One of two gift shops located in Showcase Plaza, “Port of Entry” offers a wide variety of Disney souvenirs to those entering or exiting World Showcase. In addition to merchandise, the store also contains a series of four posters, one in each of the store’s corners, that illustrate Mickey and friends enjoying a few of the countries represented by Epcot’s international pavilions. Among these posters is one of Goofy dressed as a Viking inviting guests to “Experience Norway,” which can be found hanging over on of the shop’s checkout locations.
Although these posters are relatively recent additions, the good-natured Goofy’s unlikely connection to fearsome Norse seafarers goes back even farther. During the late 1980’s and 1990’s, Disney characters appearing throughout World Showcase would wear special costumes based on the fashions of the various pavilions’ home countries. Among Goofy’s outfits was that of a Viking, which could be found in when meeting guests in Norway or Showcase Plaza. However, Goofy’s first appearance as a Viking didn’t happen at Epcot but on the silver screen.
Released in 1944, “How to Be A Sailor” tells the history of sailing, starting with a caveman floating on a log and ending with a World War II naval battle. As with many of the films in Goofy’s popular “How To” series,” The Goof played all the roles himself, including that of a Viking who looks to the stars to guide his way. The comical short illustrates this concept quite literally by showing a bow-wielding constellation coming to life and shooting one of his arrows at Goofy’s Viking longboat, propelling it over the horizon toward its destination.
A lot has changed at the Norway Pavilion since the days when Viking Goofy appeared there. Most notably, last week’s opening of the new “Frozen Ever After” attraction has brought in huge crowds to this corner of World Showcase despite technical difficulties. While Elsa, Anna, and Olaf may be popular now, the Goofy poster at “Port of Entry” is a reminder that they were not the first Disney character to pass this way.