Expedition Everest “Legend of the Forbidden Mountain” opened in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World on April 7, 2006. Disney spared no detail when it comes to this roller coaster attraction, from the mountain details to the detailed storytelling experience, you’ll discover something new every time your ride this attraction. This attraction is a high-speed train adventure combines coaster-like thrills with the excitement of a close encounter with the Abominable Snowman.
- Rating: Thrill Ride
- FP+ Available: Yes
- Height Requirement: 44”
- Single Rider Available: Yes
- Duration: 3 Minutes
- Disney Investment: $100 Million
- Top Speed: 50 MPH
- G-Force: 2.7
The Queue: Expedition Everest
At the first step into the queue, you’ll realize that you’re in for a real treat. Your journey begins by entering a Tibetan-style structure at the base of Mt. Everest, where you’ll pass the booking office of Himalayan Escapes: Tours and Expeditions. The queue then winds through an old tea warehouse that has been converted into a museum showcasing the history of the Himalayas, Nepalese culture, and the mystery of the Yeti. At the end of the queue, you’ll board one of the old and beaten-down Anandapur Rail Service cars headed for Mt. Everest, the “forbidden mountain.”
The Ride: Expedition Everest
The rickety train ride starts calm enough with twists towards the snowy mountain peak, passing through bamboo forests, glaciers and waterfalls. However, the excitement beings when the train tracks end twisting off into the sky – a dead end. Your cart careens backward and into dark caverns, cold black caves and lead to a face-to-face encounter with the legendary Yeti eventually leading you to a save escape at the bottom of the mountain.
Unique Facts: Expedition Everest
- The Yeti is 25’ tall and used to lunge over riders as you race past him. However, due to many technical difficulties, he’s been switched to “B-mode” where he no longer moves and the use of a strobe light is used to emulate the illusion of movement.
- Imagineers took many trips to the Himalayas to do research and make observations for designing Expedition Everest.
- The props used to give Expedition Everest Attraction its authentic eastern flair include over 2,000 handcrafted wood, stone and metal items from Asia. Expedition Everest Attraction covers a whopping 6.4 acres of land.
- According to The Complete Walt Disney World by Julie and Mike Neal, Expedition Everest has 1,800 tons of steel, 18.7 million pounds of concrete, 2,000 gallons of stain and paint, and 200,000 square feet of rock work.
- Many of the artifacts and items found in the queue (including the Buddha statues, Nepalese Coke bottles, and desk phone) were imported straight from Asia.
- When the train approaches and pauses at the broken track, look around and notice the many hairbands thrown on the mountain! It appears to be a weird rider tradition.
- The rust-red color of the train cars create their aged look and make for easier maintenance; the cars rarely need any touchups because the more scratches, nicks, and dents, the older they truly look.
- whopping 6,000 pounds of fur was utilized in order to create the memorable look of the killer Yeti. Imagine if your dress garments required 250 zippers and 1,000 snaps in order to suit up each day. That is the type of attention to detail that distinguishes Disney. The entire ensemble dramatically increases the overall weight of the animatronic, which is estimated at 20,000 pounds.
Disney Adulting Pro-Tip for Riding Expedition Everest
We recommend that you head to Everest early in the day, following Pandora and Kilimanjaro Safaris. Using a Fastpass+ is a wise choice, but the queue is worth the 20-minute wait. We don’t usually recommend that you wait much longer. There’s also the single rider option if you don’t mind splitting your party for a faster queue to ride.
Virtual Ride Experience: Expedition Everest
Warning: This is a first-version experience of the actual ride. If you have never ridden the attraction, we strongly recommend not watching this video and experiencing the ride and the magic for yourself in person the first time.
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