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The Gateway to Scandanvia

There were two reasons why I wanted to go to Norway when I was younger: the 1994 Winter Olympics in Oslo (not to compete, just to visit), and the pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase.

This month (June 3rd to be exact) Norway celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary as the last country to be placed around the lagoon. At the time, The Maelstrom became the thrill ride of EPCOT. Before there was Test Track. Before there was Mission Space. Heck, before there was Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom. When River Country, those one passenger speedboats on the Seven Seas Lagoon, the slide at the Polynesian was the best WDW had to offer on the water, The Maelstrom came in and upped the ante.

On the attraction, you get at taste of the Nordic myths – of Odin and those two elves whose names I couldn’t spell no matter how many times I examined them. When you were sent careening backwards and nearly into the middle of the pavilion’s courtyard? Come on! That was awesome! Take a dip into the stormy waters around an oil rig doesn’t exactly scream climax and the denouement of the 6 minute film is right out of the guaranteed nap location handbook, but it’s educational.

That last paragraph comes across as snarky but,when I was kid, I loved it. Who needed the Circlevision movies and sequels to Hall of Presidents (I’m looking at you The American Adventure) when you could get the thrill of the Norse!

Brother Dillo

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