

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  8. Wow. I'm in Australia and we don't really have anything like this (there's Movie World but it pales in comparison to Disney Land). I'm not sure I'd have the patients to wait that long but it does look like a magical experience.

    There were at least 5 Elsa's and a couple of Anna's at Supanova (Aust comic con) this weekend unfortunately I missed out on photo's (I was working) but the costumes were amazing, I almost expected them to break out in song.

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  9. The last shot is adorable. :) We wandered by when I was there back in March, but didn't get too close as the lines were pretty ridiculous. I definitely think a convention is the way to go at the moment, hah! The "dad dash" sounds funny too.

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  10. Shelley in So. IllinoisApril 18, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    I get the wait time. I know I waited for 4 hours to meet Eric Carle at a reading teacher convention about 15 years ago. And I would do it again. And I would have waited longer. But I have made a point of NOT being an autograph collector with my kids. With 4 kids, no way would I be able to wrangle them and keep track of their books too. Love these photos. My daughter loves them too. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  11. We took our teen daughters February a year ago. (We had gone when they were little, but they don't remember a lot.) Anyway, I didn't really make any plans for character meet-and-greets, because I figured they wouldn't care as much about that as riding the rides, trading pins, etc. Boy, was I WRONG. LOL!!

    We've decided when we go back (probably this fall) meet-and-greets are ALL we will do. They will be 16 and 14 1/2 by then, and they couldn't be happier. And you can bet they will absolutely stand in line for however long it takes to meet Elsa and Anna because they LOVE LOVE LOVE Frozen.

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  12. Wow - what a job to have. So glad these ladies are working to give smiles and warm hearts. That's pretty special -- thank you for sharing, Jen.

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  13. And now I'm crying because that picture of the little girl is so freaking cute!

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  14. That's crazy! I went the first week of January, and I guess people hadn't figured out the gift shop viewing area yet because my friend and I were the only ones there. I did notice though that they were completely sold out of Elsa dresses and had Ariel and Jasmine things out instead. Similar color palettes, I guess? The line was all over Norway though, even then.

    I was at Disneyland a couple weeks ago, but it was too late in the night for meet&greets, but the Olaf animatronic was still interacting with people. He's awesome. I'm kind of sad though that Rapunzel's special meet&greet area is no more, but it's GORGEOUS as a frozen Arendelle area now!

    -Kate (LifeIsProps)

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    1. There's an Olaf animatronic??? *zooms off to Google*

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  15. Yipes - we were at the Magic Kingdom last month (so geographically close to Jen! Squee!!!) and my daughter really wanted to meet Merida. The 40-minute line was totally worth it. And a lot easier to handle than blowing half our day elsewhere, apparently. I did tell her that she could likely run into just about any Disney character she wants at C2E2 later this month anyway, and that satisfied her.

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  16. I hear that, as of Sunday, they'll move to the Magic Kingdom, where Fastpass will be available.

    One other thought: do you have parent permission to post the pics of the kids? If not, I'd remove them from your website. As a parent, even with all good intentions, I don't want my child to have an online photo presence. In fact, when I was at Epcot last, a stranger came over and started taking pics of a character (who was with some other children) and a Cast Member *VERY* sternly informed him that taking pics of characters with other people's children was not allowed...

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    1. Wow, I've never heard of castmembers restricting photos like that, since it happens all the time: posing in front of a huge crowd with a character pretty much guarantees you'll end up in other people's photos, even unintentionally. In this situation there was literally a crowd of photographers around me snapping non-stop no matter who was with the Princesses, so the parents were well aware of us, and I'm sure would have said something if they minded. (In normal circumstances I of course always ask the parents when I can, but it just wasn't possible here.)

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    2. I have never heard of that either. Sounds to me like this cast member's personal policy or perhaps there was something suspicious about this photographer. Legally speaking taking photos of other people at a theme park is not infringing upon any privacy laws. And while I also ask permission whenever possible, I hope parents realize that their children are going to end up in other people's photos that end up online. That is just the nature of Disney. I would be concerned if any personal information was given or profit being made.

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    3. Yes, it was the first time I'd seen that, as well.

      "I hope parents realize that their children are going to end up in other people's photos that end up online."

