Want to ride the hottest attraction at Walt Disney World without the long line? Find out all the strategies you can use to shortcut long wait times for Frozen Ever After in Epcot.
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Tips for Riding Frozen Ever After at Disney World Without the Wait
Even since its debut in June 2016, Walt Disney World’s new Frozen Ever After ride has had the longest line in Orlando. Located in the Norway Pavilion in World Showcase in Epcot, Frozen Ever After takes guests to Arendelle to meet their favorite characters from the crazily popular movie.
The new attraction was not without controversy. Its addition meant the end of Maelstrom, a ride that had become a bit of a Disney cult classic. Nevertheless, Frozen Ever After has been mostly a major hit since its release last summer. The ride utilizes the same boat tracks that were a part of Maelstrom. It improves upon the classic, however, with impressive new audio-animatronics and projection technology to make the modern movie come to life.
When the ride opened, it regularly posted wait times of 5 hours or more. While those have settled down a bit, a 2+ hour standby wait time is not uncommon at all. Those wait times may increase again when spring break and summer crowds return. The ride has also been experiencing periodic break downs in early 2017, which can make lines even worse when it is open and working.
I know you don’t want to stand in those lines, right? Neither do I. I have a 7 year old and a 3 year old, and anything over an hour is completely undoable for us. In fact, we don’t really ride anything at Disney with more than a half hour wait. On my last trip to Disney World earlier this month, I did some scouting to try to find all the different ways you can ride Frozen without standing in line for a crazy long time. Here are my best tips for riding Frozen Ever After without the wait.
Frozen Ever After: So How Do You Skip the Long Wait?
1. Stay On-Site
What does staying in a Disney-owned hotel have to do with riding Frozen Ever After? Everything! Savvy Disney guests know that Fastpass+ is the best way to get the shortest wait times. Fastpasses are available to guests staying at on-property hotels 60 days in advance of their trips. Off-site guests can only book Fastpasses 30 days in advance. Frozen Ever After Fastpass+ reservation times are often booked up completely as soon as the 60 day window starts. If you want to snag a coveted Fastpass for Frozen, being on the Disney website at 7 a.m. Eastern Time as soon as that 60 day window opens is a must. Better yet, have your Disney travel agent book Fastpasses for you!
2. Check for Fastpass Cancellations Often
If you are unsuccessful in getting a Fastpass for Frozen Ever After initially, all hope is not lost. Sometimes Fastpasses do become available, either because another guest cancels a trip or decides to visit another park for the day. Check early and check often. If you have a large group and don’t mind splitting up, consider searching for Fastpasses in smaller groups. It is a lot easier to find Fastpasses for 2 people at once than it is for 6.
3. Book an Early Epcot Character Breakfast
If Fastpass+ booking fails you, another key to riding without the wait is to beat everyone else to the queue first thing in the morning. The only way you can do this is to be in the park before the masses, namely by booking an early morning character meal at Akershus. This restaurant in the Norway pavilion right next door to Frozen offers reservation times starting about an hour before park opening. If you can eat and snap princess pictures quickly, you can be in line before anyone else enters the park.
4. Rope Drop It
Don’t want to force yourself into an expensive and rushed character breakfast just to ride Frozen? If you are an early riser, there is another option – being part of the morning rope drop rush to the ride. It takes awhile for a ride line to build up to a significant length first thing in the morning. Get to the Norway pavilion quickly, and you will definitely experience a shorter wait.
The best strategy to get to Norway is to enter through the World Showcase “back entrance” to Epcot. Guests of Disney’s Beach Club, Yacht Club and Boardwalk resorts are within walking distance of this entrance from their hotels. Even if you are staying somewhere else, there’s no reason you can’t use it too. Take a ride-sharing service like Uber or a taxi to the Beach Club for the most direct route. (Beach and Yacht Club parking is often reserved for guests of those hotels, as it is in shorter supply than at many other Disney resorts.)
The other option is to enter through the main gates of Epcot. You definitely want to be first if you try this because you will have a lot of company. Arrive at Epcot at least 45 minutes before park opening to be in the front of the line, as guests are often let in to queue behind a rope near the Mexico pavilion up to 30 minutes before park opening.
TravelingMom Tip: Even though World Showcase often has a later opening time than the rest of Epcot (often 11:00 a.m. when Epcot opens at 9:00 a.m.), Frozen Ever After is open at the earlier time.
5. Ride it Late
While so many Disney experts advise Fastpasses and early morning ride times, I have seen less strategizing around trying to ride Frozen Ever After later in the evening. On my last Disney visit earlier this month, I tested this strategy out in person and found it worked amazingly well. As my family entered the park at 7:00 p.m. on an evening where Epcot closed at 9:00, we monitored the wait time on Frozen Ever After using the My Disney Experience App. It was over 120 minutes long. We continued to watch wait times fall as park closing time neared. Finally, we noticed the posted wait time was 50 minutes as of 8:50 p.m. With cautious optimism, we hopped into the ride’s line at that time. About 12 minutes later, we boarded our boats to Arendelle. The posted wait time was simply much, much longer than the actual wait time for the ride.
I suspect that the wait times for Frozen Ever After in the evenings may remain artificially inflated to discourage too many guests from getting into line right as the park is closing. At Disney, as long as you enter a queue before the official park closing time, you are guaranteed the ride will remain open for everyone. Disney obviously doesn’t want to keep Frozen open for an hour or more past park closing if it doesn’t have to. So, call the app’s wait time bluff and get in line right before 9:00 p.m. (or 11:00 p.m. on Extra Magic Hours evenings).
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Have you taken a ride on Frozen Ever After yet? How long did you stand in line and what hacks can you share to cut down on the wait?