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Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

P. 116: Space 220 Restaurant Grand Opening report posted!

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I am not a huge fan of Frozen. Frankly I think people get too aggressive and too wrapped up in it, but for a park that has not changed dramatically in the last few years and that can use an upgrade, I am excited to see something new added!

 

I have heard a lot of criticism from people that WDW does not add new attractions often enough and that they need new things more regularly. When they want to create something new, they look to update or remove older attractions that do not have the popularity that they originally had and carried for many years. As they said in the press release, WDW will never stop growing.

 

Change is good.

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It was only a matter of time before this happened. It will definitely bring in the crowds for sure. I've always been indifferent to Maelstrom. I kinda liked it, but I'm not sad it's going away.

I think that if Disney does the attraction right (as in not make it like a traditional disney storybook dark ride), it will fit in with the Norway area just fine.

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The one and only thing I will miss from Maelstrom is that amazing mural in the loading area. Apart from that, this is a great announcement!

 

People have been whining & complaining for 30 years that there isn't enough for kids to do or look forward to in World Showcase. Well, here's your answer. Hopefully the increased traffic this brings sparks additional interest in World Showcase's other offerings such as Reflections of China and American Adventure - stuff that is kid-friendly but not really kid-enticing. I wonder what the complainers who would decry this in favor of a laughably out of date Maelstrom ride/Norway video would say about that eventuality...

 

 

For those wondering what will become of the movie theatre, the announcement did mention an included meet n' greet with Anna & Elsa. What more perfect place could there be than that huge room? (Assuming no load bearing walls are going to be moved in the re-do.)

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Color me indifferent as I didn't think Maelstrom was all that great and I have never watched Frozen. I am sure it will be a huge hit for families though so definitely a big plus for Epcot.

 

It's all about the unique food and booze for me when I am at Epcot World Showcase...and of course, Illumigaytions.

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I hear the new ride won't be opening until 2016, so it sounds like this will be more than a quick retheme. It'll be interesting to see whether it's another Little Mermaid-style dark ride or something completely different.

 

I don't think the ride system is changing at all. It will remain a boat ride. Though, if they gutted the building, they could cram a more compact ride systems and better utilize the space. But I don't think they are.

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This is hardly a surprise. Refitting Maelstrom to tell the story of "Frozen" is a a very inexpensive way to capitalize on Disney's biggest film in decades as quickly as possible. My only hope with all this is that the Norway pavilion stays the Norway pavilion. Having a "Frozen" attraction and dedicated meet-and-greets worries me that they are going to turn Norway into Arendelle, and that kind of thing should be saved for the Magic Kingdom.

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This is hardly a surprise. Refitting Maelstrom to tell the story of "Frozen" is a a very inexpensive way to capitalize on Disney's biggest film in decades as quickly as possible. My only hope with all this is that the Norway pavilion stays the Norway pavilion. Having a "Frozen" attraction and dedicated meet-and-greets worries me that they are going to turn Norway into Arendelle, and that kind of thing should be saved for the Magic Kingdom.

 

It looks like the ship might have sailed on that one. They might get away with an explanation that "The Snow Queen" is a traditional Scandinavian fairytale, and Frozen is based on that.

 

I'll be interested to see how the story is presented - will they try to cram the while story in like The Little Mermaid, or will it be more of an "expanded slice" like Radiator Springs Racers? Kind of hoping for the latter.

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I must of had the worst luck with Maelstrom because every time I have tried to ride it has always had over a 30 minute wait. And I am talking multiple visits over 20 years. I believe every one when they say the ride usually has no wait, but some magical force intervenes and I always experience long waits or the ride breaks down. Good riddance!

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This is definitely going to be a massive refurb/redesign. They are planning to close the attraction for 15 months at a minimum. Consider that the Test Track re-theme only took about 7 months, The Frozen Summer Fun event was designed in 2 weeks, and they have been planning this retheme since February and it's been yellow-lighted since roughly April. Imagineering has something up their sleeves here, a retheme of the existing attraction would not take them 15 months.

 

Also, I disagree with anyone who says the ride never had a wait. I've seen plenty of 30 minutes to an hour since I moved down here. Maelstrom was probably fourth in the pecking order of wait times after Soarin, Test Track, and Mission Space.

