History of Maelstrom

History of Maelstrom - DisneyDayByDay

We continue our tribute to Maelstrom this week as it sets sail this weekend.   Let’s go back to when the ride was first being imagineered, what was this attraction going to be called?

You are not the first to pass this way, nor shall you be the last. Those who seek the spirit of Norway face peril and adventure. But more often find beauty and charm. We have always lived with the sea, so look first to the spirit of the seafarer.

Disney and the Imagineers were looking to bring the first thrill ride to EPCOT.   As guests passed through the 1000 foot long flume ride they would encounter many mythical creatures including gnomes and trolls.  The adventure would take you in search of the Rainbow Bridge to Valhalla.   Valhalla is a mythical, majestic, and enormous hall located in Asgard.    Our favorite Sherman Brothers were even engaged to develop the song for the attraction.  How fun would that have been?

As the ride progressed the Norway sponsors asked that the attraction be updated to contain more information on what Norway had to offer to promote tourism rather than mythological creatures/adventures.   So the story line was changed to take guest through the history of Norway beginning with Norwegian Folklore and ending with modern day Norway (an oil rig?).

Maelstrom set sail on July 1988 and will cast off for the last time on Oct 5, 2014.  Now to answer the question – Maelstrom was originally going to be called SeaVenture this was change even before construction started.    How many of you remember the smoke affects on the original attraction, these were in a couple spots: the troll scene and in the area where the boat is reversed.   These smoke machines were the largest on property at the time and really gave you that mythical feeling.

If you like history photos – click here for some from the Disney Parks Blog showing the construction of Maelstrom.

Disney Parks Blog - Maelstrom

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  • Thanks for sharing this history! I had no idea the Sherman Brothers were once asked to write for the attraction! I’m sure they would have written something wonderful!

    • Oh I know – I’m sure it would have been something that would have stuck in my head and I would have been singing it all around Epcot.