Disney ain’t never had a friend like Elsa, and the snow queen is striking again in what Disney hopes will be another big draw for its theme parks.
2016 will see the debut of a new stage musical based on Frozen at Disney California Adventure, announced by the Disney Parks Blog. Ahead of the film’s Broadway adaptation, it will give guests the opportunity to visually and musically transport to Arendelle.
“Our stage production of ‘Frozen’ will stay true to the heart and soul of the film. Anna and Elsa will carry the audience on an emotional journey that includes show-stopping production numbers and a few unique theatrical twists. We can’t wait for everyone to see it!”
Dana Harrel, Portfolio Creative Entertainment Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering
It is unknown at this time if, in terms of tone and visuals, the show will follow the theme parks’ current versions of the characters (for instance, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) or interpret them artistically differently as a Broadway show would (like California Adventure’s Aladdin show).
And speaking of Al, unfortunately when it is in with the new, that means out with the old. After nearly 13 years of performances, Disney’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular will hold its final performance in DCA’s Hyperion Theater on January 10, 2016, in order to prepare for Frozen‘s arrival. The show practically serves as a condensed Aladdin Broadway production, complete with lavish musical numbers and astounding performers. The crowd favorite is undoubtedly the Genie, brought to life through clever comedic timing that often hones in on current events in popular culture. Upon first glance, one might cite the 2014 opening of Aladdin on Broadway for the reason of the close, though New York productions of Disney films never stopped The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast from continuing to have flourishing success with theme park shows.
This isn’t the first time Frozen will be adapted for the stage. A Frozen-themed Disney On Ice production is touring the United States right now. Currently, DCA also plays host to For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, a live show that allows guests to sing their favorite Frozen tunes with special appearances by Anna and Elsa. It’s nice, but nowhere near the scale of what this new show will be. Although nothing has been announced, it’s likely that the sing-along will close when the new musical opens. This would leave the sing-along’s performance space—the former home of Muppet*Vision 3D—vacant. Here’s hoping we’ll see Kermit and Miss Piggy return to the park!
Elsewhere in the Disney universe, Imagineering is underway with construction on permanent Frozen attractions for Epcot and Tokyo DisneySea that will allow guests to ride through a new Frozen story.
Is this a smart move for Disney? What do you want to see most in this new musical?
Edited by: Kelly Conley