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During my only visits to Epcot in 2001, 2004, and 2007, my family and I always loved the ride. Keep in mid this was years ago and I was around 12 years old during my last ride. I've never even seen Frozen (I live under a rock). However, I'm very excited for this project.

 

I think it's funny when people say that they never ride Maelstrom anyway AND they don't like this announcement. Either way then, it is going to (most likely) be a huge hit, bringing in a lot of business so that they can continue to expand the parks to keep up with Universal.

 

Also, with the lack of specifics mentioned in the article, I wonder if the extent and budget for the project isn't even totally settled at this point.

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This is going to be a good draw if it gets the same reaction as the frozen summer events and the movie itself, but could also see some mixed reactions like we are already seeing. Malestrom was in need of an update, I think that's a given. Disney has a movie now that plays into that theme so why not use it to renovate an outdated attraction? Its a smart move by Disney from a business standpoint, it gives them a "new" attraction and way to sell going to Epcot.

As for the ride itself, I'm sure it will be a rethemeing but with new effects and surprises (I do hope they keep the drop). As for the movie at the end, they will probably turn that into a meet and great since I'm sure they won't need a movie now, or they will extend the ride into it. And a real long shot would be to make it a new entrance if they redo some of the ride layout itself. Either way it will be interesting and in my opinion a good change that s a little better representation of Scandinavian nations even if it isn't specifically Norway but is still based off a real fairy tale from those parts. As I always say though any new addition is better than no new addition, even if I may not like it (American Idol).

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Also, I disagree with anyone who says the ride never had a wait. I've seen plenty of 30 minutes to an hour since I moved down here. Maelstrom was probably fourth in the pecking order of wait times after Soarin, Test Track, and Mission Space.

None of that was due to popularity, it was a direct result of the ride's operating capacity. All of the other rides you mentioned have higher capacities than Maelstrom.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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I think as a business this makes perfect business sense. Capitalize on the current Frozen phenomenon with little to no interruption to the current park operations. Closing Maelstrom will not affect the park in anyway and in 15 months they will have a major new attraction with people flooding from the Magic Kingdom to do one of the most popular meet and greets. Its sheer genius minimal input and maximum output.

 

However as a guest I do agree that it shouldn't be in the World Showcase. The World Showcase is by definition a view of other countries of the world. A little snapshot right in central Florida. Arrandale is fictional and I agree that it does belong in the Magic Kingdom.

 

When I visit though it will not let it affect my enjoyment of the attraction though. I love Frozen.

 

Please let it be a new ride system and extended building.

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New ride, color me excited. It's not like a Frozen ride is going to ruin the World Showcase Experience in any way.

 

And for the guy complaining about not being able to post his opinion...the problem isn't that you have a different opinion, but the way in which you presented it.

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I'm a bit surprised it took Disney this long to finally go ahead and make a Frozen-themed ride. I would've thought they'd have plans for one while making the movie.

 

I've never had the privilege of going to Orlando for anything, but that won't stop me from being a total nerd about WDW, and I enjoy Disney's constant efforts to please the public as a whole, GP and junkies. This will definitely keep more people coming to Epcot, and it gives a rather odd "Disney" ride a much-needed face-lift. That being said, it makes you wonder how the people who work at the Norway pavilion are taking this in. The movie isn't really "set" in Norway, even though it's clearly influenced by it, and I'm sure the Norwegian-raised staff are aware of it. I'm not sure how they'll react to little girls coming over to their Norway pavilion and asking how it was like living in Arendelle and if they met the princesses.

 

I'm sure they'll be trained on what to say, but wouldn't it be grating after a while?

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To me, this kind of attraction does not have a place in Epcot. Especially not in World Showcase. World Showcase is not about promoting Disney franchises. It's about promoting countries of the world and representing them in a type of world's fair.

Wait, really? This is what you think? REALLY?!?!?

 

So what you're saying is that Frozen doesn't make sense, even though they have said over and over again that the movie is based on real locations in Norway, but characters like Mulan, Snow White, Mary Poppins, Alice, Aladdin, Jasmine, Donald, Aristocats, Remi, etc, all of which have appeared in World Showcase for YEARS are all "ok" in that area of the park in your mind for some reason?

 

And what are you talking about promoting countries??? Do you *honestly believe* that the countries in the World Showcase are really like the actual places??? I can tell you that Elissa and I have been to ALL of the real World Showcase countries, and while it's a nice representation, it's most certainly a "theme park vision" of those countries. And that's not a bad thing.

