FANDOM


Maelstrom was a boat cruise and traditional film attraction in the Norway pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase. Visitors rode boats that were patterned after Viking ships and passed through scenes with audio-animatronic figures. The attraction featured a 28 foot drop near the climax of the boat ride.

Maelstrom closed permanently on October 5, 2014 and was replaced by Frozen Ever After in 2016.

History

When a Norway Pavilion was put into development for Epcot, a boat ride based around Norse mythology was proposed, given the name Sea Venture. Taking the form of a journey through mystical lands and trolls to find a rainbow bridge to Valhalla, with a theme song written by the Sherman Brothers. However, the Norwegian sponsors desired something with a broader scope, turning into a history of Norway from folklore to the present. With limited ride time however, much of these elements would be compressed into a journey strung together by the narration of Odin. A post-show film would cover additional travelogue material.

The North Sea storm ending was originally set to feature more ambitious effects with pouring rain and lightning provided by functional Tesla coils, though the latter was deemed too much of a safety hazard and was replaced by simple strobe effects. The Sea Venture name remained very late in development, far enough that a marquee with the name was produced and briefly installed, before the final name change to Maelstrom.

Summary

The ride first took guests back to a mythological version of Norway's Viking days, travelling up a waterfall. The boats passed through scenes of seafarers and Vikings.

The boats then entered an enchanted swamp where they were forced backwards down a waterfall by angry trolls. The boats then floated rapidly past scenes of polar bears and living trees before coming to a stop on the edge of another waterfall, exposed to the Norway pavilion's main thoroughfare.

After rotating back to a forward-facing position, the boats plunged forward into the stormy North Sea. The boats passed dangerously close to an oil rig and the ride came to an abrupt end in a calm harbor.

After the ride, the guests disembarked and had the option of watching a 5-minute film highlighting the history and folklore of Norway.

Hidden Mickeys

See Hidden Mickey

  • In the ride's loading area, a large painted mural included many people and elements from Norway's history. Hidden in this painting was a Viking whose helmet had Mickey Mouse ears, and another figure wearing a Mickey Mouse watch.
  • Inside the church, King Olaf II had a Mickey embroidered on his tunic, near his right thigh.

Trivia

  • Though the ride has since been retooled into Frozen Ever After, references to Maelstrom can now be found in the queue for the Meet-and-Greet with Anna and Elsa next door; most notably a tapestry depicting the three headed troll and the rock ogre.

References


v - e - d
Epcot
Future World
Spaceship EarthMission: SPACETest TrackInnoventionsThe Seas with Nemo & FriendsTurtle Talk with CrushThe LandSoarin'Living with the LandJourney into Imagination with FigmentImageWorks: The What-If Labs
World Showcase
Agent P's World Showcase AdventureMexico PavilionGran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three CaballerosNorway PavilionFrozen Ever AfterChina PavilionReflections of ChinaGermany PavilionItaly PavilionThe American AdventureJapan PavilionMorocco PavilionFrance PavilionInternational GatewayUnited Kingdom PavilionCanada PavilionO Canada!IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
Resorts
Disney's Yacht Club ResortDisney's Beach Club Resort & VillasDisney's BoardWalk InnDisney's BoardWalk VillasDisney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Former Attractions
Universe of Energy (Original)Journey Into ImaginationEllen's Energy AdventureKim Possible World Showcase AdventureHoney, I Shrunk the AudienceHorizonsWorld of MotionWonders of LifeBody WarsCranium CommandUpstairs Image WorksCommuniCoreIllumiNations 25SymbiosisIllumiNationsGoofy About HealthMagic JourneysTapestry of NationsKitchen KabaretThe Making of MeWonders of ChinaMaelstromEl Rio del TiempoFood RocksCaptain EOJourney Into Your ImaginationCircle of Life: An Environmental Fable
Upcoming
Guardians of the Galaxy Epcot RideRatatouille: The Adventure