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Disney's 'Frozen' frenzy includes Norway tourism


NEW YORK (AP) - The popularity of the Disney movie "Frozen" has not only led to box-office profits, sold-out merchandise and long lines to meet "Frozen" characters in Disney parks. It's also motivating fans to visit Norway to see the landscape that inspired the animated movie setting.

Harald Hansen, U.S. spokesman for Visit Norway, said the number of U.S. tourists to Norway increased markedly since the film's release in November, with booked hotel nights up 37 percent for the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2013. He said tour operators have also seen a 40 percent sales increase this year, compared to the same period last year, while Oslo Airport Gardermoen reported a 57 percent increase in arrivals from New York for the first quarter.

"We noticed a huge increase from the U.S. already in November and December last year, just after we started our marketing with Disney in October," Hansen said.

Hansen said that the increase in traffic is most noticeable in the fjord region, but that there is also more interest in Oslo and Northern Norway, where visitors can see the northern lights - a phenomenon that is also shown in the movie.

The Disney tour company Adventures by Disney is taking fans on a series of eight-day trips to Norway this year, priced at more than $5,000 a person, including a visit to Geirangerfjord, the fjord that inspired the film's fantasy kingdom of Arendelle. And Disney Cruise Line plans a Norway itinerary for 2015.

Wilderness Travel, another tour company that runs trips to Norway, has also seen an uptick in interest. Even though Wilderness Travel has no formal connection to the movie, "the film seems to be a big part of the popularity," said spokeswoman Barbara Banks. "People just hadn't seen these remarkable landscapes before. ... The movie represents the folk culture in such an engaging way, and the landscapes and architecture are so stunning, and they are all based on real places."

Sheridan Becker, an American mother of two who's currently living with her family in Barcelona, says she and her kids are planning a trip to Norway "all because of 'Frozen' - our favorite Disney move at the moment."

Pilar Clark, a mom of two who lives outside Chicago and who contributes to Babble.com's Disney section, took a Disney tour of Scotland after seeing the movie "Brave" and is now considering signing up for Disney's Norway trip. "When there is a connection that kids can understand, it becomes a win-win," she said. "The kids are saying, 'Let's go to Norway! Can we go to Arendelle?'"

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Malin Rising contributed to this story from Stockholm and Tamara Lush contributed from St. Petersburg, Florida.

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Patricia,,,,, June 08 2014 at 12:07 PM

What is the big deal with frozen it's like all the other Disney princess's type movies ....The lion king was so much better and had a great soundtrack.....It's amazing what people think pass as a good movie just because it's all over the media ...Like sheep they just follow along

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6 replies
jj4051 June 08 2014 at 11:09 AM

My husband and I traveled for 5 weeks! and bought souveniers, stayed at bed and breakfasts, for less than $5.000 for the both of us! Granted, it was 20 years ago, but I think an individual could do better on their own. I am glad people can experience this though. My grandparents are from Norway and I have over 80 relatives there, whom we have visited and I have never seen more beautiful country anywhere. They are clean and everything is pristine. I loved it! And it would be such shame if it ever changed because of tourism or an influx of foreigners. (and unfortunately, some of that is happening.) A culture of family, and a lifestyle that most Americans could benefit from.

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4 replies
pty014372 June 08 2014 at 7:47 AM

I don't get it. After all the hype, I went and saw Frozen. It was formulaic and rather unoriginal. Some of the music was catchy, but there was not much else to it.

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2 replies
debdebya pty014372 June 08 2014 at 9:17 AM

Really? The great thing about this movie is it's break form stereotype found with most classic "fairy tales." It shows young girls that they can be strong and independent. It teaches us to embrace our unique differences and not to be afraid of them. "Let it go" and love it. Fear causes more problems than acceptance and love. An act of love, in this this story, is no longer "true love's kiss." It is the act of trying to save someone you love. You don't need Prince Charming to save you. You save yourself. It also shows that girls shouldn't expect "Prince Charming" with his one size fits all glass slipper to make their lives meaningful and happy. Princes are not always what they seem. You make your own happiness. And....the true prince may be an ice cutter with a pet reindeer. : )

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10 replies
ReddSox35 pty014372 June 08 2014 at 11:01 PM

Its a story about a sister that saved the other sister.More like "gilr power" if you will... It had nothing to do with a man coming to the rescue.

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1 reply
debdebya ReddSox35 June 09 2014 at 5:09 AM

Yes, ReddSox. That is what sets it apart from the others.

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Cristina June 08 2014 at 2:41 PM

Prices are going higher and higher. I guess the Disney company only wants to make rich kids happy.

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Mike June 08 2014 at 4:59 PM

The Snow Queen is a role model for frigid women everywhere.

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Kate June 08 2014 at 12:18 PM

If it gets those kids to see another part of the world, I'm all for it. It doesn't matter that the movie location is fictional-- Norway definitely isn't.

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tdmci June 08 2014 at 10:38 AM

Incredible fact: The only fjord in North America is the Southern end of the Hudson River, through NY & NJ, including the part that passes by the West side of Manhattan.

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1 reply
mennis0852 tdmci June 08 2014 at 5:02 PM

Wrong for North America, and even wrong if you say the United States. There are fjords in Alaska and Canada. You might be correct if you said the East Coast of America.

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sscott5145 June 08 2014 at 10:58 AM

I'd love to go to Norway, not because of Frozen though. I am 1/4 Norwegian. But I have to admit that back in 2007, when my daughter was 20, the 2 of us went to England to see where they filmed Harry Potter at Oxford and also we went all the way to Chatsworth to see "Pemberly" where they filmed Pride and Prejudice. Absolutely loved that trip!

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kingdaddy June 08 2014 at 1:19 PM

I just wander how many believe the movie was real. lol

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jburner09 June 08 2014 at 1:41 PM

I am sorry but this movie was BAD.

The funny parts were just slim to none and too far apart.

DISNEY yOu Failed.

And please dont bring up how much money it made. Its still a horrid movie

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1 reply
Blessed One X 20 jburner09 June 08 2014 at 11:15 PM

Hey - a woman just divorced her husband for saying things like that about that movie! So much hype for NOTHING. But seems those who see it get brainwashed someway.. it's really frighening how most people who have seen it act after they have seen it. They get completely obcessedl

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