When I started going to Disney World as an adult, a mere eight years ago, I was a jaded 22 year old, who had no interest in Disney. But upon my first visit there were certain things that appealed to my specific sensibilities. Carousel of Progress, Ellen's Energy Adventure, Swiss Family Treehouse...when we started the blog most people assumed these were ironic reapropriations. However, my appreciation was among the sincerest feelings I'd ever had. (keep in mind, I was a super bitchy gay 22 year old...sarcasm was
Its easy to think that the communal love of Maelstrom comes from a sarcastic irony laden place...with its "you are not the first to pass this way" ethos connecting the proverbial Disney community. In a way its very hard to deny that people felt bad for "poor Maelstrom." A great example being the notedly outdated film that succeeds the actual attraction. How many times have guests (and ourselves) simply walked past the film, whether it's already playing or not, to simply move on to the next World Showcase sight? It is very easy to rally behind an attraction that people skip in lieu of boredom. However the fact is this film didn't age quiet as well as the attraction, and hence isn't being mourned on the same level.
As you embarked on your adventure you would board a gorgeously sculpted viking ship. This ride vehicle being among the most unique in the Disney cannon...in line with the Doombuggie's from The Haunted Mansion and pirate ships from Peter Pan's Flight. Though any seat among this vessel was amazing, there was nothing more perfect than the front row directly behind the bow of the ship.
The visuals account for plenty of this sensory perfection as well. Odin's eye spilling gorgeous shimmering lights as you ascended the only lift on the attraction, while narrating the iconic opening lines, is perhaps the attractions defining moment. Show scenes depicting a truncated history of viking settlers, and troll mythology make up the bulk of the attraction thereafter...filled with catchy and charming dialogue, that will inevitably enter the lexicon of your day to day vocabulary. As you continued on your journey there are miss proportioned polar bears, even more trolls, and an always thrilling drop into the north sea and its ridiculous oil derricks. This final scene is the culmination of perfection. Dim, noisy, moist perfection. "Norway's spirit will always be adventure."
I've never been one to speculate on a Disney project before its completion. For all I know the Frozen attraction replacing Maelstrom will be amazing, and I'll forget about Maelstrom in due time. However, this scenario seems highly unlikely. Though Frozen is a good movie, it seems awfully short sighted to force it upon a pavilion where it barely fits and only vaguely resembles. A best case scenario bestows a light overlay in the style of the nearby Gran Fiesta Tour... which would theoretically save the "feel" of the attraction. This seems highly unlikely however. With that said, we bid you the most humble and heartfelt adieu, Maelstrom. You were the "little ride that could" and we will never forget the joy you brought us.