HONG KONG -- Fans can finally step into the land of Arendelle with the launch of World of Frozen, an area inspired by the popular "Frozen" movie franchise, at Hong Kong Disneyland.
The new theme park attraction, which took seven years to build, was unveiled Thursday in a grand event attended by Disney executives as well as media and influencers around the world.
Disney CEO Bob Iger noted that the "Frozen" films are not just a worldwide phenomenon, but also among the most successful in their company's 100-year history. "Which is why it's fitting that we're taking off our second century by bringing this story to life in a whole new way," he said.
"This is the definition of the Disney experience," Iger continued. "And I'm so glad that our first 'Frozen' land is here in Hong Kong Disneyland, and I couldn't be more pleased to be here for its biggest and grandest expansion yet."
"Frozen" creator and Walt Disney Animation Studios chief creative officer Jennifer Lee still could not believe that her story about sisters Elsa and Anna was not just embraced by audiences around the world, but was also turned into an immersive theme park experience.
"A decade ago at Disney Animation, there was a small group of us dreaming about a story of two sisters," she recalled. "We could not have imagined back then that audiences around the world would embrace the story of 'Frozen' and take it into their hearts as they have. And we definitely could not have dreamt that one day, we would have the opportunity to walk through and truly experience the Kingdom of Arendelle today."
"I stand here representing all the artists who have worked together to create the 'Frozen' films," she added. "Truly inspired and amazed [by World of Frozen]."
'PERSONAL,' 'THEATRICAL' EXPERIENCES
World of Frozen features three main attractions: a music-filled boat ride called Frozen Ever After, the family-friendly roller coaster Wandering Oaken's Sliding Sleighs, and the interactive show Playhouse in the Woods.
Guests can also explore architecture inspired by Nordic culture, listen to new arrangements of "Frozen" melodies, and buy themed treats and souvenirs.
Michel Den Dulk, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering, described their latest project as "a theatrical experience where you get really up close to our famous characters."
"We wanted to give guests the opportunity to meet the characters and hear the music that they love so much," he shared. "So we have multiple experiences in the land."
"[For example in Playhouse in the Woods] You get to be up close with Anna and Elsa, and they have the guests surround them in the middle of the show... It's a really fun experience."
Hong Kong Disneyland managing director Michael Moriarty, for his part, wants the World of Frozen to deliver unique and memorable experiences to visitors as they create their own stories in the "Frozen"-themed land.
"We have animated figures of Elsa singing, and also Anna, and these are the most advanced in all of the [Disney] resorts around the world... But we also wanted to focus on how we can make this a living land where our guests are the central character in creating their own memories," he explained. "So we've used that time [during the pandemic] for good and I can't wait for our guests to see it."
World of Frozen will open its gates to the public on November 20. Those who want a complete experience can also book the "Frozen" suite at Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel which comes with themed wallpaper, furniture, and amenities.