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Yeti Stuck In Permanent B Mode?

Walt Disney World: Is Expedition Everest's featured player in permanent standby?

From James Rao
Posted September 4, 2008 at 9:59 AM
I was reading Kevin Yee's latest article on MiceAge this AM and he is reporting that

"...the [Expedition Everest] yeti has been in B-mode for weeks and months on end now, supposedly because the concrete fountain on which he is mounted has become irrevocably cracked.

"The enormous Audio-Animatronic yeti at the end of Expedition Everest was deemed so important to the ride that a provision was made for when the robot broke; the creature would freeze in its spot, but strobe lights would create the illusion of movement, and the ride would not have to be shut down.

"Reportedly, Designers or construction laborers somehow didn't account for the repetition of such incredible forces, and now the figure cannot be used as designed. No word yet on what the permanent solution may be."

One of my favorite moments on EE was when the Yeti's huge arm would come sweeping down over your head as you headed for the coaster's final plunge. It was a neat effect, and a nice exclamation point on a very well themed, narrative attraction. I would hate to think that "exclamation point" was lost for the indeterminable future.

Anyone been to DAK recently who can comment? Anyone who works at DAK have "inside" info?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Alex Clark
Posted September 4, 2008 at 11:42 AM
I was just at DAK less than two weeks ago and it seemed to be working just fine then.

From James Rao
Posted September 4, 2008 at 11:50 AM
Thanks, Alex. I have a co-worker who is heading to WDW this weekend and will be at DAK early next week. He has been given a "secret mission" to specifically debunk this rumor if at all possible. I would hate for the Yeti to become just another statue....

From Tim W
Posted September 4, 2008 at 12:40 PM
i read the same thing as well. on jim hill he previously posted bak in may that it worked most of the april and stopped in may. I think they really need to try to fix the problems. yea tht article also stated to make it apparently look like its coming down on you. This is not a good enough fix Disney. They should be up to the status of their name and not just settle! i will be extremely mad if they wont fix it.

From Ty Mullins
Posted September 4, 2008 at 1:14 PM
On my mid-August trip, I noticed the Yeti to be highlighted with a series of strobe lights. I don't recall him moving (then again, I don't recall him not moving). I hope that they fix this, because I do know I did not experience the "swooping" hand motion that made you squirm in your seat.

From steve lee
Posted September 4, 2008 at 7:50 PM
I rode it twice Memorial Day weekend and it appeared to be working just fine. When I read that article on Jim Hill, I remember being completely baffled as to where he was getting his information.

From James Rao
Posted September 8, 2008 at 8:07 AM
I just received confirmation from my friend who is vacationing in Orlando this week: the Yeti is not moving at all. Furthermore, he stated that the "strobe light" effect is very minimal, and does not really simulate movement as intended. Having ridden the coaster previously when the Yeti actually worked, he was very disappointed in the lack of movement. Said it diminished the ride substantially.

Ugh, I just hope Disney doesn't let this $200 million investment go by the wayside. An animatronic Yeti that does not animate, is definitely a downer.

From Tim W
Posted September 10, 2008 at 4:48 PM
yea exactly, disney has the money and ideas that they should fix any problems. this event is very undisney

From James Rao
Posted September 10, 2008 at 6:12 PM
Lasseter and CO. won't let us down. They just need to figure out the best solution for the long term...it may take a few months, but they will get the Yeti back up to speed! If not, they will go find the real Yeti and chain him to the ride! Disney will not be denied!

From Corbin Barker
Posted September 16, 2008 at 11:33 PM
They've been having a lot of problems with the Yeti since at least January. It's hard to work on it because Everest is such a popular ride they can't just shut down the ride and work on it for a couple of days. When I was a CP cast member from January to May, i rode Everest prolly 30 or 40 times, and I saw the yeti in A Show (normal movement mode) between 5 and 10 times.

From James Rao
Posted September 17, 2008 at 5:29 AM
Thanks for the inside scoop, Corbin. When/if you get back to your CM job, you need to impress upon upper mgmt how important a fully functional Yeti is to Everest, and that a few week refurb to fix it is a small price to pay when compared to the greater good it will do!

Also make sure to let them know that if DAK had another major coaster-like attraction...then they could shut Everest down for a short refurb and still have a major coaster-like attraction that is fully operational to placate the masses.

