Hey there, long time no see, I know… Sorry about that.
SO, two weeks ago Kjell Brattaas, a person who worked here the first year, visited Epcot and the Norwegian pavilion. I met up with Kjell and we dined at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the evening.
Kjell is the author of «Norge i Epcot» (Norway in Epcot) which is a very interesting book about the Norwegian pavilion and gives a good reflection about how Norway got a pavilion in Epcot at all. He now works in the Ministry of Trade, and it is his ministry that is responsible for the Norwegian pavilion if anything is going to happen from the governments side. I must state that Kjell is not responsible for this area in the ministry or has any authority to act on the behalf of Norway in negotiations with Disney. He was here for his holiday and to see how the pavilion has evolved since he left it in 1989.
I lost my phone the day before I was suppose to meet Kjell, so was not able to contact him, we hadent agreed upon a certain time, just about 5 in the pavilion. So in fear that he wouldnt recognize me, I held a Norwegian flag and waived with it in the pavilion, luckily he found me.
We went around the pavilion and he showed me what have changed since the beginning, and I showed him the things that are «not so good» with the pavilion and where I believe that Norway should help out and make sure these things get fixed. We discussed about some concrete ideas for more marketing of the tourist information about Norway and showing more nature, which I think will be fixed pretty soon. Its so many easy things that makes the whole picture so much better that can be done…
Kjell used to work in the tourist desk where they informed about Norway and Norway as tourist destination. The desk was removed and replaced by fastpass distribution for the Maelstrom ride in 2002 after the Norwegian government decided to stop contributing 200.000 dollar a year to the pavilion, leaving it 100% in the hands of Disney.
I had a great time that day, and it was interesting to see how some things used to be back then. I really hope that if we get enough people in Norway to realize that something needs to be done with the pavilion, things will happen… When you wish upon a star, no request is to extreme.