Epcot's Maelstrom Embraces the Spirit of Norway

NOTE: This attraction was closed in 2015 to make way for a new Frozen Adventure.

Tucked in the back of the Norway Pavilion, back past the Stave Church and the Kringle Bakeri Og Kafe, past the Puffins Roost and the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is one of the rides on our most under rated attractions list. Funny how most people move right on past one of my favorite Epcot rides of all, Maelstrom.

Maelstrom Offers FastPassMaelstrom Offers FastPass
Maelstrom offers a FastPass but I've never needed one, the air conditioned queue moves quickly and can be a welcome break from the Florida heat. The loading area is home to one of my very favorite Hidden Mickeys in all of Walt Disney World. The giant painted mural visualizes many people and elements from Norway's history. Amongst the crew of the Viking ship you will find one unique warrior with Mouse Eats as his helm. However he's not the only Mickey hidden in the mural, have you found the second Mickey?

Maelstrom Hidden MickeyMaelstrom Hidden Mickey
Beneath the mural guests, in groups of 16, board ride vehicles designed to look like viking longboats and set sail for a family friendly voyage through Norway. Not your typical calm Disney boat ride Maelstrom tosses you about the waters, through enchanted forests and swamps where you encounter mystical beings and wild animals then finish and plunging into the wind swept North Sea.

The adventure ride lets you off in a second queue are that represents a sleepy seaside village where you will wait a short time before being let in to watch the stunningly beautiful 5 minute movie that captures the spirit of Norway today.

Back Back Over the FallsBack Back Over the Falls
Many travelers complain that Maelstrom suffers from multiple personality disorder. The attraction tries to tell both the story of Norway's mythical past celebrating it's cultural heritage and then trying to show off the modern, upscale Norway of today as more than just a bunch of Vikings. However for me, I was drawn into the attracting by that Viking Lore and left thinking that modern Norway may be a beautiful place to visit. Maelstrom is always on my "must ride" list any time I'm at Epcot.

What's your opinion of Maelstrom? Take it or leave it? Let me know in the comments below!

Mase wrote on Thu, 06/28/2012 - 05:09:

Mase's picture

This is such a great ride. Just love it!

didyoucall911 wrote on Thu, 06/28/2012 - 06:32:

didyoucall911's picture

Have always been a fan of Maelstrom. I try to drag my family on it everytime I'm in EPCOT. It's not often that there's more than a few minutes wait time (that I've seen).

senseicj wrote on Thu, 06/28/2012 - 14:06:

senseicj's picture

this has always been my favorite place in Epcot, of course i may be a little bias
since i was born in Norway

twilightsparrow wrote on Thu, 06/28/2012 - 14:28:

twilightsparrow's picture

I love this ride...always make sure to ride it when I'm at Epcot.

The Cookie Crumbler wrote on Thu, 06/28/2012 - 16:11:

The Cookie Crumbler's picture

This ride is great. My favorite part is when the troll comes out of the water and it's all WOOSH!

shopsalot wrote on Thu, 06/28/2012 - 17:05:

I've always loved Maelstrom and ride it at least once when I'm at Epcot. Have to look for the second hidden Mickey next time. I will admit that we always bypass the movie.

Melissa Sue wrote on Thu, 06/28/2012 - 22:56:

Melissa Sue's picture

I just love it! That delicious cool air and deep, Disney smell. It's good stuff.

disneydoc wrote on Fri, 06/29/2012 - 03:13:

disneydoc's picture

Don't skip the movie...it is breathtaking! I love that little dock that the boat lands on right outside of the theater too....

I like the part on the ride when the troll sends you backwards. And the sea...the wind, the spray...feels real. :)

PirateGirl wrote on Tue, 08/21/2012 - 22:43:

I like this ride also but it's more personal. My uncle's construction company built the ride!

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