Some honesty here. I really wasn’t planning on experiencing Frozen Ever After. It’s not that I don’t like Frozen but we didn’t really want to fight the crowds since FastPasses can be hard to obtain. I also wasn’t really excited about the transfer having done it before at Maelstrom. But since I get so many questions about the attraction I wanted to make sure that I had up to date information to share with you guys.
Disclosure: I am an ambassador for WHILL. I was given a Model M demo unit to try out in the Disney Parks. As always, all opinions are my own!
Location: Norway Pavilion in Epcot
Height Requirement: No Height Requirement
Accessibility: Must Transfer from Wheelchair/ECV.
FastPass+: Available and Highly Recommended
Who Should Ride: Slow moving, family friendly attraction but the boat will go backwards and there is a small drop.
I wanted to add a little information about FastPasses so you can make a plan if your want to experience Frozen Ever After. Epcot has a tiered FastPass system. Tier 1 includes the more popular attractions so you have to choose between Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, Test Track, and IllumiNations. If Frozen Ever After is a must do I recommend grabbing a FastPass for it. Wait times are still long.
You could also run into a situation like my sister. The attraction was down for a while and once it was running again they were only letting guests with Fastpasses into the queue. Standby eventually opened again but I don’t want you to miss out because the attraction was down. If you can’t get a Fastpass the best time to visit is at park opening. You’ll have a shorter wait time and (I think) FastPasses for the attraction don’t start until 10:00 am or 11:00 am. If I can remember where I read that I’ll add a link. But we got in line at 9:20 am and no one was in the FastPass queue the entire time we were in line which was about 45 minutes.
The standby queue begins outside and then heads indoors so you can enjoy the air conditioning. We didn’t spend much time in the outdoor portion but it’s directly in the sun. I wouldn’t want to be there for an extended period of time there when it’s hot so that is another reason to get a FastPass.
Inside you are transported to Arendelle. There are some interesting things to look at in the queue but the standby queue is mostly a big switchback. It’s also pretty bumpy so take your time getting around. The WHILL handled it well but I’m sure my foot would have come off my footrest more than once in my manual wheelchair. But you get to visit Oaken’s which is pretty cool. The FastPass queue is a lot shorter so you won’t spend as much time on the bumpy terrain but you don’t see as much of Arendelle.
Transfer Device and Ride Vehicle
After you get through the queue you’ll come to a Cast Member that will ask how many are in your party and then send you to line up to board your boat. Make sure you tell them that you want to use the transfer device and that you need to be seated in the back row. It is a lot wider so you’ll have more space to maneuver.
The transfer device is similar to the one used at Maelstrom if not the same one. It has a padded area with two small handles that cover the side of the boat. Then there is one step down on it and then into the boat. The second step is wide, which is nice. As far as how far down it is from your wheelchair, when I pulled all the way up it was at my ankles. It would have probably been closer to my knees in my manual wheelchair.
Getting in was easy. I just transferred over. Andrew stood in the boat to help me with my balance while I swung my legs around. You can bring your wheelchair pretty close and of course gravity will help you down. Getting back out was a little more complicated.
You unload near where you got on the attraction so your wheelchair isn’t far away. They may not realize that you need it or the transfer device when you get back (Cast Members switch out or they just aren’t in that area) so make sure to tell them so you’re not just sitting there waiting.
I think it would be a little easier if there were two steps to get back up instead of one. It was a little high for me to do on my own. Since Andrew had to stand on the side to help we couldn’t get the wheelchair quite as close. Having the WHILL Model M was also nice because the seat slides forward which meant there was less ground to cover. I also wish the dividers in the photo above weren’t at the exit. It’s not as big a deal when you get on the boat but it would make things a little easier exiting if you had more space.
If you have any tips on making the transition a little easier make sure to leave them in the comments. 🙂
We really enjoyed Frozen Ever After. I think it is one of the top dark rides at the park. The Olaf and Sven animatronics were our favorites and I thought they did a great job of adding things in over the existing ride. While a new attraction with a wheelchair boat would have been nice I do understand the decision to do it this way. I do think that the transfer is a little easier than before. But it’s not an attraction we’ll experience often just because the transfer still isn’t the easiest.
We would love to hear about your experience. Did you think the transfer was easy? What tips do you have? You can find more of our accessible attraction reviews here.