Friday, January 3, 2014

Will a Frozen Ride Replace Epcot's Maelstrom in World Showcase Norway Pavilion ?


A source of Screamscape informed Lance that "WDI has been given the initial nod to do a little Blue Sky dreaming to determine just how they could transform the Maelstrom ride in the Norway Pavilion into a new Frozen themed attraction concept."

Right now - and of course "IF" the info is right - WDI is only in Blue Sky phase and no mention of the budget the ride could have or even if they will keep the Maelstrom flume ride system or if they will create another kind of ride, so take it only as a rumor. BUT there are some elements which push in favor of it, and here is why:


1) Frozen is a huge success and so far even the biggest one of Walt Disney Animation since The Lion King 20 years ago! And we know that in terms of "Disney synergy" they like to create a ride inspired from a popular movie success.

2) Epcot's World Showcase needs desperately a new attraction! ...as well as WDW to counter attack Universal Florida upcoming projects. Not to mention that the Maelstrom ride didn't aged terribly well, even if it's always fun.

3) A Frozen attraction will fit perfectly with the Norway pavilion theme and the Frozen characters meet and greet at Epcot had currently excellent reactions from the guests.

4) The architecture in the movie of the kingdom of Arendelle has some similarity with the one of the Norway pavilion ( and for good reasons ). Below, a picture from the animated movie and one of the Norway pavilion as well as the WDI rendering.






5) WDI Imagineers will use very probably the facility existing for the Maelstrom ride which means there won't be any cost to build a new building. That saves a pretty lot of money, believe me.

6) If Disney wants something opening quickly they could use the flume ride currently existing and change "only" all the sets. That said, even if WDI was choosing this option, it'll take time to create something new and to do it fine, so don't expect a Frozen ride before two years from now, if not more.

7) WDI has the technology to create in the ride amazing "ice" effects like the one we can see in the movie when Elsa transforms anything in "ice"

8) There are even scenes already existing that obviously could be transformed in a Frozen one. Like the one when the Drakkar boat is going backwards and when guests see the giant polar bear Audio-Animatronic...




Now, imagine that, keeping the same boat backwards movement, instead of the bear they put at its place an Audio-Animatronic of the snow monster below. I know, it's almost too obvious. 



But, as Lance note in his Screamscape post that you can read HERE, if Disney gives to the Imagineers a big enough budget "the entire current ride structure could be demolished to make way for a new trackless ride system concept" and they could use the ice theme of Frozen to have a trackless ride "themed as a sleigh ride through the wilderness, scooting across the frozen landscape". Good idea indeed but this would certainly mean a bigger budget and we know that they have plenty of big projects awaiting the final green light, and even put on hold due to the higher than expected cost of My Magic + 

That said, for all the reasons listed above and although it's so far only a rumor i think you can reasonably put some of your bets on this one. One thing is sure: a Frozen ride would be perfect for the Norway pavilion and World Showcase.And if this is only a rumor with nothing real behind it, well, the Imagineers should think about the idea anyway because it is a good one!

Edited: Just saw on the Moviefone website that Jim Hill also talked recently in a webcast about the Frozen ride coming to Epcot's Norway. And according to Jim an opening is expected in 18 months with also a Frozen ride envisioned for Disneyland later. one more good reasons to place your bets on a Frozen ride!

Pictures: copyright Disney

15 comments:

d_fallen_1 said...

No doubt Disney will try to bank on the movie's success. A "Frozen" overlay isn't farfetched, but why not go all out? Magic Kingdom's sister parks need attention with more content. An overlaying like Test Track just makes Disney appear lazy when you compare them with their competition. As people will say for TDS, the money shows and it builds appreciation.
Not sure what can be accomplished in Disneyland however. One thing that can be done is overlaying the Matterhorn. Course there's still the space Autopia and Nemo Subs are occupying...

Tom said...

During Frozen, I had to think of the "Slavic-Nordic Chamber" in Mystic Manor, that's amazing (and cold!). They could use this technology for a new Frozen attraction.

I don't remember Maelstrom as being very impressive, so when they turn it into a good Frozen attraction, I think that's a great idea!

Now I'm off to the cinema's to watch Frozen for the 6th time ;)

Anonymous said...

