|Land||World Showcase (Norway)|
|Designer||Walt Disney Imagineering|
|Attraction type||Boat voyage and film|
|Theme||History of mythological Norway|
|Opening date||July 5, 1988|
|Closing date||October 5, 2014|
|Vehicle names||Viking ships|
|Cars per vehicle||1|
|Ride duration||4:47 minutes|
|Length||964 ft (293.8 m)|
|Number of lifts||1|
|Replaced by||Frozen ride|
The ride was always conceived of as a boat ride, with a section that even took riders backward. The ride's plot was originally going to be centered around trolls, but the sponsors from Norway wanted to feature more aspects of Norway. The ride was under construction with the pavilion in 1987 and opened on July 5, 1988. Maelstrom closed forever on October 5, 2014, to make way for a new Frozen attraction.
Riders board their boats, which are themed to look like Viking ships. As the Viking ship departs the loading dock, the boat turns a corner into a small tunnel and up the ride's only lift hill. A mysterious voice tells riders that those who seek Norway's spirit will find peril and adventure. The vehicle reaches the top of the lift hill, and the boat passes underneath a mysterious face of the Norwegian god Odin. Visitors then find themselves transported to a version of Norwegian's mythological Viking days. The boat passes by many scenes of seafarers and maritime villages, displaying to guests the importance of the sea to mythological Norwegians. The Viking ship then enters a swampy marsh where guests go face-to-face with animatronic replicas of Dokkalfar and Ljosalfar, which are two Norwegian trolls. The trolls are angered by the visitors, and cast a spell on the boat, sending them onto the backward portion of the ride. The ship floats past scenes of polar bears and live trees, before stopping on the edge of a waterfall, exposed to the pavilion's main thoroughfare. The boat then continues moving forward again, and the boat descends down a 28-foot drop into a model of the North Sea. The Viking ships pass extremely close to an oil rig before making its final stop in the loading dock once again. The ride narrator then closes the ride by announcing, "Norway's spirit will always be an adventure."
After exiting the Maelstrom boat ride, guests can either head back to the pavilion or watch a 6-minute film on Norway's adventurous landmarks, including skiing, hiking, oil rigs, and the Kjerag mountain.
- The ride has three Hidden Mickeys. One of the Hidden Mickeys in seen in a portrait in the queue, portraying Norwegian aspects of history. One man, who is hiding in a crowd of men wearing Viking hats, has Mickey ears on his hat. Another figure on the portrait wears a Mickey Mouse watch. Inside the Stave church (where the ride is located), King Olaf II has a small Mickey on his tunic near his right thigh.
- The Viking ship vehicles used for Maelstrom are patterned after the dragon-headed craft of Eric the Red and his group of explorers.
- After you leave Maelstrom, near the doors to the theatre where guests can see the film, there is a talking bench.
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