As you have probably heard, a new, sing-a-long version of Frozen has been released this weekend. If you’re like me (maybe you don’t want to admit this out loud…), you may be thinking ‘this sounds really cool, but should I really go?’ or ‘They liked the movie when they saw it last month, but should I take my kids?’. Well, I was able to chat with 20 year old Ashley Hawara (@disneylandlove), who just saw this movie yesterday.
When talking about the atmosphere of the movie theater, Ashley had this to say: “There were mostly kids with parents, but there were also a lot of teenagers. Everyone was loud, and I mean EVERYONE… It was amazing. Parents joined too, which made me happy. However, not only were they singing, they were reciting lines along with the characters.”
In the sing-a-long version of the film, the lyrics to the songs are projected on the screen so that audience members can follow along, but Ashley made it sound like that might not have even been necessary. She guessed that there were “many people who had seen the movie at least three times before this showing.” Frozen’s soundtrack sales actually rose 7% this week, returning it to the number one spot on the billboards this week. It has sold over 769,000 copies, and that number continues to rise.
I asked Ashley if there were certain songs that were more or less popular, and she said that “the most popular song was Let It Go, but Do You Want To Build A Snowman was also a hit.” She was impressed with the amount of people singing along during Kristoff’s song (Reindeer Are Better Than People), and said that audience members were “not only singing, they were reciting lines along with the characters”.
So how was the overall experience of attending the Frozen sing-a-long? ”It was a great experience. I encourage everyone to go!”
You can follow Ashley on twitter: @disneylandlove
(image available here)
To purchase the original motion picture soundtrack (32 tracks) on Amazon, click HERE. $11.49 for mp3, $11.88 for a CD
To purchase the deluxe soundtrack (59 tracks, including outtakes, demos and Karaoke) on Amazon by clicking HERE. $18.99 for mp3, $14.88 for a CD AND the mp3 versions.
Short answer: yes… maybe…
When Frozen came out on November 27th, nearly two months ago, I was troubled. I really wanted to see this movie, especially after hearing reviews from friends, but I have a two year old (Rya) and an infant (Tinsley). My wife and I didn’t yet feel comfortable leaving our one month old with a babysitter yet, and didn’t think our two year old would be able to sit through a feature length movie (we don’t have cable at home, so she’s not used to staring at a screen)…
As time passed, we decided to watch a few movies at home to see if my two year old would be able to focus on them, starting with Finding Nemo. I must say, Rya was amazing. She loved the characters, especially Dory, and followed along the entire time, albeit standing and moving around our living room occasionally. We followed it up with Princess and the Frog (thanks for the Christmas gift, dad) and Louis was Rya’s favorite in that one.
In order to prep her, and just because the songs are great, we listened to music from Frozen and watched videos that Disney Animation had released on their YouTube Channel. Rya’s favorite two are Let It Go and In Summer. (click the titles to watch) When we watched videos, we’d share the names of the characters so she’d be familiar with them when it came time to see them on the big screen. All Rya talked about for a few days was Princess Elsa and Princess Anna (she’s always said she and Tinsley are princesses, and dad’s a pirate… I’ve trained her well!)
(images can be found here)
My wife and I went to see Frozen last week for our first time, and when we finished, we both said Rya would really like it. The only objection might have been Marshmallow, the giant snowman that chases after the characters after the throw a snowball at him, but we figured it was a short time, and she’d be okay.
(image can be found here)
The final thing we did was talk to her about what to expect inside the theater. We let her know it would be dark, there would probably be a lot of other people around, and that we had to whisper while we sat.
When it came time to actually head to the theater, Rya was incredibly excited: this would be her first movie on a big big big big screen! We didn’t tell her about the popcorn, and let that be a surprise for her. I got that as mom took her to go potty one last time before heading in to the theater. We were so glad we did, as at least ten kids had to leave at some point during the film (but not ours!). The theater was pretty full (especially considering it’s Frozen’s 8th week in theaters), but we found three seats, and set our daughter in the middle.
So how did she do? Very well! As the Mickey Mouse short started before the movie, she shouted “That’s Mickey Mouse!”, and we reminded her to whisper, and she said ok. Each and every time a song started that we had listened to at home, she’d turn to me or her mom and whisper “I like that” or “I sing that” with a big smile across her face. And did she like Elsa and Anna? Yup. But her favorite character? Sven! She even said to me “Sven is like Reesie” (the more playful of our two dogs). In the last fifteen minutes of the film, she got a little bit antsy, and moved from mom’s lap to dad’s and then stood in the row, but all while watching the movie.
(image can be found here)
So my tips for taking a young child to a movie?
1 Familiarize them with the characters, songs, and story if that may help
2 Build it up as an exciting event
3 Let them know about how to act in a theater
4 Be prepared early (go to the bathroom before, get your popcorn, beverages (water), etc)
5 Every child is different, and every movie is different. You know your child better than anyone else.
When would you take a child to their first movie? And what was your first movie? Please leave a comment below!
A few other perspectives
Today, I want to talk about ways to survive someone else’s trip to Walt Disney World.
