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Families in a frenzy over 'Frozen'

By TAMARA LUSH Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - For the Calder family, the "Frozen" frenzy began when the Disney movie came out in late 2013 and they took their 7-year-old daughter Caroline to see it in the theater.

Caroline then saw it again, with a grandparent. Then with the other set of grandparents. Then came the Disney cruise to the Caribbean, the purchase of "Frozen"-themed pajamas - instead of "Frozen" dolls, which were sold out - and waiting in line at a Disney store to obtain a raffle ticket for a chance to purchase a "Frozen" dress.

"We've become the 'Frozen' family," said Caroline's mom Kristin, 41, who says the "Frozen" CD or DVD plays daily in her vehicle or home in Boynton Beach, Fla. "It is part of our everyday life."

Recently, the family had a "Frozen"-themed birthday party for Caroline with life-sized cutouts of the animated film stars, a plush toy depicting the movie's snowman, Olaf, and "Frozen"-themed invitations downloaded from the craft site Etsy. For $350, the Calders even hired performers to portray Anna and Elsa, the sisters from the movie, to sing and play with the kids for an hour. It was the performers' sixth "Frozen"-themed birthday party that day.

For the uninitiated, "Frozen" - which tells the story of how Anna and Elsa overcome Elsa's terrible power to turn everything into ice and snow - has become the fifth-highest grossing film of all time, raking in $1.2 billion in box office earnings worldwide.

The huge demand for anything "Frozen" has created a shortage of merchandise on Disney Store shelves all over North America. It's also led to hours-long waits to see the princesses at Disney parks in Florida and California.

It's even become an international phenomenon.

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