Happy 24th Anniversary to Maelstrom!
On this day in 1988, Norway’s Maelstrom opened to the public. Designed by Joe Rhode, Norway’s abstract voyage into the realms of norse myth, culture, and nature is one of the more abstract offerings in World Showcase, and although short, is a delightful frolic in and out of Norwegian aesthetics and popular archetypes. Original plans for the ride detailed that it would have been called “Sea Venture”, been much more expansive in terms of effects and ride track, and covered more of the mythological side of Norway’s history. Later, plans to show off Norway;s industrial side were merged with the project and the final result became today’s Maelstrom.
This also means that this is the anniversary of the last time World Showcase opened a full fledged attraction expansion… TWENTY FOUR YEARS AGO. Twenty Four years without a major attraction expansion to World Showcase. That is very painful. Further, this means that the only expansion to come to EPCOT in terms of a full pavilion since 1988 is 1989’s Wonders of Life. The rest of construction in EPCOT has either been to expand existing pavilions (The Land) or to replace demolished pavilions. (Horizons) Not counting, of course the World Showplace, which now just used for small events and only housed a “pavilion” in 2000 for the Millennium Village.
Hopefully, growth comes to World Showcase soon. In the meantime… Happy Anniversary Maelstrom!
I just love the accent from the beginning of the ride:
“Yu arr not durr furst ta pass down this vay. Und yu von’t be durr last!”