RUMOR: Maelstrom at Epcot Closing September 28th for FROZEN Attraction?

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Maelstrom may be the most beloved “cult” attraction in Walt Disney World, but it may also be weeks away from closing forever…

Maelstrom 1987 3

Cheesy dialogue, a poor representation of Norwegian culture, and a post-show film that people avoid like the plague pretty much sums up Epcot’s Norway pavilion boat ride. The pavilion ended up being funded by Disney almost since it opened in 1988 and Disney has tried on several occasions to find some sponsor to breathe life into the attraction for the most part of the last 25 years. It has seemed for many years as though Maelstrom would survive forever based on the inability to find funding or anything that made sense for that attraction space. Then Frozen was released in theaters…

In the last 8 months, Frozen has taken over Walt Disney World, being hastily rushed into parades, providing the longest meet and greet wait times ever posted, and selling merchandise faster than any property ever has at the Disney Parks. Needless to say, rumors have been swirling that Frozen attractions are in the works for the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resorts and are fast-tracked to be constructed and open as quickly as possible (albeit with a high-quality standard you’d expect based on more recent Disney World and Disneyland additions like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train & Radiator Springs Racers). Here’s where Maelstrom comes in.

Frozen is based on Norwegian culture and folklore, arguably a better representation of it than the horn-blowing bearded Viking and awkward standing polar bear that currently inhabit the second floor of the Maelstrom show building. Giving the Norway pavilion a Frozen ride would be a big boost to Epcot, a park that hasn’t seen a dramatic attendance rise from a  new attraction since the late-1990’s. Hopefully, a new Frozen attraction would simply take over the space of Maelstrom and not simply be an overlay of the existing ride.

All of this is pure speculation at this point, but rumors indicate Maelstrom may close forever on September 28th, 2014 as no FastPass + booking for the attraction is available from that date forward. This could just be a glitch, but more likely it’s the end of the fan favorite, Maelstrom.

Stay tuned to WDW News Today as more information becomes available on this story.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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Alex
Guest
Alex

I hope they don’t. Frozen has been shoved down our throats enough as it is. I’m sick of that movie anymore, and if they change Malestrom to become more frozen, it won’t be even worth going to Norway on my opinion.

Kathleen
Guest
Kathleen

I agree with you Alex. I haven’t even seen the movie and I’m tried of it.

Malcolm Thomas (@MB_Thomas)
Guest
Malcolm Thomas (@MB_Thomas)

Then both your argument and your opinion are baseless.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Well, let me give some basis for their opinions, being someone who has seen the movie. It was not good enough to warrant an Oscar, and it’s certainly not good enough to justify shutting down a ride that’s operated without problems for around 30 years give or take to put Frozen wrapping paper on it. Also, it’s not good enough to have the entire country of Norway turn their backs on Disney (http://thedisneyblog.com/2014/07/11/norway-news-worried-about-frozen-taking-over-countrys-epcot-pavilion/). So there. Basis.

Matt
Guest
Matt

yeah… Norway is kind of pissed off about the whole thing.

Fred
Guest
Fred

“It was not good enough to warrant an Oscar”

Matt, That is just *your* opinion, and you are in the minority. Millions of people disagree with you. It sounds to me like you are just biased.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Fred, you’re right… that was my bad, bias shouldn’t be the basis for an argument. I will offer, however, the fact that when Time Magazine looked into the judging for both the Best Animated Feature and Best Animated Short category, by all technicality, Frozen only legitimately received 2 out of 7 votes for the award, while one vote was basically because “I’m just going to go with what those guys said,” and the other judges chose not to watch any of the nominees. Get A Horse had it worse, though – it received the only vote out of all of… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

Boooooooo! Your basis is nonsensical poppycock. Boooooo!

Latios
Guest
Latios

Their opinions are based on the fact that Frozen is everywhere, and it is annoying them. It’s annoying me, too.
I would never go to a Frozen ride, and would much rather have the Maelstrom stay. Gran Fiesta Tour is a poor representation of Mexican culture, and nobody wants that ride to be replaced.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Gran Fiesta Tour is not a poor represenatation of Mexican culture in the slightest possible manner. It’s a major improvement over the very dated El Rio Del Tiempo, which never truly represented Mexican culture to begin with.

