Behind-The-Scenes Peek at Disney Cruise Line’s “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular”

“Do you want to build a show, man?” To adapt the highest grossing animated film of all time to the stage, Disney Cruise Line looked towards Broadway. Frozen, A Musical Spectacular premieres this November aboard the 1,754 passenger Disney Wonder. The production is led by Tony Award-nominated director Sheryl Kaller (“Next Fall,” “Mothers and Sons”), Tony Award-winning costume designer Paloma Young (“Peter and the Starcatcher”), choreographer Josh Prince (“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” “Shrek, The Musical”), scenic designer Jason Sherwood (“Paint Your Wagon”), and writer Sara Wordsworth (“In Transit”). I recently attended a rehearsal of the new show, and share this exclusive behind-the-scenes video of all the rolling trolling fun.

“Frozen, A Musical Spectacular” combines story-telling, technology, classic stage technique, and dance to create a new kind of theater, and oftentimes the first live theater experience for children in the family. Children will adore the puppetry used for the show – and perhaps beg to purchase child versions of Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Sven as well. Award-winning designer Michael Curry, known for his creations for Disney Theatrical’s “The Lion King,” produced all the puppets used for the show including the loveable snowman Olaf. Regarding the puppetry, Director Kaller said, “they incorporate human and puppet together – the human is always as present as the puppet as characters.” The stage version of Olaf is as cute on stage as on the screen, and the actor deserves praise since he came into the role with no puppetry experience. “I treat it like a video game,” replied Michael Mendez (who plays Olaf) about the intricate mechanism to control Olaf’s movement and facial expressions.

Frozen, A Musical Spectacular

(L-R) Julianne Daly (Elsa) and Alison Bagli (Anna) in rehearsals for “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular” coming to the Disney Wonder in November, courtesy Disney Cruise Line

The 55-minute show includes eight musical numbers of course including the show-stopping, Oscar-winning, Best Original Song, “Let It Go.” Using on-person motion tracking video technology, the live-performance of “Let It Go” will truly be a stand-out moment in the show. During the rehearsal, Julianne Daly’s (Elsa) crystal clear, strong voice gave chills – how appropriate.

Frozen, A Musical Spectacular

(L-R) Julianne Daly (Elsa) and Alison Bagli (Anna) with chorus in rehearsals for “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular” coming to the Disney Wonder in November, courtesy Disney Cruise Line


“Frozen, A Musical Spectacular” debuts on Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder on the November 10 cruise departing from Galveston, Texas. The show will be part of a new wave of enhancements to the ship and perform on every Disney Wonder sailing. In addition to “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular,” the renovated Disney Wonder will feature a “Princess and the Frog” themed restaurant called Tiana’s Place and Marvel Super Hero Academy complete with Spider-Man meet & greet.

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About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.