2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Published: February 23, 2010 at 8:38 AM
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.