When I viewed the video, it is clear that the Norway government doesn't want to contribute $9 million to the project. The Norway tourism office isn't convinced it is the right expenditure of funds. Norway government officials don't care to be involved. The Norway-Disney employee said the Norway-sponsored rehab funds are returned (not being spent), thus ensuring Disney is already making plans to do the conversion to Frozen. The details are still not entirely clear to me.
The popularity of Frozen means Disney won't let the opportunity to go to waste. There is no time to solicit bids from Norway's government or business sector to fill the void. The only question is how fast can Disney react. Will the rehab be a mere Frozen overlay or will there be a bigger makeover with a new track ride system for Maelstorm.
Then what happens to the other World Showcase pavilions? Will China get a Mulan makeover? Will Germany get Snow White? (Unlikely with the new dwarf's coaster.) Maybe France should get Ratatouille.
Epcot has long suffered from an identity crisis. Maybe Frozen is a way for them to finally come up with a new solution to design and marketing the park.
So where's the option to vote for doing both?
If the new Ratatouille ride proves anything it's you can have a fictional character set in a real world setting still done tastefully. Why not here?
Personal Note: It'll be sad to see the merchandise get axed though. Norway has some of, if not the best clothing at the Pavilions. It's not all gimmicky or tacky T-Shirts, its clothing you can wear without looking or feeling like a total tourist.
Ultimately, I think the next question will be: Does Disney still call the refurbished pavilion "Norway," or does it abandon that title altogether and call the pavilion "Arendelle"?
Akershus will still exist as a character meal with Anna and Elsa as the featured characters with some other popular characters like Kristoff and Olaf. Maybe they will have a "Let It Go" sing-a-long in mid-meal. They currently have a princess processional, which is quite fun.
My only concern is Walt did not want EPCOT to be a Theme Park, but a vision of the future. But...times do chance.
The main popularity if the films is the characters (and the music,oh my god the music..... shudder). Setting the adventure in Norway can maintain much of the visual atmosphere of the movie and having the known characters of Frozen guiding us through the land, learning about Norway and its culture will drag the crowds in whilst still maintaining the core nature of Epcot being about real life.
Norway could only be happy about the increased exposure and would probably be happy to help fund it.
I love world showcase. Please don't neglect it any longer. But don't dumb it down, either.
I think just retooling the ride a bit with some Frozen theming will do enough. However...
YOU ARE NOT THE FIRST TO PASS DIS WAY!
and I hope the trolls don't
DISAPPEAR DISAPPEAR DISAPPEAR
That being said, I dont think Disney should take out Maelstrom. World Showcase doesn't have a very high ride capacity, and replacing one ride with another ride won't help that problem.
Ideally, Disney could build a major Frozen ride behind Maelstrom. But that's probably not gonna happen.
Disney is and always will be milking the last ounce of profit from a property until it jumps the shark.
Let's stop with all of the silly, self-imposed rules of "What Would Walt Do?" and "Epcot should be a nonfiction theme park" because they aren't working. People go to Disney World for Disney-style entertainment, and Epcot is seriously lacking in the "Disney Style." It's time to throw out the old rules and bring more Disney into Epcot because once DAK adds Pandora and DHS adds Star Wars Land and maybe one day Cars land, Epcot will slip down to #4 in attendance at the Disney parks in Florida.
To keep Epcot relevant and to make it into a reason to go to Disney World and not an afterthought, turn it into a park about exploration and add more Disney style and Disney characters to the park. Add a "Frozen" attraction to Norway. Add a Ratatouille ride to the France Pavillion. Bring Journey to the Center of the Earth and Stormrider over from TDS and add them to Future World, and get rid of that awful appellation (Future World) and call it something more appropriate like Exploration World.
Epcot is a half step (and $500 miilion) away from awesome, but with a little love shown to it like all of the other Disney parks are getting or are going to get, it could be truly amazing.
As far as akerhshus royal banquet hall is concerned the food is just barely Norwegian. It might be missed if someone didn't tell you it was supposed to be Norwegian