Please no. Epcot is dumbed down enough.

Build a new ride for it at DHS - a park that desperately needs more rides.

Jones said...

I´m sooo looking forward to a Captain America Pavillion - imagine how great that would be, Captain America replacing that Mark Twain animatronic (who is Mark Twain anyway?), giving an overview of the entire Marvel universe instead of that boring history stuff... (Sarcasm mode off)

Xavier said...

@ Jones : ROTFL !!!!

I was quite surprised by the candid almost with enthusiasm news here. Hopefuly a 2nd article set things right imho...

Anonymous said...

Screamscape i can believe. Jim Hill, well... Jim Hill likes to hear himself talk.

Anonymous said...

I have mixed feelings, I think a Frozen ride would be great.. buuut maybe not in EPCOT, considering it should always remain educational and informative to some degree. HS COULD use Frozen, however, RnR, ToT, and TSMM have plenty of traffic coming in. I feel like it would be great to have Elsa's ice castle in MK, and have another mountain (as the North Mountain) and maybe have some type of sled - style ride but the only problem is MK will probably be slammed with people and I think that park does incredibly well on it's own. I suppose EPCOT would be the only thing that makes sense to bring people in and possibly fork out money for park hopper tickets (so they can go to MK too) I guess it's not the worst thing in the world, and I know Maelstrom is really outdated, but personally I very much enjoyed it. I think the older rides have a lot of charm behind them and it kinda helps you see how much they've grown in technology (even though Walt was WAY ahead of this time!)

Alex Chipman said...

I am imagining that Epcot will get some big over hauls in the next couple of decades. Frozen is just the start of placing a Disney princess like characters with one of the pavilions. I predict they will do the same for all the other pavilions. Frozen in Norway, Ratatouille in France, Mulan is already in Japan. They could successfully make Epcot a real world type fantasyland.

Thoughts?

Alex Chipman said...

I am imagining that Epcot will get some big over hauls in the next couple of decades. Frozen is just the start of placing a Disney princess like characters with one of the pavilions. I predict they will do the same for all the other pavilions. Frozen in Norway, Ratatouille in France, Mulan is already in Japan. They could successfully make Epcot a real world type fantasyland.

Anonymous said...

I hate the idea of replacing the Maelstrom with a Frozen attraction. Epcot is supposed to be educational and the World Showcase introduces people to the various countries histories, customs and cultures. How is a cutsie Frozen attraction supposed to accomplish this? If Disney really wants to make a change and bring Frozen into the attraction and Pavilion do it with the movie at the end of the ride.
To this day I hate what was done to El Rio del Tiempo in the Mexico Pavillion making it the Grand Fiesta Tour.
I agree with other posters that suggest a Frozen themed attraction be brought to Hollywood Studios, that is the movies based theme park after all.
I've already emailed Disney about my displeasure in hearing this rumor and that I hope it is exactly that, a RUMOR

TheMajorsGirl said...

There's something I don't get. Why did they put Mulan in Japan? SHE'S CHINESE!

Stephanie Abbernathy said...

As soon as I saw that movie I thought to my self OH NO!! This is going in maelstrom isn't it? Not that It was a bad movie but Maelstrom is the ONLY epcot ride that remains unedited from my childhood. THERE IS NOTHING LEFT OF THAT PARK!! No theme park in all of Disney's collection has ever been treated as meanly as Epcot. If this goes, I think its about time to realize Epcot is a sunken ship destroyed by greed and cheap tie ins.

Anonymous said...

Mulan is in China

Anonymous said...

I really hope they replace Maelstrom with a Frozen ride considering I am made about it. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE bring it in before September 2016 because that is when I am going. I also heard that there replacing Soaring ride with Soaring Over the Horizon, the one that is coming to Shanghai. Again I would love to see this happen before September 2016.

Anonymous said...

It won't go to HS, that is so clearly heading for a star wars expansion to cash in on the new movies and spin offs especially now that American idol is going to close later this year. I see much of the 'left' side of the park being reworked. As for epcot, it is also in need of some cash injection. Soarin is getting a new video for DCA and Epcot. They were filming over DCA in March and WDW in early May.