And no, Primeval Whirl does not qualify as a major coaster-like attraction. In fact it does not really qualify as an attraction at all. It is more of a deterrent than anything else!

From Corbin Barker
Posted September 17, 2008 at 11:08 AM
From what i could tell talking to the maintenance ppl back when I was there, it's gonna take a major rehaul of the yeti for it to be completely fixed, which will take some downtime. What they're doing is fixing it at night as much as they can and hoping that holds over until they can come up with something to fix it completely.

From Raul Araoz
Posted September 17, 2008 at 11:48 AM
The problem is not with the animatronic but with the base of the animatronic. Apparently, the force of the lunge is so powerful that it is literally ripping the Yeti from its' base. The ride has to be shut down for a long rehab to shore up the base of the animatronic. So until they can do that, expect the Yeti to be still with a strobe.

From Corey Romberg
Posted September 17, 2008 at 2:59 PM
It is the base that supports the Yeti that is causing the problems, and because of this, Disney has said they wont be able to fix it until the ride is scheduled for a major rehaul...in other words, its gonna take more than a couple days (they are going to have to remove the whole structure that supports the yeti, disconnect him, and do work on the support structure, and then re-install everything), and they arent going to do it until the scheduled time for Everest to undego mateienence comes (all rides need a prolonged downtime to refurb here and there)...so get used to "dance club" yeti for a while

From James Rao
Posted September 17, 2008 at 4:29 PM
"Dance Club Yeti" - that is hilarious! I may never be able to ride my favorite coaster again without laughing hysterically.

Anyone have access to the DAK ride maintenance schedule? If so, bump the Yeti to the top of the list. Dance Club Yeti better be fixed before I return in 2010 or it won't be foundations that crack, but skulls instead!

From Tim W
Posted September 17, 2008 at 4:34 PM
when i ride it in february im gonna laugh if it hasn't been fixed yet...thanks to dance club yeti! Im also gonna want to bust a move as i see it lol.

From Corey Romberg
Posted September 17, 2008 at 7:07 PM
haha, yeah, I went on a Cast Member tour of AK and when we rode Everest, the yeti was in B mode, and in our group were CMs who write the matienence manuals for all the rides, and they said that the manual actually refers to the B mode as "dance club yeti"

From Amanda Jenkins
Posted September 17, 2008 at 10:20 PM
I just rode it a week ago, and sadly the dance club yeti is still on. No movement which was such a letdown for me. I actually bumped heads with the person I was riding with the first time I rode it two years ago for fear of being hit in the head. This truly stinks and makes you worry when and if he will be repaired.

From Brandon Mendoza
Posted September 18, 2008 at 6:19 AM
Yikes! I'd hate to think that there isn't a solution that can be implemented within the next few months. While watching a special on Travel Channel last spring, I was actually thinking about how easy or difficult would maintenance be on EE considering the way the whole mountain was constructed.

I haven't been on this ride yet as I haven't been to WDW is over ten years. I just hope that the Yeti gets fixed (and doesn't have any other side-effects) by 2011 when I plan on visiting!

From P M
Posted September 20, 2008 at 5:47 PM
I spoke with a good friend of mine who worked on the Epedition project. I told him what I had read here. He said they had many problems with the Yeti before he was even placed in the actual ride, there were even doubts on how long it would last because it is such a complex AA. He now longer works for WDI, butI was told by another source that the Yeti is very intermitten, also having not worked for a few months in a row. then off and on again...his fate has still not been determined....according to my sources.

From Corey Romberg
Posted September 20, 2008 at 7:18 PM
It is true that is an extremely complex AA, and it is bound to have some problems, but they cant do without the Yeti, it is the focal point of the ride and most importantly the story of the ride....there is no Expedition Everest without the Yeti...so they'll have to fix the problems when they take him down for rehab

From James Rao
Posted September 21, 2008 at 7:01 AM
If Disney does not fix the Yeti problem, then the $200 million they spent on Expedition Everest is money down the drain. I cannot imagine a scenario where the most narrative coaster of all time loses its main story element. Here in Missouri, we call that a *CHOKE*!

