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Maelstrom

Maelstrom is the closest thing to a thrill ride in World Showcase. The boat ride puts riders in a replica of a Viking ship, which then passes through scenes from Norways past, present, and mythology. At one point the boat is sent through the ride backwards and threatens to fall over a waterfall. Once safely docked, passengers move into a theater where a widescreen film is shown that tours Norway and its people.

General Information - Hide Section
  • Location: At the back of the Norway pavilion.
  • Date Opened: 7/5/1988
  • # of Ride Units:
  • Ride Capacity: 16 people per Viking ship
  • Restraint Method: None
  • Ticket Rating: D Ticket
  • Ride Photo: No
  • Sponsor: Norway
 
Time Commitment Information - Hide Section
  • Open/Close: Opens and closes with the park. This attraction is open during evening Extra Magic Hours but not the morning version.
  • Wait Times: This is a slow moving line, and waits of 30 minutes or more are common. Maelstrom is the only FastPass attraction in World Showcase and a good strategy would be to get a FastPass and then enjoy the surrounding area (especially if you are going to be dining at Akershus) before returning.
  • Length of Ride: 14 minutes
  • FastPass: Yes
  • Single Rider: No
  • Queue Description: No real theming, though a large atmospheric mural adorns the walls of the interior queue and loading area.
Access Information - Hide Section
  • Health Restriction: None
  • Ride Access: Wheelchairs and ECV users should enter the regular queue and will receive instructions when they reach the front of the line.
  • Wheelchair Transfer: It is necessary to transfer from wheelchairs and ECVs into the Viking ship, this transfer will require descending two stairs and then stepping down into the boat, and reversing this when exiting.
  • Service Animals: No
  • Audio: Assistive listening, handheld captioning, and reflective captioning devices are available from Guest Services for the film portion of this attraction.
  • Weight and Size Issues: Should be none.
Parenting Information - Hide Section
  • Height Restriction: None
  • Child Swap: Yes
  • Other Issues:
History and Trivia - Hide Section
  • At this location: Maelstrom is the first attraction to occupy this location in the Norway pavilion, though it didn't open for two months after the rest of the pavilion.
  • The Attraction's History: From the beginning the ride was envisioned as a boat ride, including the going in reverse element. Originally, it was much more of a mythological ride, but the Norwegian corporate sponsors of the attraction wanted it to be more informational about Norway and its history, so the trolls were reduced to just a small part of the ride. The Sherman Brothers had even written a song for the ride based on the original ideas, but they faded from the project after the revisions from the sponsors.
  • Other Trivia:
    • The Film: The film, Norway - The Film, was shot in 70mm using the same Panavision cameras as had been used to film Lawrence of Arabia. It was directed by Paul Gerber, who did two other films for Epcot, both now gone (Symbiosis at The Land and The Seas at The Living Seas).
Links of Interest - Hide Section

MousePlanet Links

  • Design and Development — Former Imagineer Paul Torrigino looks back on his involvement in the design and development. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.


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