Norway Pavilion at Epcot
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|Attraction type||Themed Pavilion|
The 58,000-square-foot (5,400 m2) Norway pavilion is designed to look like a Norwegian village. The village includes a detailed Stave church, and the exterior of its main table-service restaurant, Restaurant Akershus, resembles its namesake in Oslo. The exhibit showcases 4 styles of Norwegian architecture: Setesdal-style, Bergen-style, Oslo-style and Ålesund-style.
Much of the pavilion is taken up by interconnected shops. These shops are decorated with large wooden trolls and sell assorted Norwegian goods, including clothing, candy, and statuettes of Norse gods and trolls. The courtyard of the pavilion contains the entrance to Maelstrom, a boat ride into Norway's past and present. Kringla Bakeri og Kafé is a bakery, featuring assorted Norwegian pastries, such as cream horns and open-faced salmon sandwiches. The courtyard contains the entrance to Restaurant Akershus, featuring a hot and cold buffet and "Princess Storybook Dining."
One former exhibit was a full-scale Viking ship, inspired by the famous Oseberg ship. Formerly a children's play area, the structure was removed in December 2008.
The Norway pavilion is the most recent nation to be added to World Showcase. It soft-opened on May 6, 1988, but the grand opening did not occur until a month later, when Harald V of Norway (then Crown Prince) dedicated the pavilion in a ceremony that was broadcast live to Norway. The original idea was to create a Nordic Pavilion that would combine elements from various countries into one exhibit. Three countries were consulted, but it finally ended up with investors from Norway raising the US$30 million required to create an exclusive national pavilion. Disney contributed the other one-third of the construction cost. In 1992, the investors sold their stake to Disney. Since nearly as many people visit Epcot as live in Norway, the government felt it still was a good promotional tool for their tourism industry. The federal government continued to contribute US$200,000 annually for five years to help fund the exhibit. Renewed in 1997 for a further 5 years, the government stopped payments in 2002, against the recommendations from their American embassy.
In September 2014, Disney officials announced that the "Maelstrom" attraction would be closed and renovated into a new attraction based upon the company's hit animated film, Frozen. "Frozen Ever After", set to open in 2016, will feature the same ride vehicles and basic course of the original attraction, but with scenes inspired by the film and the Frozen Fever animated short.
Attractions and services
- Maelstrom (July 5, 1988 - October 5, 2014)
- Agent P World Showcase Adventure (June 23, 2012 - present)
- Frozen Ever After (future attraction to replace Maelstrom, scheduled to open in early 2016)
- Kringla Bakeri og Kafe
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Disney Princess Character Dining)
- The Puffin's Roost
- The pavilion is staffed by 150 young Norwegian men and women, who wear a copy of the traditional national costume the bunad. Cast members sign a contract for 12 months.
- While performing IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, the landmark of every country around World Showcase is illuminated. However, even though the Norwegian Stave church is Norway's landmark, it is one of two landmarks to not light up during the show. This is because Norway is situated directly across the lagoon from the Morocco pavilion. For religious reasons, the Moroccan landmark is prohibited from having any kind of lighting attached, so in order to keep symmetry, the Norwegian landmark does not light up either.
- Norway Pavilion History
- McNary, Dave (September 12, 2014). "Disney Adding ‘Frozen’ Attraction at Epcot". Variety. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
- Ben Fritz (June 9, 2015). "‘Frozen Ever After:’ An Exclusive Look at Disney’s Upcoming Attraction". wsj.com. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Norway, Epcot.|
- Walt Disney World Resort - Norway Pavilion
- Walt Disney World Resort - Stave Church Gallery
- Walt Disney World Resort - Maelstrom
- Walt Disney World Resort - Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall