After spending some time in China enjoying Reflections of China, the Nine Dragons acrobats or meeting Mulan and Mushu we continue through The World Showcase by stopping in Norway next. It was the latest addition to the World Showcase opening in 1988.
- The 58,000 square foot pavilion is designed to look like a Norwegian village with a detailed Stave church and 4 styles of Norwegian architecture.
- The main table-service restaurant, Restaurant Akershus, which is home to “Princess Storybook Dining”, resembles its namesake in Oslo.
- The interconnected shops that make up much of the pavilion are decorated with large wooden trolls, filled with Norse artifacts, toys, books and more.
- The courtyard contains the entrance to Maelstrom, a boat ride into Norway’s past and present and is the only fast pass attraction in The World Showcase.
- There used to be a full scale Viking ship, inspired by the famous Oseberg ship. It was children’s play area at one time, but was removed in December of 2008.
- The grand opening was dedicated by Harald V of Norway (then Crown Prince) in a live broadcasted ceremony to Norway.
- The original idea was to create a “Nordic Pavilion” and would combine elements from various countries into one exhibit. After consulting 3 countries, Norway was selected exclusively after investors raised $30 million for a national pavilion. Disney contributed the other 1/3 of the construction cost. The investors sold their shares to Disney in 1992, but the Norwegian government continued paying $200, 000 each year to help boost tourism. That stopped in 2002 against the advice of the American Embassy’
- Nearly as many people visit Epcot as live in Norway.
- Yes, that is real grass growing on the roof! Horticulture CMs have to get on the roof with clippers to keep it trimmed, since they can’t get a real goat to stay up there like they do in the real Norway.
- During Reflections of Earth Norway is not illuminated like all the other countries, except one. As I mentioned before during our journey through Morocco, due to religious reason they are prohibited from having any kind of lighting attached to their religious landmark. While the Stave church is Norway’s religious landmark, and nothing prevents them from illuminating it, to keep things symmetrical no lighting is attached to the steeple since it sits directly across the lagoon from Morocco.
Did you ride the Maelstrom? Pose next to the giant troll or even take a troll home with you?
In case you missed them, here is the rest of the Best Kept Secrets series –