Epcot World Showcase - Norway
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Rumor confirmed - Maelstrom to be replaced by FROZEN attraction. The last day for the Maelstrom will be October 5 and the new attraction will open in early 2016.
Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, says the new attraction will "take our guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film."
In addition, a meet and greet location will be added for guests to meet Anna and Elsa. Currently, there is a small meet and greet area inside one of the shops, but the small space is overwhelmed with guests and a new, larger space should help diminish some of that.
The area of Norway resembles a Norwegian town square with its cobble stone courtyard and a replica of a 14th century fortress found in Oslo. A stave church mimics 13th Century medieval craftsmanship.
A meet and greet location for Anna and Elsa, the royal sisters from the hit animated film, Frozen. Guests can also explore a gallery exhibit revolving around the film and showing the culture of Norway. See why the filmmakers were inspired by this beautiful land.
This ride is in the process of being converted to a Frozen-themed attraction. Read more about that here.
Norway's attraction is Maelstrom. It does have FastPass but unless you're visiting during a peak time, there's rarely more than a 10 minute wait.
Maelstrom uses a 16 passenger Viking-style boat that takes you through a 10th century Viking village and a mythical forest where you'll encounter trolls who cast a curse on the boats. From here, the boat starts going backwards before it reaches a waterfall and again changes course. (If you look up at the building, you'll see where the boats stop and head forward.)
Next you pass a grand fjord and continue on through a storm by a North Sea oil rig. You exit in a quaint Norwegian village setting. This is a holding area which opens onto a theater where a film about Norway is shown. (You'll find that most guests make a mad dash straight through to the exit.) It's not that the short movie is awful, it's just not something you need to see again and again.
As with most of Disney's attractions, you exit through a store. Most everyone likes to put on set of Viking horns and pose for a pix by the giant troll found in the shop.
Be warned, the Geir fragrances sold here are addictive and are hard to find unless you have a Nordstrom's near where you live.
At Akershus, there's 'Princess Storybook Dining' for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. If you forgot your tiara, there's a limited variety of Disney Princess merchandise for sale nearby.
Be sure you make a dining reservation and be prepared to wait. It's rare to walk past this venue and not see a lot of little princesses (and princes) waiting to be seated.
Outdoors, under shade, the Kringla Bakeri og Kafe (menu) serves open-faced sandwiches and pastries such as the specialty Kringles (candied pretzels) and the delicious Lefses (thin potato bread rolled with a cinnamon, sugar & butter filling). This is also where you can find the popular "School Bread" treat. Specialty coffees are available.
The Puffin’s Roost: Curios and Collectibles is the main shop located in the Norway pavilion. You will find a large selection of books on trolls, Vikings, Scandinavian cuisine, Norwegian Proverbs, and Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales. If tasting some of the local snacks is more your style, check out the chocolate, Swedish preserves and Nordic sweets. This shop offers an extensive collection of sterling silver jewelry, including, OpRo Designs, Hilde Fostveit, and Hasla. The Norwegian scents sold here for men and women are Geir: The Power of Norway and Laila: The essence of Norway. They offer Norwegian trolls in all shapes and sizes, Konge Tinn Royal pewter, Linie Aquavit, and Tommeliten Knives. The clothing for men, women, and children are made by Dale of Norway and Helly Hansen.
TIP: To say “hello” in Norway, say “god dag” (goo-DAHG).