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‘Frozen’ Attraction Coming to Epcot

When Walt Disney promised that Disneyland would never be completed, so long as there is imagination left in the world, he made a promise to our guests that we take seriously at all our locations around the world. This year, one particular product of imagination — Disney Animation’s blockbuster hit “Frozen” — captured the hearts and minds of people around the world and gave us a new opportunity to make good on Walt’s pledge.

We’ve made “Frozen” a part of the guest experience in a number of ways already and our guests have both loved them and asked for more. So I’m pleased to say that we’re starting construction at Walt Disney World Resort on a brand new “Frozen” attraction at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot. The new attraction, which replaces Maelstrom, will take our guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film. The pavilion will also include a royal greeting location where Anna and Elsa can meet our guests. We think these “Frozen” elements are great complements to the Norway Pavilion, which showcases the country and region that inspired the film.

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“Frozen’s” popular characters will also have a bigger presence at Magic Kingdom Park this holiday season. In addition to the ongoing character appearances, Queen Elsa will use her powers to transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace every night starting in early November. And Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party-goers can see Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, and Olaf in “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.”

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We’re extending some favorite elements of Frozen Summer Fun LIVE!, too, so that guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can continue singing along to “Frozen” songs with Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. Wandering Oaken’s will set up shop closer to the show through the holiday season and will feature a larger play area with real snow (in Florida!).

From the moment we screened the film several months before its release, we were inspired by the possibility of bringing this great story to life for our guests. Frozen Summer Fun LIVE! has been extremely popular, and now we’re looking forward to doing even more to allow our guests to experience the “Frozen” phenomenon.

Comments

  • Maelstrom’s last ride day is October 5th!

  • Looks like FastPass’s are being offered through Oct 5th. After that, they are unavailable.

  • Disappointed in loosing the Maelstrom, but would love to know, like many others here, what the closing date is so I can get one more journey in.

  • “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

    I will miss Maelstrom, but I have high hopes that this new Frozen attraction will be great, hosted by Frozen characters but really showcasing the beauty of Norway. I will miss the stunning bearded oil rig guy and the cheesy trolls, but that is no reason to keep an aging attraction around. So excited to see the future!

  • I don’t know when it closes but I was unable to book FP+ for Maelstrom for my trip starting October 3rd, which makes me think it will be closing by then.

  • Maelstrom is expected to close on September 28th. We will not be going back until June, but wish we could ride it one more time.

  • It says on the Disney Travel Agent Site that Malestrom will close on October 6th. I wonder how quickly they will open the new attraction?

  • Would love for you to answer these questions, Tom!

    Will the Olaf rope drop show at DHS continue or will it be removed?
    Will weekend Frozen fireworks be continued into October, or is it just going to be the sing along and the shop?
    Fastpass+ for Maelstrom has not been available for mid-late October, yet someone above stated they have it for November. Is there a temporary closure happening in October that has not been announced?

    Thanks! Love the DPB! 🙂

  • Very cool.

    Tom–
    are there any plans to increase the “Frozen” presence at Disneyland in California? It would be great if there was a long-term Frozen attraction at Disneyland.

  • Do tell. When will this open? Don’t need an exact date but at least a timeframe (e.g. “summer of 2015”) would be great to know.

  • I look at it like this sure some will be very upset that The Maelstrom will be shutting down and I understand that trust me Disney fans I do and I feel for you all. That being said it’s time for new attractions to come to Walt Disney World and right now Frozen is very popular with Disney and Disney fans so for me not shocked by this announcement. Times are changing. Time for some new attractions to come to Walt Disney World.

  • Is Norway getting a total makeover? There is no way the current Maelstrom line is going to handle a Frozen line…very curious to see what will happen to the beautiful buildings in general too

  • Hi Tom! Have you ever been to Norway? It’s beautiful there. And when will you be announcing the Frozen additions to Disney California Adventure?

  • I have one question and one question only……Will they still sell Geir Ness: The Power of Norway cologone still after the Freezing commences?

  • I will tremendously miss the Maelstrom. I enjoy Frozen, and I’m trying very hard to be open minded about this massive change to my favorite World Showcase pavilion. At least the rumors are now fact and we can enjoy what is to come and have memories of what soon will be what once was in Epcot.

    As someone of Norwegian heritage, I am also very interested to see how Norway’s people, history, and culture will be preserved, intertwined, and promoted in the new attraction.

    Seeing the announcement of the end of the Maelstrom is a shock, but I’m trying to put my faith, trust, and maybe a little pixie dust in the hands of those who are following the inspiration of Walt and his legacy in the Disney parks.

    • We know that many people have enjoyed Maelstrom over the years, and it’s always a difficult decision to take one attraction out to make way for another. However, we think that creating this new Frozen attraction is the right choice for our guests.

  • So sorry to hear this. 🙁 While I love Frozen (a lot!), Maelstrom is such an integral part of my WDW childhood memories (it’s still mine and my parents’ favorite attraction at the parks), and I am sad to see it go. I’m sure Disney will do an amazing job with turning it over to Frozen, but I will miss Maelstrom something fierce.

