Ahead of an official reveal, this year’s Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade could get a big dose of Frozen.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party begins its run for the 2014 season November 7 in Orlando, and park guide maps for the event advertise a Frozen-ified tradition. As spotted by Orlando Attractions Magazine, the blurb reads:
“Watch the Disney Frozen Christmas Celebration, December 25, on ABC. Check your local listings for air times. www.Disney.com/DisneyParksChristmas.”
The given web address sports a placeholder teaser page that titles the program, in its thirty-first year, as the “Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade.” For all anyone knows, though, the page could have been untouched all year long. If converted to a Frozen-themed telecast, the lineup would likely remain mostly the same (alternating parades from Anaheim and Orlando interspersed with live music performances), with an obvious slant toward Frozen incorporation. What that may entail remains a mystery.
Adding to speculation is a hint from this year’s celebrity narrator list for the Epcot Candlelight Processional. Kristoff’s voice actor Jonathan Groff headlines the event December 3-4, awfully close to when the Florida portions of the prerecorded Christmas Day broadcast is filmed, the first weekend of December. For what it’s worth, 2013 Christmas Day Parade host Neil Patrick Harris narrates the Epcot Candlelight Processional November 30-December 2. California segments are typically filmed Veteran’s Day weekend, in just a few days.
The parade has been an annual tradition since its first airing in 1983. Through several name, host, and format changes, it has essentially remained the same style. The program can be viewed as an accurate pulse of what successes Disney has achieved each passing year. It always spotlights new animated releases, but it has never slanted its entire contents toward one entity.
It’s no secret Anna and Elsa are being utilized excessively in all arms of the Walt Disney Company. An animated short called Frozen Fever is in the works from Walt Disney Animation Studios, a Frozen story arc is the focal point of the current season of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, a sing-along version of the movie hits shelves November 18, a Disney On Ice adaptation is now touring, and the film is in the midst of a significant take-over in the theme parks. A permanent attraction will replace the just-closed Maelstrom in Epcot, a “temporary” stage show and merchandise location at Disney’s Hollywood Studios were extended indefinitely, and lines to meet the sisters are routinely the longest line on property.
Christmas itself is getting a bit of an Elsa takeover, as well. This year’s Christmas exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom trading card features the Snow Queen casting an icy princess spell. A new show, “A Frozen Holiday Wish,” will replace Cinderella with Elsa turning on the Castle Dream Lights. The new show and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade will include the first-ever appearance of Olaf as a walk-around character in a Disney park. Over in California, World of Color: Winter Dreams debuted last year with Olaf as its host via water screens.
All of these things hint at the gargantuan imprint Frozen has made in the last year, but renaming the entire telecast really hits that nail on the head. Not only is this Disney’s biggest hit in ages, it’s one they’re blatantly proud of. Remember this time last year when we were giddy in the middle of Frozember? We’re reaping fruit.