Walt Disney World Resorts is shutting down the Maelstrom ride in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot and replacing it with a ride inspired by the movie Frozen, the park announced Friday.
Last day for Maelstrom — a ride through the perils of the North Sea in a 10th-century-style warrior’s longship that opened in 1988 — will be Oct. 5. Disney did not give a timeline for the new attraction or much in the way of detail.
Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, who announced the Frozen ride on the Disney Parks blog, said it “will take our guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film. The pavilion will also include a royal greeting location where Anna and Elsa can meet our guests.”
Staggs quoted Walt Disney’s famous line that Disneyland would never be completed as long as there is imagination left in the world, and added that the company has extended that promise to all its parks.
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“This year, one particular product of imagination — Disney Animation’s blockbuster hit Frozen — captured the hearts and minds of people around the world and gave us a new opportunity to make good on Walt’s pledge,” he said.
Meeting Frozen’s heroines Anna and Elsa in Princess Fairytale Hall has been hugely popular — the wait time for guests who didn’t schedule FastPasses in advance has run as long as five hours. Disney also added some Frozen-related activities at its Hollywood Studios park this summer, and Staggs said Friday that one of them, a singalong with Anna and Elsa, will be extended into the holiday season.