Thursday, March 20, 2014

The 'Frozen' Hotel You Can Stay In + 'Frozen' Released On Blu-ray & DVD this Week (But No 3D Yet)

I've been meaning for a while now to do a post on the "sudden increasing popularity" of ice castles and particularly of the Hotel de Glace (aka The Ice Hotel) in Quebec City* that created a special Frozen themed suite. This was THE 'livable' structure created from snow and ice that the Frozen team visited but didn't stay the night in as originally planned. (??!! Wha..? Never mind..)

Although I don't have time to write the article I originally planned...
... there's a whole company who, though they've been building ice castles for a while, has now developed a technique very similar to what Elsa does in Frozen, albeit it at a much slower rate, but it can accurately now be described as ice castle growing....
“We’re technically farmers,” Livingood said. “We grow icicles, we handpick them, harvest them, take them out and hand place them around sprinklers, and then we turn on those sprinklers and they grow more.” ...
... it turns out that the Directors of Frozen, Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, recently returned to The Ice Hotel to visit the amazing Frozen themed work done there (and to promote the DVD/Bu-ray release this week - make sure you know what the options are before you buy - not all deals out there are the same content-wise and I haven't seen it in 3D anywhere, so you know that's still coming).
It's this real life application (done in cooperation with Disney but by the local specialists) that I find interesting in terms of people exploring the idea of the story specifically because it's due to this manifestation (The Frozen Suite, The Ice Hotel itself and similar projects) that people have gone back to Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale and thought more about the Snow Queen character, her castle and how Kai might have fared there.
If Disney are going to insist on referring to Hans Christian Andersen's tale as the inspiration in the bold print below-title blurb, it can happen that the marketing will go both ways: the familiarity of The Snow Queen title (kept intact in many foreign interpretations, rather than colloquial-izing it to Frozen like in English) and name-dropping Hans Christian Andersen to make it 'sound' like a real fairy tale to draw in audiences, sometimes means that people will go back to find out what started all the fuss. In this case, the HCA tale, printed variations, theatrical adaptations and art is picking up in popularity again (something that didn't seem to happen anywhere near as much with Tangled and Rapunzel).

Needless to say (but I will anyway) we LIKE this development! *thumbs up*
Here are the two interviews with the movie's directors worth watching for glimpses of the Frozen Suite and a little reality check on the cold factor (yes they're different, despite the similar looking screens here):

For all the work and paper/computer research done, nothing quite compares to experiencing it person - and they STILL didn't stay the night! *eyeroll*

Since researching earlier in the year and seeing the creativity (and engineering expertise) used in snowy areas in Winter every year, I am incomplete awe of what people can create out of snow and ice. We all know about ice sculptures (and how they inconveniently melt at weddings in movies) but there are festivals of ice carving, snow structure building and much, much more that are held and celebrated every year in the coldest countries in the world and many of these things are worthy of any magical Snow Queen. The only difference a real Snow Queen might make is a way to stop them melting in fluctuating weather. It's when you discover these things that you begin to understand more about where those original stories came from, what their real core is, and how much of a triumph of the human heart those tales are. It's interesting watching the filmmakers, who did their best to translate some of those ideas to animation and film (and succeeded) being faced with that large, cold reality of their own imaginations.

That's a story right there. :)

What do you think? Would you stay the night?

*There are Ice Hotels in other chilly places in the world, including Sweden and Switzerland.


  1. Wow, just Wow!!! Is this 'Frozen' really meant for staying? I mean we can really spend a night there? Would surely love to! This is nothing like i have every seen before.

    1. Yes - you can stay there for real. It's pricey but a once in a lifetime thing worth doing if you can (the quote below is the highest price I've seen anyone report - usually people say $200-$300 but it depends on which suite, what package etc and how many people of course). Everyone who has braved doing it said they were nicely warm but not too warm and the beds were comfortable. The themed suites change each year and, of course, when Spring arrives the Hotel closes its doors for a few months. Here's an excerpt from an article with some useful dollar signs:
      "Hôtel de Glace is located ten minutes from downtown Quebec City and is only open from January 3 – March 23 this year. Ice hotels – if you haven’t figured it out by now – let you sleep in a hotel room entirely made of ice. The price for one night in a standard room is around $700. The cost of the Frozen suite wasn’t revealed at the press release." ( )
      If you're serious about going, the Yelp reviews are worth reading for tips as well:
      Tell us if you go!

  2. I can't believe they didn't stay the night!