 

If you're going to Epcot for a "cultural experience", then you're doing it wrong. The Disney franchises fit in just fine in World Showcase. I mean, hi...it's a DISNEY PARK!!!

 

/end rant

 

I feel bad for the people of Norway (who, by the way, did NOT want this...)

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!

I'm picturing you going door to door visiting everyone in Norway holding up a picture of the Frozen attraction at Epcot and asking people if this is what they think the next attraction at Epcot should be. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!

 

Wow. Some of the things people will actually say... Simply amazing.

Edited by robbalvey
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Having characters around the pavilions is much different then having an entire ride. It just seems cheap to me, as does the abomination inside the Mexico pavilion, but then again, I really wish Disney would start coming up with original ideas for their rides again, not have them based on movies.

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The decision to close Maelstrom, I feel, is a great one. The ride, when I rode it back in 2009 or so, was severely lacking in a lot of areas and was one of the weakest rides (at least from my perspective as a one-time rider) at ANY WDW park. As for putting Frozen characters in the World Showcase, I feel fine with it. The people complaining that they don't belong at all without taking into regard the fact that Disney characters have been in the showcase for YEARS is being seriously close-minded. For myself, the addition of a Frozen is absolutely a huge plus for the resort. No question about it. As for the placement in Norway, I kind of understand the resistance to more characters in the showcase, but the people saying "bu...but it doesn't fit into the original design" have to realize that the park has changed somewhat from that 1982 concept (the park itself even changed from Walt's original idea for EPCOT) and the company still thrives on the revenue from their beloved characters. Besides, the pavilions were not supposed to be 100% accurate, recreations of the countries they represent. To get the real thing, buy plane tickets to Norway instead. Back to Frozen, remodeling the attraction can only do good for both the pavilion and Norway's presence at EPCOT. There's no way a new, popular family ride (even if based on Disney characters) added to the area will attract fewer visitors to Norway than the half-assed boat cruise through swamps and oil derricks. I, for one, am happy to see something new join in.

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Having characters around the pavilions is much different then having an entire ride. It just seems cheap to me, as does the abomination inside the Mexico pavilion, but then again, I really wish Disney would start coming up with original ideas for their rides again, not have them based on movies.

 

Disney parks have always been a mix of "original" and movie-based attractions. Disneyland opened with quite a few rides based on their own flicks (such as Snow White, Peter Pan, and Mr. Toad), along with more original attractions (such as the Jungle Cruise). Basing attractions on the movies the company itself produced is hardly anything new.

 

There's always a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth when Disney announces the "removal" of an old attraction. I liked Maelstrom, but still believe it's time for something new, as the old ride is quite dated.

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I really wish Disney would start coming up with original ideas for their rides again, not have them based on movies.

You mean like in 1955 when Disneyland opened and they had rides based on movies like Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Peter Pan, and Ichabod & Mr. Toad? You mean like those? The whole REASON Disney parks exist was to create rides out of their movies and promote them!!!

 

Seriously, some of the comments written about this whole thing are just so dumb, so incredibly stupid that it's making my head spin.

 

If someone's life is *REALLY* going to be affected by a ride closing, or their visit to a theme park is going to be significantly impacted by this, then seriously, you need therapy. There is no other option. Seek help. NOW!

 

And if you don't like the fact that I've called you dumb and incredibly stupid, you should probably just not post here anymore. We won't miss you.

Edited by robbalvey
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Looks like Chuck got to it before me!

 

But seriously, do people not even realize how incredible stupid they sound when they post something like this?

 

"It all started with a mouse" - Walt Disney

 

That "mouse" was a cartoon character, a movie icon, the entire concept of Disney parks were based around promoting movies, television, and the characters Walt created! If this concept is too much for you to comprehend, please do us all a favor and take up a new hobby and stop posting to our forums. SERIOUSLY!

Edited by robbalvey
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Let me just be clear here - I'm not upset that Maelstrom is closing, and I'm not totally upset about a Frozen attraction replacing it either. I just really don't think that a Frozen story re-telling (like Under the Sea) should be a marquee attraction in the World Showcase.

 

Now, if the new attraction ends up being one that educates and entertains with Scandinavian culture using the Frozen characters to break the barrier and connect with children (and some adults), I'm absolutely cool with that.

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