If the thought of watching Frozen for the millionth time gives you the chills, take heart: Disney’s most popular animated feature ever has been reimagined as a musical, and it will have you singing Let It Go with renewed fervor. Frozen: Live at the Hyperion has just opened at Disney California Adventure, giving audiences a whole new way to enjoy the world of Frozen.
I was fortunate to catch the premiere performance of Frozen Live, and judging by the audience’s (and my) reaction, the show is set for a very long run. Everyone is sure to find something new to love. Songs that were previously solos or duets have been transformed into ensemble numbers, complete with chorus and dance sequences. The actors are truly Broadway-caliber, and I can’t say enough about the special effects. Be prepared for high-tech video projections, a revolving stage, animated trolls, a puppet Sven, a puppet Olaf, dresses that turn into ice, ice spikes, an ice staircase, a cliff jumping scene where characters are literally flying through the air, and a ton of snow!
The Hyperion Theater seats 1,800, and three performances are planned each day, but with all the excitement surrounding Frozen Live, be prepared for larger-than-usual crowds throughout the summer. If you’re planning a trip to the Disneyland Resort in the near future and want to catch Frozen Live while you’re there, here are a few tips for making the most of your experience:
Get a Fast Pass
In order to guarantee a seat, you’ll need a Fast Pass. Fast Passes for the show are distributed at the Hollywood Backlot in Disney’s California Adventure, between the Hyperion Theatre and the restrooms. Fast Pass distribution begins when the park opens, so get your Fast Passes as soon as possible. Note that Disneyland Resort guests have early Magic Hour entry on select days of the week, so there may already be a line at 8:00 a.m. These Fast Passes are on a separate system for the rest of the park, so you can hold Fast Passes for the show and for another attraction (Soarin’ Over California, California Screamin’, Radiator Springs Racers, etc…) at the same time.
Budget enough time
The show’s run time is about 50 minutes, but you should probably block out 90-120 minutes of your day for the entire experience. Your Fast Pass will have a return time window printed on it; guests are asked to arrive between 60 and 20 minutes ahead of showtime. Make sure you arrive early, especially during the first weeks and months of the performance!
There are no restrooms at the Hyperion
If you need a potty break, you’ll need to head outside the Hyperion for a restroom. If you’re waiting in line, ask a friend/family member/kind stranger to save your spot, and let a Cast Member know that you need to use the restroom. The Cast Member will give you a special ticket indicating the number of people who need to temporarily leave the line. When you’ve done your business, you can hand the ticket back to the Cast Member and resume your place in line. This also works if you are dehydrated and need to buy a drink.
There are no bad seats in the house
Every seat has a clear view of the stage, You’ll be able to see the expressions on the actors’ faces much better if you’re in the orchestra, but you’ll get a better view of Elsa’s ice crystal chandelier and ice staircase if you’re sitting at the mezzanine or balcony level.
A lot goes on during Elsa’s Let It Go song. The production’s special effects are working overtime in the space of four minutes, ice flurries swirl in the background, a virtual snowman (Olaf) appears in the center of the stage, ice creeps up on the sides of the theater, and an ice staircase appears and extends out into the audience. If you’re seated in the orchestra area, you might be looking in so many directions that you forget to look up. Don’t make this mistake, or you’ll miss the spectacular ice crystal chandelier that forms the highlight of Elsa’s ice palace!
Watch the aisles
If you’re sitting in an aisle seat in the orchestra, be aware that many actors walk down the aisles to enter and exit a scene, and occasionally have large props with them. If you stretch your legs out onto the aisle, you might end up tripping Olaf!
Photos and videos are okay
Unlike many performances, photos and videos are allowed during the performance. The audience is asked to refrain from using a flash or any kind of auxiliary lighting. They also ask people not to hold their phones or cameras high above their heads to avoid disturbing the people behind.
Disclosure: Disney Parks covered travel, lodging, and park expenses so I could attend the premiere performance of Frozen – Live at the Hyperion.
Bonggamom lives, breathes, and blogs in Palo Alto, CA. For more photos and videos from Frozen – Live at the Hyperion, head over to her personal blog, Finding Bonggamom.