“Frozen Ever After” will replace the 27-year-old Maelstrom water ride at the Norway pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase, Disney announced on Tuesday. Visitors will be shuttled in logs through a festival in the fictional land of Arendelle from the film. Riders will watch citizens celebrate winter in the middle of summer thanks to Elsa’s magical ice-creating powers. And riders will eventually reach Elsa’s Ice Palace, where the princess will be singing—what else?—”Let It Go.”
Animatronic versions of Anna, Kristof and Olaf will also appear. Disney’s designers and engineers, known as Imagineers at Disney World, have even recruited the film’s composers, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson Lopez, to write new lyrics for the chart-topping songs.
Disney is hoping that the ride based on the highest-grossing animated film of all-time will boost attendance at Epcot, which was flat between 2009 and 2013, the most recent year of data available from the Themed Entertainment Association.
However, some visitors might take offense to the fact that Arendelle has been given such a prominent place in the World Showcase, which was originally designed by Walt Disney as a tour of real countries like Japan, Mexico and Norway. But, Disney World Chief Operating Officer Tom Staggs argues to the Wall Street Journal that Frozen is filled with Scandinavian culture and mythology to will honor that heritage.
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