While remarkable puppetry isn’t new to the cruise line’s on-board productions, “Frozen: A Musical Spectacular” will have much more than any other including major characters Olaf the snowman and Sven the reindeer.
In addition, the play will feature puppets for the child versions of character Anna and Elsa.
“In our earlier discussions on how do we bring these characters to life on stage, puppetry of course was at the forefront of the discussions,” said Jeff Conover, puppetry development director for the show. “We thought wouldn’t it be interesting to see little 5-year-old Anna and Elsa as children presented as puppets and also carry that through to their adolescence before they become adults.”
You’ll also see life-like versions of the rolling trolls from the film, some played by acrobatic performers.
“One of the most interesting parts of doing this show on the ship is we have all these fabulous technological toys to play with because this is Disney and no one’s better than Disney at this,” said Sheryl Kaller, director of the production.
That includes image mapping over the entire theater used in the same manner as the projections on the Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle or the new Star Wars night show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
That also includes lasers that follow performers’ movements and react to their placement on stage, such as Elsa’s fingers pointing and snow magic launching from those fingers.
“There are going to be many moments in the show where people are watching something and not sure how we pulled that off,” said Jason Sherwood, scenic designer for the show.
The new show will debut in November as the cruise ship begins service after an overhaul that will see several new features including a the Marvel Super Hero Academy featuring Spider-Man in the Oceaneer Club, a new restaurant called Tiana’s Place based on “The Princess and the Frog,” the addition of the Drawn to Magic and Animation Magic shows to Animator’s Palate, a makeover to Italian restaurant Palo, revamped adult section of the ship, addition of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, the D Lounge for family game nights, reworking of the current Vista spa into the Senses Spa & Salon and the addition of a Chill Teen Spa.
It replaces “Toy Story – The Musical” while the two other productions on the ship – “The Golden Mickeys” and “Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic” will remain.
The ship will undergo its dry dock in Cadiz, Spain from Sept. 9-Oct. 23 after returning from its Alaska duties this summer. Wonder will then serve Galveston, Texas from November through January where it will sail to Puerto Rico and then reposition to Port Canaveral to begin service in late January.