Ride a Viking Ship and Snack on Schoolbread in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot The Norway Pavilion

Ride a Viking Ship and Snack on Schoolbread in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. The Norway Pavilion takes guests into the heart of Scandanavia as they enter a town square that was designed to resemble the cities of Oslo, Bergen, Alesund, and Setesdahl.

Norway's Stave ChurchNorway's Stave Church

As you enter the pavilion, on the left you'll see the Stave Church, which is a replica of the Gol Stave Church from the Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo. The Stave Church is currently closed for renovation - most likely due to the addition of an exhibit focused on Disney's Frozen - and should reopen later this year.

In its previous state the Stave Church featured an exhibit about Viking with weapons, artifacts, and figures of famous Nords including Erik the Red and King Olaf II.

In the back of the pavilion is one of the best attractions in Epcot - Maelstrom, the high seas flume ride that takes guests through the history of the Land of the Midnight Sun.

Maelstrom Offers FastPassMaelstrom Offers FastPass

The Maelstrom was the first ride at Epcot to feature a flume drop. At 28 feet, it's not the most terrifying drop but it's the only one you'll find at the park. Reportedly, the original Maelstrom storyline was going to focus completely on trolls but the pavilion's Norwegian sponsors wanted a storyline that included other aspects of Norway. That's probably a good thing, since there's only so much one can say about trolls.

Guests board a 10th century style Viking warrior ship and are quickly dispatched up the flume's lift hill where they will find adventure and peril. "You are not the first to pass this way. Nor shall you be the last." The first visual on the ride is the face of the god Odin (who incidentally is the father of Thor, the god of thunder).

Disappear! Disappear!Disappear! Disappear!

Upon reaching the top of the hill, riders find themselves surrounded by Vikings and other seafarers, showing the importance of the sea in Norway's history. The boats continue the journey into an enchanted swamp where two rather ornery trolls cast a spell on the boats as punishment for trespassing on their land.

The spell cast by the trolls causes the boats to spin around and suddenly guests find themselves floating backward past penguins and a 10-foot-tall polar bear. And then, the boat stops at the edge of a waterfall - and if you're standing outside the ride you can see the backside of the boats - before plunging down the 28-foot flume into the stormy North Sea.

After passing "dangerously" close to an oil rig, the Viking boats end up in the calm safety of the harbor and then disembark the ride in a quaint Norwegian village.

Guests can choose to stay in the adjacent theater and watch a quick 5-minute film, The Spirit of Norway, or they can walk through the theater and end up in The Puffin's Roost gift shop, where they'll find the Kidcot Fun Stop and a giant troll which is a perfect place to take a picture! Just be sure to try on a Viking hat for the picture.

After braving the North Sea, you're sure to have worked up an appetite and Norway is a great place to get breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

If you're looking for a quick snack, stop by the Kringla Bakeri og Kafe, home to the world famous Schoolbread.

Kringla Bakery og Kafe Under the Sign of the PretzelKringla Bakery og Kafe Under the Sign of the Pretzel

The Kringla Bakeri resembles a traditional Scandinavian kitchen with wood paneled walls, iron candelabras, and a brick and tile floor. Tucked inside several glass display cases is a variety of traditional Norwegian specialties from pastries to sandwiches and more.

So let's talk about Schoolbread since that seems to be what everyone wants when they stop at the Kringla Bakeri. This favorite Epcot snack is a not-too-sweet cardamom bun filled with vanilla custard and then topped with toasted coconut. Other yummy offerings at the Bakeri include Cloudberry Horns (think: cream horns), Apple or Cherry Danish, Cinnamon Rolls, Berry Cream Puffs, Veiled Maidens, and Lefse, which is a traditional potato bread with butter and cinnamon sugar.

Disney Fan Favorite Snack: SchoolbreadDisney Fan Favorite Snack: Schoolbread

If you're looking for something a little less sweet, you could opt for the open face salmon and egg sandwich. Or, you could choose any of the daily sandwich specials including the Norwegian Club Sandwich, Ham and Apple Sandwich, or Roast Beef Sandwich.

The other dining option in the pavilion is the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall where you can dine with Disney Princesses. This location is (in this writer's humble opinion) the best place to meet the princesses (including Cinderella) and it's a great deal if you're on the Disney Dining Plan.

Princesses We Met At AkershusPrincesses Of The Day At Akershus

Diners are greeted by Belle as they enter Akershus and it's a great chance to get a photo taken and grab an autograph. Photos taken by Disney photographers will be delivered to your table while you dine. If you choose breakfast at Akershsus it is served family style and buffet. Lunch and dinner include a cold buffet with deli meats, cheeses, and salads and an entree choice.

Our friends at the Disney Food Blog have great reviews of Akershus during the lunch service and another for breakfast. Be sure to check them out!

Hot and Cold Breakfast SelectionsHot and Cold Breakfast Selections

As we mentioned earlier, the Norway Pavilion will be host to Anna, Elsa from Disney's new animated film Frozen. The character meet-and-greet is expected to open sometime this fall, along with a new gallery exhibit that explores how the beauty and culture of Norway inspired Frozen's filmmakers.

Thanks so much for this guest post from contributing author Traci C. and to Disney Food Blog for exclusive us of their images. What do you look forward to most when visiting the Norway Pavilion? Leave a comment and let us know!

Kristen K. wrote on Sat, 11/09/2013 - 19:17:

Kristen K.'s picture

I love the Norway pavillion. I do know a lot of people that walk past it, but it has a few of my favorite places inside!

Lisa Turkovich wrote on Sat, 11/16/2013 - 23:04:

Lisa Turkovich's picture

I love the gift shop and the Maelstrom. It was the first ride we went on on our honeymoon. The gift shop is full of authentic things from Norway some of which are from the same places and manufacturers my mother went to when she visited family in Norway. I love European chocolate and goods and it's nice to see it here again without having to go to Minnesota, Brooklyn or beg a relative to bring back for you. :)

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