Megatron
Guest
Megatron

Let it go Alex.

Fredo
Guest
Fredo

Good one, lol.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

I heard that Maelstrom is closing on Oct. 5th
Anyone else realize that Maelstrom is the last ride that hasn’t changed since its opening?

Anon
Guest
Anon

I agree, with you alex even though i dont particularly like maelstroms end movie i do like parts of the ride itself. I would be good with a diff norway themed ride but not a frozen ride, I dont like when they have something make alot of money then shove it down your throat

Mary Lloyd
Guest
Mary Lloyd

Those who dont like it, oh well! One less person in line then..I think its great! I love frozen!! Definitely worth it! Its time for an update!

Mike Hitchcock
Guest
Mike Hitchcock

But this is EPCOT not Magic Kingdom. EPCOT is a dead dream. And it’s sad.

RobPlaysThatGame
Guest
RobPlaysThatGame

I don’t find it sad at all. Walt built Disneyland on a foundation in which it would always be changing and evolving, and it’s only fitting that the other parks live by this foundation too. It pains me to see people want to see stagnation at the parks in the name of nostalgia. I love Epcot. I enjoyed Maelstrom a lot growing up. I liked Frozen but I wasn’t wild about it. That said, I’d gladly welcome the change, because it’s change and it brings the potential for better things. No attraction should be too sacred, and no part of… Read more »

Brian
Guest
Brian

The fact that Mary Lloyd LOVES FROZEN!!! has nothing to do with this. And it’d be nothing short of tragic if a Frozen ride replaces Maelstrom. It makes zero sense in any regard other than financially. I’d be sad to see WDW sacrifice something this integral for the mighty buck.

Lexi
Guest
Lexi

As much as I love Maelstrom, I think this is the boost Epcot needs. Epcot gets left in the 80’s more and more every year. I really hope that they can find some way to revamp it (Test Track was a great start) and let people know how awesome of a park it is! Hopefully there are things in the works! :)

Latios
Guest
Latios

Frozen doesn’t belong in Epcot. Epcot is about Disney meeting the real world. A frozen ride wouldn’t fit the theme, would it? A Frozen ride would belong in Magic Kingdom.

sarah
Guest
sarah

thank you i think epcot is not relly a “kid” park so… ya

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

“Frozen doesn’t belong in Epcot”? I’m sorry, should we kick the Finding Nemo ride and princess meet and greets out too? This is disney world. There’s bound to be disney movies incorporated into EVERY park. Get over it…

Kellie
Guest
Kellie

I agree I think Frozen has a place not sure if its Epcot.

Christian
Guest
Christian

I agree frozen should not be in the Norway pavilion. Why just they put it in magic kingdom where all the other frozen stuff is going there this is BS

Sara
Guest
Sara

“Epcot gets left in the 80s”- But that’s just the issue for a lot of people- Some people like to reminisce about what they feel was a better time than today’s age, and I totally get that. They want to experience Epcot and the World Showcase for what it originally was, and that’s slowly slipping away. I personally would love to see Maelstrom stay, and I’ve been a little bummed about this to say the least. (And I did love Frozen.)

cody
Guest
cody

I am so over all of the Frozen stuff. Yes its a good movie but do we really need more? Norway already said they don’t want to have anymore frozen

Matt Byers
Guest
Matt Byers

cool! Anything they can do to make Epcot better for kids is great! I haven’t seen it yet but the changes to Test Track were an improvement so why can’t they improve this as well?

Deb
Guest
Deb

I’m not a fan of the new Test Track. Too dark and really doesn’t make any sense…
We ride it anyway…as it is still fun..but not as good as the original. IMHO

Matt Cordner
Guest
Matt Cordner

The problem lies in the fact that rather than set Frozen in Norway, a fictional country was created. So, really, it has no reason for being in the World Showcase. The ultimatum Disney gave the Norwegian government – give us 9 million and we will consider how you feel – just makes it worse.

Brian Bauer
Guest
Brian Bauer

I don’t think they gave Norway an ultimatum. Disney simply said if you want a say in the direction of the pavilion, then you need to contribute some money to finance it.

