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Disney's 'Frozen' theme park ride likely to include classic 'dark ride' elements

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If the rumors are to be believed, Disney is in the process of developing a theme park ride based on its hit movie Frozen. The move is no surprise, given the film's massive popularity. But what exactly will a Frozen right look like?

The rumor is that Disney is planning to shut down the "Maelstrom" ride in Epcot's Norway Pavilion at Walt Disney World, and this is where Disney wants to set up shop for a Frozen ride. The location makes sense, given the film's inspiration from Norwegian culture -- not to mention the dated nature of "Maelstrom," and the need for another big crowd pleasing attraction in Epcot, especially the World Showcase.

Wherever the Frozen ride finds its home, it is likely Disney will stick with the tried and true "dark ride" formula -- which has been a staple for attractions such as "The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure," "Peter Pan's Flight," and "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh." "Dark rides" like these are categorized as indoor attractions that feature slow-moving guided vehicles that take guests through strategically lit scenes. The rides often feature animatronic characters, special effects, and sometimes animated sequences. This ride style lends itself particularly well when Disney wants attractions that can capture the spirit of its animated films, be accessible to younger guests, and still appeal to adults.

Like most of Disney's dark rides, a Frozen attraction will likely immerse guests in the storyline of the movie and feature key characters, in this case Anna, Elsa, and Olaf, to name a few. Disney may employ some new special effects to make guests feel the wintery chill of Elsa's powers, and that will be cool to see how that is accomplished.

Given the likelihood that the Frozen attraction will replace "Maelstrom," it will be interesting to see if Disney chooses to retain a water ride -- or go with a more traditional, track-based ride.

Of course, this still leaves the West Coast's Disneyland Resort without a Frozen home, though no doubt Disney will make room. Fantasyland is already crowded, but it's possible Disney may look to replace one of its more tired "dark ride" attractions, like "Snow White's Scary Adventures" or "Pinocchio's Daring Journey" -- both of which are only moderately popular, though fans of the original attractions may scream outrage.

It's also possible Disney could look to move Frozen into some of the open real estate in Disney's California Adventure, which is already home to another princess ride, "The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure."

What do you hope to see in a Frozen ride? Tell us in the comments below!

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