Frozen has taken over the Cinderella Castle lighting at Magic Kingdom for the second straight year. On Party nights, it’s scheduled at 6:15pm for everybody and then again at 8pm for Party goers. On non-Party nights, it’s scheduled at 6:15pm and again at 7:30pm (usually) or 8:20pm (possibly). Shortly after the 6:15pm show, the Dream Lights are turned off in preparation for the second lighting.
Back in the day, when Cinderella and friends hosted the Lighting, the show was incredibly easy to see with virtually no trouble whatsoever. Two years ago, this is the scene in front of the Castle just five minutes before showtime. You could get on the ground and do snow angels if you wanted to.
Those days are long gone. This is the crowd 40 minutes before the start of Frozen Holiday Wish. Dream with Mickey, scheduled at 5:35pm, helps and hurts the Frozen Holiday Wish experience. It helps because it’s sort of entertaining should you show up 45+ minutes before Frozen is scheduled to start. But it also pulls people to the area even earlier, and as they stick around for Frozen, the area becomes even more congested.
15 minutes before showtime, the area in front of Cinderella Castle is almost completely filled in with people.
Frozen Holiday Wish features Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf from the film.
It’s a fun storyline with impressive projection mapping on the Castle.
The Dream Lights almost seem like an afterthought compared to the bright flashes and animation that precede it.
Seeing the show is kind of a nightmare, particularly on non-Party nights. No matter what show you see, there’s a high likelihood that a kid is going up on the shoulders’ of the guy in front of you, almost entirely blocking your view. It’s otherwise impossible for kids to see much of the show at all from the ground level. Frozen brings a huge number of people to the Hub in front of the Castle, to the point where they’re backed up in the streets past the main Hub area, back toward Casey’s Corner.
Obviously on Party nights, everybody not attending the Party will need to see the 6:15pm show. On non-Party nights, seeing the 6:15pm show makes sense in most situations. For the 7:30pm show, most people will be trying to hold their ground waiting for Wishes and the Electrical Parade, which will make it even more difficult to exit the area after.
If you can, see the show from as far back as possible, ideally around the new Hub area or closer to the Adventureland bridge. The Hub areas remain relatively clear of people and you’re far back enough that kids on shoulders will be less of an issue. You’ll also be able to take in the full Castle projections and enjoy seeing the Castle lit up for the first time. If you must be closer, my favorite spot is behind the Partners statue in between the central Hub area and Cinderella Castle. There’s a bit of a downward slope, so you’re a little higher up than the people in front of you, which usually affords a slightly better view. Still, there’s always the chance that the kids are going up.
So the point here is basically that the area around Cinderella Castle is very congested prior to and after the show. It’s difficult to make an exit as a lot of these people are sticking around for one reason or another. You really want to consider hanging back.
Here’s a look at the interesting part of this year’s Lighting, include a look at the new turrets lighting up for “literally” the first time.
Some Christmas decorations:
I’ll have a separate post on Magic Kingdom happenings.