From James Rao
Posted January 6, 2009 at 8:03 AM
An update on our beleaguered "Dance Club Yeti" Yeti from allears.net:

"The Yeti at Expedition EVEREST has been feeling under the weather since last summer, when it was discovered that the huge (22 feet tall!) Audio-Animatronic's movements had caused stress fractures in its anchoring platform. At that time it was downgraded from operating in "A" mode (moving) to "B" mode (stationary, with strobe lighting and fans blowing to simulate movement). For several months it has been awaiting repair, but I've heard that the initial prep work for the rehab has finally begun. When or if it can be restored to its original operation is still to be determined..."

Any DAK insiders able to provide confirmation and/or details?

From Tim W
Posted July 3, 2009 at 6:53 PM
According to wdwmagic.com, The dance club yeti has recently been returned to an A-mode, but a modified A-mode. However, guests don't recognize a difference...

From Anthony Murphy
Posted July 3, 2009 at 9:37 PM
It was B at the end of May.

I actually thought it was scarier

From Rob P
Posted July 4, 2009 at 1:52 AM
The Yeti not moving ??

This is abominable !

From James Rao
Posted July 4, 2009 at 11:30 AM
A friend of mine visited DAK in early June and the Yeti was motionless with a strobe light. Unless something has changed in the last few weeks, that still sounds like B-Mode to me. I hope something has changed, but unless that big, beefy arm is swinging down over the track, the Yeti is still just a strobe light lovin' Dancing Queen.

From John Charlton
Posted July 5, 2009 at 5:37 PM
When I was there in mid-May, the Yeti was still in "disco-strobe B-Mode". It was my first visit to AK, so the ride to me was still a lot of fun, even though I knew ahead of time about the non-funcional arm swing.

From James Rao
Posted July 6, 2009 at 5:16 AM
Screamscape.com is reporting the following: Lots of buzz and rumors about the Yeti at Expedition Everest...I’ve heard elsewhere that this is a new show mode they’ve programmed in for the scene that is a little less harsh on the mechanical side of things, but he...doesn’t quick grab at the train the same way he used to...

Sounds like a band-aide. Hopefully it is not the A-Mode of the future, as any version of the non-moving Yeti is completely unacceptable.

Anyone been to DAK in the past week or so who can elaborate?

From Erica Jayne
Posted November 19, 2009 at 10:27 PM
Just went to the World October 27th through Nov 1st. It was actually my first time there since EE opened. Last time I was there Animal Kingdom had just opened.

Anywho, our first time on Everest and we actually didn't see the Yeti at all. We were one of the first riders and the strobes never tripped. I was mortified from the previews I had seen knowing this massive thing was going to be taking a swipe at me. Real or not I don't want to be hit by something so large and powerful.

Next couple times we went on we experienced B Mode. Which was pretty lame, you could hardly see the thing.

Like everyone else I wish the thing was working, but on the other hand. They have said this thing has the power of a 727. It was exerting so much force in its' movements it cracked its foundation. Could you imagine what could have happened if they hadn't found the crack? If a trainful of passengers going by ACTUALLY did get hit by this thing? LOL. I don't mean to laugh but if this machine continued to run this could have very possibly happened. It would have continued to lean over further and further til it eventually toppled over either injuring people or greatly damaging other portions of the ride.

Yes I agree get the f*ckin thing fixed, but imagine the flack they will get from visitors. Either they close the entire ride down to refurbish, or remove the Yeti all together. Either way people are going to be pissed. I'm sure as of now they are just trying to keep the ride operating.

From James Rao
Posted November 20, 2009 at 4:03 AM
Thanks for the update, Erica, but regardless of the inherent customer service issues related to closing down a headliner attraction, Disney needs to pony up and get the Yeti fixed. It is better to be down for a month or two and emerge shiny and new, than to minimize the main story element of a story-driven ride. Shame on Disney for not engineering the thing better in the first place, and shame on them for letting the problem continue for going on three years without a solution.

And shame on Disney for building a park (DAK) with so few headliner attractions that a single ride closure could become such a huge customer service nightmare. Just think how much easier a few months of Everest downtime would be if something equivalent to IOA's Dueling Dragons was sitting in the once-planned Beastly Kingdom today...

Without vision, people (and theme parks) perish.

From James Rao
Posted May 21, 2010 at 3:36 AM
Paraphrased from Screamscape: As of May 21, 2010, riders on Expedition Everest will encounter a screen completely covering the inanimate Yeti at the end of the course. This screen will be in place until around mid-June as Imagineers attempt to restore some movement to the Yeti's arm and head - not A-Mode lunging, but at least something more than the simulated movement that is taking place today. According to reports, the only way the Yeti will ever be restored to true A-Mode is during an extensive rehab that could take up to six months.

