RIP Maelstrom

If you’re a part of the Disney online community, you probably heard rumors a few months ago that Maelstrom, the boat ride in Epcot’s Norway pavilion, might be getting a Frozen overhaul.  Two days ago, the Disney Company officially announced that Maelstrom will be closing, and that a Frozen attraction will open in early 2016.

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(picture found here)

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(interior of Maelstrom from Yesterland)

While there are still a lot of unanswered questions, it appears that Maelstrom’s last day will be October 5th, 2014 (only twenty-three days after their announcement).  On October 6th, the Norway pavilion itself will remain open, but the ride portion of the area will be closed.  Guests with Fastpass+ reservations to Maelstrom after that date will be able to choose something else.

Anna Elsa

(picture found on the Disney Parks Blog)

From Disney fans I’ve talked to online, it sounds like people are excited about a Frozen attraction, but don’t think that the Norway pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase is the right place for it.  There are many questions floating around – will the new ride use the same path? What will happen to the Norway giftshop? (if someone wants to buy me a $600 Norwegian sweater, I’m okay with that)  How will a Frozen attraction effect the rest of the Norway pavilion?

How do you feel about the closing of Maelstrom and the opening of a Frozen attraction?  Does it take away from World Showcase’s educational and cultural history?  Are you excited that the Disney Company is trying to bring new, younger people into Epcot by mixing modern movies into the park?   Please leave comments below!

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A night in Epcot

I obviously love the entire set of Disney parks, and picking a favorite would be like picking a favorite child… but I wanted to share one of the things I like best about spending an evening at one specific park: Epcot.

The park is open each evening until the 9:00 pm Illuminations, the nightly show that takes place in the World Showcase Lagoon.Image

BUT, my favorite thing to do at Epcot is AFTER Illuminations has ended.  As nearly everyone else around the park heads toward the exits, I love to stay in the park and take the long way around.  You get to experience the park in a way few people have: empty.

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Morocco is one of the most undiscovered countries in Epcot.  There are pathways that lead you all the way to the back, with hidden shops, great architecture, and a wonderful restaurant.Image

China (yes, I know, this is out of order) has some great reflections at night, which is fitting after viewing Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.

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The restaurants in France will stay open late if guests are still inside enjoying meals, bottles of wine and good company.

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I love the view of Spaceship Earth when viewed from Japan, but some think taking a picture through the Japanese torii is cliche.  Taking a picture that is different from everyone else’s is hopefully not so.

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The next time you head to Epcot, stay a while.  Enjoy yourself.  And when everyone else is leaving, relax, pull up a seat, and visit the countries in a way few people have.