35 To Epcot 35: Day 15 – Norway Pavilion

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Frozen Ever After takes guests through the kingdom of Arendelle from the Disney animated hit, ÒFrozen.Ó Located in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot, Frozen Ever After celebrates a ÒSummer Snow DayÓ on a journey through a frozen willow forest, past Troll Valley and up to Queen ElsaÕs palace high up on the north mountain. Epcot is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (David Roark, photographer)

Epcot Center 35th Anniversary on October 1, 2017

Norway Pavilion

Frozen Ever After takes guests through the kingdom of Arendelle from the Disney animated hit, ÒFrozen.Ó Located in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot, Frozen Ever After celebrates a ÒSummer Snow DayÓ on a journey through a frozen willow forest, past Troll Valley and up to Queen ElsaÕs palace high up on the north mountain. Epcot is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (David Roark, photographer)

The Norway Pavilion opened in Epcot’s World Showcase in May of 1988. Fashioned after
Alison, Oslo, Bergen, and Setesdal-style architecture and dedicated by the Crown Prince of
Norway, Harald V, the pavilion encompasses an impressive 58,000-square- foot area. Guests are
welcomed by a 4/5-scale replica of the 12th century Stave Church

Did You Know?

  •  The original plans were for a Nordic Pavilion that would combine aspects of
    several countries, but Norwegian investors raised the 30 million dollars needed
    to make it an exclusive attraction.
  •  Many of the shops have grass on the roof, as is the custom in Norway. Animals
    graze on the roofs to keep the grass cut.
  • A full-scale replica of the Viking ship Oseberg used to be a children’s play area
    until it was removed in December of 2008.
  •  The Norway Pavilion is one of only two pavilions in The World Showcase
    featuring a ride—the other being the Mexico Pavilion.

Rides

Frozen Ever After:

In 2016, Disney opened the renovation to the Maelstrom ride, Frozen Ever After. The
original log ride and vehicles still remain, but the story has changed to accommodate the
popular movie. In the new ride, guests are taken into Arendelle where Olaf and Sven are setting
up for the “Winter in Summer” festival. In Troll Valley, Grandpa Troll tells the story of how
Kristof and Anna met. Visitors next see Olaf ice skating and singing with Anna, Sven, and Kristof.
As guests progress through the ride, they see Elsa singing the popular song, “Let It Go” on a
balcony with Marshmallow, the snowman, nearby. The ride also features the Snowgies from
the Disney short film, Frozen Fever. Visitors are bid farewell with a fireworks display.

(photo EasyWDW)

Maelstrom:

The original attraction took 16 passengers on a boat ride that simulated a Viking ship as it travelled through a 10th century village.  As guests entered a mythical forest, the narrator talked about Norwegian lore and Viking life.  Next, they came face-to-face with a troll, who cursed the boat and sent it  backwards onto the top a waterfall that looked as if the vehicle would fall out of the building and down into the open Norway Pavilion street below. The boat changed direction and was sent down a small drop to make a quick getaway. After the boat escaped the trolls curse, visitors entered and survived a fierce storm on the North Sea. As people exited the ride, they walked through a charming Norwegian village and entered a theater where they could watch a video about Norwegian life.

(photo EasyWDW)

Dining

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall:

The Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is a table/buffet service restaurant where guests with dining reservations can experience breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a medieval-style setting. Visitors can order traditional Norwegian cuisine—meatballs, salmon—or staple American dishes.  Customers will receive a full “Princess Storybook Dining” experience with their meal.  Belle is the hostess, while other princesses (including Snow White and Sleeping Beauty) walk from table to table to greet guests.

(images from Pirates and Princesses PNP)

Kringla Bakeri og Kafe:

Kringla Bakeri og Kafe is a quick serve food shop where park guests can stop and purchase open-faced sandwiches, Kringles (candied pretzels), and Lefse (thin potato bread rolled in cinnamon with a sugar and butter filing). Breakfast and specialty coffee is also sold here.

Shopping

The Wandering Reindeer:

(photos Disney)

The Wandering Reindeer shop opened in the summer of 2016 to accompany the Frozen Ever After ride.  Selling merchandise inspired by the movie Frozen, it is located outside of the Royal Sommerhus.

The Puffin’s Roost:

(photos Disney)

Known for its enormous troll sculpture, The Puffin’s Roost is the premiere shop of the Norway Pavilion.  The shop sells authentic Norwegian apparel, books, jewelry, fragrances, and a sampling of Frozen merchandise.  Customers can also purchase Geir, Hasla, Hilde Fostveit, Helly Hansen and Dale of Norway products here.

Other Attractions:

Anna & Elsa’s Royal Sommerhus:

Fashioned after a Norwegian cabin, the Royal Sommerhus is the royal retreat for Anna and Elsa’s family. Filled with family inspired decor, Anna and Elsa welcome guests to explore the comfy space where they spent their childhood summers.

There’s a nod to the original Maelstrom on one of the tapestries.   

(Photos from Pirates and Princesses PNP)

Stave Church:

(photo JSpense AllEars)

A focal point of the Norway Pavilion, The Stave Church is modeled after a 12th century Norwegian church.  Previously a Viking artifact museum, it is now an exhibit featuring Norwegian cultural inspiration for the movie Frozen.

 

Which did you prefer?  The Maelstrom or Frozen Ever After?  Have you eaten at Norway?  Comment below and let us know.

Sources: Lost Epcot, Disney Parks,  Wikipedia, WDWinfo

Image Sources: The Disney Blog, EasyWDW, My Dreams of Disney, Theme Park Insider, Disney, All Ears,


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2 COMMENTS

  1. I liked Maelstrom best. It was very popular right up to the end. A shame they got rid of such a popular attraction when there is so much space in Disney World that the Frozen ride could have been added somewhere else without destroying one of the most popular rides in Epcot.

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