See Elsa and Anna come to life at Disney's Frozen Village
Looking for something to do with the children on a hot summer day? Pay a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland's Frozen village and meet all the characters from the cartoon smash hit
If you've had the song Let it Go on a loop for the past year because your children are devotees of Princess Anna and Queen Elsa, then you should pay a visit to the Frozen Village at Hong Kong Disneyland. Even if you're one of the rare few to have skipped the animated film, you also should probably go, as it's a good introduction to the movie.
Tickets to the village are snapped up quickly when the park opens, so get them as soon as you enter to ensure a good place in the queue, which is manageable the first thing in the morning. We were lucky enough to score tickets beforehand and marched into the Palace of Arendelle for the Crown Theatre show, featuring the characters from the film. There is a bit of waiting before the theatre opens, and it would have been nice if the images in picture frames had changed more frequently to keep the little ones entertained.
The best seats are obviously front and centre, facing a backdrop that features changing vistas from the film as the show progresses. The two emcees spoke in Cantonese and as my two children aren't bilingual they zoned out through these parts, although the pair drew laughter from others. They also got the audience to sing along while songs from the film played on the big screen, karaoke-style. Since the lyrics are in English, the sing-along did not get much of a response until Let it Go came on, when the little ones joined in with gusto.
Of course, they were excited once characters from the film started appearing on stage, culminating in the arrival of Queen Elsa. I later realised the odd expression my daughter had on her face was because she was abjectly starstruck, a reminder of how Disney films have become the mythology of our time. The show ends with artificial snow floating down on the audience, a novelty for most Hong Kong children.
In Festival Square, children can play in the snow and build castles out of the ice with moulds provided. This occupied my kids for all of five minutes, so I'd suggest queuing for the toboggan ride first. It's a thrill to slide down the steep slope, but watch out for the impact on your feet when you land. You can also queue up to meet Olaf, choose from movie-themed baked goodies or buy souvenirs.
A meet-and-greet with Elsa and Anna take place separately near Cinderella's Castle, and little girls who own Frozen princess attire can take part in a special procession at noon. Since the cost of the outfit exceeded my budget, I had to steer my princess past this one.
On Main Street, the Art of Animation studio features an artist who will lead youngsters in drawing Olaf. The session is in Cantonese, but it's easy enough to follow by looking at the steps projected on the screen. My four-year-old son's teacher had told me he was not into art, so I was pleasantly surprised that this activity held his attention although the result was more scribble and less snowman.
Verdict: a must-do for fans of the film, and especially cooling in the summer.
Frozen Village at Hong Kong Disneyland, free with regular park tickets, until Aug 30