Epcot proves that it really is a small world after all -- just a few steps away from sunny Mexico
and you're suddenly in the chillier clime of Norway. Its cobblestone
square is surrounded by historical architectural styles representing those found
in Norway's major cities. There's also a small play area with a Viking boat theme, too.
Maelstrom. In this
boat ride through time we board a Viking longboat and pass through a
tenth-century Viking village. But, there's a fjord in our future -- passing through
an enchanted forest, we anger the local trolls who send our boat mildly
careening backwards and almost over a waterfall (don't worry: Splash Mountain this ain't), before we end up sailing out, past a
North Sea oil platform and into calmer waters. We disembark at a quaint coastal
village/waiting area, where we're stuck until the theater opens up and
lets us in for a short travelogue film. You'll note plenty of repeat visitors
slipping right through the theater and out on the heels of the guests exiting from
the previous show.
The Stave Church, housing a small gallery of Norwegian cultural exhibits, is an
exhibit in itself, showcasing a traditional building technique that is currently dying out.
Kringla Bakeri og Kafe, Norway's fast food stand, is easy to find: just follow
that mouth watering pastry smell, then enjoy. Sweet waffles, candy coated pretzels,
and open face sandwiches. Beer and wine are available.
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, in the imposing medieval fortress patterned after the one in
Oslo's harbor, mixes authentic Norwegian Royal cuisine with Disney's royal princesses for another character dining opportunity. (Reservations recommended.)
Shopping in Norway includes The Puffin's Roost, where you'll find Norwegian sweaters,
jewelry, and, yes, trolls. You don't have to worry about visiting this shop before Maelstrom as you'll be channeled out through its entire length on exiting.
From Norway you can turn left (as you face World Showcase Lagoon) to visit China or right to visit Mexico.