Before there was Avatar Flight of Passage in Pandora, Slinky Dog Dash in Toy Story Land, and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the hottest attraction at Walt Disney World was Frozen Ever After. The ride opened in June 2016 in the Norway Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. In its first few months, Frozen Ever After often boasted waits of 2-3 hours or more.
Frozen 2 is about to hit movie theaters, and a whole new wave of Frozen fever is already brewing. With a new wave of fans about to discover the Frozen franchise, it seems safe to assume lines at Frozen Ever After are going to get worse before they get better! But to be honest, interest in this attraction never really died down. Standby wait times have consistently been over an hour long the past 3 years. Fastpasses still often “sell out” 60 days in advance, making them only available to the fastest-fingered of on-property guests.
I know you don’t want to stand in those kind of lines for Frozen Ever After, right? Neither do I. With young kids in my family, any wait time 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.
For that reason, whenever I go to Disney World, I always scout out all the different ways to ride Frozen Ever After without standing in line for a crazy long time. Here are my very best tips for riding Frozen Ever After without the wait.
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Frozen Ever After Basics
If you’ve never heard of Frozen Ever After, let’s start with a few basics. Frozen Ever After is a family-friendly boat ride through Arendelle. Guests get to see their favorite Frozen characters in action including Anna, Elsa, Sven, Olaf, Kristoff, and more.
The ride is located the Norway Pavilion in World Showcase in Epcot. Frozen Ever After is a reimagining of another boat ride attraction in the space, Maelstrom. This ride was bit of a Disney cult classic, so the conversion to a Frozen-themed attraction was not without controversy.
That said, Frozen Ever After has been mostly a major hit since its release. 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.
Frozen Ever After doesn’t have a height minimum, so it is a ride that the whole family can do together. Parents with very sensitive little ones should know, however, that it does have a short (backwards) sloping drop. This drop is somewhat similar to the mild drop on Pirates of the Caribbean.
When the ride opened, it regularly posted wait times of 5 hours or more. While those have settled down quite a bit, a 1-2 hour standby wait time in 2019 is not uncommon at all. The ride has also been known for experiencing periodic break downs, which can make lines even worse when it is open and working.
Frozen Ever After: How Do You Skip the Long Wait?
So, now that you know what the ride is about, what line skipping secrets are there so you don’t have to wait in long lines for it?
1. Stay On-Site to Take Advantage of 60 Day Fastpass+
What does staying in a on-site 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 can sometimes be booked up completely as soon as the 60 day window starts. If you want to snag a coveted Fastpass for Frozen Ever After at your time of choice, being on the Disney website at 7 a.m. Eastern Time as soon as that 60 day window opens is a must. If you are booking your Disney World vacation through a full service travel agent, many of them will book Fastpasses for you.
2. Book Fastpasses More than 60 Days in Advance.
For the busiest of Disney World times like around Christmas or peak spring break, even 60 days in advance might not be enough. But how can you book a Fastpass more than 60 days in advance when 60 days is the rule?
What a lot of Disney World visitors don’t know is that on-property guests on multi-day trips to Walt Disney World can book Fastpasses for the entirety of their stay. They can do this 60 days before the first day of their hotel stay. So that means someone with a 5 night stay can book Fastpasses 65 days in advance for the last day of their vacation.
If a Frozen Ever After Fastpass is a must for you, consider planning your day in Epcot to be one of the later days of your trip. That way, you can book a Fastpass more than 60 days in advance and beat even more of the competition.
If you are on a splurge vacation, there’s one more choice that can give you access to Fastpasses more than 60 days in advance — a stay at club level. Club level is an option at a number of deluxe Disney resorts as well as the new Gran Destino tower at Coronado Springs, a moderate resort. (Learn more about the differences between Disney deluxe, moderate, and value resorts.)
Disney World offers all guests staying at club level a special package of 3 extra Fastpasses per person per day that can be booked 90 days in advance. As you might guess, this option isn’t cheap! It’s $50 per person per day with a 3 day minimum. That means a family of four would pay $600 for the smallest package option. And note that this is above and beyond the already higher price of the club level room. But for ride junkies who have the cash, a club level stay is a strategy that works for snagging coveted Fastpasses like the one for Frozen Ever After.
