Things are getting worse for the Norway pavilion in Epcot. Disney and Norwegian government’s seeming inaction has begun to take a serious toll on the upkeep of the pavilion and its attraction.
We’ve discussed the recent financial back-and-forth between Disney and the powers-that-be in Norway in our previous articles (articles: Epcot’s Norway Pavilion in Jeopardy?, and Norwegian Press Pushes for Answers to Pavilion’s Fate). We have even examined Walt Disney Imagineering’s staunch unwillingness to compromise in our coverage of the Powered by Nature film controversy (Norway’s 3D Film Approved by WDI then Cut Due to Budget Woes, and WDI Rejected Norway’s Updated Film – Watch and Judge It for Yourself).
All the while, the pavilion still exists without funding, outside support, or much more than whimper from the fan community to make the pavilion better – or even keep it up to usual Disney quality standards. While the possibility of an updated film lingers-on, awaiting Disney or Norway’s next move (Norway Film Replacement Still in Negotiations) the outlook has become quite bleak for the Norwegians tasked with manning the attraction.This has been going on since 1992 when Norway first took steps to leave the pavilion (full history is available in The Epcot Explorer’s Encyclopedia.)
How bad has it gotten though? Disney has chosen to neglect the attraction it thinks no one notices and no one cares about. Read for yourself, right from the words of those Cast Members at Norway who work there and see it every day:
The ride needs updating and strongly maintenance. If something breaks, its broken and will be like that for ever.
The ride used to be pretty much more adventures and good, I mean I still like it, but it used to be so much better. The up ramp is old and you feel it by all the sounds and shaking in the boat. The Viking scene is not coordinated anymore and the speakings is bad. Theres missing a storyline between the Viking village and horn scene. The trolls are old and the seawater troll is not suppose to go so much up, there used to be smoke in the troll scene, I want that back, fog on the water with the trolls coming up would be so cool to get back. If its because people are allergic to the smoke, its possible to get smoke out of water that don’t give any reactions to people.
The little polar bear have been missing for over 6 months now, he was just suppose to go and get some new fur… The big polar bear used to move more, Im also missing smoke in this scene. When you hear the rapid water there were suppose to be movement in the boats so you felt like you were in a storm/maelstrom, but this have never worked, the equipment is there, but they never got it to work in 1988. The nature scene is fun, but the boat here also makes bad mechanical/hard movements, the picture of the fjords is dirty and ruins a little of the show Disney is suppose to give. The North Sea scene used to be wilder and more like the North Sea, Im pretty sure there were small raindrops coming down, and I know there used to be bigger waves, but the wave machines stopped working some years ago and never got replaced/fixed.
The pavilion has essentially been left to rot without sponsorship. It must be very depressing to work at a pavilion that’s meant to be a flag-bearer for your country’s goodwill and watch it fall apart. Further, all the more hopeless, as your home country has seemingly abandoned any interest in keeping up appearances. The Disney company seems to be denying upkeep to keep pressure on Norway – perhaps it’s even looking forward to new sponsorship that would replace the pavilion.
What can you do? Let Disney know what you think: You can always write to Disney and let them know the current state of the pavilion is unacceptable and below their own declared show quality standards. You can also join the Facebook group dedicated to getting some attention for the pavilion. Get the word out! Don’t forget to share this article with your friends using the lovely social media buttons included down below.
Even the shortest note, showing that you care about the future of Epcot, will go a long way.