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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tip Tuesday: Norway's Stave Church

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

This week we're going to seek "peril and adventure" at the Stave Church in Epcot's Norway Pavilion and the "Vikings: Conquerors of the Seas" exhibit -- something all too many people pass right by.

Quick quiz: Did you even KNOW there was anything inside the Stave Church and that you could go inside? If you're like most guests, the answer is no.

The Vikings exhibit presents a historically accurate view of three Viking leaders, Erik the Red, King Olaf, II and Rognvald. Disney and international Viking scholars collaborated to research fabric, clothing styles and artifacts from ancient times, and were even based on examples unearthed by archeologists.

Rognvald, a Viking raider from the late 800s

The exhibit features three life-like presentations of each key leader in Norway's Viking past. As you can see, each presentation is life sized and was recreated with as much authenticity as possible. As I was walking through this exhibit, I halfway expected these guys to come to life, like in the Kingdom Keepers books. Fortunately this didn't happen. In front of each presentation is a small sign explaining who each Viking was and their importance in Norwegian history.

But wait, there's more. There also are several displays of ancient tools and weapons used by the Vikings. It's possible these are elaborate recreations, but they certainly looked like the real thing.

Remember, part of the charm and reason for World Showcase is to learn about different lands and cultures. Exhibits like "Vikings: Conquerors of the Seas" are an integral part of World Showcase and yet another hidden treasure you shouldn't pass by.

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