Yesterday was really intense in the Disney Community. As you know, the announcement came that the beloved attraction “Maelstrom” in Norway at Epcot’s World Showcase is closing, and that a “Frozen” themed ride is replacing it. Also, Elsa will be lighting Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, Anna and Elsa are being added to other locations, etc. It’s a Frozen Frenzy! Some people who are die hard Frozen fans (or have daughters who are) were thrilled with the news. Others, who feel that Frozen has been over hyped weren’t happy at all. Some also feel that taking out Maelstrom at World Show case is just the beginning of ruining what that area was supposed to be about. I see both sides. People love Frozen….. and people love classics too, it’s rough.
Maelstrom, like other attractions in the different World Showcase countries in their respected areas, represents the history and folklore of Norway. It teaches people things about Norway that they may not have known before. People must love it too because the line is almost always long! We had been told weeks ago that this was probably coming, and decided to go over to Maelstrom to record the ride through, just in case. The line was long and people were enjoying the attraction. And now, it appears that Maelstrom will be taking it’s last ride on October 5th. We already have a FastPass that evening to be one of the last ones to ride it, as it will be missed.
Even though Frozen is a smash hit that keeps on going, I’m not sure that this attraction belongs in World Showcase. I had said many times that they should bring Anna and Elsa back as an additional meet and greet, or be added to a Princess Character Dining experience, but not added to Maelstrom or replace it with a whole new ride. World Showcase again is about culture and history. Although Frozen is themed off of Norway, it’s actually not Norway, nor does it have anything to do with what their country is all about. Wouldn’t you think a Frozen themed ride would be better suited at a different park, say Hollywood Studios, who needs the extra attractions? Hollywood Studios had a successful run with “Frozen Summer Fun” this year, and it was very much needed. People complain that there isn’t enough to do at DHS, and the Frozen Sing A Long, music, fireworks, etc were an awesome addition to a park that was needing something extra. Plus, the Studios theme is movies. Frozen is a fictional movie, so it works. Frozen isn’t a documentary about the culture of Norway. Therefore, I totally understand why people are upset that Maelstrom is being taken out, it just doesn’t fit well.
World Showcase is like a history and geography lesson rolled into one. It teaches us about countries that a lot of us will never be lucky enough to visit. Some of us are afraid of long flights in a place… ahem…. but I digress. Going to World Showcase for someone like me is a real treat, because even though I would love to see my own family roots in Italy or France, realistically I know I’ll probably never go. It’s a quick fix if you will, on getting to explore far away lands, but staying much closer to home. It’s not about fictional characters, princesses, or talking snowmen. That’s what people are so upset about. On the flip side, people who are huge Frozen fans are looking forward to all these additions. Some aren’t tired of Frozen songs, Frozen cupcakes, Frozen merchandise, Frozen…. everything. That’s all fine and good, I like Frozen too, but there’s a time and place for it. Change is hard for so many people, myself included. I can see both sides of this equation, and frankly, yesterday I felt really trapped in the middle. We announced the changes, and people went crazy with emotion. I had to watch our Facebook page and private group all day, I ended up deleting a few threads because they got too heated, and I never had to do that before. This announcement caused mass hysteria, even more so than when Disney announced Avatarland or Starbucks coming o the parks. People don’t want certain changes and they feel strongly about their views. Heck, our own resident Epcot expert on TMSM, Corey, was highly upset with the announcement, but what can we do?
Within hours campaigns to “save Maelstrom” started, but I seriously doubt that can happen. Frozen is a cash cow for Disney and they know it. It’s smart business from that standpoint. So, now we just wait and watch. More announcements will be coming soon on what’s going in Maelstrom’s spot I’m sure. We knew this was coming, I think a lot of us did, but some were holding out hope that World Showcase’s integrity would stay in tact. Lets hope a Mulan ride won’t be coming to China next, or a Belle extravaganza will be added to France, etc. Enough princess stuff already. What about those of us with boys? How about some super hero additions eventually, just NOT to World Showcase. We don’t need to see Thor over in Norway too, that’s not what I’m saying. I think everything is better in moderation, but what do I know? Oh, and lets hope they don’t rename Cinderella Castle, Elsa Castle for the holidays. People will have a complete and total meltdown, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near that kind of backlash. (No, no one said that they were re-naming the Castle, it’s an example). If you’re upset about the changes, as cliche’ as it sounds, folks are going to have to “Let it Go” and move forward. Just think, Mexico at World Showcase has the “Three Caballeros” in it’s attraction, and it’s still really fun and doesn’t hurt the theme of the pavilion. As for Norway.. itt is what it is, and we’ll be watching. Stay tuned to TMSM for more news as it breaks! ~M