Lou Mongello / Monday, September 17th, 2007
- Watch out for trolls as you explore the heritage of Norway in the thrilling Maelstrom boat ride. The most exciting ride in World Showcase (by far), this FastPass attraction is inspired by legends from Norway ‘s past. As you travel in your 16-passenger Viking ship, you will voyage back in time to a 10th Century Viking village, and enter the dangerous forest inhabited by mythical trolls. As you continue in your journey, you will encounter polar bears, waterfalls, storms, and pass a giant oil rig. After your ride, stay for the short, wide-screen film that takes you on a virtual tour of Norway , and introduces you to its people and culture.
- At The Puffin’s Roost, "Curios and Collectibles" shop, guests can purchase authentic Norwegian gifts such as sweaters, clothing, jewelry, leather goods, pewter, and the famous "troll dolls."
- FAST FACT: The building which houses the Puffins Roost is made of real wood, and is not a false front made to look like wood.
- When missionaries came to Norway in the 10th century, one of their fist priorities was to establish churches. The churches were built using a technology called "stave," a construction method used all over northern Europe during that time. The entire structure used flat rocks as the building’s foundation. This technique was perfected by the Norwegian artisans in the early 1100’s and was crucial for their longevity. Most of the wooden churches from before the year 1100 have been destroyed by fire, natural disaster or neglect. As these wooden churches were impractical to try and rebuild or maintain, many were replaced with a more modern design. While researchers believe there may have been as many as 2000 Stave churches in existence at the end of the 13th century, today there are less than 30 original stave churches remaining. The few that do remain are some of the oldest surviving wooden structures in the world.
- The Stave Church found in the Norway pavilion is a smaller, detailed replica of the Gol Stave Church , located in the Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo, Norway . The church contains a fascinating exhibit on Norwegian culture and the history of the Stave Churches. It is probably the most visited Stave Church in the world.
- Located in between Mexico and China and sponsored by a mix of Norwegian corporations, the Norway pavilion celebrates the history and culture of one of the oldest nations in the West. The newest pavilion to be added to World Showcase, Norway opened on May 6, 1988.
- Nine-time New York City Marathon winner Greta Waitz, the only woman to win more than two New York Marathons, is immortalized in a statute located on the grounds of the Norway pavilion. The Greta Waitz Lopet (road race), the largest run for women in the world, is held annually in her home country of Norway .
- The stave church dates back to 1015, when King Olaf II first made Christianity the official religion of Norway, and you can see both Viking and Christian symbols in the architecture.
- The castle is modeled after Akershus, a 14th century fortress in Oslo Harbour.