The area offers a taste of the Land of the Midnight Sun, with nods to the nation’s seafaring traditions, Viking history and troll myths. The pavilion also reflects the architecture of several Norse towns, including Bergen, Alesund, Oslo and Setesdal.
The pavilion’s attraction, Maelstrom, set sail July 5, 1988, themed as a boat ride through Norway’s Viking era. Its perilous journey whisks guests through dangerous rapids and storms, and passes polar bears and mischievous trolls.
That said, here are five fun facts that make Norway one of the coolest pavilions around the “World”:
- Maelstrom’s dragon-headed ride vehicles were designed after the real ships of Viking Explorer Eric the Red.
- The pavilion’s restaurant, Akershus, was named after a 14th-century fortress, which was built to protect the capital city of Oslo.
- The area features a 50-foot replica Viking ship called the “Norseman.” This ship actually sailed through the Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to the New York on its journey to Epcot.
- The Norseman is modeled after a ship used by Bjarni Herjulfsson, an explorer that some historians believe landed in the new world in the 10th century.
- The Stave Church’s sharply slanted roof was architectural trick designed to keep snow accumulation from crushing the structure.