Walt Disney World debuted two updates to popular rides in Epcot this summer, “Soarin’” and “Maelstrom.” Even though these rides were very popular (on a typical day “Soarin’” reached wait times up to 90 minutes or longer), major changes were added to both rides to spice things up and enhance the overall Disney World experience.
After the Disney movie, Frozen’s success (generating around 1.3 billion dollars in the box office), it was pretty likely that a Frozen-themed ride would be created in a Disney park. Frozen’s setting was actually inspired by Norway.
Therefore, Disney updated the ride “Maelstrom” in Norway at Epcot’s World Showcase. “Maelstrom” hasn’t been open since 2014, due to construction of the Frozen-inspired ride.
The ride, “Frozen Ever After,” features favorite Frozen characters such as Olaf, Sven, the trolls, Anna, Kristoff, Elsa and even Marshmallow with the Snowbies.
The ride also features songs from the movie, with changes to some of the lyrics to fit the ride. Some songs include “Do you want to build a snowman,” “First Time in Forever,” “In Summer,” and of course the very well-known, “Let it go.” The ride goes backward and features a single drop, similar to that of the “Maelstrom” ride.
The queue for the ride showcases Arendelle (the land where Frozen takes place) and even goes into Wandering Oaken’s trading post and sauna from the movie. If you watch and listen carefully, you may even catch a glimpse of Oaken himself saying “yoo hoo” as tourists walk by.
Instead of “soarin’” simply over California, the new update of “Soarin’” takes you over several landmarks around the world. “Soarin round the world” features sights of the Matterhorn Mountain in Switzerland, polar bears on ice caps, Sydney Harbor in Australia, African savannas, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, Fiji and many other locations. The ride ends with fireworks bursting over Epcot. The previous version included fireworks over Disneyland in California. Soarin’s queue now features a trivia game where you can compete against other tourists. The questions are a great way to test what knowledge you have about other countries.
Both rides are brand new and very popular. Therefore, if you plan on riding one of them, fast passes or early entrance to the park would be highly recommended.