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Walt Disney World Epcot Discussion Thread

P. 119: Test Track closure announced, new concept art released!

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I had a bit of fun Tweeting about Maelstrom's final day today. I actually did go down to the park around 6pm, rode one last time with my FastPass, and then we watched the rest of the insanity. To be honest, it wasn't as insane as I thought it might be. The line DID get up to 130 minutes for about a half an hour, but honestly, looking at the line, I really doubt that it was more than about 90 and the *MOST* but this was the data that was posted, so they went with it. I've *NEVER* been a person who felt that being the "last person on a ride" is anything to brag about. I find actually being there and watching everyone else fight over who gets to be the last rider or the people dumb enough to wait 90 minutes today for a ride I waited 11 minutes for last night is FAR more entertaining than riding it for the last time. But that's just me.


My thoughts on the ride: I never thought that Maelstrom was a *good* ride, however I never though it was *bad* either. I always felt it was just kind of "there" and the only reason people liked it is because there are so few other rides in World Showcase, and "ooooh...it has a drop and goes backwards!!! Oooooh!" It's not a big drop, and the backwards part I always thought was kinda dumb. But whatever. It's being replaced by a Frozen ride, which a lot of people seem to take issue with. Not sure why. Here's a couple of things I posted tonight in response to people freaking out. As much as I try to approach the subject with logic and reasoning, other people just get all emotional and abrasive over a "ride." I don't quite get it. I was completely *shocked* at how much backlash there was from such a cult following the ride had. I really just thought the ride was "meh" at best....


My response to someone freaking out about how Frozen is "just a fad" and won't be relevant by the time the ride opens:

I don't know how old you are, but people said the EXACT SAME THING about Toy Story in 1995. I worked for the company back then. Everyone thought it was a "fad" and would go away, and people were getting annoyed that a Pixar aka "non-Disney" movie was invading the parks.


Boy, how times have changed. Now Disney Feature Animation (Not Pixar, let me remind you), but Disney Animation, the very extension of the team that Walt himself created, has their biggest success in the history of the company, and people are suggesting they DON'T include that in the parks?!?!?


That's just INSANE to me!!! You do realize that if Walt was around today, he would be pushing for that movie to be in as many parks as possible and probably would have moved things along FASTER than the company is doing now.


The idea that people think putting Frozen into the park is a bad idea just boggles my mind.


My response to the people freaking out about how Frozen doesn't belong at Epcot or World Showcase:

People seem to be forgetting that World Showcase and Epcot have been changing and evolving for YEARS now. Disney DID try the concept of a more cultural and educational park, and it didn't work. It didn't resonate with people. Then they started putting the Disney characters back in the park and people, most importantly kids, LOVE it! My wife was a kid in the 80s growing up in Florida and HATED having to go to Epcot with her school. It was boring and they couldn't stand the park. My 7 year old daughter now LOVES it and think it's the best Disney park thanks to the changes they have made over the years to make the park more appealing to all ages.


The park you are talking about doesn't appeal to the masses, isn't what guests want, and wasn't making any money for the park.


People that are bitching about Frozen being added to the park forget that you can also find Donald Duck, Mulan, Aladdin, Snow White, Alice, Mary Poppins, Aristocats, and many other Disney characters all over Epcot now. Get used to it, because it's not going to change. And personally, we think it's GREAT!


Here's the photos and tweets we made from the entire day. We really did have some fun with this!


Today is the LAST DAY for Maelstrom at Epcot! Come take one last ride with TPR! Click:



Guests are already lining up at Epcot to take one last ride on Maelstrom!



Today will be the longest lines that Maelstrom will ever see! lol



These Maelstrom boats are waiting to take its last riders today!



At opening, Maelstrom is a 50 minute wait for the LAST DAY of the ride!



Here's what the crowd looked like right when they opened the doors for Maelstrom one last time!



Never seen people wave from the upper windows of Maelstrom before!


A look at the crowd who showed up for Maelstrom's very last day at Epcot Walt Disney World:





Standby line for Maelstrom just dropped to 30 minutes! Get in line now!



