Published: March 23, 2010 at 3:46 AM
Had it been any other ride and any other company, maybe you could let it slide, but as the previous poster Rob P once wrote, having the Yeti in such a state is "abominable."
As for the .02 seconds, that statement is just not accurate. At least it was not accurate when the Yeti functioned properly. Back in the day you would begin to see the Yeti as you swept into that final bend before the last dip in the track made you lose your lunch. There he was, looming in the distance, becoming impossibly large as your train raced toward him. Back when the Yeti used to move, he was an immense, imposing beast, and when that beefy arm swung down in perfect unison with your passing train, your eyes would be riveted on his larger than life presence and suddenly the track would plummet down for that final, stomach wrenching dip. It was an awesome, signature moment, and something my kids and I still talk about today.
Honestly, when the ride first opened, the Yeti was clearly visible and the motion was amazing. Now the area containing the animatronic has been darkened to hide the inanimate Yeti and there is no doubt, for those who have seen the beast in his glory, that it takes away from the overall ride experience.
I can only say how important a fully functional Yeti is so many times and so many different ways. Therefore instead of me continuing to blather on, let's just see what the ride's Imagineer, Joe Rohde, says about it: The ride is about the yeti, and our story is about our interaction with that yeti. When we get on this train and we go up into the forbidden mountain domain of the yeti, he destroys the track, and the thrill part of our ride is escaping the wrath of the yeti as we return to civilization.
So if the "thrill part" of the ride is escaping the wrath of the Yeti, then that thrill is removed when that wrath is not present. I totally agree.
And, if the Yeti was such a non-factor, then why, when Mr. Rohde was in town for the 10th anniversary celebration of the Animal Kingdom, did the park's Operations staff do this:
...given Rohde's extremely close association with this theme park and Expedition Everest in particular, DAK's Ops didn't want to disappoint Joe and let him see a bad show while he was in that park. Which is why (for the exact length of time that this WDI VP was supposed to be on property) DAK's Operations staff jury-rigged the Yeti so that this AA figure would perform flawlessly. The end result was that for as long as Joe was in town for that 10th anniversary celebration, Expedition Everest operated just as he had originally intended it to operate. As soon as Rohde flew back home to Southern California, the Yeti was set back to B-Mode/Show-Mode/Dance Club Mode.
If Rohde had seen the current state of his dilapidated creation, he would have screamed bloody murder. Cause let's face it, the Yeti no longer looks like a sophisticated, multi-million dollar anamatronic. He looks like a big, hairy, stuffed animal with an unnatural urge to groove to Abba's Dancing Queen.
Stop making excuses for Disney! It is time for them to acknowledge this problem and do something about it once and for all. From other companies we can accept second-rate, but for the amount of money it costs to take a Disney vacation, expectations must always be set much higher. And it is up to the #1 vacation destination in the world to deliver on those inflated expectations.
Oh, and by the way, for those who have not experienced DarKastle, it is an exceptional ride regardless of its Spider-Man similarities. There is no shame in it beating out a badly broken coaster.