Published: March 20, 2009 at 1:40 PM
The Yeti Backlash
clarified: I want to make it clear that I LOVE Expedition Everest. I disagree entirely with any assertion that the theming and narrative power of the coaster are subpar. The attraction is, without a doubt, the best story-driven roller coaster I have ever ridden (Revenge of the Mummy is second). My whole crusade against Everest is strictly aimed at Disney's unwillingness to bite the bullet and close the ride down to make extended repairs to the Yeti's foundation. Without those repairs, the Yeti cannot lunge
and in official Disney-speak is stuck B-Mode (strobe lights are used to simulate movement).
To borrow from Bill Murray in STRIPES, Expedition Everest without the Yeti is like a foot without a big toe. Or, in my own words, like cake without frosting.
The last time we rode Everest (in 2007), the Yeti was working just fine, and my two boys still talk about how cool it was. To them it was the exclamation point of the ride, and the highlight of the vacation (that and Tower of Terror, of course). When I go back in 2010, if my now 44" tall daughter is forced to watch Dance Club Yeti I will consider the trip to DAK a dismal failure.
Despite my crusade, though, I voted for Everest in its match-up today. The reason I voted for it is because even if you take the beast out of the ride entirely, it is still a better experience than BTMR.
That is not to say that BTMR is a bad attraction. On the contrary, it has excellent theming and is a fun ride for the whole family. With a max speed of something like 35 mph, BTMR isn't going to scare anyone, but the attention to detail along the course of the track should be eye-popping to everyone. However, BTMR does seem to slow down quite a bit from time to time, and just when it gets going nice and quick with a few real fun turns...it's over. And there's that pathetic last drop Robert mentioned in his comments. A total failure in design. Once Everest gets going, it does not let up until the end, and even when it stops in the early going, there is always some eye-candy to keep you entertained. If these two coasters were novels, Everest would be the Lord of the Rings, and BTMR would be The Hobbit. Both are excellent, but the LOTR is a is a fully realized saga while The Hobbit is, in many ways, a kid's book.
The Yeti wins today, but based on the way things are going, I am hoping it gets ousted by RnR in the next round. The early exit should be enough to get the attention of the powers-that-be at WDI.
John Lasseter, fix the Yeti now!