Frozen Taking Over Disney Parks – Classic Epcot Ride Being Rebooted and Cinderella Castle To Be Elsa’s
Disney’s Frozen came out almost a year ago and people are still singing that damn “Let it Go”. It’s starting to become as obnoxious as the “It’s a Small World” tune. That’s actually the perfect example for today’s story. Just like “It’s a Small Word”, Frozen is to be inducted as yet another ride at Disney parks where passengers will be trapped on a log chute while a title track plays on an endless loop (I was once trapped on It’s a Small World for 45 minutes while the song played, so you can imagine my deep rooted horror). Hit the jump to read on more about what classic ride is being updated, as well as Disney World’s plan to transform their castle for Elsa.
Walt Disney World announced today that an attraction based on Frozen is coming to the Norway Pavilion in EPCOT and will replace the Maelstrom ride.
We’ve made ‘Frozen’ a part of the guest experience in a number of ways already and our guests have both loved them and asked for more,” said Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “So I’m pleased to say that we’re starting construction at Walt Disney World Resort on a brand new ‘Frozen’ attraction at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot. The new attraction, which replaces Maelstrom, will take our guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film. The pavilion will also include a royal greeting location where Anna and Elsa can meet our guests. We think these ‘Frozen’ elements are great compliments to the Norway Pavilion, which showcases the country and region that inspired the film.
Maelstrom opened in July 1988, and is located in the Norway pavilion of the World Showcase at the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World Resort. The ride is a mix between a log chute and a traditional dark ride film attraction which involves park guests ride small Viking ships through various scenes with audio-animatronic figures.
Here’s a POV video from the Maelstrom:
The Malestorm ride was on of the best rides in EPCOTSs World Showcase. How the heck are you going to drop in a Frozen ride right in the middle of the World Showcase? Shouldn’t the ride be at the Magic Kingdom where the rest of the Disney Princess frolic? Actually, that’s probably one of the reasons Disney is updating the ride.
Staying true its namesake, the World Showcase is a celebration of countries and cultures, with restaurants and rides specific to each country. A big ole’ world fair, really. While that’s all fun and dandy – giving attendees the chance to experience a sampling of countries they may never actually visit – this section of the park doesn’t have a whole lot of Disney movie tie-ins. Sure, Disney has added characters to the various worlds for photo ops and what not, but there’s not a whole lot of mass market appeal. If you wanna see your favorite characters and experience realizations of your favorite movies, then you go to Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios. EPCOT is in need of a serious refresh. If it wants to be sustainable, it needs to grow beyond Walt’s original concept.
Frozen does take place in in Norway, so it makes for s perfect backdrop to the fictional world of Arendelle.
It always sucks when your favorite rides gets swept away for modern audiences (I’m still sour at Universal Studios for getting rid of the Back to the Future ride in place of The Simpsons) but no ride is immune to modernization.
Personally, I would hope that the basis of the Maelstorm ride and its gimmicks (it involved a section where the viking boat vehicle travels rapidly backwards) stay intact, as well as some of the history of Norway (that’s the point of the World Showcase, is it not?) while only its outer skin gets Frozen-fied.
Disney has also announced plans to have Queen Elsa use her powers to transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace every night during the Christmas holiday season starting in early November (see the concept art above). Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf will also appear inin “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade” as part of the ticketed Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party park events