Maelstrom (ride)

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Maelstrom entrance sign.jpg
Entrance of the ride
Area World Showcase, Norway pavilion
Coordinates 28°22′15″N 81°32′47″W / 28.37083°N 81.54639°W / 28.37083; -81.54639Coordinates: 28°22′15″N 81°32′47″W / 28.37083°N 81.54639°W / 28.37083; -81.54639
Status Closed
Opening date July 5, 1988
Closing date October 5, 2014
Replaced by Frozen Ever After
General statistics
Attraction type Boat voyage
Manufacturer Intamin
Designer Walt Disney Imagineering
Theme History of mythological Norway
Drop 28[1] ft (8.5 m)
Length 964 ft (294 m)
Capacity 1000 riders per hour
Riders per vehicle 16
Rows 4
Riders per row 4
Duration 4:27
Lift count 1
Movie Length 5:52 minutes
FastPass+ was available
Assistive listening icon.svg Assistive listening available

Maelstrom was a log flume dark ride attraction located in the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, the ride opened on July 5, 1988, in the Norway Pavilion of the park's World Showcase section. It was a mix between a log chute and a traditional film attraction. Visitors rode boats patterned after longships that passed through various scenes that featured audio-animatronic figures.

On September 12, 2014, it was announced that the ride would be replaced by an attraction based on Disney's 2013 animated film Frozen.[2][3][4] Maelstrom's final day of operation was October 5, 2014.[5] Frozen Ever After opened on June 21, 2016.[6]

The ride[edit]

Riders departed from a dock traveling by boat, which turned a corner into a dark tunnel and up the flume's lift hill. A voice tells riders that those who seek the spirit of Norway face peril and adventure, but more often find beauty and charm. Arriving at the top of the hill, a lit face of the Germanic god Odin hovered above. Riders passed through scenes of seafarers and maritime villages depicting a mythological version of Norway's Viking days. Entering a marsh, the boat would come face to face with audio-animatronic depictions of a Nokken and a three-headed troll. The trolls, angered by the trespassing boat, cast a spell onto riders as the vehicle began to move backward rapidly, accelerated by hidden conveyor belts underneath the water's surface. The boats floated briskly past scenes of polar bears and living trees, before coming to a stop on the edge of another waterfall, exposing the Norway pavilion's main thoroughfare. The backwards edge of the boat peeked out through the facade as the track pivoted to let the vehicle travel forward again. Correctly oriented, the boats plunged forward down a 28-foot (8.5 m) flume into a stormy depiction of the North Sea. After passing very close to an oil rig, the ride came to an abrupt end in a calm harbor of a small village, where the narrator announced, "Norway's spirit has always been, and will always be adventure." As guests exited the ride, they had the option of watching a 5-minute tourism film, "The Spirit of Norway", which highlighted various attractions in Norway including skiing, hiking, and Kjerag mountain.

Hidden Mickeys on the ride included:

  • 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 stave church, King Olaf II had a small Mickey embroidered on his tunic, near his right thigh.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Maelstrom". Disney Parks. Archived from the original on 5 October 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Tom Staggs (September 12, 2014). "'Frozen' Attraction Coming to Epcot". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ McNary, Dave (September 12, 2014). "Disney Adding 'Frozen' Attraction at Epcot". Variety. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ Pallotta, Frank (15 September 2014). "Yet another 'Frozen' spinoff: An Epcot theme park attraction". CNN Money. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Maelstrom - Epcot Attractions - Walt Disney World Resort". Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Sentinel, Orlando (2016-05-20). "Disney: Opening dates for Frozen ride, Soarin', Star Wars fireworks, more". Retrieved 2016-06-18. 
  7. ^ "D-Tales #2: Historical details hidden in Maelstrom, as Frozen soon makes its move into more of Walt Disney World". Inside the Magic. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.