World of Frozen, which opens its gates on Nov. 20 at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, is the world’s first Frozen-themed land. So much has gone into the creation of this fully immersive world, including cast members becoming citizens of Arendelle! Today, we’re sharing a look into the unique training cast members were immersed in to prepare to open up the gates of Arendelle.
While finishing touches were being added to the themed land, cast members were recruited, trained and transformed into citizens of Arendelle. Several Arendelle talent fairs were hosted both within the resort and beyond, in search for people with a love for interacting with guests and immersing them into the story of World of Frozen.
“Recruitment is the very first step in identifying cast members who can embody the roles of citizens of Arendelle. During interviews, some cast members brought with them ‘Frozen’ inspired props and accessories,” said Evelyn Lam, manager, Front of House Talent Acquisition, Human Resources. “I really felt like they were leading the interviewers into World of Frozen itself. I was impressed by their passion – they really set the bar high!”
Before cast members became citizens of Arendelle, they first took part in a specially designed interactive workshop hosted by Disney University and the Entertainment team.
“The workshop was full of group discussions and role play that allowed cast members to transform into citizens of Arendelle based on their individual characteristics and backgrounds,” shared Cassandra Shum, manager, Culture, In-story, Operation Training, Human Resources. Cast members were engaged in practical activities and simulations that resembled the living land of Arendelle. They were encouraged to incorporate their own hobbies, interests, and personalities into their roles as citizens. The workshop also focuses on building a sense of community among participants – recognizing that every role contributes to the overall guest experience and encouraging collaboration.
“This training helps them quickly integrate into life in Arendelle and understand the environment, culture, and characters of the world, while also creating their own stories through their roles,” added Angela Lam, show director, Entertainment. Cast members were able to learn about how citizens of Arendelle celebrate music and dance. They also learned how to greet each other and what a day in the life looks like living in Arendelle.
In his role as a Welcoming Ambassador, Kenny Avila, an entertainment cast member felt well prepared and proud to show off Arendelle after going through training. “The more I discover about this place, the more I am able to share,” he said.
After months of training and being immersed in the ways of Arendelle, cast members took the next step in their journey. Hundreds of royal invitations signed by Queen Anna were hand-delivered by the royal mail boy to the citizens of Arendelle inviting them to a grand celebration.
Vivi Chan, a Forest Dweller from Playhouse in the Woods shared that “the moment I received the royal invitation was a surprise. I’m proud to be part of this historic moment together with my team as we become some of the first citizens of Arendelle!”
The citizens of Arendelle, including royal attendants, restaurant staff, sailors, fishers, confectioners, and toy carvers put on their best garb and gathered at Arendelle Village for this grand occasion.
Walking in tow, they proudly crossed the King Agnarr Bridge as the Royal Household Entertainers called their names one by one. For many cast members, hearing their name being called as they walked across the bridge was a pivotal moment in feeling like a true citizen of Arendelle – especially when they caught sight of Queen Anna and Elsa!
The citizens of Arendelle bowed and curtsied as Queen Anna and Elsa made their grand entrance. Observed by Elsa, all citizens received a royal blessing from Queen Anna.
As a milestone moment for many, Yan Chang, Royal Attendant at Frozen Ever After said that they were “really proud to be a citizen of Arendelle,” and that after hearing their name called and so many cheering, “this is a moment I’ll remember forever!” Dolby Lee, an Operator at Wandering Oaken’s Sliding Sleighs felt that after “assisting Queen Anna and Elsa to prepare for Summer Snow Day since last year…[I now feel] one step closer to opening the gates.”
After making their royal declarations, the citizens of Arendelle got a chance to greet Queen Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Oaken as well as enjoy a festive, celebratory meal at Golden Crocus Inn.
“Today when I stepped foot in Arendelle, I immediately felt the festive vibes all around, and am especially grateful to be greeted by Queen Anna and Elsa. I never thought getting a new nametag could turn into such an eventful and grand moment. I truly feel that we are part of the story and really look forward to welcoming guests to the kingdom of Arendelle!” said Vivi.
It was such a memorable day in Arendelle and we cannot wait for guests to take part in the magic alongside our incredible cast members.
Let’s take a look at the royal celebration moment!
Want to learn more about the team working behind-the-scenes to bring World of Frozen to life? Check out the Magic Makers video series from Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.