Disney rocks the boat

The closing of an Epcot ride to make room for a new one based on Frozen creates waves with Viking descendants

Photo: Loren Javier / Flickr The classic ride Maelstrom will be no more.

Photo: Loren Javier / Flickr
The classic ride Maelstrom will be no more.

Manisha Choudhari
The Foreigner

Based on H. C. Anderson’s Danish fairy tale, The Snow Queen, Frozen got many positive reviews when it came out last year.

The film was heavily influenced by many Norwegian things, such as stave churches, the Northern Lights, trolls, and even lutefisk.

Thus, Visit Norway tourism director Per-Arne Tuftin has called the film “a gift for Norwegian tourism,” and it is “a chance to show off Norway.”

Walt Disney World announced last week that the new Frozen attraction would be constructed at the Norway pavilion in Epcot.

The ride will be replacing Maelstrom, which has been taking passengers in Viking boats through scenes of Norwegian history since 1988.

It has been speculated that the new Frozen ride will keep some of the features of Maelstrom.

Not everyone is happy about replacing the ride, however. Considered a “classic staple” in the world showcase, some people believe that Maelstrom should not be sold to the Frozen franchise.

They argue that the showcase should be an “educational and cultural tool.”

A internet-based petition to save Maelstrom has attracted some 50 signatures so far.

Disney has not yet released an opening date for the new ride.

However, the company estimates construction can take 12-18 months. This means the ride should be ready by early 2016.

The planned final day for Maelstrom is the 5th of October 2014, Disney says.

This article was originally published on The Foreigner. To subscribe to The Foreigner, visit theforeigner.no.

It also appeared in the Sept. 26, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

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