Magnus Reinvik
Guest
Magnus Reinvik

Well, it’s only as fictional as the France in B&B or the Arabia in Aladdin.

You can meet Mulan in China, Aladdin in Morocco, Belle in France, Alice and Pooh in the UK and even the three Caballeros in Mexico. If course Norway gets a tie in when the source material is that relevant.

Linda
Guest
Linda

The Disney Store On-line today just released a limited edition Maelstrom t-shirt which you can only purchase this week. Would they release a t-shirt and then close the ride?

Bo
Guest
Bo

I hope not, I’ve already been “Frozen” to death.- and what happens with the next blockbuster for Disney, eventually they will replace Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald and everything else.

Kayla Starrett
Guest
Kayla Starrett

I truly hope this does not come to pass. I will be very disappointed :( I think it’s interesting the timing of them releasing the Maelstrom shirt…I just hope that is not a sign of the demise of the ride.

William
Guest
William

Horrible idea. EPCOT does not need to cater to children. What happened to the educational and inspirational shows and attractions? Instead of those we have rides built to cater to those who have ADD.

Nicolw
Guest
Nicolw

Wow I am pretty sure that Disney (all the parks) cater to children whether you like it or not. I have no idea what Frozen has to do with children of ADD but that was pretty ignorant of you to say. This is coming from a mother whose child has ADD. Maybe if there were less ignorance like yours the world would be a better place?

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Oh don’t use your child as leverage. I have ADD and that’s completely insulting.

Nicolw
Guest
Nicolw

My child does perfectly fine in lines without being pushed to the front. She adjusts. I don;t use my child for any type of leverage. NO rides are catered to those with ADD!

William
Guest
William

Ignorance? No. Intelligence? Yes. EPCOT Center never catered to children. EPCOT Center was a park for education, research, and inspiration. It was never meant to have Mickey Mouse or others in it. It was a place where people went when they wanted to learn via a brand new medium. It didn’t cater to those with short attention-spans. It expected you to be excited by a 15 minute ride that taught of history and potential or culture, not a 2 minute ride that goes fast. Disney parks were never solely for children, and EPCOT Center was primarily for adults.

Kim
Guest
Kim

This exactly! And to those upset over the ADD comment, Eisner began stripping Epcot of its educational value in the 90’s because he found it “boring” and did not want to invest in updates. Now the park caters to kids to sell toys. It was never originally intended to be that way.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Shame on you for agreeing with that discriminator William! >:(

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

It was never intended to be the way jt id at all anyways. Walts vision for the Experimental prototype community of tomorrow was way differebt then what it opened up as and what it is now. Disney is a for profit company so they have to do what they can to bring in as many guests as possible. There have been rumors about them changing this ride for a few months now. Frozen woud be the perfect way for kids to be able to enjoy the parks WITH their parents and it not just be all about the parents.

EPCOT
Guest
EPCOT

Yes. But frozen wouldn’t fit in the world showcase. Maybe somewhere near the land or something. Any way. The world showcase was primarily for adults and not really for kids. Maelstrom is EDUCATIONAL and teaches about the culture and land of Norway. Frozen has no educational value. If they do end up making a frozen ride. Put it in magic kingdom or Hollywood studios. Not Epcot.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Mr. EPCOT, call yourself wrong! Maelstrom is not really educational! The Frozen will be perfect for Epcot!

A
Guest
A

Rides to cater to those who have ADD?
Perhaps you some think before you type.
It’s blatantly obvious how ignorant you are.
It’s individuals like you who make the world a miserable place to live.
Disgusting!

William
Guest
William

Oh go hug a tree, already.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

You said it!

stephanie
Guest
stephanie

Hey, leave him alone! These are his opinions, and they should be taken as so! Because of comments like this, we’re getting away from the real topic of THE RIDE. And us “tree huggers” might actually have some important points in what we say.

P.S. My opinion on the ride is: I’m sad to see Maelstrom go, but I’m interested to see how the new plan plays out.