3. Fastpass+ Refreshing & Persistence
If you are unsuccessful in getting a Fastpass for Frozen Ever After initially, all hope is definitely not lost. Sometimes Fastpasses do become available, either because another guest cancels a trip or decides to visit another park for the day. Disney also does additional Fastpass drops for many attractions where Fastpasses are added for new guests to claim long after the 60 day window (sometimes even same day!).
Check early and check often. How do you do this? There’s a technique called Fastpass+ refresh that I’ve found really successful for snagging hard-to-get Fastpass reservations. It’s as simple as swiping down while using the My Disney Experience app to “refresh” the Fastpass booking results. You can do this either when you are booking a new Fastpass or modifying a Fastpass you already have. Remember – persistence is usually rewarded!
If you have a large group and don’t mind splitting up, consider also searching for Fastpasses in smaller groups. It is a lot easier to find Fastpasses for 2 people at once than it is for 6. Sometimes you can find Fastpasses with overlapping time windows this way that still allow your family to ride the attraction all together.
4. 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. It makes for a somewhat rushed dining experience, but it’s doable if you are some of the first guests making a beeline for your reservation.
5. Rope Drop Frozen Ever After
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 International Gateway, which is the “back entrance” into the World Showcase to Epcot. Guests of Disney’s Beach Club, Yacht Club and Boardwalk resorts are within walking distance of this entrance from their hotels. And now that the Disney Skyliner is open and hopefully fully operational, this is an easy dropoff point for guests coming from Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, Art of Animation, and the forthcoming Riviera Resort.
Even if you are staying somewhere else, there’s no reason you can’t use the International Gateway entrance 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.
This strategy works on regular mornings when Epcot has a 9:00am park opening as well as on days when Epcot offers an 8:00 am Extra Magic Hour. Just be sure not to do try this strategy on mornings that offer Extra Magic Hours if you don’t have access to EMH yourself!
Trips With Tykes Tip: Even though World Showcase often has a later listed opening time than the rest of Epcot (often 11:00 am when Epcot opens at 9:00 am), Frozen Ever After is open at the earlier time.
6. Book the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party
Another way to pay your way into a no wait experience for Frozen Ever After is by booking the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party. This premium dining package gives guests access to special reserved viewing areas for the Epcot Forever night time fireworks show. After the fireworks are over, everyone is escorted directly to Frozen Ever After for a no wait ride. The package includes a huge menu of special Frozen themed treats as well as drinks (alcohol included for adults who wish to partake).
The party is offered nearly every night of the week except Tuesdays. Through November 30, the experience costs $79 for adults and $47 for children age 3-9 with tax and gratuity included. Starting December 1, 2019, the price increases to $99 for adults and $59 for children age 3-9.
As of the date this blog post was published, there are only party dates offered until the end of 2019. We don’t know yet for sure whether the party will be continued in 2020.
7. Ride Frozen Ever After Late – Right Before Epcot’s Closing
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. I’ve tested this strategy out in person on multiple occasions and found it worked amazingly well. In fact, for anyone who can stay up late, it is perhaps the easiest option of them all!
Start monitoring the wait time for Frozen Ever After in the My Disney Experience app about an hour or two before park close. It will likely be significant, especially if one of the many festivals like Flower & Garden, Food & Wine, or Festival of the Arts is happening bringing more guests to World Showcase.
On one recent trip, my family did just that. At 7:00 pm on an evening where Epcot closed at 9:00, we saw a wait time of 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 pm. 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 pm (or 11:00 pm on nights with evening Extra Magic Hours).
Where to Buy Discounted Disney World Tickets
So now that these tips will hopefully save you some serious time, let’s talk about how you can also save serious money on your Walt Disney World trip! Authorized ticket broker Undercover Tourist regularly offers the deepest discounts you can find anywhere on Walt Disney World tickets. These tickets get all the same privileges as the ones you purchase from Disney directly – they just cost less! They are fully linkable in My Disney Experience before your trip so you can book Fastpasses early and use all the tips and tricks detailed in this post. Book your Disney World park tickets from Undercover Tourist here.
Have you taken a ride on Frozen Ever After? How long did you stand in line and what hacks can you share to cut down on the wait?