Current crowd in Norway to ride Maelstrom!



OMG! OMG! Maelstrom control panel porn!!! Ooooohhh!



Maelstrom wait time up to 65 minutes!



Great pano shot from the Maelstrom opening crowd this morning!



The current Maelstrom line in Norway right now.



Maelstrom line is up to 70 minutes.



FP+ is stretching outside!



Remember when Maelstrom was originally supposed to be called "SeaVenture?" (There's some Epcot history for you!)



I just right now got a Maelstrom FP+ for 5:05pm - So they are still available! Keep checking!



Better get to Epcot today to ride #Maelstrom before they make it DISAPPEAR! DISAPPEAR!



Not gonna lie - I'm probably gonna miss "oil rig beard guy" the most from Maelstrom!





Anna & Elsa have something to say about Maelstrom closing! Click:



Took this Maelstrom front entrance shot yesterday. Who's gonna miss this attraction?



The Maelstrom troll is getting acquainted with his new neighbors.



"You May Get Wet!" At least for one more day...



Guests at Epcot lined up to take their last ride on Maelstrom!



"GRR!!! I look down on you all taking your last ride!" says Angry Maelstrom Tree Monster



Current Maelstrom line is posted at 60 minutes, but it really doesn't look that long!



And as soon as I tweeted that last tweet, the wait time went down to 15 minutes! lol



And now it's back to 50 again!



Girl with a "Save Maelstrom" shirt! I said to her "you know it's a little late for that, right?"



Here's a photo of the Maelstrom line from while on the ride! 65 minutes right now!



I can't be the only one that always thought this queue was awful, right?


There is Norway. Norway is a country in Europe. Honestly, that's probably about the extent of the actual "educational" value of Maelstrom! lol


I really do think I'm going to miss this awesome mural more than the actual ride! lol


Just a fan... Coming to take his last Maelstrom ride. (Some people really get into the character!)

The best parts of Maelstrom in 6 seconds so you'll never miss the ride again!





Fun Fact! There are waaaaaaaaay more people here to see Starship than are currently in line for Maelstrom! :)


Did they build Norway on rock n' roll? Didn't think so! Starship > Maelstrom!





Just watched the Maelstrom movie for the first time. Don't need to do that again! Oh, wait... I can't! lol



The Maelstrom line has reached triple digits!!! Yay!!! 100 minutes!



Has Maelstrom ever had a 100 minute wait before??? Didn't even think they had triple digits for it! lol



Wait... What th??? 130 minutes now for Maelstrom Wh...WHY??? People! The ride is not that great!!! lol



The BEST thing they ever did to this ride was keep the theater open so you didn't have to wait to walk on through! =)


I watched the Maelstrom movie for the first time tonight. I suffered through it now you can, too! Watch:



"I'm here for the final day of @TheJawsRide!!! Wait... This isn't Universal???"



What are you looking at? I'm not the one getting torn down! ;)



Line for Maelstrom is down to 90 minutes. Still wouldn't wait that long! lol



T-minus 10 minutes until Maelstrom closes forever. Gotta be honest, there isn't as many people here as I expected.



Security getting ready to close off the line right at 9pm. To be honest, the whole closing was kind of uneventful. There weren't any fights, no obnoxious ACErs trying to be in the last train, it just sort of "happened."


"I'm gonna miss you guys! Send me a postcard from Norway!"

No, guys...the ride doesn't REALLY GO TO NORWAY!!! There is NO NEED TO HUG ANYONE!!! It's a RIDE!!! WTF!?!? OMG!!!!


These were the final two people to enter the building (behind some group of horrible Disney crazy fans) - No clue who they are, but they were the last ones. Congrats...I guess?


Some of the final riders pulling into the station.


The doors at Maelstrom closing one last time...





"The last have passed this way..."



Doors closed. Goodnight Maelstrom...goodbye!



"Do you want to build a better ride?"



The doors at Maelstrom have closed. This is what it looks like from the inside.



