Anna and Elsa, the stars of Disney's Frozen, are currently Disney's hottest ticket. Meet-and-greets with the princesses at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom Park and at Disneyland Park are routinely in the three or four-hour neighborhood, and there are actually limitations on how much Frozen merchandise can be purchased at one time in Disney theme parks and on Disney Cruise Line ships. Even as the temperatures in Orlando and Anaheim heat up for summer, there's no end in sight for the Frozen frenzy.
What's a princess-crazy kid (or adult) to do? If you want to meet Anna and Elsa, you do have some options to beat the three-hour line.
At Walt Disney World, Anna and Elsa meet at Princess Fairytale Hall, inside the Fantasyland section of Magic Kingdom. Passionate princess fans were running and creating dangerous conditions in their efforts to score a front-of-the-line spot to meet Anna and Elsa, necessitating a complete shift in the way Magic Kingdom operations conduct the morning "rope-drop" at park opening. Now, the charging parents and strollers must walk behind a human chain of Cast Members and management all the way to the queue of Princess Fairytale Hall -- the free-for-all is a thing of the past. Once the first guests reach the queue, the wait time quickly escalates to two hours or more, just a few minutes after the park opens.
Avoid this with a FastPass+ for Anna and Elsa. By reserving a time to see the princesses well before your trip even begins, you'll be able to meet them with just a 10 or 15 minute wait -- and without the 4 AM wake-up call to camp out in front of the Magic Kingdom.
Of course, even that FastPass+ can be hard to obtain. Your best bet is to book your stay at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel more than 60 days in advance of your stay. Resort guests can book their FastPass+ selections 60 days in advance. That's an entire month's advantage over off-site guests, who must wait for the 30-day mark before they can book FastPass+ selections. By that time, Anna and Elsa spots are typically already snatched up.
For FastPass+ expertise, consider using a travel advisor who specializes in Disney vacations. They'll know all the tricks for snagging these hot tickets.
If you can't get a FastPass+ in advance, don't stop checking your My Disney Experience app while you are at the park. (You should probably bring at least one portable phone charger. There are charging stations throughout the park, but do you want to wait?) Cancellations do happen.
And if you do have to wait for park opening and follow the line of Cast Members to Princess Fairytale Hall, check the Magic Kingdom schedule ahead of time, and do not go on an Extra Magic Hours morning. On a morning where the Magic Kingdom opens early for Disney resort guests, you'll be at a disadvantage -- those guests will already be in line for Anna and Elsa before you even get halfway down Main Street USA.
Really just can't deal with any wait at all? Anna and Elsa appear in the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade, which rolls through the Magic Kingdom daily at 3:00 PM.
At Disneyland there is no FastPass+ for Anna and Elsa -- just one line for everyone to wait in. Like Walt Disney World, however, Disneyland offers a special resort benefit called Magic Mornings. And just like Extra Magic Hours, Magic Mornings allows people to get into line for Anna and Elsa before park opening, inflating wait times. The best strategy for meeting the Frozen ladies in Anaheim is to arrive about a half an hour before park opening on a non-Magic Mornings day. Cast Members will escort guests to the queue for Anna and Elsa.
Anna and Elsa are joining a special pre-parade at Disneyland this summer, which will give guests an additional opportunity to wave hello without the wait (although it means forgoing the hug and autograph).
And are Anna and Elsa coming to Disney Cruise Line? Fox News reports that they will be joining cruise guests on the Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, and Disney Fantasy this summer. Anna was a guest on fall 2013 sailings, but that was before the film really hit its peak of popularity. Now, it would seem, Anna and Elsa could become hotter draws than the destinations the ships are docking at.