Disney's Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest

Roller Coaster - 44 inches to ride
★ ★ ★

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Expedition Everest is a high-speed roller coaster through Disney’s version of the Himalayan mountains. Needless to say, "something goes terribly wrong" on your scheduled peaceful mountain tour, and your train will reach a max speed of 50 mph, moving forwards — and backwards — while being pursued by the fierce guardian of the mountain, the Yeti (aka, "the abominable snowman").

Expedition Everest uses a track from coaster manufacturer Vekoma. Its trains carry 34 passengers and are designed to look like old steam-engine tea trains, with the mock engine in the rear of the coaster. Expedition Everest has no inversions and uses a simple lap bar system to keep its riders in place. The train seats two people per row, but each guest has his or her own lap bar to ensure a snug fit.

At one time, the massive Yeti animatronic inside the mountain would swing its huge arm at your passing train, making for one of the most impressive practical effects in any Disney theme park. But the Yeti has been broken for years, leading Disney’s Imagineers to create an illusion of movement through the use of strobe lighting on the Yeti figure. That’s prompted some disillusioned fans to rename the beast “Disco Yeti.” Still, the ride remains a favorite, even if its star no longer actually attacks you.

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Reviews of Expedition Everest

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Among the very best of its type anywhere
Above average, but not quite the very best
Below average, but not among the worst
Among the bottom 25 percent of its type

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One of Disney's best themed roller coasters, this would be one of the world's top theme park attractions if the Yeti animatronic still worked. But even with the Yeti busted, it's still a fun ride with some great moments.

Absolutely fantastic! Once you enter the queue, the immersion doesn't end until you've left the exit. Even without the Yeti operating as intended, the exhilaration of this one-of-a-kind coaster cannot be diminished.

Expedition Everest is an expertly themed and thrilling attraction worthy of the Disney moniker, as well as proof positive that a ride doesn't have to be the biggest, fastest, tallest, or longest to be a fantastic roller coaster. However, due to the fact that the main narrative element of this story-driven ride is currently inoperable (the huge, animatronic Yeti who represents the climax of the attraction no longer animates due to a busted platform) I am forced to drop Everest out of my personal top 15. Fix the Yeti, Disney, and this attraction once again becomes the greatest themed roller coaster on the planet.

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