NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

June 6, 2014

In a frenzy over 'Frozen'

Families can't get enough of anything related to Disney movie

(Continued)

The huge demand for anything “Frozen” has created a shortage of merchandise on Disney store shelves all over North America. It’s also led to hourslong waits to see the princesses at Disney parks in Florida and California.

It’s even become an international phenomenon. The tour company Adventures by Disney added Geirangerfjord, Norway, to a new itinerary this year inspired by the movie. The film’s fantasy kingdom of Arendelle was based on the fjord. Calder looked into Disney’s Norway cruise for 2015, but shelved the idea over cost — $15,000 for her family plus airfare.

She also figured that hiring the princess performers for her daughter’s party was cheaper and easier than taking the whole family to Disney World. One day last week, the wait to meet the sisters at the park’s Princess Fairytale Hall was listed on a park sign as 300 minutes — five hours — by 9:30 a.m., a half-hour after the park opened, according to Deborah Bowen, a Tampa resident and longtime Disney park-goer.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, the fury, the popularity that these two princesses have had,” Bowen said.

Bowen, a member of Disney Parks Mom Panel, which provides vacation advice, says a saner strategy for seeing the princesses is to use the MyDisney app to book a FastPass appointment, which assures access within a designated time window.

But Jessica Becak, 33, of Long Island, N.Y., wasn’t able to reserve a visit using the FastPass system — other visitors had snagged the appointments before she booked a June trip to Disney with her 3-year-old daughter. So she’s downplaying the possibility of seeing Anna and Elsa at the park because she knows it might not be realistic. Waiting in the standby line just isn’t an option, she said.

“My daughter’s not going to be able to stand in line for two to five hours in the heat,” she said. “So right now, we’re glossing over it. If we walk by and it doesn’t look too traumatic, we might try it.”

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