    Wish we could have taken one more ride. So, so sad. Ah well. On to the next adventure. 🙂

  • What about the trolls?!? Will they still be a part of the Norway pavillion and available for purchase in the gift shop?

  • LOVE Frozen, and can not wait for this attraction. Will there be any ties to Maelstrom or Norwegian culture in this new attraction?

  • Is Cinderella going to be included in the castle show during the holiday season? Seeing as it’s her castle and all?

  • Maelstrom – In order for work to begin on the attraction and character greeting area, the last day Guests can enjoy the Maelstrom attraction is Oct. 5, 2014. The project is anticipated to be complete by early 2016, and the Norway pavilion will remain open through construction.

  • James’ wife here;
    I am sure the Imagineers are working up something delightful and wonderful that will transform Norway into an experience we will love and appreciate, but must admit, we echo #50 Brock’s sentiments. Barring being of Norwegian heritage, we loved seeing and appreciating the Norway experience and culture.
    That is what makes World Showcase so special, it does honor peoples heritage. We have a LOT of fun, family memories even just waiting in the line at the Maelstrom, so we are certainly going to miss the experience.
    Oh well, that is the beauty of Disney, always changing, developing and growing, hopefully though not departing too much from the true vision of Walt Disney…

  • That is amazing! They better get ready, the line up is going to be all the way to China! lol

  • Really going to miss Maelstrom.

  • I’m sad about Maelstrom closing. I hope the Frozen attraction is another dark boat ride. Boat rides at Disney are magical.

  • Set out on a mysterious boat ride through Scandinavian seascapes and swamps inhabited by creatures—both mythological and magical.
    Note: The final day for this attraction will be October 5, 2014.

  • While I will certainly miss Maelstrom, I am looking forward with excitement and anticipation at the new FROZEN attraction. It is indeed a positive move ahead for the pavilion but I hope the new attraction will retain some elements of traditional Norwegian heritage.

  • OH MY GOODNESS!!! I am so excited!! I didn’t see anything mentioned in regards to the Frozen Fireworks, but I really hope that these will be continued on the weekends. We will be there in Novemeber and I am SO excited!!! We haven’t told our daughters yet that we are going and now I don’t know how I am going to contain it. . . Thanks Disney!!!!

  • When’s Maelstrom closing?

  • Hi, Tom! Will Cinderella and Prince Charming still be a part of the Holiday castle lighting?

  • This news I look at it like this sure some will be very upset that The Maelstrom will be shutting down and I understand that trust me Disney fans I do and I feel for you all. That being said it’s time for new attractions to come to Walt Disney World and right now Frozen is very popular with Disney and Disney fans so for me not shocked by this announcement. Times are changing. Time for some new attractions to come to Walt Disney World.

  • One of the things I really love about Disney movies is all the research the artists do into the art and architecture of different cultures to inspire the worlds in their stories. I especially love the art direction on Wreck-it-Ralph, Frozen, and Big Hero Six! I’m so excited to see Frozen translated into a ride and I think the Norway pavilion is a really nice place for it. I’d love to see more artistic interpretations from other animated movies inspired by real places added to the World Showcase in the future.

  • Awe, come on guys. Just build the whole city of Arendelle in the new Fantasy Land in the Magic Kingdom.You’re killing me!

  • *sigh* long live Maelstrom!

  • Hi Tom, I’m a major frozen fan and I noticed that you mentioned that the show will continue during the holiday season. May I ask if your speaking about thanksgiving and/or Christmas?

    Did I misunderstand? Keeping my fingers crossed as I will be there the week of October 17 and would love to enjoy the frozen show at the studios.

    Thanks,

    Carole

  • I’ll be there on Wednesday, the 17th. I can’t wait.

  • This is brilliant! Can’t wait to experience the new attraction.

  • No no nooooooooo! I will not make it back to the World to say goodbye to my favorite EPCOT attraction! My family adores Maelstrom, and we ride multiple times every visit. We quote the narration to each other, and are some of the few who watch the whole movie at the end. For us, this change is a disaster! We are also not particular fans of Frozen (I know, we’re weird, and we don’t dislike it, we’d just never sacrifice our beloved Maelstrom to it.) so the Norway pavilion is going to become a pop in to the Viking exhibit for us. I’m sure plenty of people are excited, but my family will be mourning this change for a long time.

  • Is the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package extended past the September 28th date too? Where will I hear about that first? We’re visiting Oct 24th-Nov 1 and we’re hoping to attend!

  • Hi Tom! I know the Frozen show has been extended through September, however, can you please consider extending it again? We won’t get there until late October and really want to see the show. Sounds like the holidays have some things in store, but the time frame between the current show ending and new stuff beginning is when we will be there. Thanks!

  • Like so many others, I grew up alongside the initial development of Walt Disney World, with my first visits in the 1970s, when the Magic Kingdom was the only attraction. I fondly recall trains running through Fort Wilderness, the birds of Discovery Island, quiet strolls through Walt Disney World Village, and the anticipation and excitement of EPCOT Center in its first year and the subsequent addition of new pavilions in Future World and World Showcase.

