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NEW - The new Frozen attraction, "Frozen Ever After," is rumored to open May 1, 2016. For details about this new ride, click here.
In addition, a meet and greet location will be added for guests to meet Anna and Elsa. There was previously a small meet and greet location inside one of the shops, but that is currently closed. Anna and Elsa can currently be found at Princess Fairytale Hall at the Magic Kingdom in Fantasyland.
The area of Norway resembles a Norwegian town square with its cobble stone courtyard and a replica of a 14th century fortress found in Oslo. A stave church mimics 13th Century medieval craftsmanship.
Norway is home to a meet and greet location for Anna and Elsa, the royal sisters from the hit animated film, Frozen. Guests can also explore a gallery exhibit revolving around the film and showing the culture of Norway. See why the filmmakers were inspired by this beautiful land.
Frozen Ever After - opening in 2016
Details have been released about the new Frozen attraction that is taking the place of the Epcot’s Maelstrom in the Norway Pavilion. The ride will be called “Frozen Ever After” and is set to open early next year; rumors are that the opening date has been set for May 1, 2016.
Imagineering creative executive Kathy Mangum gave Wall Street Journal reporters a tour of the storyboards and ride plans. She says they are trying to take theme park guests “back to the movie without retelling that story. This is a celebration of the characters, a way for guests who love the film to experience it in a completely different way.”
The logs guests rode in on Maelstrom will still follow the same path, but the story of the ride has changed. Guests will visit a “winter festival that takes place in summer, when residents of Arendelle apparently celebrate their favorite season of the year in the midst of its polar opposite.”
Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post will be in the queue, so guests waiting in line will hear Oaken call “yoo-hoo!” and clear steam from his sauna’s windows.
Olaf and Sven are in the first part of the ride, setting things up for the Winter Festival. Grandpappy Troll is waiting in Troll Valley to tell the story of how Anna and Kristof met; the logs then go up a ramp to see Olaf singing while ice skating alongside Anna, Kristof and Sven.
Mangum says the next scene is the “centerpiece of the ride, the big, big, scene.” Doors open to bring guests to Elsa singing “Let It Go” on the balcony of her ice palace. Simulated snow will fly around the room.
Marshmallow, the snowman Elsa created, will be featured along with the Snowgies from the Frozen Fever short. The final scene has fireworks and a goodbye from all the characters.
Mangum says the audio-animatronics will use projectors for “more lifelike animation,” like the figures in Magic Kingdom’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
A meet and greet location will be added to the area for guests to meet Anna and Elsa. There was previously a small meet and greet location inside one of the shops, but that is currently closed. Anna and Elsa can currently be found at Princess Fairytale Hall in the Magic Kingdom in Fantasyland.
This ride is in the process of being converted to a Frozen-themed attraction. Read more about that here.
Norway's attraction is Maelstrom. It does have FastPass but unless you're visiting during a peak time, there's rarely more than a 10 minute wait.
Maelstrom uses a 16 passenger Viking-style boat that takes you through a 10th century Viking village and a mythical forest where you'll encounter trolls who cast a curse on the boats. From here, the boat starts going backwards before it reaches a waterfall and again changes course. (If you look up at the building, you'll see where the boats stop and head forward.)
Next you pass a grand fjord and continue on through a storm by a North Sea oil rig. You exit in a quaint Norwegian village setting. This is a holding area which opens onto a theater where a film about Norway is shown. (You'll find that most guests make a mad dash straight through to the exit.) It's not that the short movie is awful, it's just not something you need to see again and again.
As with most of Disney's attractions, you exit through a store. Most everyone likes to put on set of Viking horns and pose for a pix by the giant troll found in the shop.
Be warned, the Geir fragrances sold here are addictive and are hard to find unless you have a Nordstrom's near where you live.
At Akershus, there's 'Princess Storybook Dining' for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. If you forgot your tiara, there's a limited variety of Disney Princess merchandise for sale nearby.
Be sure you make a dining reservation and be prepared to wait. It's rare to walk past this venue and not see a lot of little princesses (and princes) waiting to be seated.
Outdoors, under shade, the Kringla Bakeri og Kafe (menu) serves open-faced sandwiches and pastries such as the specialty Kringles (candied pretzels) and the delicious Lefses (thin potato bread rolled with a cinnamon, sugar & butter filling). This is also where you can find the popular "School Bread" treat. Specialty coffees are available.
The Puffin’s Roost: Curios and Collectibles is the main shop located in the Norway pavilion. You will find a large selection of books on trolls, Vikings, Scandinavian cuisine, Norwegian Proverbs, and Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales. If tasting some of the local snacks is more your style, check out the chocolate, Swedish preserves and Nordic sweets. This shop offers an extensive collection of sterling silver jewelry, including, OpRo Designs, Hilde Fostveit, and Hasla. The Norwegian scents sold here for men and women are Geir: The Power of Norway and Laila: The essence of Norway. They offer Norwegian trolls in all shapes and sizes, Konge Tinn Royal pewter, Linie Aquavit, and Tommeliten Knives. The clothing for men, women, and children are made by Dale of Norway and Helly Hansen.
TIP: To say “hello” in Norway, say “god dag” (goo-DAHG).