Now the Queen of Arendelle, Elsa and her sister Anna discover that their mother and father died on a voyage to a place called Misthaven, and so Anna decides to board a ship there, where Elsa's magical abilities could be explained. In Anna's absence, Elsa learns from Anna's fiance Kristoff that Hans is planning to obtain an ancient urn which has the ability to trap people like Elsa. She and Kristoff locate the urn, but Elsa is forced to hand it over to Hans when Kristoff's life is threatened. However, when Hans opens the urn, it releases Ingrid, who freezes Hans. Back at the castle, Ingrid reveals that she is Elsa's aunt, on her mother's side. When Anna returns to Arendelle, Ingrid casts the Spell of Shattered Sight on her, causing Anna to trap Elsa in the urn.
After Emma Swan, Killian Jones and Marian travel through a time-travel spell back to Storybrooke, an urn travels to Storybrooke as well, unknown to them. Eventually, the turn opens and a strange blue liquid spills from the urn and forms into Elsa. After removing her gloves, she uses her ice powers to destroy the urn that had imprisoned her and walks away, leaving a trail of frost behind her.
Scared and confused by Storybrooke, Elsa creates a snow monster to protect her, which ends up rampaging through Storybrooke, until it is destroyed by Regina. After finding Anna's snowflake necklace in Mr. Gold's pawnshop, Elsa vows to find Anna. Putting up a wall of ice around Storybrooke which triggers a black-out across the town, Elsa meets Emma, and although Elsa seems hostile and cautious at first, they talk and relate over things. Elsa tries to take down the wall of ice when Emma and her family say that they will help her find Anna, but the wall of ice is unable to be destroyed for some reason. When Marian suffers from an icy spell that has potential to kill her, the townspeople lay their blame in Elsa, although the real culprit is Elsa's aunt, Ingrid. When Emma's powers go out of control, Elsa manages to talk Emma out of getting rid of her magic, instead telling her to embrace it as who she is. Elsa eventually becomes reunited with Anna and Kristoff, who come to Storybrooke due to the Wishing Star that Elsa possesses, although Ingrid unleashes the Spell of Shattered Sight upon the entire town. When the Spell is broken, Elsa, Anna and Kristoff return to Arendelle and reclaim the throne. With the pirate Blackbeard terrorizing Arendelle, it is mentioned that Elsa had Blackbeard's ship shrunken in a bottle.
While Emma, Killian and Marian are imprisoned by Rumplestiltskin, Killian notices a strange urn and picks it up, only to be scolded by Emma. Killian places the urn down, and after managing to summon a time-travel portal back to Storybrooke, they all enter the portal.
- She is based on Elsa from the Disney film Frozen, an adaptation of the fairytale The Snow Queen.
- In Hyperion Heights, a girl dresses as Elsa for Halloween.
- S3, E22: "There's No Place Like Home"
- S4, E01: "A Tale of Two Sisters"
- S4, E02: "White Out"
- S4, E03: "Rocky Road"
- S4, E04: "The Apprentice"
- S4, E05: "Breaking Glass"
- S4, E06: "Family Business"
- S4, E07: "The Snow Queen"
- S4, E08: "Smash the Mirror"
- S4, E09: "Fall"
- S4, E10: "Shattered Sight"
- S4, E11: "Heroes and Villains"
- S7, E22: "Leaving Storybrooke" (archive footage)