When the Walt Disney Company announced plans to create an attraction at Walt Disney World’s Epcot World Showcase based on the hit movie “Frozen,” it likely did not expect impassioned responses from fans of attraction it will replace.
The NBC TV network’s “Today” show website reports that, although Maelstrom, a Norwegian boat ride constructed in 1988, was “never overly popular in the first place,” fans of the attraction have been vocal in expressing their frustrations.
According to the New York Post, “On Twitter, concerned park goers took to the hashtag #savemaelstrom to tweet over 2,000 times, a protest that has also extended to Disney fan message boards and podcasts, the corporate Disney Facebook page and even phone calls to the House of Mouse.”
Epcot’s Norway pavilion would seem to be an appropriate location for the “Frozen” attraction, considering that the movie is set in Scandinavia. However, fans of Maelstrom do not feel that this decision by Disney executives is justified. The Orlando Business Journal’s Web page even posed the question, “Epcot’s Maelstrom: Are you ready to ‘Let It Go’?” in an online poll and found that 70 percent of voters were against the change.
Still, it is hard to fault Disney for capitalizing on the popularity of “Frozen,” which according to Forbes is “the most successful animation film in the history with a total box office grossing of over $1.27 billion.”
Maelstrom is scheduled to launch its last boat voyage Oct. 5.