While Maelstrom fans cry into their school bread, Frozen enthusiasts received the news they had been hoping for. Disney Parks Blog announced last week that Maelstrom, the main attraction of the Norway Pavilion in Epcot, would be closing on October 6th to make way for a new Frozen inspired attraction.
The overwhelming popularity of Frozen has created exceptionally long lines to meet the Scandinavian princesses, a frenzy of moms desperately seeking the desired Elsa dress (the likes of which has not been seen since since Tickle Me Elmo), and a bevy of YouTube parodies of “Let it Go”. While Frozen seems to have taken Disney fans by storm, not everyone is thrilled about the coming changes. Traditionalists and Maelstrom fans are definitely disappointed that a classic Epcot attraction will be gone in just three weeks. The news took to the Twitter-sphere within minutes of the announcement and #Maelstrom was trending in the US for most of the day.
It is always hard to see a beloved attraction close its doors. Maelstrom was a favorite of my family, and it will be missed by many. It is important to remember though, that Walt Disney planned for his parks to never be completed, and this means that some things must change. I do think Frozen has become a Disney classic. Like movies such as “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast”, it’s characters, music, and storyline appeal to a wide audience, and it is likely to remain a popular franchise for the foreseeable future.
In typical Disney style, few concrete details of the new Frozen attraction have been released. The new attraction is expected to open in early 2016, and will take guests on a musical journey through Arendelle. A permanent royal greeting location will be part of the pavilion refurbishment where guests can meet Anna and Elsa. This should then free up space in the Magic Kingdom’s Princess Fairytale Hall for alternate and any future princesses.
In the meantime, Frozen fans can continue to visit Arendelle’s royal family at Princess Fairytale Hall, and beginning in November Elsa will transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace each night. Anna and Elsa will be joined by Kristof and Olaf who will be part of this year’s parade at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and some elements of Frozen Summer Fun! are being extended, with an expanded Oaken Trading Post where you can find Frozen merchandise and play in real Florida snow! Whether this announcement brings a smile to your heart, or you prefer to just “Let it Go”, it looks like Frozen, my friends, is here to stay.