I don't know about you, but I definitely remember the day all hell broke loose when Disney announced that our beloved Maelstrom would be replaced with "Frozen Ever After," yet another piece of the hit film Frozen in a world where many could do without it. At the time, I was just as angry as the next person. Why in the world would they think this would be a good idea? It's not as though Maelstrom was a popular ride, because in every aspect, it wasn't, but replacing it with Anna and Elsa to bring in yet more money seemed like a sellout. And to make matters worse, we've all complained about how franchise films don't belong in Epcot. That, however, is a different discussion.
After months and months of construction walls and wondering about what was really happening behind them, Norway is open, and quite frankly, it's looking good. Norway, like Canada, needed a bit of work. A good portion of the guest population had no idea Maelstrom was there, and while it was great to never have a line for School Bread, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't nice to see a pavilion come back to life...even if it took Frozen to get it there.
Perhaps the best parts about the refurbishment are the addition of the Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet and the adorable vikings that now call the pavilion home. The Meet and Greet actually fits in rather well, and the entire structure is stunningly beautiful. It's obvious they put a lot of time and thought into the creation of the area, and while it's certainly brighter than the rest of the pavilion, it fits. It didn't feel too much as though a franchise took everything over, and if we're talking about the characters themselves, I don't see a problem with them being there now that they have a proper area to meet guests. After all, Aladdin, Jasmine, Mulan, Belle, and Snow White, among others, also call Epcot home.
The attraction itself, which I have very few pictures of since I was filming (so you'll see it in a future vlog), was much, much better than I expected. What they did with the original Maelstrom track is clever, and even if you've had enough of "Let It Go," that scene alone is sort of worth the entire attraction. The audio-anamatronics weren't as impressive to me in person, but I think it's because I'm just not a huge fan of the digitally animated faces. I prefer the real faces of those such as Lincoln in Hall of Presidents. That's my personal preference though, and I must say that otherwise, everything is amazing. Olaf seems completely real, as does Sven, and while the entire thing could be longer, you also really can't compare Maelstrom and Frozen Ever After at this point. They're completely different attractions and they're both great in their own unique way.
So I guess what I'm saying is give Frozen Ever After a chance. It's one of the few attractions that didn't disappoint me in any way, and that's saying something. I literally couldn't find anything I disliked about this attraction, aside from my personal preferences about the anamatroncis and the fact that it replaced Maelstrom. And if for nothing else, it gave Epcot another much-needed E-Ticket attraction and brought life back to the Norway Pavilion.
Now...if someone could just ship me some school bread?
Have a magical day!