The Countries of World Showcase: Part 2- Norway

April 27, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Posted in Disney Travel, Disney Travel Planning, Epcot, Norway, Walt Disney World Resort, World Showcase | Leave a comment
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Heisann and God Dag! Welcome to Norway! This is our 2nd stop in our trip around the World- World Showcase, that is! Epcot’s Norway will transport you to Scandinavia, old and new. Here you step back into the land of the Vikings! Epcot’s Norway contains a beautiful village square with traditional Norwegian architectural elements such as stone and wood designed to represent the Norwegian towns and cities of Bergen, Oslo, Alesund and Setesdahl. 

Norway is one of the two World Showcase pavilions with an actual ride. Here you can enjoy Maelstrom, but remember to look out for trolls. After you take your boat ride, you can dine on traditional Norwegian fare and with princesses at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall or enjoy a wonderful Kringla Sweet Pretzel at Kringla Bakeri og Cafe. Then stroll through the Stave Church and see “Vikings: Conquerors of the Seas”, which is a collection of authentic Norse weapons and artifacts. Shopping aficionados will love the fragrances, candy, hand-knit woolens, trolls, glass, pewter and more that can be found in Norway.

Maelstrom is Norway’s main attraction and is themed to Norway’s rich seafaring heritage. This is a FastPass attraction, but unless you are there at one of the busiest times, you shouldn’t have to wait more than 10-15 minutes. Maelstrom uses a 16-passenger boat to transport you through a 10th century Viking village and forest where trolls wind up casting a spell on your boat. After the curse is placed on the boat and trolls commandeer your ship, you will start going backwards before you reach a waterfall, where your boat will change course and turn around. After the waterfall, you go through a storm and arrive in a quaint Norwegian village. When you exit the boat, you will be in a holding area which will ultimately open in a small theatre that shows “The Spirit of Norway”,  a film on life in Norway. The film shows the daydreams of a young Norwegian boy. He examines an old Viking ship and imagines all types of successful Norwegians, which portray the film’s point- “The Spirit of Norway is in its people”. When the show is over, you exit into the store where you can don your viking horns and have your picture taken with the giant troll!

After your Maelstrom adventure, you can head over to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, where you can dine with princesses for breakfast, lunch or dinner for ‘Princess Storybook Dining’. A word of advice- make sure you make your Advanced Dining Reservations! When you enter Akershus, you will have your photo taken with a princess (it was Belle the last time I was there). The photo package will be brought to you during your meal, and it is included with your meal. Akershus is patterned after its namesake castle, located in Oslo, Norway. You will meet five Disney princesses such as Alice, Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Esmerelda, Jasmine, Mary Poppins, or Mulan will come and visit you during your meal for photographs and autographs (princesses subject to change during each meal).  Breakfast is a Norwegian-style meal with an American feel, such as scrambled eggs, bacon, potato casserole and more. Lunch and dinner begin with a Taste of Norway assortment of cold meats and cheeses as well as various salads. From there, you order your main course. You can try lamb stew and kjottkake or stick to more traditional items such as different types of chicken. And don’t worry, Akershus is still a Disney restaurant and knows what kids like- hot dogs, pasta, pizza and grilled chicken.

For a sweet treat, stop by Kringla Bakeri og Kafe. This is a great pastry shop that serves breakfast or desserts. One of my favorites is the sweet pretzels- a must in my opinion. Use your Disney Dining Plan snack credits here!

There is one main store, The Puffin’s Roost, in Norway. This store runs the gamut. Here you can find Norwegian apparel such as pricey Dale of Norway woolen items, Christmas ornaments, toys, Geir Ness perfume, puffin stuffed animals, plastic trolls, Donald Duck vikings and silly plastic Viking helmets, some with braids and some with horns. You can also find the Norway Kidcot station here.  And don’t forget before you leave, to get your picture taken with the Giant Troll!

You can stroll through the old Stave Church Gallery to see Vikings: Conquerors of the Sea. This display shows a life-size Rognvald the Raider, a Viking who invaded and colonized France as well as Erik the Red, and King Olaf as well as a detailed scale model of a 9th century Viking ship. You can also see authentic swords, arrows and axe blades, some of which date back more than 1,000 years.  The Stave Churches (or Stavkirke) were built by Norwegians beginning in the year 1050. Norwegians knew woodworking the best so when St. Olaf brought Christianity to Norway, they turned to what they knew best and began building the churches  and blended Christian symbols and Viking images. Other wooden churches were built throughout Europe, but only ones in Norway remain. Out of the 1000 Norwegian Stave Churches built, only 28 remain.

Make sure you observe the four different types of architecture while strolling through Norway. Setesdal style, with grassy roofs and thick logs, projects a rough woods look in The Puffin’s Roost and Kringla Bakeri og Kafe. Bergen style, captured here in the Fjording Shop, is marked by gabled windows on close-set wooden buildings. Oslo style is marked by the surrounding walls of the Akershus Castle. Alesund style is typified by the white stucco and stone-trimmed information building where you find the entrance to the Maelstrom.

Norway is a beautiful part of World Showcase. There are many intricacies that you need to search for, and you can also find some Hidden Mickeys, for those of you who are Hidden Mickey fans! Enjoy Norway!

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