2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Theme Park Insider readers have selected Expedition Everest
at Disney's Animal Kingdom as the fourth seed in the Best Themed Ride bracket of the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament
Expedition Everest won the Theme Park Insider Award as the year's Best New Attraction when it debuted in 2006. Built upon a custom Vekoma track, Everest is not simply a roller coaster, but more a themed ride that happens to use a roller coaster track. (Thus, its inclusion in this bracket.)
You're set for a train expedition up the famed Mt. Everest, but what are those warnings you read in the queue? It seems that some folks who've been this way before tell of an unspeakable horror within the mountain - the feared Himalayan Yeti. Of course, your guides assure you that all is well, and you have nothing to fear.
So you board, climb up the mountain, and then... (say it with me now!) something goes horribly wrong.
Expedition Everest features a mid-track switch which simulates a derailment, sending you off in reverse through the mountain, before switching back again to forward motion. The highlight of the ride, during that plunge through the mountain, is supposed to be an encounter with the Yeti itself.
But, in a bit of an ironic twist, something really did go wrong with the attraction, and the Yeti has not operated in its fully animated mode for years. Instead, Disney's use stage lighting effects to "animate" the Yeti during your encounter.
Still, even with that one element subdued, with a strong theme and thrilling ride, Everest continues to draw some of the highest reader ratings among all attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Let's hear your thoughts about Everest's chances in the tournament, in the comments.
When the Yeti was in A mode, this ride was one of the very best themed coasters in the world. Now that the Yeti is in disco mode, it's still an excellent attraction, but not quite a favorite in this tournament. It does make a difference. Disney, save the endangered Yeti!
After riding this when it first opened and again last month, I say Everest has lost some of its WOW factor. 4 years ago it was so thrilling and fun with the original working Yeti. 2 years ago the Yeti was at least "viewable". Last month I noticed the strobe lights hardly let you see the Yeti. Still like the ride but this doesn't rate as high without a working or viewable Yeti.
I have loved Everest ever since the first time I rode it the year it opened. The themeing is just so immersive that I can't help but get wrapped up in the story. The coaster element is tame but just thrilling enough. I especially love the view of the WDW resort fromthe top of the "broken" track. It is sad that the Yeti has been neglected (it was so awesome when it used to swipe at you!).
4-4 I also rode it when it open in 2006 went to A.K. mostly for that, went trough a 2 hour line( no fast pass that day) . Actually haven't been there since, cause i live in Puerto Rico. My question i guess is how much is or isn't that good anymore. I mean if it was a 10 by disney standard, what is the grade know I'm asking?
Expedition Everest is fun. The queue really does a good job of setting up the story and the ride itself is zippy, my favorite part being the going backwards section. Yeah the Yeti not working properly is a bummer, but seriously it's not that big of a deal.
Where is our resident Yeti-basher, Mr. Rao? On that note, isn't it funny that Vekoma has built James' two favorite attractions: malfunctioning Everest and the boomerang.
went on it in 06, the yeti was the most impressive thing i had seen in all of disney. without the yeti this is a slightly cooler thunder mountain, with usually twice the wait. its only the second best ride in animal kingdom, next to dinosaur. Overall its a good ride, but its not better than the mummy in universal which also goes backwards. they really need to fix the yeti because its the coolest animatronic ever made, hands down.
No truth to the rumor Toyota designed and manufactured the Yeti.
The last time I was at WDW, Expedition Everest was scheduled to open soon and I just missed it. I've wanted to go back and ride it ever since, but now that I know the Yeti isn't working, I don't think I want to ride it anymore. That would be too disappointing to deal with. Can't Disney build a new Yeti off site, program it off site and maybe only be closed for a day or so to install it?
Just a quick clarification: the Yeti animatronic is NOT broken at all, however the concrete fountain on which he is mounted has become irrevocably cracked. He can move, but if he does, he could take a plunge, and the lawsuits (like Drew Brees) would come marching in...
I think Dance Party Yeti is still pretty thrilling and would be scary to anybody who has never been on the ride while he is moving. I still give it very high marks for Theme!
I share your love for all things WDW, but ya can't let them off the hook, Anthony. We gotta keep the pressure on until someone, I don't care who, does something to make the Yeti whole!
Perhaps I got low expectations about the current situation about the Yeti, but I thought it was better than I imagined. I am not too upset with Yeti's situation because I try to think from the standpoint of a first time rider. If you have no idea how it used to be, I still thought the Yeti was scary and thrilling to them. But yeah, the Yeti should move more.
Anthony - I share your love of Disney, but I gotta agree with Mr. Rao on this one.
Maybe Disney got ahead of themselves with the animatronic Yeti. It's obviously a serious design flaw if the foundations were unstable so soon after opening.
If they had started with the B-Mode Yeti, Rob, all of us would be saying stuff like: "wouldn't it be sooo cool if that thing moved???!!!" Not having a lunging Yeti on Everest is like not having icing on cake. And what sane person likes his or her cake without icing??? Having "touches" like an animatronic Yeti is part and parcel of what sets Disney apart from the Six Flags of the world. In fact, the animiatronic Yeti is exactly the type of immersion we generally call
AK does need a new attraction or two. I'm sick of the budget cuts and the cheap, penny pinching at Disney. They're the ones who would benefit the most from creating greatness, and all they seem to care about is squeezing every buck out of us while spending as little as possible. Shame on them, indeed.
I Rode this 2 times before the grand opening and barely saw the Yeti, I wasn't impressed at all but did not realize it must have been broken/not turned on yet that day. Went back again a few months later and WOW!! (A mode) Went a few years later and back to like the first time but with strobe lights, not impressed. Actually I wish I never saw it in A mode because it makes all the difference, it really is impressive.
I rode Everest for the first time last year. I had read all the comments and opinions about the ride over the past few years and really looked forward to it. However nothing really prepared me for how much fun it was. I love coasters of all size and shape. Everest has found a real sweet spot that delivers on fun and is perfect for the entire family. I didn't walk away disappointed or in pain. But most important I walked out the exit looking for the entrance again.
Agree with Mr. Rao 100%. This is Disney people!! With all the magic and the beauty. It's not your local theme park. They should know better and i don't think people should settle. Don't settle people, Disney still great!! But i think it shouldn't be, touches like the jeti are what makes Disney amazing. It should be amazing!!
^^Thanks for the support, anonymous poster!
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I think I speak for all of us when I say, "Fix the Yeti, already!"
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