The Maelstrom queue is empty and will never be filled again.



Empty Maelstrom boats never to be filled with guests again.



This dude is already on board with #Frozen taking over Maelstrom!



I don't know who made this, but it's hilarious! Maelstrom #Frozen (Please let me know who to credit!)



The theater for Maelstrom now looks like it always has...empty!



"You are not the first to pass this way, but you were the the last." Maelstrom at Epcot has closed forever. 1988 - 2014 RIP. Thanks for the memories at Walt Disney World! Now the ride must DISAPPEAR! DISAPPEAR!


Huge thanks to Jack Crouse, Garbles, Shane, & Yuto for the additional photos!

Calico System.nltrack



Next day update! All signage has been removed 12 hours later. It's like the ride never existed!


Don't worry folks, a much better, more "Disney" ride is on its way!


An overview of Norway without Maelstrom.


The area where the boats would pop out now covered by a tarp.

Edited by robbalvey
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So long, Maelstrom.

I am at least glad I got the chance to ride it a few years back. Though, I found it a really weird ride that didn't make sense, especially the end. You go down the drop (really a ramp), you see a bunch of off-shore oil rigs...and that's the end. I won't miss it at all, and I'll welcome the new Frozen ride with open arms.

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I know you keep saying it's not that good a ride, but in my opinion I've always liked it, and not just because it's the only ride on the World Showcase. It's not amazing, but it's a charming and fun ride and I'm still sad to see it go.

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After watching that video I forgot how good the ride actually was (for what it was), I'm a little sad too as it's one of my earliest memories of my first visit to WDW (aged 10), but I'm equally guilty of not riding it on more recent visits so ultimately I have contributed to it's demise


All I know is that Norway is gonna get crazy crowded when it opens Malestrom Redux with "Let it go" on loop blasting from high-end Bose speakers within a 1 mile radius, maybe not Potter nuts but not far off I'd imagine!

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I know you keep saying it's not that good a ride, but in my opinion I've always liked it, and not just because it's the only ride on the World Showcase.


Mexico next door may have something to say about that.


Ha, yes, that's true....ok, one of the two rides then

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Maelstrom was fun, but it was a C- or D-ticket ride, at best--call it a "C+." The annoyed trolls were the best part, and now people won't bother them anymore.


I'm looking forward to seeing what Disney has in mind for the new Frozen ride.

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RIP Norway of 1990. Someone somewhere will miss you. Probably more in 20 years than now when people who didn't ride Maelstrom when it operated can pretend that Youtube POVs are the same as an actual experience in riding, and make judgment calls off that.


To continue what Robb said - If you want to defend what EPCOT was in those early years, you're defending what is really some reprehensible stuff. Some of the messages pushed by corporations as education are embarrassing in retrospect, even with beloved attractions like World of Motion. I don't get angry much, but I *do* get angry at the few Disney fans out there putting blame on the nation of Norway for not paying huge sums of money to Disney to keep Maelstrom and "protect Norwegian identity". Norway isn't some weird fake entity. It is a real place filled with millions of real people, and that money comes from real tax dollars. Don't tell someone else's government about how they should spend their tax money, especially if it is merely to keep a mediocre themed ride in its place at a for-profit, publicly traded theme park.

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Probably more in 20 years than now when people who didn't ride Maelstrom when it operated can pretend that Youtube POVs are the same as an actual experience in riding

My favorite part of what you posted is the idea that YouTube will still be around in 20 years! God, I hope so! The idea of having to get a real job scares the hell out of me!

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The idea of expecting a foreign nation, to the extent where they'd be blamed if they didn't, to spend their nation's tax dollars on Walt Disney World's Epcot World Showcase is really out there when you think about it.


Can you imagine the scandal that would erupt in this country if news broke that our federal government was spending tax dollars to build/improve a WDW themed area or attraction? Not in the form of tax breaks for this or that depreciation expense but directly to fund a themed area such as American Adventure. Just think about that. And these people expect a foreign nation thousands of miles away across an ocean to do exactly that, or be blamed for not doing it?? Wow. That's just... amazing. I don't really know how else to describe that.



