The kingdom of Arendelle, sitting on one of Norway’s many majestic fjords is about to get hit with the most severe winter weather we have ever seen here in northern Europe, when Disney’s Frozen, a new 3D animated adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen arrives to the U.S. theaters on November 27th.
Despite the very realistic fjord view surroundings, Arendelle is a fictional kingdom with elements of classic and historic Norwegian architecture, including a stave church. The movie script called for a dramatic winter setting and the filmmakers from Walt Disney Animation Studios turned to Norway and Visit Norway for inspiration. On an interview published on the Visit Norway website, Mike Giaimo, the Art Director for the film says that “we wanted to create an intimate world with an enchanting and dynamic setting that would be immediately identifiable for generations to come. Norway offered a cultural backdrop we’d never explored before and we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to blend its dramatic natural environment, architecture and folk costume aesthetic?’ It feels like a world from a classic Disney film, but it’s completely new.”
So what is happening this winter in Arendelle? Anna (voice of Kristen Bell), teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his reindeer Sven on a quest to find Anna’s older sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), who has trapped Arendelle in eternal winter with her powers. The adventure takes them through the snow capped mountains where they encounter mystical trolls and hilarious snow man Olaf (voice of Josh Gad) on the race to save the fjord kingdom.
The Frozen is out on November 27th in the U.S.A.
Experience Disney’s Frozen with Adventures by Disney
Did you know that you can experience the epic and scenic setting that inspired Frozen, with Adventures by Disney this coming summer? Adventures by Disney provides expertly planned and guided family vacations all over the globe, for memorable vacation tours with kids or without. The Norway adventure itinerary follows in the filmmaker’s footsteps through some of the most interesting sights in the fjord region in Norway.
The adventure begins in Bergen in the west coast of Norway, which served as the inspiration for the kingdom of Arendelle, home to Anna and her sister Elsa. The journey then continues through the Fjord Country where you discover the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the region as you meet local storytellers, fisherman and farmers along the way. Included is also a selection of exhilarating and fascinating activities from river rafting to learning Norwegian folk dancing, visiting the stave churches and learning to fish trout in the glacial blue waters of Lake Loen.
The dates range from May 31st to last departure on September 6th, with some of the tours reserved exclusively for adults. The rates for the 7-day adventure start from $4,989 for adults.
Read all the details and find out how to reserve on Adventure by Disney.
How to plan your own family adventure to Norway
Just as Skimbaco’s Katja Presnal explored Italy and gave travel tips based on popular movies set in Italy, Frozen is bound to inspire viewers both young and old to come and see Norway’s natural wonders themselves.
If you would like to experience Norway independently with your family, the biggest problem you will face is the decision on where to go. Norway has something to experience in all seasons across the different regions from the south, past the arctic circle to north, and despite the severe winter conditions in the Frozen, the winter is nothing to fear for. In fact, some of the most amazing experiences take place in the winter, from the northern lights to dog sledging, reindeer driving and skiing.
If you have never been to Norway, the best place to start is the Visit Norway website where you can find a wealth of information on all the regions. A natural place to begin your visit to Norway would be Oslo, the capital, which serves many of the international airlines. If you are tight with time, from Oslo you can do the “Norway in a Nutshell” tour to the fjords in one long day, during which you will experience some of the Norwegian highlights with drastic scenery, an amazing train journey the Flåm Railway and a fjord cruise, all of which will remind you of the scenes seen in the Frozen.
Where as the fjords that also inspired the Disney filmmakers are a must see in Norway, my personal favorites are located past the Arctic Circle. The Lofoten Islands and Vesterålen with their sharp mountains rising out of the sea, Tromsø, the “paris of the north” and great place both for northern light gazing and adventurous dog-sledge safaris, and North Cape, the northernmost point of Europe with the region’s small quaint fishing villages.
Where ever you go in Norway, be it spring, summer, autumn or winter, you are bound to find natural beauty and Norway is especially the place to go for outdoor activity lovers.
If you are looking for more Norway inspiration have a look at the Norway section on my blog Destination Unknown where you can find articles on outdoor activities in Norway, road tripping in Norway and general information about living in the happiest country in the world.
If you would like more ideas on how to get children prepared and excited about family travel, have also a look at the excellent post by Skimbaco’s Reeta Laaksonen on House of Anais.
Follow my epic everyday life in Norway via Instagram at @todestinationunknown
As the release date for Disney’s Freeze is coming closer, here in Norway the freeze is already slowly setting in as the winter is approaching, or has arrived in places. We already dug out the skis from the storage and and had some fun in the snow this weekend!
I love to explore the world to new destinations. If you love traveling as much as I do, please subscribe to Skimbaco Travel weekly email and never miss a travel post.