You were not the first to pass this way, but you might be the last. Walt Disney World guests arriving before October 5 will have one last chance to ride Maelstrom, the beloved Epcot attraction, before it is replaced with an attraction based on the movie “Frozen.”
The Norway Pavilion Viking boat ride, which features a story detailing the history and development of its namesake country, is a fan favorite that has become even more popular since the announcement that the refurbishment based on the hit movie, would aim to be opened by 2016.
“It’s always sad when a beloved attraction closes, but Maelstrom was always the little ride that could,” says Andrew Tipton, one-half of the blog Disney Hipsters. “I doubt anyone would rank Maelstrom up there with Pirates of The Caribbean or The Haunted Mansion, but for 26 years this ride has been a consistent part of peoples lives. When other attractions struggled through a decade Maelstrom kept chugging along, and in the last few years became a modern classic.”
The ride is one of only a handful of in Epcot’s World Pavilion, which features façades themed for countries across the world including China, Italy, and Mexico, many of which serve alcohol and exotic meals; of all the parks within Walt Disney World, this section of Epcot tends to be a bigger draw for adults than the children who love Princess Elsa.
It also represents a Disney World less centered on trendy animated features and more focused on the ideals, dreams and memories of the past, a mission statement so loved by Walt Disney that he dedicated his first park to this idea.