Ellie
Guest
Ellie

Gee. Way to say that children don’t deserve to be educated. They can cater to children and still offer an educational experience for everyone. People seem to forget that the whole point of Disney world is that it is a family park. If you don’t like that, stop going. Busch Gardens and Six Flags are more your style.

Michelle Norman
Guest
Michelle Norman

ADD or any type of learning disability has nothing to do with anything. That’s rude to even comment on.

Berni
Guest
Berni

Please enough of Frozen! Have Disney Imagineers lost their imagination? Norway and Maelstrom is enjoyed by many, offers a cool, quiet respite and is a much loved quirky ride. If the rumour is true, Maelstrom will be a great loss and Arendelle is not Norway!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Arendelle IS Norway! And the Imagineers have not lost their imaginations!

Plus, Maelstrom is really only being enjoyed a very teeny-tiny minority comprised of change-haters like you!

Dawn P
Guest
Dawn P

It’s the World Showcase…it’s supposed to be about the countries not a movie. Movies are the reason DHS is there. Put it there and leave the countries alone for those of us who prefer the culture above the fads.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Dawn, you’re dumb! >:(

Shirley Marella Baney
Guest
Shirley Marella Baney

I am not a fan of frozen only because of my age & no little grandaughters. BUT! I would be happy to ride a frozen attraction to experience it & I’m sure to enjoy. Also I will miss the old attraction in Norway but I think Disney knows what they are doing most of the time.

Ron D'Anna
Editor
Ron D'Anna

I just checked through the MDE app. I can book it on the 27th, but will confirm it is removed from the list starting 9/28.

shannon
Guest
shannon

Can we please leave Epcot alone? First Nemo takes over the Living Seas and now this? Truly disappointed. . .

Angela
Guest
Angela

smh..i love Frozen but i am “Frozened” out…good grief..enough already..Maelstrom has been a ride my family has ridden on together since i was a young child and has become a family favorite with my own children..not everything needs to be the “new”…some things can stay traditional and last time I checked Errendale had nothing to do with Norway so it has no business being in the World Showcase..there is plenty of land Disney could use that is still sitting empty to build a Frozen ride or it’s own darn theme park if they wanted to..but taking away Maelstrom that actually… Read more »

Magnus Reinvik
Guest
Magnus Reinvik

NOTHING to do with Norway? Really? The film is set in a country that’s mainly fjords and mountains. The names(Elsa, Anna, Sven, Hans) are all Scandinavian. The basis for the story is a Danish (more or less same written language) novella. Two major pieces of music in the film are written by a Norwegian /Saami composer. Both the Norwegian bunad and Saami kofte are represented. There’s reindeer. Finally, the name Arendelle is as close as you get to the Norwegian valley of Arendal. They are in fact so similar that they become homonyms if read quickly. In short, I almost… Read more »

Ed J.
Guest
Ed J.

Plus the horses are Norwegian Fjord horses.

EricVK
Guest
EricVK

Then have Disney pay Norway the $9mil for the use of their country in EPCOT and not the other way around…

dana
Guest
dana

I’m all for a Frozen ride, but it seems there is plenty of underutilized space in Epcot. Why does it have to replace anything?
I vote if something needs to be replaced, take a look at Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Just sayin’, that ride is always dead.

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

No don’t take Ellen’s Universe of Energy away. It is a great 45 minute air conditioning break!

Geoff
Guest
Geoff

Amen!!! Kill Ellen’s Energy Adventure, not Maelstrom! (Even though it badly needs an update)

Kellie
Guest
Kellie

I agree totally

Shelby
Guest
Shelby

I love frozen but malestrum is a very popular ride in Epcot and I hope they leave malestrum alone

Lanres
Guest
Lanres

This is so wrong!!!
Disney decides to destroy culture and country presentation with a Disneyride… Thats f***** up!

Natasha Acevedo
Guest
Natasha Acevedo

I am a mother of an autistic boy and had had the worst treatment at Epcot, no other park has treated my son with so much disrespect, we go to Disney every year but my God its the worst. MK, HS, AK, and both Universal’s parks my son was treated kindly and with respect except Epcot. This March one of my friend who also has an autistic child and has annual pass told me he had the worst experience in Epcot with his son ever. So no cater for children and forget children with special needs.