By now I’m sure you have heard about the Ice Palace that is in select malls around the country. It is there to promote a new Frozen Sing-Along DVD, to be released on November 18. The closest one to us is at The West Farms Mall in West Hartford Connecticut and by close I mean an hour away. We decided to make the trip anyway, because it sounded like fun and friends were going to meet us there to experience it as well.
Reading the description that West Farms has on it’s website I think I was expecting a little more. Here is part of the description from their website:
“The highest-grossing animated film of all time, “Frozen” will take center stage in the spectacular, interactive Ice Palace, where you can sing “Let it Go” just like Elsa, or one of many other songs from the Nov. 18 DVD release. You’ll also see special scenes from the Academy Award® winning movie, create a “Frozen” handprint, take a photo with Olaf on his ice throne, measure up against the “Are You as Tall as Sven and Olaf?” feature, and more”
That is only part of the line!
many times. This is only a small section.
We had three kids in line with us, ages 3, 4, and 7. The 7 year old might have been okay waiting that long, but we could not see the 3 and 4 year old holding out. These are the kids that were great in Disney lines, but it just didn’t seem worth a four hour wait to basically see an advertisement for a DVD.
I think their biggest problem was that it didn’t seem like they were regulating how much time people spent in the Ice Palace. I don’t know how you could regulate the time. Our group had a discussion over dinner about this. What we came up with was some kind of system with buzzers or texts, so that you don’t have to stand in line for four hours with little kids. Too bad they can’t implement a FastPass system like Disney has 😉 Seriously though, we were in line for maybe 20 minutes and there were quite a few kids crying and melting down. It is pretty unreasonable to expect a little one to wait that long and not have a meltdown, but it’s meant for kids…so it’s too bad they don’t have a better system.
Santa was there to take pictures and the kids could have their pictures taken in the ice throne, so that might have been another reason for the ridiculously long wait. Speaking of the ice throne, that was something else that we were a little disappointed in. On the website it says you can have your picture taken with Olaf on his ice throne. While the ice throne was pretty cool, the Olaf you could have your picture taken with was actually two plush Olafs…and not the big plush. Then there were signs asking you not to use your personal camera. So you can’t have a picture of your child in the throne unless you are willing to shell out some money. I called the mall this morning to ask for price package information and I was told that that the packages start at about $20 and go up to about $49.
but the Olaf portion is a little disappointing.
fun, Santa was there to take pictures.
The dome is where the falling snow was and that looked pretty cool, but the only other thing in the dome were televisions that were playing advertisements for the Frozen Sing-Along DVD (I was told from someone who waited 3 hours to get in).
I’m sorry to sound so negative. You know I love my Disney, but I feel like they missed the mark on this one. I understand it is pretty much just a big advertisement for the Frozen Sing-Along DVD, but the way it was marketed made it sound like there was going to be a little more to it. Especially with the ice throne (that part really disappointed me. I was expecting a statue of Olaf or something to be on the throne with the kids). When the Disney name is attached to it I think more is expected and that might be where the problem was for me. The gift shop didn’t even look that great, just kind of thrown together. When I hear gift shop, I think gift shop…this wasn’t a gift shop.
playing an advertisement for the DVD.
On the plus side, the line did pass by some food locations. So make sure to bring some cash, if you get hungry you can always flag down a passerby and ask them to grab you some food or coffee. Standard delivery tipping would apply.
If you live close by, I would definitely go to check it out. It is really pretty, especially with all of the Christmas decorations around. If you don’t live close then I would try to go during the week and go early. During the week I heard the wait times were around 45 minutes. That we can do! Four hours we can’t do, it’s just not reasonable. I’m glad I got to see it though, even if we didn’t go in. It really is pretty.
So, if you can’t make it during the week I wouldn’t go. It is just going to get crazier the closer we get to Christmas, especially since Santa is part of the event. If you go during the week then the line shouldn’t be that long. I might try again with the kids sometime during the week. I’ll post an update if we decide to give it a second attempt.
Again, it’s very pretty to look at and if you are only waiting 45 minutes or so it would be fine. If the wait is that much longer you can take some pictures of your kids with the palace in the background and then take them to the Disney store. That’s what we did when we bailed from the line. We brought the kids up to the Disney store and they loved that! I was happy to be in the Disney store too, it makes you feel a little closer to the parks 🙂
One point I really want to stress is that no matter how long the line is, please don’t be nasty to the mall personnel. I know it can be frustrating waiting in long lines with kids, but no one is forcing anyone to wait in the lines. As disappointed as I was with the wait time and some of the aspects of the Ice Palace, it was not their fault. I’ve been on the other end, working in retail, and it can be very difficult to work with the public. They are just doing their job and didn’t have anything to do with the set up or the way the line is handled. So, please be respectful to them if you go to see the palace. Their job is not easy and the nicer you are to them the smoother everything will go. Just a little PSA from me to you 😉