The End of Maelstrom

Epcot_Maelstrom_entrance_sign

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In case you haven’t heard the news, Disney announced this week that they will be replacing the Maelstrom ride in the Norway section of Epcot’s World Showcase with a brand new ‘Frozen’ inspired ride. The ride will feature the best music from ‘Frozen’ and take riders through Arendelle. I suspect the ride will probably be in line with The Little Mermaid ride in Magic Kingdom or The Seas with Nemo and Friends in Epcot. The new ride pavillion will also include a meet and greet area for Anna and Elsa, which is no doubt going to be packed to the gills. Maelstrom is expected to permanently close on October 5th.

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A few thoughts….

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There are lots and lots of people that are very upset by this news. In fact, I would say some people are heartbroken that one of their favorite rides is being removed and being replaced with a movie themed ride in Epcot of all places. They feel that Epcot was designed to be an educational experience, and that this would never have been Walt’s intention for the park. Their thoughts are since ‘Frozen’ is fictional, that it belongs in Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom. Well, in case you hadn’t noticed, Fantasyland just completed renovations. Where would it go? There is only so much room inside the park, and something has to be changed or removed in order for a new attraction to be brought in.

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The flip side of that argument is the excitement of ‘Frozen’ mania, and how a new generation of kids has fallen in love with a story that Walt had dreamed of bringing to life, but never had the chance to. I personally am a little over the ‘Frozen’ hype, but completely agree that it was a fantastic movie, and one I will love for years. There are people writing all over the internet about how terrible ‘Frozen’ was, and that the movie won’t be popular for long. Really? Really? Anna and Elsa mania isn’t going anywhere! Like it or not, ‘Frozen’ will be as popular to this generation of kids as ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Lion King’ were to my generation.

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Sarah, Meredith and I have been chatting back and forth all week about this. Sarah and I have never ridden Maelstrom, but Meredith’s oldest daughter was terrified after riding it, and refused to ever ride it again. Sarah was disappointed that she wouldn’t get the chance to ride Maelstrom during her trip in November, but all 3 of us completely agree with the idea of bringing Arendelle to life for Frozen fans. In fact, the three of us think think that Disney should do even more of this; Let’s have a Mulan themed ride in China, a Brave themed ride in United Kingdom, and a Beauty and the Beast ride in France. Bring it on! Disney is there to market to the masses, and the princess world is here to stay. Disney is a living, breathing thing, and if they don’t stay with the times then they are going to lose part of the draw if people only have old rides and attractions to see. They have to change if they want to keep growing. Animal Kingdom is adding an Avatar land in the near future, Hollywood Studios will be adding Star Wars attractions, and while I think that a ‘Frozen’ attraction at Epcot isn’t necessarily a perfect fit, it’s a very good change for Epcot. It brings a new draw to an older park and that’s a good thing.

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Like it or not, naysayers are going to have to “let it go” because Epcot will be iced over in the very near future! What are your thoughts on Frozen coming to Epcot? Let’s discuss in the comments! ~A °o°

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