According to Tom Staggs on the Disney Parks blog, Disney World’s Epcot will be replacing the Norweigan ride, Maelstorm with a “Frozen” themed ride. The ride is supposed to take guests into the land of Arrendale to relive the story of the hit movie. “Frozen” has become a major profit for Disney, bringing tourists from all around the world to go to Disney World’s Epcot to meet the iconic sisters, Anna and Elsa.
The movie was about these two royal sisters growing up in a royal household apart because of Elsa’s hidden magic. When Elsa is about to take the throne as the new queen, her magic is exposed because her anger with Anna for wanting to marry a man she just met, who happens to be named Hans. Elsa runs away to the mountains and makes a castle out of ice, but her disappearance motivates Anna to go and find her. Anna meets Olaf, Sven, and Kristoff along the way, but when she finds Elsa, her heart becomes frozen, due to Elsa’s magic. Anna goes back to their home in Arrendale to realize she needs to experience “an act of true love” to break the curse on her heart that will make her whole body frozen.Hans goes to Elsa’s ice palace to bring her back to the kingdom to kill her and Anna goes to him once he comes back in hopes of him breaking the curse with a kiss. Hans reveals his true intentions of killing Elsa and marrying Anna so they can both claim the throne. Kristoff realizes after heading back to the mountains that he is in love with Anna and rushes back to Arrendale to see if he could break the curse while Anna tries to escape the palace to only become frozen. It is not until Elsa finds her that you realize the power of the bond between the two sisters, showing that not all Disney female characters need a man to show what true love actually is.
The story is what truly attracts fan all over the world and brings excitement of the ride coming to Epcot, but the problem lies within the conflict over which ride belongs more in the Norway pavilion: “Frozen” or Maelstorm?
Maelstorm’s last day of operation is supposed to be on October 5, 2014. The ride originally opened in the summer of 1988 and it takes guests on a journey through Norweigan history on small Viking ships. Having been on this ride myself once, I can honestly say it was pretty enjoyable going through the boat tour and I am not sure how to feel about the closing of it to make this new ride. I am a fan of “Frozen”, but the memory of the Maelstorm ride leaves me neutral in this argument. The Maelstorm ride has been a favorite to many Disney fans for the memories, the history, the excitement, and the culture of it all. The opening of the “Frozen” themed ride in the Norway pavilion has been viewed as wrong because the setting of the movie is in a fictional land named Arrendale, even though some of the Disney animators were inspired by the Norway pavilion when creating the scenes for “Frozen”. Fans also claim that adding the “Frozen” ride will destroy the cultural theme to the Epcot World Showcase, being that all the rides and places on the strip are almost directly related to their respective countries. The new ride is supposed to keep the same basic structure and the royal sisters have be relocated from the Norway pavilion in Epcot to Magic Kingdom, due to their popular demand. The ride is set to be open sometime in early 2016.
Disney also announced that Olaf, Elsa, and Anna would be showing up in Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Parade and during the Christmas season, Cinderella’s castle in Magic Kingdom will be turning into Queen Elsa’s Ice Palace. The singalong “Frozen” Summer Fun Live has also been set to continue in the fall and winter months of this year. As you can see, Disney World is definitely set to have “Frozen” fever with these events and this new ride to come in the next two to three years.