This post reviews the new Frozen Ever After attraction in Epcot, with strategy for experiencing the ride with short a wait as possible. Page 1 of the post is spoiler-free, covering tips for minimizing your wait if you’re unable to score FastPass+ for Frozen Ever After and our newest vlog! Page 2 features on-ride photos, my review of the attraction, a rant about EPCOT Center, and other oddities.
Let’s start with some tips for experiencing Frozen Ever After. As the newest attraction at Walt Disney World and one based on a popular film and one with a low hourly capacity, this attraction is destined to have long waits for the next several years. Right now, wait times are averaging 90 minutes, ranging from lows of 45 minutes to highs of 180 minutes. I wouldn’t expect those numbers to change for the foreseeable future.
The best strategy for experiencing Frozen Ever After with minimal wait is to reserve a FastPass+ for it (see our Guide to FastPass+ at Walt Disney World post for more background and tips on making FP+ reservations). Right now, this is the most-coveted FastPass+ selection in all of Walt Disney World, and it’s one you will want to score right at the 60 day mark (if you’re eligible). Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios FastPass+ aren’t in nearly as high of demand, so you might even consider making Frozen Ever After FastPass+ for multiple days in case you decide to Park Hop, or in case park hours/your plans change.
We’d recommend a FastPass+ for around noon, to give yourself time to do Soarin’ Around the World and Test Track prior to Frozen Ever After. This is also still early enough that you can secure “bonus” FastPass+ after doing Frozen Ever After. We’ve noticed that IllumiNations was available day-of certain days of our trip, so grabbing a FastPass+ for it would be a nice bonus.
If you’re staying off-site or you otherwise aren’t able to make a Frozen Ever After FastPass+, you have a couple of options–besides waiting in a 2-hour plus line. The first of these is rope dropping the attraction. In an ideal world, you’d arrive at Epcot at least 60 minutes prior to park opening. This is because a lot of other people will also be arriving early, and because the turnstiles will likely open around 30 minutes prior to park opening. You also have to get through bag-check and all of that. So really, the amount of time you’re standing around waiting is minimal.
After entering the park and walking “briskly” (as much as we might think the rope drop dash should be a full-contact sport, running and throwing gratuitous elbows is “frowned upon”) towards Norway, guests are stopped in a holding area in front of the Mexico pavilion, and slowly walked from there towards Norway (you’ll see this processional in our vlog below). It behooves you to be as close as possible to the front of this pack.
If you decide to do Frozen Ever After at rope drop, werecommend entering through International Gateway in World Showcase. Not only is the distance from there to the Mexico pavilion shorter, but also the crowds at International Gateway will be lower.
This is because the International Gateway entrance is primarily used by guests staying at the Crescent Lake resorts, whereas the front entrance is used by everyone else. Even though there are far fewer turnstiles back at International Gateway, it still is advantageous to start from back there. If you’re not staying at one of those resorts, consider taking an Uber to Beach Club and walking.
Alternatively, a pre-park opening Advance Dining Reservation (ADR) for Akershus is a great way to get in the front of the line. This is a hot ADR, so you’ll want to make this reservation as close to 180 days in advance as possible, and then cancel it if you’re able to score a Frozen Ever After FP+.
It doesn’t matter whether you have an 8:00, 8:15, 8:30, etc. ADR, so long as you have a time prior to park opening, you’ll be allowed to enter Epcot around 7:45 a.m. If you want to have time to enjoy your breakfast and meet the princesses, you need to get to the turnstiles before 7:30 a.m. so that you’re among the first guests seated at the restaurant. When we did this, we were in the park at 7:47 a.m., checked into the Akershus by 8:01 a.m., and seated at 8:06 a.m.
We explained to our server that we wanted to be out of the restaurant in time for Frozen Ever After rope-drop, which was clearly a common request, as she indicated she’d bring the check at the start of our meal along with to-go cups for our drinks at around 8:45 a.m.
Although our breakfast was a bit rushed, we were able to make 3 trips to the buffet, meet every princess, and still be out the door by 8:54 a.m. The Frozen Processional from Mexico arrived at 9:02 a.m. All of these times are subject to change on a day-by-day basis, so it’s probably best to play it safe and be out of Akershus no later than 8:50 a.m. (We’ll post a full review of our meal there soon.)
Both of these strategies are risky right now because Frozen Ever After has been experiencing technical difficulties on a semi-regular basis. This could mean that you jump through all of these hoops only to have the attraction not open until 11 a.m., in which case you would’ve been better off sleeping in or rope-dropping Test Track, and just dealing with the longer wait later in the day.
The lowest-risk option if you’re unable to secure a FastPass+ is getting in line at the very end of the night. As is the case with all Walt Disney World attractions, so long as there is 1 minute left in the operating day, you can get in line. On most nights, this means skipping IllumiNations (which starts at park close), so you have to determine which matters more to you.
If you want to have your cake and eat it too, the best option is going to Epcot on an Extra Magic Hours evening, seeing IllumiNations, doing some other stuff, and then jumping in line for Frozen Ever After at the very end of Extra Magic Hours (which will normally be 10:59 p.m.). We did this one night, and our actual wait in line was just under 30 minutes.
Although wait times have died down from the initial 300 minute levels that occurred the first week the attraction was open, I would not be surprised to see wait times creep up from the current 90 minute average to around 120 minutes this fall. Summer at Walt Disney World has been surprisingly dead in terms of crowds, and if Free Dining bookings and blockouts are any indication, September through December should see an increase in crowds.
We did a vlog on our experience rope-dropping Akershus and being among the first in line for Frozen Ever After. The middle of the vlog does include a full HD ride-through of Frozen Ever After, so you’ll want to skip from the 4:10 minute mark to the 8:58 mark to avoid that footage if you haven’t done Frozen Ever After yet. Following the on-ride footage, we offer a brief (spoiler-free) review based upon our first ride-through:
That covers it in terms of tips for Frozen Ever After. On Page 2, I’ll offer review the attraction, rant about Epcot, and share some of my on-ride photos. If you have yet to experience Frozen Ever After, I would encourage you not to read the next page.
This isn’t some sort of tricky reverse-psychology click-bait. I’m a firm believer that spoilers diminish the initial in-person attraction experience. Your first time through, everything should be fresh, new, exciting, and you shouldn’t have any preconceived notions besides your own. You’re going to want to do the attraction regardless of anyone else’s opinions, so what does it matter what I think of it?