While I still think WDI should bite the bullet and bring the ride down for a true fix, at least this work shows Disney is aware of the problem and willing to do something about it.

If anyone among the TPI faithful is visiting DAK this weekend, let us know how bad this screen looks, please.

From Phil B.
Posted May 21, 2010 at 6:36 AM
Glad to see WDI making an attempt to meet people at least half way with this stop gap fix. As I've said before, this ride will not go down for extended rehah to fix the Yeti until a true, killer E-ticket is added to the park to off set the huge void that would be left by shutting down an attraction as wildly popular as EE. Half a year down would certainly affect AK's attendance. Maybe they could shut it down for the last three and first three months of the year, so October to March, so as to spread out the loss of attendance over two seasons.

From Rob P
Posted May 21, 2010 at 9:25 AM
Now you see the benefit that some of the genuine dark rides have over "hybrids".
They often have two separate tracks so that when one goes "belly up" they can effect repairs while keeping one track in operation.
Sadly this is impossible on something like "Everest". I wonder what results a straw poll on this might produce.
The question would be :
Would you prefer the Yeti to be closed down for 6 months to get it back to full A mode or would you rather them carry out piecemeal remedial work so that the ride isn't interrupted but never brought back to it's full and original glory ?
The choice , as they say, is yours ( or ours ).
Precedents have been set, don't forget, with Space Mountain being closed for months on end. It was inconvenient and very disappointing for visitors during that period ( myself included - twice ! )but was probably worth it in the long run.

From James Rao
Posted May 21, 2010 at 10:15 AM
You know where I stand: close it down and fix it right. There are plenty of other things to do at WDW, one ride down should not kill your vacation, even if it is a headliner.

From Camille Kirk
Posted May 21, 2010 at 10:22 AM
That explains it! We went last summer and I thought the Yeti effect was a bit disappointing. Now I know why! Strobe lights are not nearly as exciting as a big, swooping arm. Too bad we missed A mode.

From Phil B.
Posted May 21, 2010 at 1:05 PM
Yeah, but it would seriously take away from AK. The park as it stands barely has enough there to do for a 9-5 day, shut down EE without a suitable attraction to pick up the slack and the park will feel the effects of it. The lines for EE get insanely long, and assuming that the same amount of people still choose to come to a park whose top dog is down for a lengthy refurb, the overflow for the other rides and their wait times will be painfully long.

I've been there before EE was built, and even before Chester and Hesters Crap-o-Rama was put in. Unless you take the time to explore and enjoy the great exhibits and shows offered, the day ends terribly fast with only a few attractions to ride. Make that FIVE attractions, and one of those is "It's Tough to be a Bug", I'll give you SIX attractions if you wanna include the TricerTop Spin/Dumbo clone. EE's effect on park flow and traffic is immense, and unfortunately, most people don't care about walking through exibits, they want to ride the rides at Disney.

I agree with the mentality of shutting it down and fixing it right. I just don't think it makes for good business. If you shut down a Space Mountain in a park that features Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates, Buzz Light Year, Haunted Mansion as well as countless other top notch attractions and shows, you can absorb the impact of a lengthy refurb for 6 plus months. AK is still very much a young growing park that desperately needs another Marque attraction to offset EE being shut down for so long. There may be plenty to do in ALL of WDW, but when it comes to spending a day in AK, all those other great attractions in the other parks don't amount to squat.

From James Rao
Posted May 21, 2010 at 4:06 PM
Attendance overall would not be impacted as folks would still go to ride Dinosaur, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and see Festival and Nemo. Foot traffic would definitely decrease later in the day after folks finished their initial tour, however that foot traffic is already decreasing today as most folks (fools, I call them) think of DAK as a half-day park. On my two recent visits to the park, once the afternoon parade completed, DAK emptied - even with an open Everest! I honestly don't see a huge impact to overall attendance.

On the flip side, I do see a big boost to attendance once the Yeti reopens in all his glory and splendor. Maybe with some improvements to boot!

