“So he’s a bit of a fixer-upper…”
As the seasons drift into the colder months of the year, it seems an appropriate time to take a look at another version of one of Disney’s newest and “coolest” stories…
What is Frozen at The Royal Theatre?
This is another of the low-budget-styled productions at The Royal Theatre in Disneyland Park, ala the former Tangled show here.
Two narrators tell the story of the movie Frozen with the help of special guests Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. The narrators take on other roles, such as Olaf and Kristoff, with quick wardrobe changes. Masks and curtains provide changes of situation and scenery.
And of course, in the end, everyone sings “Let it Go”.
Who are the performers?
The narrators, Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones, re-enact the events of the film along with Anna and Elsa, and with the participation of The Royal Theatre’s Faire Maidens.
The audience is also encouraged to sing along and respond in panto style to the happenings onstage.
When and where can I find it?
This Frozen show plays daily in The Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire near the Sleeping Beauty Castle entrance to Fantasyland. There are usually six shows per day.
Until a few weeks ago, a FastPass was generally required to attend, but since the crowds and demand for the show have slowed, FastPass was recently removed and the shows at The Royal Theatre have returned to standby/first come, first served. Check your daily Entertainment Times Guide or the sign in front of the Theatre for the schedule.
Why spotlight it?
For the same reason George Mallory climbed Mount Everest. (Go ahead and Google it.)
Really, I can’t honestly say a lot in its favor. It has a few funny references (especially the Star Wars ones – ironically, the other franchise taking over the park). Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones can still amuse. Sir Samuel still works wonders on the keys as the musical accompanist.
But I don’t find this interpretation to have any of the charm of the original movie, much less the extraordinary repeat appeal of the former Tangled show in this location. Or even the Beauty and the Beast show, which was not quite as good as Tangled but was still entertaining. I find the take on Olaf in particular here quite grating, whereas I find the actual character in the film endearing. And I don’t care for the song arrangements here either.
While for me, both Beauty and the Beast and Tangled at Fantasy Faire had a Renaissance Faire quality to make the shows amusing for both young ones and adults, I feel that this, like too many of the other Frozen offerings, caters mainly and best to the little ones. So if you have some young Frozen fans in your family, this is definitely worth taking them to – if only for the chance to watch Anna and Elsa perform an entire show together. By comparison, the Frozen Sing-Along in Disney California Adventure (which I far prefer), only features the characters in passing for the most part.
However, once yet another Frozen retelling takes Aladdin’s place in the Hyperion Theater in Disney California Adventure, this show will be as superfluous as the pretty-much-guaranteed-to-close Sing-Along. And I hold out hope that at that point, perhaps there is a chance that Tangled and/or Beauty and the Beast could return home to the Royal Theatre.
Have you seen Frozen at The Royal Theatre? Did you enjoy it or would you prefer to see Tangled and/or Beauty and the Beast return to the venue?
Update 1/23/16: As of a week ago, Frozen at The Royal Theatre has been reduced to three showtimes per day (for the moment, that seems to be the first three shows of the day), while Tangled has happily returned for the other three performances daily.
Update 1/31/16: This week, Disney announced that Frozen would soon be leaving the Royal Theatre and that later this spring the Beauty and the Beast show would be returning in its place. So if you want to catch the Frozen show here before it “melts away”, I would suggest doing so ASAP!
Update 3/22/16: And with no fanfare, as of a few days ago, Frozen is simply gone. Beauty and the Beast has returned to The Royal Theatre in its place.