'Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire' to Replace 'Dream Along With Mickey'

The 'Dream Along with Mickey' castle stage show that has had a run for nearly 10 years will be coming to an end in early April. A new show will take its pace in summer of 2016.

'Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire' will follow the tale of Mickey and his gang gathering guests for their festival. Goofy has brought Tiana, Naveen and Louis. Donald and Daisy have brought Rapunzel Flynn Rider and some other character from the Snuggly Duckling. Mickey himself will bring  Olaf, Anna and Elsa rounding out the party. The new show will include an original song and special effects magic.

Dream Along with Mickey has been a constant in the parks each time we go. You can almost guarantee the show going on every time you need to pass through the hub. I wouldn't say I'll miss the show all that much but I do feel a little bad for taking advantage of it all these years. I was just mentioning to my wife that we should stop and actually watch the full show next year. Unfortunately we won't get to do that. How do you feel about the new castle stage show and will you miss the old one?

Top 5 Things to Look Forward to in 2016

Top 5 Things to Look Forward to in 2016

2015 is a distant memory now. Onward and upward into 2016. Nearly every year for the foreseeable future will bring a noteworthy addition to the Orlando theme parks. Here are some good reasons to be excited to visit in 2016.

#5 Disney Springs expands
The transformation from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs wasn't an easy or a short one but the long nightmare is soon to be over. 2015 saw great additions like The Hangar Bar, Morimoto Asia and the Ganachery. 

2016 will see the opening of the Town Center area of the expansion. It will bring with it loads of new shops like Pandora, Lilly Pulitzer, Edison, Sprinkles, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza and many more. 2016 will be a great time to check out Disney Springs as most of the walls will be down and plenty of new storefronts will be open for business.

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First Look at Epcot's Frozen Attraction

Disney has revealed the storyline and name of the Frozen ride that is replacing Maelstrom in Epcot's Norway pavilion. 'Frozen Ever After' is a continuation of the Frozen story and not a retelling. Although some favorite moments and music from the film will be included.

You'll be transported to Arendelle's Winter in Summer Celebration where Elsa uses her magic powers to create a winter playland in the middle of summer. During the ride you'll be transported to Elsa's ice palace and then end up in the Bay of Arendelle. Sounds similar to the ending of Maelstrom. All your favorite characters will return including the Snowgies from the Frozen short. Grandpappy troll will also be there telling the story of how Anna and Kristof met.

Imagineers talked with the Wall Street Journal and confirmed that Maelstrom's track will not be changed and that the Frozen overlay will just replace the former theme. Oaken's trading post will serve as the queue. No word yet on any interactive elements but I'm sure Disney is anticipating guests spending a very long time in line. The biggest scene of the ride will be Elsa singing 'Let it Go', of course. There will be plenty of effects during this portion including simulated snow falling.

The animatronic figures that will be used in the ride are based off the same technology that is found in the dwarfs in the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The dwarfs look amazing and I'm sure the technology has taken another step since their implementation. 

The biggest complaint about Frozen coming to Norway is the fact that Arendelle isn't even a real place. Disney is adding new elements to further represent real Norway in its pavilion. The name of the new building being erected to house the Anna and Elsa meet and greet will be called the 'Royal Sommerhus' and will have unique Norwegian architectural features and cultural arts and crafts of Norway. 'Frozen Ever After' is set to open in 2016.

Frozen Expansion at Epcot More Than Expected

We already knew a new Frozen meet and greet would be coming to the Norway pavilion. The sisters would be moving in once the new Frozen ride was in place where Maelstrom formerly stood. But I don't think many anticipated the scale of it.

Stitch Kingdom uncovered a filing to begin work on the new structure called simply: "Frozen Meet and Greet Building." The new structure will most likely be themed around Frozen and Arendelle which will be more of a departure from Norwegian culture. The facility will reportedly be 13,000 square feet, much larger than your average meet and greet. 

Image via Stitch Kingdom

Rumors floating around attribute the large size of the building to possible show elements to the meet and greet. You could look to the Enchanted Tales with Belle meet and greet and the Thor meet in Disneyland which both have elaborate pre-show elements. The new Anna & Elsa meet could have something similar.

I think we could expect Olaf to make an appearance in the new venue. I doubt there will be enough demand for a Kristoff meet to warrant a dedicated space however. I also think the large space could anticipating for the huge queue size the sisters previous meet and greets attracted. We could also see Disney try something new here and incorporate the pager system seen in Dumbo. There could be elements of the Frozen Summer Fun play areas inside the building to distract younger visitors and give adults a chance to sit before meeting the characters.

The new Frozen ride inside the Norway pavilion is scheduled to open in 2016. This new facility will have a lot of catching up to do.

Frozen Summer Fun Coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios

Starting July 5th Disney's Hollywood Studios is hosting “Frozen Summer Fun: Live at Disney’s Hollywood Studios” until September 1st. The series of events goes on all day long culminating with a Frozen themed fireworks display. The itinerary reminds me a lot of Star Wars Weekends.

Starting at 11 a.m. Anna and Else will lead a parade down Hollywood Boulevard riding in a horse drawn sleigh. With the procession ending up at the Sorcerer's Hat to kick off the day.

In the Premiere Theater at the end of the Streets of America there will be an Arendelle historian retelling the story of the Frozen sisters with sing-along moments. Starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Sorcerer's Hat there will be the “Coolest Summer Ever” party with a DJ and dance party. At the end of the night the stars of the film come to the Sorcerer's Hat stage to present the Frozen Fireworks Spectacular.

There will be other Frozen things to partake in throughout the day like Wandering Oaken's Trading Post. The shopping and activities center will be located in Soundstage One and feature plenty of Frozen merchandise. There will also be a play area for kids, ice sculptors and Frozen inspired food and drinks near by. Olaf will also be chiming in throughout the day through the park's speaker system to tell guests what he's up to on his first summer vacation.

From what I can tell this is all included with park admission so this is a great perk to those visiting over this summer. The result might actually mean a slightly less congested Magic Kingdom over the late summer. It could also alleviate the multi-hour line to see Anna and Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall. There will be no meet and greet with the sisters at Hollywood Studios. There only physical appearance will likely only be during the parade.

What do you think about Frozen taking over Disney's Hollywood Studios?