Disney Axes Original Main Street Theming, Replaces With ‘Frozen’

in Disney Parks

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, in their iconic red and polka dot outfits, stand in front of a charming, vintage-style train station with a clock tower. The station entrance is flanked by greenery and colorful flowers under a bright blue sky.

Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

One version of Main Street, U.S.A. has undergone an icy makeover this week.

If there’s one thing Disney loves to do, it’s capitalize on IP. In recent years, Disney theme parks worldwide have started integrating more and more existing franchises into their theming and attractions instead of opting for something original (much to the displeasure of many theme park fans).

frozen ever after animatronics
Credit: Disney

In the past few years alone, we’ve seen Disney remove the likes of Maelstrom from EPCOT and renovate hotels such as Disney Hotel New York to integrate more modern IP into its resorts. In these cases, it was Frozen (2013) and the Marvel Cinematic Universe that stepped in to take their place.

According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, this trend won’t die any time soon. Earlier this week, Iger confirmed that Disney wants to work as much IP into its theme parks as possible over the next few years.

Guests walking in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom behind Cinderella Castle
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

“For quite a long time, new attractions and lands at the parks were based on, essentially, either very old IP or no IP — just an attraction,” he said. “And, starting really with Carsland and Toy Story and a few others, we decided that almost all of our investment in the parks in terms of attractions and lands would be using that IP. And it’s very, very clear what that delivered.”

Disney plans to turbocharge its theme parks with a whopping $60 million investment over the next decade, with the majority of announced plans focusing on IP. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, for example, DinoLand U.S.A. is set to be replaced with a Tropical Americas land that will draw on Coco (2017), Encanto (2022), and the Indiana Jones franchise.

DinoLand U.S.A. front entrance sign inside of Disney's Animal Kingdom Park
Credit: Disney

Related: Technical Glitch Sees Disney Characters Disappear From Main Street

On a much smaller scale, this week has provided yet another example of how Disney is adding more IP to existing elements of the park.

According to X (formerly known as Twitter) user @hk_emporium, Hong Kong Disneyland has given a section of its iconic Emporium store on Main Street, U.S.A. a Frozen makeover. Images shared on the platform show “snowgies” (the tiny snow monsters created by Elsa in the franchise) perched atop fake snow in the store, as well as Arendelle-inspired wall hangings and a recreation of Olaf himself.

Playhouse in the Woods at World of Frozen
Credit: Disney

Hong Kong Disneyland notably opened the world’s first Frozen land (aptly named “World of Frozen”) in November 2023. While it’s not unusual for Disney to sell land-specific merchandise on Main Street, U.S.A., what is strange is changing an entire section of the store to reflect this land – undoing the intricate, Victorian-esque theming that’s usually present in the land.

The good news here is that it does give guests more opportunity to access Frozen merchandise – something this writer can attest to being extremely stressful when you’re in the World of Frozen itself. The land’s gift shop, situated at the exit of Frozen Ever After, is a frantic, cramped experience at most hours of the day.

Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

For now, plenty of the hype around World of Frozen exists because it’s the only land of its kind. However, this will soon change. In June, Tokyo DisneySea will debut a miniature Frozen land named Frozen Kingdom inside the new Fantasy Springs area (for the guests who actually manage to get into the land, that is).

While this will only boast one attraction, Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Journey, it has already been hailed by both press and Disney bloggers as the ultimate Frozen boat ride, outperforming both of its sisters in EPCOT’s World Showcase and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Arandelle Castle, Elsa's Castle, houses and a lake at World of Frozen at Hong Kong Disneyland, opening on November 20, 2023
Credit: Hong Kong Disneyland

Related: Disney Sets Deadline for Concerning Main Street, U.S.A. Transformation

In 2025 (theoretically), guests will also be able to experience a Frozen land at Disneyland Paris. What is now known as Walt Disney Studios Park will be renamed Disney Adventure World upon the land’s opening, with guests getting the opportunity to ride Frozen Ever After. Disneyland Paris is also in the process of refurbishing Le Pays Des Contes De Fées in Fantasyland to add a Frozen section to the ride.

Do you think Disney’s theme parks need more IP? Let us know in the comments!

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