      Unfortunately, I disagree. It's one thing to end up in a "crowd shot," so to speak, and I know it doesn't violate any laws, but I would never put pictures of some stranger's child on the internet without that parent's permission. As a parent, I have already told my family members that they are not allowed to put my child's photo on their Facebook page/blog, so why would it be OK for a stranger to do so?

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    4. If you are in a public space that allows cameras, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. If you are in a public space that allows cameras and that public space is among the most photographed on Earth, then you *really* have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

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    5. I don't think it is an expectation of "privacy" to expect people to use good manners and good sense when posting images of other people's children on the internet.
      That is just my opinion, and clearly I'm in the minority.

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    6. Adding my two cents in here lol, since I have been on the other side of the rope, I was once APPALLED at how people just snap pix of other people's children without any permission. Personally, I find it disturbing and creepy, and I am not even a mom, just a long time child-caregiver/nanny!

      However, there is a point where you have to be realistic - I am willing to bet a large sum that NO family in the history of tourism that has taken any large number of photos at a theme park as crowded as Disney has EVER got an entire film roll (or is that memory card?) of Stranger-less, exclusive-your-family-only shots. I think we should give bloggers, especially those who are clearly not creeptastic, the benfit of the doubt, although I *personally* would blur the kids' faces out, since that one little girl obviously seemed a little distracted/wierded-out by all the cameras.

      Even so, I may be no mother, but even with all the safety and care of children I have in mind, I wouldn't have brought the issues up here on this blog. Obviously Jen is just super excited to share something with us, not trying to exploit random kids, and I think most of us readers are just as excited to see these photos without the four hour wait, so thanks, Jen!!! :D

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  17. Cons are great places to take kids instead! My daughter is working on an Elsa costume now. Not sure it'll be done for her May con, but definitely for the one in October.

    And to those who say they don't remember standing in lines to wait for things like this as a kid, I'll say there were occasions, just not as frequent. I remember waiting (on the floor because we were sitting, not in line thank goodness) for three hours at a car dealership because Darth Vader and R2D2 were making a special appearance. I was maybe 8 or 9, but when I heard about it I BEGGED to go. Somehow Pa got wrangled into it and it was a thrill. I even got an autograph! W00t!

    Those memories will last a lifetime. Almost 40 years later, and I still remember how exciting it was to meet Darth Vader. Totally worth the wait.

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  18. My daughter is only 3, so no way we're headed to Disney anytime soon....but we got a GREAT deal on having the "Snow Queen" (from a local costume/princess company thingy - http://www.fairytaledreamer.org/) come to her birthday party the other weekend, and it was so very worth it!!

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  19. My daughter is obsessed with Frozen, but she's only 2 and hasn't realized her obsession can go beyond watching the movie a bunch. I'm glad that by the time she realizes, all the Frozen craziness should have died down.

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  20. Hi. Love reading your posts. Yes 4 hours seem like an eternity, especially with children in tow but since this is for the children (and some adults), I am sure the children were very very obedient in line (I hope)!. I am always amazed by the professionalism of those in costume in Disneyland. I went to HK Disneyland some years ago and Goofy was exactly like Goofy, Pluto was Pluto and even Daisy seems so sassy. How I waited in line for 1 or 2 photos. Would I have waited in line for 4 hours for these Frozen princess? If I have back up, yes. Someone needs to wait in my place when I run to the loo and vice versa. Disneyland is for all the young at heart, so sorry kids, there will be some adults jostling for photo opportunities!

    P/S I rather my kids go crazy over Frozen than sayyyy the modern pop singers who dress so little, it matches their talent in singing.

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  21. BEST. PICTURES. EVER!!!! I literally did tear up with the last photos. Adorbs!

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  22. We're going in November two weeks before Thanksgiving and I REALLY hope we get a chance to see them because my daughter (she'll be 4 by then) just LOVES Frozen.

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  23. Have the Frozen Princesses made it to the Cruise line yet? Because when we went (half dozen years ago now..) they had "Meet the Princesses" events on the ship and while my daughter even then was a little old for that hype, it was a lot more manageable a situation... Disney cruises are da bomb-- if you got little kids I'd totally recommend them as a way for both parents and kids to have a good time.

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