Maelstrom never had these issues; Disney World’s Frozen Ever After ride at EPCOT once again frightens guests with a haunting ‘overlay.’
Since 2016, tucked away in the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT’s world showcase, Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Olaf, and the gang have been delighting fans on Frozen Ever After.
The beautifully crafted boat ride, which replaced the fan-favorite Maelstrom, takes guests through the kingdom of Arendelle, made famous in the 2013 smash-hit Frozen.
The slow-moving boat ride features dazzling, icy sets, complete with lovable characters, special effects, and a few surprises, all sewn together by a fantastic soundtrack, which features “Let It Go,” “In Summer,” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman.”
Although the ride features stunning castles and creatures that make riders feel as if they’ve actually entered the world of Frozen, what really makes Frozen Ever After worth its lengthy wait times is the mapping technology utilized to produce animated faces on the ride system’s animatronics.
How Does Frozen Ever After Look So Much Like ‘Frozen’?
It doesn’t matter if it’s Anna, Elsa, Olaf, or Kristoff, Frozen Ever After uses an ingenious method to cast projection mapping onto the face of the ride’s characters, making them appear as if they’ve jumped right out of their animated feature film.
Compared to older methods, rear-projected animatronics, now abandoned by Disney Imagineers, once had a good run at Walt Disney World. The projection creates life-like, well, cartoon-like, instances upon the faces of models within the ride’s layout, unlike anything many of us have ever experienced.
The problem, as is with any new technology, is that rear-projected animatronics can be a bit temperamental. Often, guests experiencing Frozen Ever After report failed projections, stuck faces, or other technical difficulties along the way.
For this reason, when Frozen Ever After arrived at Hong Kong Disneyland, Imagineers opted out of the technology and returned to their bread and butter of creating sophisticated robotics for facial movements.
Another Instance of Fear-Inducing Mishap
I’ve personally seen what happens when Frozen Ever After goes sideways, and it can be startling. Imaging of blank faces and twisted images come immediately to mind, turning Frozen Ever After into something you’d expect to see at Halloween Horror Nights as opposed to EPCOT.
So, if I’ve had to see it, so do you! Luckily, one TikTok user caught this unintentional horror ‘overlay’ on camera and posted it to the popular social media platform. So make sure the kiddos are out of the room because this is the stuff nightmares are made of.
Scary, right? TikTok user CM_BrickFlips posted the video a day ago and has received almost 500,000 likes. Commenters to the post don’t disappoint, noting that this mishap, which sees the faces of Anna and Elsa completely blacked out while going through their typical progressions, would absolutely “terrify” their children.
Long Waits for Broken Rides Like Frozen Ever After
Among the witty comments and video sharing, the original poster cites another detrimental and horrific issue associated with Disney World attractions nowadays: long wait times for broken products.
The poster claims they waited a whopping 120 minutes for the ride, only to be jump-scared by the horrific scene of missing faces on both Anna and Elsa. I can’t imagine the displeasure with this, especially if kids were exposed to the frightening scene.
Frozen Ever After, probably one of the more popular attractions at EPCOT, outside of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, is one of many Disney World attractions that faces constant mechanical and technological failure. Rise of the Resistance, Tower of Terror, Tron: Lightcycle Run, and Expedition Everest are a few others that seem to have issues a lot.
Given the expense of a Disney World vacation and the fact that we as consumers wouldn’t settle for anything less anywhere else, it’s understandable that people are becoming upset by the constant onslaught of undependable ride systems that impact our overall vacations. This video is another example of how long wait times sometimes simply aren’t worth it.
Some Are Calling for Cancelling the Ride
Some comments within the video call for a “cancelling” of the ride, suggesting that Anna and Elsa in black-face is reason enough to shut it down, much like Disney did with Splash Mountain. Of course, these comments, mostly, are jokes.
However, if someone really wanted to have Frozen Ever After cancelled, despite the popularity of characters like Queen Elsa and Olaf, it would make more sense to argue that the ride’s dependability and overall experience for guests should be brought into question.