Maelstrom Boat Ride (Epcot Theme Park - Orlando, Florida) - 4k Dark Ride POV Experience - Abandoned Disney Ride

  • 2 years ago
Maelstrom was a reversing log flume dark ride attraction located in the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, the ride opened on July 5, 1988, in the Norway Pavilion of the park's World Showcase section. It was a mix between a log chute and a traditional film attraction. Visitors rode boats patterned after longships that passed through various scenes that featured audio-animatronic figures. The attraction was originally supposed to be called SeaVenture, with the entrance sign during construction even displaying it as such. But sometime between March 1988 and the ride's opening, it was changed to Maelstrom.

Riders departed from a dock traveling by boat, which turned a corner into a dark tunnel and up the flume's lift hill. A voice tells riders that "those who seek the spirit of Norway face peril and adventure, but more often find beauty and charm." Arriving at the top of the hill, a lit face of the Germanic god Odin hovered above. Riders passed through scenes of seafarers and maritime villages depicting a mythological version of Norway's Viking days. Entering a marsh, the boat would come face to face with audio-animatronic depictions of a Nokken and a three-headed troll. The trolls, angered by the trespassing boat, cast a spell onto riders as the vehicle began to move backward rapidly, accelerated by hidden conveyor belts underneath the water's surface. The boats floated briskly past scenes of polar bears and living trees, before coming to a stop on the edge of another waterfall, exposing the Norway pavilion's main thoroughfare. The backwards edge of the boat peeked out through the facade as the track pivoted to let the vehicle travel forward again. Correctly oriented, the boats plunged forward down a 28-foot (8.5 m) flume into a stormy depiction of the North Sea. After passing very close to an oil rig, the ride came to an abrupt end in a calm harbor of a small village, where the narrator announced, "Norway's spirit has always been, and will always be adventure." As guests exited the ride, they had the option of watching a 5-minute tourism film, "The Spirit of Norway", which highlighted various attractions in Norway including skiing, hiking, and Kjerag mountain.