When the first-ever land themed to the ‘Frozen’ franchise, World of Frozen, debuts at Hong Kong Disneyland on November 20, 2023, it will be filled with cast members who truly feel at home. In preparation for the land’s opening, cast members were specially selected and given in-depth training to become citizens of Arendelle! As a celebratory capstone to the training experience, Queen Anna herself invited the new citizens to a grand celebration, making their induction as Arendelle residents official.
The process started with talent fairs looking for individuals who showed a flair for immersive storytelling and an exceptional skill in caring for guests. Evelyn Lam, manager, Front of House Talent Acquisition, Human Resources shared that “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. 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!”
Once the right group was selected, they all took part in an interactive workshop hosted by Disney University and the Entertainment team. Cassandra Shum, manager, Culture, In-story, Operation Training, Human Resources explained that “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.”
More than just a lecture, the training enlisted cast members in hands-on activities and realistic scenarios that aimed to bring Arendelle to life in the real world. Participants were urged to bring their true selves into the process, incorporating their hobbies, interests, and personalities into the roles. They learned about what daily life in Arendelle would look like, including the music, dance, and special greetings. Along the way, cast members were encouraged to build community among themselves, since a solid foundation of camaraderie radiates out and influences the guest experience.
“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.
Once their months-long training was complete, a special surprise awaited the new Arendelle residents. Elaborate invitations sent from Queen Anna and hand-delivered by a royal mail boy invited cast members to a grand celebration to be held in the World of Frozen. Vivi Chan, a Forest Dweller from Playhouse in the Woods exclaimed 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!”
These newly-inducted royal attendants, restaurant staff, sailors, fishers, confectioners, and toy carvers gathered at Arendelle Village for the ceremony, dressed in their finest. Crossing the King Agnarr Bridge was a meaningful experience for each one as their names were called individually by the Royal Household Entertainers. Greeting the royal sisters, Queen Anna and Elsa, gave the inauguration even more significance. Queen Anna bestowed a unique blessing upon the new citizens as they prepared to embark upon their work as ambassadors for Arendelle.
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.” The sentiment was shared by all in attendance, who were practically giddy to take on their new roles. Receiving personal wishes from Queen Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Oaken only added to the celebratory atmosphere.
“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.
The memorable day in Arendelle was culminated with a delicious meal at the Golden Crocus Inn and plenty of group photos to document the occasion.
The heartwarming royal celebration moment was shared on Instagram by the Hong Kong Disneyland Ambassadors. Check it out below!
I don’t know about you, but I am so impressed by the care and attention that was paid to filling the World of Frozen with cast members who love their roles and feel at home as citizens of Arendelle. Will you plan to visit the new World of Frozen after its opening on Nov. 20? This is definitely on my bucket list! Would you also like to become a citizen of Arendelle? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!