I had recently planned a trip to Disney after finding out about a ridiculously low rate at the Boardwalk Inn… and although I would have gotten a room for as much as $520 LESS than other people were paying for it, I decided that leaving my wife with our 2 year old and 2 month old (and paying $980 for the flight) maybe wasn’t the best husbandly thing to do. However, my brother and dad (who is presenting a paper at the conference) will be heading down and arrive on January 1st. Am I upset by this? Nope. Because instead of sulking sadly in the corner, I will travel vicariously to Disney through them!
Help them plan (if they let you)
My dad is not always the most organized person when traveling, so when I offered to help him plan his trip, he happily agreed. He and I have talked together about some of the places he wants to see, restaurants he’d like to eat at, and activities he’d like to do, and I worked out a few possible itineraries for him. Giving the person as much say as they want in their trip is the healthiest way to go about it. If they’re comfortable giving you free reign: awesome, but don’t expect to get to tell someone else what to do every minute of their trip. Plans may change, the weather may not cooperate, or he may decide to sleep in on certain mornings, but by offering to help plan it, I’ve been able to get some of that excitement and OCD out of my system. If someone you know is traveling to Walt Disney World, take the time to find out what you can about their likes and dislikes. Not only will this help you (and them) plan, but it can be a fun time to get to know someone better.
Give useful/helpful tips
I’ve told my dad to stay away from certain areas that are likely to be crowded, as well as any that have maintenance scheduled for their visit. Splash Mountain, for example, will be open during their first few days, but then closes for maintenance, so they’ll need to head their early if they want to enjoy it.
If they are a person that may buy something for you, have an idea of what you’d like and where from, if they ask. HINT: the Turkey Leg air freshener can only be found in certain locations, so make sure you let them know where to get it!!!
A secret to tips: don’t go overboard. My dad and I both love Disney, and can’t have enough of it, but texting at 12:40 am to let him know that there’s only a 40 minute wait to Peter Pan’s Flight when he’s not a night person and has probably been in bed for 3 hours… maybe not the best idea.
Schedule time to talk
I know that if my family is watching Illuminations at 9:00 pm, I probably shouldn’t call them at 9:05 pm and expect them to answer. When my dad goes to Walt Disney World without me, he LOVES to send pictures, texts, voice mails and videos throughout the day letting me follow along with what he’s doing. What we’re going to try this trip is FaceTime. Without being that obnoxious person holding their iPad up to the sky during Wishes, we’re going to try a few times to video chat while he’s in the parks.
Don’t be these people! (photo originally found here)
Back off if you need to
If you’re able to be involved with someone else’s trip, great! However, it’s THEIR trip, not yours, and they may need time to enjoy things on their own. Take the hint if they don’t answer your phone calls or texts: while you are at home living in ridiculously cold South Dakota winters, they are on vacation having a great time.
If they don’t follow your advice, your walking tour suggestion, your restaurant recommendations, and your detailed Excel spreadsheet that lists optimal times throughout the week for each of the ‘major’ ‘moderate’ and ‘low’ interest attractions, so be it.
Hey, at least we’re above 0 this week…
(photo can be found here)
Be excited when they return
If you’ve ever been on an amazingly awesome, super great, terrific trip, sometimes getting home afterwards can be a bit of a let down. (I feel like I need a vacation after some of my vacations). If someone you know if going, be there for them when they get back. Ask to see their pictures, or if they have a link to their online PhotoPass page, check it out. If you haven’t kept up with them during their vacation, find out how it went, what their favorite rides were, etc.
As you have read, most of these tips are for family members / relatives going to Walt Disney World, but they can be modified for friends, coworkers and other people you know who are taking a trip without you. Are there any tips, tricks or pieces of advice that YOU would like to share? Leave a comment below!
I am working on several new things for the new year! Starting soon in 2014, I plan to have a “Celebs Talk Disney” feature! Some will be names known to the Disney community: Imagineers, actors, voice over artists, etc, while others will be people not at all affiliated with the company, but who are still interested in sitting down and chatting (or in this case, e-mailing, Skyping, or calling).
So far, I have two lined up, and I’m working on a few more. Are there any names out there you’d love to hear from? Let me know in the comments section, and I’ll see what I can do. Also, if you could ask any celebrity any question, what would it be?
(this image is available here)
Exactly forty-eight years ago today, in 1965, Walt and Roy Disney held a press conference along with the governor of Florida, officially announcing a huge project that was in the works… Walt Disney World. Site preparation began about two years later, in the fall of 1967, and took roughly four years to complete, with the Magic Kingdom opening in October of 1971.
If the Disney company were holding a press conference today, in 2013, to make a major announcement about the future, what would most excite you? A new Disney park in CA, FL, or elsewhere? A new land coming to one of the parks? And if you could build a Disney theme park anywhere in the world, where would you choose, and what theme would go with it? A history-based amusement park on the east coast? A winter wonderland in the mountains of Utah?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments below!
After being out of the country, being sick a couple times, and getting ready for a new baby (3 weeks away!), I’m back on wordpress!
So, what should my next post be about?
a: Joe Rohde and his trip to Mongolia
b: Update on Avatarland and Animal Kingdom
c: Haunted Mansion review/info/etc
d: Walt Disney World rumors