Disney Theme Parks Wiki


July 5, 1988


Walt Disney Imagineering

Vehicle capacity


Ride length



964 ft. (293.8 m)

Movie length


Drop length

28 ft.

Maelstrom is a dark ride and a traditional film attraction located in the Norway pavilion of the World Showcase at the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World Resort. Visitors ride boats that are patterned after Viking ships and pass through various scenes with Audio-Animatronic figures. The attraction features a brief 28 foot drop near the climax of the boat ride.

The Maelstrom attraction was always conceived to be a boat ride, with a section that went backwards. The ride's plotline was originally going to be entirely centered around trolls, but the Norwegian sponsors wanted a ride that included other aspects of Norway.

Attraction Description[]

The ride first takes visitors back to a mythological version of Norway's Viking days. The boats first pass through scenes of seafarers and Vikings. The boats then enter an enchanted swamp, and are forced backwards down a waterfall by angry trolls. The boats float rapidly past scenes of polar bears and living trees, before coming to a stop on the edge of another waterfall, exposed to the Norway pavilion's main thoroughfare. After again rotating to a forward-facing position, the boats plunge forward into the stormy North Sea. The boats pass dangerously close to an oil rig and the ride comes to an abrupt end in a calm harbor. After the ride, guests disembark and then have the option to watch a 6 minute film highlighting the history and folklore of Norway.

Hidden Mickeys[]

In the ride's loading area, a large painted mural includes many people and elements from Norway's history. Hidden in this painting is a Viking whose helmet has Mickey Mouse ears, and another figure wearing a Mickey Mouse watch.

Sources & External Links[]