Sure, I would love to see DAK get the additional Beastly Kingdom area it so richly deserves to lessen the impact of a closed Everest, but with so much work going on in Fantasyland, can we possibly expect another huge project at DAK as well? WDI just needs to fix the Yeti and fix him right. And they need to do it now, before I plan my next WDW vacation!

From Tony Duda
Posted May 21, 2010 at 4:02 PM
I agree with the huge loss AK will have if EE is shut down for months to get it fixed.

I have a solution. For the duration of the shut-down of EE, give everyone who expended a day of their ticket package on AK a free entry pass to EPCOT for that evening, let's say after 7 pm.

This seems like a great way to appease the disappointed people while not really giving up anything. Most of Future world is closed by then except for the big rides which last until 9 pm or so.

From James Rao
Posted May 24, 2010 at 3:12 AM
Looks like the Screamscape report was a bit premature. Here's an update: ...the reported screen to cover up the Yeti was a "test" to see how it would look and was taken down in less than 24 hours.

So, for now, we are stuck with suck-mode, strobe-light Yeti, at least until some future date when the sheet will once again come out and the band aid work will commence.

From Thomas Furlong
Posted May 25, 2010 at 6:16 PM
I believe I read somewhere that the way EE was built, to fix the yeti foundation would take a very long process. Apparently the mountain, the track, and yeti are not supported by each other at all. The mountain has it's own foundations as well as the track and yeti. I understand the reason a cracked foundation is such a problem for the yeti as they would have to dismantle the supports for the yeti however high they are and try to rebuild the foundation at the bottum at the same time as trying not to interfere with the mountain or track foundations.

From James Rao
Posted May 25, 2010 at 6:41 PM
It will take six months to fix it right. That's the current theory, anyway.

From Phil B.
Posted May 25, 2010 at 6:59 PM
Yeah, it's a well organized mess inside that attraction. I wonder what side of the six months estimate will the repair actually fall on when they do get around to fixing it right.

From Aidan J
Posted October 27, 2010 at 12:58 PM
Hey, I'm a Disney CM and have recently ridden EE. In addition, I have a friend who is a CM at DAK who drives for The Kilimanjaro Safari. He said they STILL have not fixed it, and don't have ANY plans to. However, the sometimes turn it into the modified A mode for special occasions or Disney CM nights. But as of July 2010, still in absolute B mode.

From James Rao
Posted November 1, 2010 at 7:33 PM
One day, years from now, after the fabled Beastly Kingdom has been constructed, and when EE is down for an extended refurb, the Yeti will be restored to its former glory.

I believe these things with all my heart.

Sadly, it has been said that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.

So, what do I know?

From Daryl Edwards
Posted February 17, 2011 at 4:05 PM
Just got an invitation for the anniversary event of this attraction for passholders. Is it still in B-mode?

From Randall Peek
Posted February 17, 2011 at 4:53 PM
I'd read that it was in B-mode for the foreseeable future. Apparently for them to fix it would require an extended period of time, so if it is to be done it will be during an extensive rehab of the ride. Due to the popularity of the attraction and the low number of thrill rides in the park, management is not expected to take the ride down for quite some time.

A real shame, since my family is planning on going to WDW in September, and I was really looking forward to seeing this AA marvel in all its glory...

From James Rao
Posted February 17, 2011 at 11:04 PM
Yep, Randall, that's been the thought since late 2007. Although there are recent rumors about a version of the Yeti where the arm swings independent of the rest of the body. While not a long term solution, some movement is much better than what we have today.

Such a shame to see a wonderful ride in such a sorry state.

From Terri Pierce
Posted February 18, 2011 at 11:01 PM
See it in all its glory? Heck half our party missed it completely! I was looking up the whole time waiting for it but if you blinked it was gone. Later when we went back to reride it was shut down and people had to be let off the ride. There was a train at the top of the hill and everyone was standing around watching them get out of their cars. I can't even imagine what that was like. It was down for the rest of the day.

From James Rao
Posted February 19, 2011 at 6:03 PM
Terri, having experienced both the original moving Yeti, and the current Crap-Mode Yeti, I understand your doubts. But, trust me, the whole coaster used to be focused on one event: your up close and personal encounter with the Yeti. It was the exclamation point of the ride, and it was very impressive.

The current version of Expedition Everest, while still a fun ride, is a vastly diminished experience without its main aesthetic element.

R.I.P. old friend.
Expedition Everest's Yeti - Before B-Mode

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