    The theme and spirit of EPCOT was always kind of different — part educational, part cultural, but all Disney. And Maelstrom was always a weird but fun attraction, a travelogue hijacked by fantasy, a backwards trip past bears, trolls, and oil rigs, and its “pre-show” at the end of the ride. While eccentric, it was a great fit for the unique vibe that Epcot offered.

    I understand that tastes change with time and that no Disney park is meant to be preserved at any moment in history. I liked the cool, informative, and immersive feel that Epcot once possessed but also know that it isn’t for everyone. (In those early years, Epcot had the reputation of being boring.) I understand the rationale for and appeal of adding Nemo to the Living Seas, Remy to France, and the Three Caballeros to El Rio del Tiempo. And a Frozen attraction seems to make sense in this regard. (I’ll be right there in line with everyone else when it opens.)

    But I will still relish the remaining opportunities to enjoy the parts of Epcot that harken back to the 1980s. Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land, Spaceship Earth, The American Adventure, the China 360 film, and the World Showcase nations with no films or rides — these simpler, slower attractions are nostalgic, perhaps, but also still inspire.

  • Gotta say, I’m very disappointed in this decision. Maelstrom was designed with the celebration of Norwegian culture as priority one. This feels like something else. At the very least, it seems inconsistent with the nature of the World Showcase.

  • its sometimes really tumultuous being a disney parks fanatic, but i think its always the biggest rollercoaster of emotions for the fans of Epcot and World Showcase (like this one here, since age 4). its a park that always has to reflect changing technology and culture.
    However, it was the one park that wasn’t afraid to stand out of the shadows of the cartoon presence that fueled WDW, and even made new characters like figment to represent it. So its always sad to these rides that were deemed to hold up on their own, become reclaimed by new cartoon successors, as if it implies that Maelstrom, or el Rio del Tiempo weren’t doing their purpose anymore and education of countries alone can’t be fun enough.

    My hope is that the new Frozen attraction will still be a Norway attraction at heart, as the Three Caballeros movie was all about learning and sightseeing Mexico and south america it was a natural fit, but Frozen takes place in entirely in a fictional landscape. So hopefully that when the ride opens it still reflects Norway! even if one has no knowledge of Frozen. (also hopefully, that the polar bear goes to some good use 🙂

  • Would like to see imagineering be creative on the story. I hope it’s not just a straight movie to ride conversion. Also maybe a new song.

  • I cannot begin to say how excited I am to hear that the Frozen Summer Live has been extended and that Frozen will become more a part of Disney’s magic at Epcot. I would rather see the ride at Magic Kingdom but I understand the reasoning behind putting it at Epcot. My family and I will be celebrating our granddaughter’s 3rd birthday the first week in December and knowing that they have extended the Frozen Live show at Hollywood Studios, just made this trip even more exciting! Thank you Disney for giving the fans what they have asked for!!

  • We are very excited for all of the new Frozen additions, but what about the Wandering Oakens Ice Skating rink? I think this was one of the best parts of the summer experience!! We were very excited to bring our family back to say they “skated at Disney world” over the holidays. The short ice skating performance was also a great draw! Is there any chance this will come back soon??

  • Will be in WDW MK on Jan 2nd for my very BIG birthday we are flying from the UK on that day so I can have dinner in MK on my birthday! Please tell me that Cinderellas Castle will still be getting the ice treatment! as that would be sooo cool (excuse the pun)

  • We are going in Nov to Disney. We have tickets for the Mickey Christmas party and was wondering if Anna and Elsa will be there. I have tried and tried and tried to get FP+ to a met and greet and can’t so I was going to stack out the party if My kids can see them there have they release met and greets for that. What would the wait time estimated at the Christmas party. Thanks for the info about HS I was able so secure FP for Frozen sing along last night. Also would like to know about the Frozen Fireworks dates.

  • While I am always saddened to hear that WDW replaces an older, favorite attraction, the imagineers have yet to disappoint me in the new attraction. Having two young children who recognize the new characters, I know that they appreciate new characters coming in.
    I am SO excited for Frozen attraction!

  • Hi Tom,

    While I love Frozen as much as the next person I really feel this is a poor choice in location. Hear me out, Epcot World Showcase is an experience where people can go and learn about countries and other peoples cultures, I am 25 and really look forward to taking my kids here some day to learn. TO put Frozen in Norway just because that is where it is based just doesn’t make sense. Aladdin’s Flying Carpets aren’t in Morocco and the Be our Guest restaurant is not in France, it is in the Magic Kingdom because it is FICTIONAL. I think this ride needs to be located elsewhere there is certainly plenty of room. I was surprised to read that this seemed like the choice location. I know everyone is excited about Frozen, but that this really needs to be thought through a little more. I feel it would throw off the entire vibe of Epcot,It just doesn’t feel right I really hope this will be reconsidered.

  • Does anyone know if the special Fireworks will continue at Hollywood Studios? Coming over from the UK for 2 weeks in December so would love to see them…

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