Epcot, you are on notice. I’ve never seen Frozen, and I have no desire too. It was annoying enough that everywhere I turned this summer people were talking about it or singing “Let It Go”; but this death of a classic at the hands of two sisters and a snowman (no I don’t want to build one) has simply gotten out of hand.
The questions remains, why does Maelstrom have to be the victim of "progress"? There is plenty of space in Epcot to use that would rid us of some truly terrible attractions. For instance, the only thing the America pavilion has going for it is that it's the best place to catch a quick nap in the air conditioning! “The American Adventure” is a sadly outdated and cheesy thirty minute long movie! I suppose we have to keep it though, cause ya know, “Merica”.
I have strong feelings when people tell me that Norway and Frozen have anything to do with one another, just because of similarities in wintery landscapes and snow-capped mountain tops. Let’s be real here, plenty of places have snow and pretty soon glaciers will be a thing of the past earth wide. Disney is clearly feeling some fiduciary pain as Universal continues to be a powerhouse thanks to Harry Potter. I get it Disney, why not cash in on your latest and greatest franchise. I get it. Money talks, and trolls walk.
Although, I don’t recall the success of the Lion King compelling Disney to add a Africa Pavilion, nor the Prince and the Frog making them rethink adding a New Orleans jazz themed area to America. Was that a little too much ethnicity for you Disney? Why not a huge library themed café for Beauty and the Beast in France? For goodness sakes, the China pavilion is basically worthless, why doesn’t Mulan get a shout out?
Thanks to a handy article by Buzzfeed I learned that when measuring the popularity of films based on ticket sales you have to keep in mind ticket price inflation over the past thirty years. When doing so, The Lion King remains far and away the most successful animated feature in the U.S. According to Box Office Mojo, The Lion King made roughly $623 million in the U.S. alone in 2014 dollars in its initial theatrical run — a little less than Frozen’s international total today.
I’m all about a safari ride through the African jungles with Pumbaa singing hakuna matata, or a photo op where we all hold a bear cub out over a cliff. I guess it's not that great to be king.
So, why Frozen?!
To Frozen’s credit, some attribute it’s popularity to characters that they can identify with on a more real emotional level. From articles I have read, apparently the story meets the Bechdel test: not only are both leads female, but they talk things other than men. As women, they save the day, and apparently it isn’t true love that fixes everything at the end. I’m totally onboard with ladies kicking butt and not being the stereotypical princess that Disney loves to create for generations of young girls to obsess over.
So love it, hate it, or neither of the above, we all have to come to terms with Frozen taking over. I just wish, along with many other people it didn't have to happen to my beloved Maelstrom.
It's hard to let go of classic nostalgia. Maelstrom was the best thing about "educational" school field trips to Epcot. It was the only actual ride we got to go on. Every time I return as an adult, the memories rush back to me. Riding Maelstrom made you feel like a kid again, and it triggered all those happy times when you passed on the pomp and circumstance of other roller coasters and theatrical rides for the simplicity of a 4 minute 27 second boat ride with the ones you love.
The sign that triggers happiness and youth will be torn down in just a week, and now when I walk by Norway there will be nothing but sadness in my heart. You'll find me in Mexico, downing margaritas and then on to Canada where my tears will make my cronut soggy (don't worry I will still eat it) because "Off Kilter" won't be performing anymore.
What are you doing Epcot!? You are the only theme park where adults can walk and booze at the same time and you are replacing classic attractions with new glitzy Hollywood rides that are geared towards children! Children can't day drink Disney! Children aren't flocking to the Food & Wine Festival! What demographic are you targeting Epcot?!
Here are just a few things I will miss once it's gone, but you better believe I will be riding it one last time before Oct. 5th.
Discussing whether this guy looks like Will Ferrell in character or Chuck Norris.
The tree troll that bids you farwell before your trip down the waterfall.
The psychedelic moments when you wonder...what would this ride be like on mushrooms.
When your boat backs up, wondering for a brief moment if it's going to fall out into the outside waterfall.
Saying hey to a young George Hamilton.
The best/worst animatronics around.
Taking a selfie with the troll
Always wondering if there was people in those creepy houses when you exit your boat.
Channeling your inner Viking with your friends.
Having a moment of protest/meltdown before it closes.
Riding it with your BFF's.