Friday, September 12, 2014

Epcot's Maelstrom to get a "Frozen" makeover


Tom Staggs, Chairman, Disney Parks and Resorts announced that the Maelstrom ride at Epcot's Norway pavillion in World Showcase will be getting replaced by a "Frozen" themed attraction.

Staggs states, "The new attraction, which replaces Maelstrom, 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. We think these "Frozen" elements are great compliments to the Norway Pavilion, which showcases the country and region that inspired the film."

"Frozen's" popular characters will also have a bigger presence at Magic Kingdom Park this holiday season. In addition to the ongoing character appearances, Queen Elsa will use her powers to transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace every night starting in early November. And Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party-goers can see Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf in "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade."

We're extending some favorite elements of Frozen Summer Fun LIVE!, too, so that guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios can continue singing along to "Frozen" songs with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. Wandering Oaken's will set up shop closer to the show through the holiday season and will feature a larger play area with real snow (in Florida!).

From the moment we screened the film several months before its release, we were inspired by the possibility of bringing this great story to life for our guests. Frozen Summer Fun LIVE! has been extremely popular, and now we're looking forward to doing even more to allow our guests to experience the "Frozen" phenomenon.

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As word of this announcement spread across the internet hard-core Disney fans weren't pleased and took to social media to profess their displeasure. Most comments very critical of how a fictional land like Frozen's Arendelle has no place in Epcot's educational World Showcase made of "real" countries. Other related Tweets were also in favor of a new attraction coming to Epcot citing that the theme park is ready for a new attraction that that the movie tie-in would only help increase attendance and bring a whole new audience into learning about other diverse cultures.

This past March Disney reported that "Frozen" became the top-grossing animated film of all time with $1.072 billion in domestic and international sales. As of today BoxOfficeMojo lists the film has overtaken "Toy Story 3," which had earned $1.063 billion. It is also the 10th largest global blockbuster and is the first billion-dollar film from Disney Animation Studios.

What do you think about the changes to the Norway pavillion? Is the sound of this new attraction warming your heart or leaving you cold? Leave your comments below.

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