Speed Reads

don't mess with the maelstrom

Disney World set to replace EPCOT's Maelstrom ride, chaos ensues

If your favorite attraction at Disney World's EPCOT Center is the Norwegian-themed boat ride Maelstrom, you have until Oct. 5 to ride it as many times as possible before it shuts down forever.

Not even an army of Vikings can save the Maelstrom now, as Disney plans on replacing it with a Frozen-themed attraction, set to debut in 2016. Maelstrom opened in the World Showcase in 1988, and is filled with polar bears, waterfalls, and trolls. Fans enjoyed it because it didn't feature made-up characters and actually showcased the culture of Norway. Many of them are turning to Twitter to voice their anger about the closure (rallying around the hashtag #savemaelstrom).

Robert Niles, editor of ThemeParkInsider.com, told Today.com that their passion just isn't enough. "It had some nice elements but it was never an attraction in terms of actually 'attracting' people," he said. "No one ever booked a trip to Disney World just to ride Maelstrom."

Niles obviously has never met Alexandra Tighe, a 26-year-old super fan from Boston who visits EPCOT once a year. "To me, the World Showcase at EPCOT is exactly that: a showcase of the world, not of Disney films or the fairytale princesses that crowd up the other parks," she said. "The fact that [Disney] is ridding the World Showcase of its true meaning is heartbreaking."

Despite the pleas of passionate fans, Disney knows that having a Frozen ride will bring in even more throngs of people; right now, lines for meet-and-greets with Anna and Elsa can last up to four hours, and merchandise flies off the shelves. It's a proven money maker, so until the trolls come out with a movie that brings in more than $1 billion in ticket sales, it looks like Frozen will come out on top.