Disney’s “Frozen” Won’t Slow Down, Boosts Norway’s Tourism

Although Disney’s smash hit Frozen hit theaters half a year ago, it still won’t slow down. The film, which is now the fifth-highest grossing film of all time ($1.2 billion worldwide) has swelled Disney’s second-quarter earnings to four times their 2012 worth. Frozen merchandise is selling so fast, Disney had to ration its products to stores. And a meet-and-greet with the two Disney princesses, Anna and Elsa, is a five-hour wait at both the Florida and California Disney parks.

“It is not unusual for the line to quickly grow to two hours plus within 10 minutes of park opening,” says Deb Wills, founder of Disney planning site AllEars.Net. Adds Christi Donnan, a Disney parks spokeswoman: “the popularity of Anna and Elsa has gone above and beyond the character meet-and-greets that I’ve ever seen. It’s definitely a phenomenon. Right now, especially for families with little girls, ‘Frozen’ is really the No. 1 requested thing.”

For those not wanting to book their family vacation on the slim chances of seeing the princesses, a Disney cruise might be a better alternative. Anna and Elsa are scheduled to appear this summer on three of the four Disney cruise ships (Magic, Wonder, and Fantasy). “We were lucky to have Princess Anna on our ship last fall, and it was a thrill to our guests,” says Christian Abbott, cruise director on the Disney Dream. “Since then, the movie has just exploded all over the world and we offer screenings of ‘Frozen’ on the ship with singsongs.” Even more, Disney plans to extend its Cruise Line to Norway next year to give the full Frozen experience.

Travel in general to Norway has jumped, up 37 percent between January and March (compared to the year before.) “It put Norway on the map,” says Innovation Norway’s marketing coordinator, Beate Gran. Innovation Norway was approached by Disney for a possible partnership back in May 2013, six months before the film hit theaters. For Innovation Norway, partnering with Disney was a no-brainer. “We saw the opportunity right away. Norway is a tiny little destination, relatively unknown in the U.S., so for us to be tied to a world-renowned brand such as Disney was huge.”

Adventures by Disney (a section of the Disney Parks and Resorts unit) provides guided tours to 27 destinations around the world, but their Norway package is only the second to be inspired by an actual Disney film (the first was to Scotland for Brave.)

And if you’re not able to head to a theme park, cruise, or Norway itself for the full Frozen experience, adaptations of the film are set to hit both Disney on Ice and Broadway. It’s safe to say that the Frozen phenomenon will be around for a good time coming.

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