EDIT: I am aware that many of World Showcase's pavilions have content that is paid for or at least approved by the nations represented. That isn't my point. The point is that it's sort of crazy to expect a foreign nation to put forth that funding, or else they've made some terrible mistake.

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As so many have said, I remember my first trip to EPCOT, and we we were walking by we were like, "oh, there must be a ride there, there is a wait sign." That was all that caught our attention.


I must say, watching Anna and Elsa ride it, I can see lots of potential with this ride. There is going to be lots more light and ice added to this ride. There is also going to have to be a massive queue to hold 2 hours of guests. Is this thing going to be a Gringotts with 7+ hours for a few months?

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I wont miss the ride. It really wasn't that great. If you really want to ride a boat ride with drop go to MK and ride Splash Mountain or Pirates, both WAAAAAY better rides.


However, The facade of Maelstrom where the boats looks like they are going to go over the waterfall is one of my strongest (possibly only) memory of my first visit to Disney World when I was 8 or whatever. Not sure why, but that image stuck with me.

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The Maelstrom ride for me was ok. I preferred The River of Time (Rio del Tiempo) in the Mexico pavilion. Still the Norway area was great especially as a kid. And the Puffin's Roost (I think that was the name of the shop) had something that was irresistible to me when I was 8 and first went to Disney: Legos!


So if Disney truly wants to convert EPCOT from its original plan in the 1990s when I first visited it, let's add more rides to each world pavilion based on the corresponding character. Let's have a Mulan themed ride in China, a Ratatouille ride in France, maybe an Alice in Wonderland ride in England. As a fan of Japanese culture it's a shame that the Japan area doesn't have an attraction there.

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Maelstrom was the better "ride", I guess, because it was more of a "ride" (meaning does stuff other than just be a boat that floats in a flume) than the Mexico ride is. But even still, the whole thing is a hot jumbled mess that makes little sense at all. I'm still convinced the only reason people even liked it, or had any connection to it at all is because there are so few other rides in World Showcase, so they went on it a lot, but not because it was "good", but because it was "there."


I don't remember anyone throwing a fit when they swapped out the original Oh, Canada! movie, and that technically was more "cultural" than Maelstrom. But people simply pick and choose what's important, even if doesn't make sense.


Case in point - Backlot Tour closed at Hollywood Studios and no one seemed to care. That ride at least was an original ride from the park and arguably represented the core reason for that parks existence! You probably also got more educational value out of how movies are made from Backlot Tour than you did learning anything about Norway from Maelstrom (yes, I realize that's not saying much.) But that ride closed to very little fanfare, if any at all.


I just simply don't *get* the fanaticism over Maelstrom. I guess I'm just missing something here. *shrug*

Edited by robbalvey
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The Norway pavilion is very well done overall, with the exception of the very boring Maelstrom queue (just a bunch of flags on a wall).


I agree, I think Norway is my favorite even without the ride based on its looks, Food, and of course the Norwegian girls.


Also back to the waterfall thing, that is the most impressive thing about the ride. From the outside the ride looks cooler than in really is (was). Also I never understood how at the best part of the ride, you are actually facing the wrong way! If you're not paying much attention or not sitting in the back of the boat you would not even notice the huge hole in the wall. It would would have been way cooler if you were facing forwards at that part.

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Yes, I think the hole in the wall was meant more to attract people outside, rather than thrill riders. It might've been better if the boat had spun around so riders could take in the view more easily, as in this photo.



Edited by cfc
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Also I never understood how at the best part of the ride, you are actually facing the wrong way! If you're not paying much attention or not sitting in the back of the boat you would not even notice the huge hole in the wall. It would would have been way cooler if you were facing forwards at that part.

Again, more arguments for why the ride was not that amazing! I didn't hate it, but I never thought it would get this much backlash from the fan community, or even that there would be a Maelstrom fan community to begin with!

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