Review of the New Frozen Musical at Disney California Adventure

by on May 27, 2016 7 Comments

Filed under: Disneyland (CA)

Untitled

Image © Disney

This is a review of the new Frozen Musical at Disney California Adventure, which I think is officially called “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion,” but I’ve also seen it referred to as “Frozen Live” in other news stories and on signs/billboards. The show replaces the Aladdin musical which ran in the same theater for a whopping 13 years, as well as spawned a Disney cruise ship show and Broadway production. Aladdin was a fan favorite and huge crowd pleaser, so many were curious to see the Frozen show would be a worthy replacement. The new show is directed by Liesl Tommy, whose previous production on Broadway was “Eclipsed.” I’m a dumb and uncultured Disney blogger, so I have no idea what that show is, but a Google search tells me it’s very popular with critics and audiences.

A huge change from Aladdin is Frozen’s use of projection effects, there’s a ton of them. There are projections everywhere, including on the walls of the stage, the curtains that surround half the theater, the floor, and even sometimes the actors themselves. Thankfully the use of all that technology never gets in the way, it complements the story. Some of the show’s most impressive moments are when projections show movement from one area to another. There’s one instance which starts off near the castle in Arendelle, but then flies up to a snow-covered mountain. I got a similar sensation as when riding Soarin’ Over California; it looks that good. The downside to the use of all the projections is the lack of physical props and sets. With the exception of Elsa’s ice stairs, a few doors, and some other smaller objects, almost everything else projected on to screens or shown on a huge LCD screen that is used as the backdrop of the stage.

Image © Disney

All those earworm songs you know and love from the multi-platinum movie soundtrack are in the new Frozen musical. Of course all of the songs sound great thanks to the incredibly talented cast. Even if you’ve sick to death of “Let it Go,” you’ll appreciate the show-stopping way it’s presented in the show. A huge frosty staircase appears from the back of the stage and then rotates and swings over the audience as Elsa is climbing up it and singing. While that is happening, swirling snow and wind effects fill the entire theater. It’s all very impressive.

Frozen – Live at the Hyperion clocks in at just over 55 minutes, which means you need to be ready to dedicate a good chunk of your day to see it. Currently there are only three showings per a day. FASTPASS tickets are distributed first come, first served, and we expect them to sell out quickly every morning for at least the rest of the year (they lasted about 1 hour today).  There is a stand-by line available, but you are not guaranteed entry if you wait in this line. I heard that only 3000 people daily (all day, not each show) will be admitted from it. FastPass ticket holders are allowed to line up 1 hour before the show they obtained a ticket for.

Overall Frozen is a very enjoyable show that looks great visually and is a worthy successor to the previous Aladdin show. Even if you’ve watched the movie DVD 1000 times, I consider the musical a must-see thanks to its dazzling effects and wonderful cast. Have you seen Frozen – Live at the Hyperion? What did you think of the show? Do you recommend it to other people? Let me know in the comments below.

DSC00024 - Copy

Update: We now have a video of a full performance of the Frozen musical available on our YouTube channel:

Posted on May 27, 2016

7 Responses to “Review of the New Frozen Musical at Disney California Adventure”

  • I got lucky, and managed to snag a FP for the last show— after walking into the park at 8:50— I must have just snuck in under the wire.

    And I don’t know how the first two showings went, but getting into the theater itself was a bit of a logistical nightmare for the 5:20- they didn’t let people in to queue until an horu beforehand, of course, but the street outside was starting to become wall-to-wall people in the ten to fifteen minutes before that, despite their best efforts to get everyone to disperse. Then, we didn’t actually get let in until around 5:30, and the show started somewhere around 6:00, I believe. (The crowd was actually less grumpy than I expected, strangely enough.)

    The show itself was pretty amazing, though… the effects were just phenomenal (although I think there were still some technical glitches going on at times). I think the only thing I found myself a little disappointed in was that everything seemed to be pretty directly taken from the movie with a few exceptions— which isn’t a bad thing by any means! But I feel like part of the charm of Aladdin was that it had its own sort of identity, beyond just being a copy of the original. The performers really sold it though— the acting and singing was wonderful— and the puppetry! Geez, the scene with the wolves attacking the sled… that was something else.

    All in all, definitely worth seeing. (Maybe not worth the 1.5+ hour wait in the sun, but still worth seeing.)

  • Are these fastpasses “connected” or can you hold, for example, a Frozen show fastpass AND get a fp for RCR also? Will FP be necessary to see the show for the “foreseeable future” or will some seats be saved for non-FP?

    • *I read your answer to my second question when I re-skimmed your entry (I’m trying to avoid “spoilers”! I still have the first question, though.

    • They’re disconnected! I got a FP for Tower immediately after getting one for Frozen, so you should be good. 🙂

      • Shows are always disconnected from rides, so the question is really if you can get a Frozen Live fastpass and a World of Color fastpass at the same time?

  • How/Where does one get FASTPASSes for this? Are there distribution kiosks somewhere that I just missed?

    • On Friday morning, Fastpasses were distributed at kiosks to the left of the Hyperion (tucked behind some merch stands), but they had people enter the queue for it from the T-Party/Monsters Inc area. They all went within about an hour of opening, though, so that may be why you can’t find them today. :\