Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom

Florida Guide > Disney Parks

This was my first opportunity to sample the new ride in Animal Kingdom since its opening just a couple of months or so earlier.

Many of the guests during my visit, it seemed, were like-minded and although I arrived at 10.30am the stand-by wait was already in excess of 70 minutes. So I elected for the ‘Fastpass’ option and returned at 1.30 pm in eager anticipation of something special.

The theme surrounds the various Everest expeditions over the years but its main feature centers on the infamous Yeti. There are several interesting exhibits within the queuing line chronicling man’s endeavours at climbing the world’s highest mountain, but it’s the mystery surrounding the existence of the Yeti that commands the greatest attention.

After entering the car you ascend up through a rock fortress that guards the mountain, then the main climb to the “roof of the world” begins. Here the views over Animal Kingdom and beyond to the Swan and Dolphin Hotels, Epcot and the Tower of Terror are truly breathtaking.

Journeying onwards through ice fields and with the summit almost attained the way forward is suddenly blocked by the marauding Yeti and the tracks ahead have been ripped from the ground. The only option of escape is to go back.

After a few moments the car suddenly plunges backwards at great speed, reversing through ice tunnels in total darkness, sharply twisting and turning as it goes, with the roar of the Yeti ringing in your ears. After what seems like an eternity the car comes to a grinding halt…time to get your breath back for just a moment or two. Escape from the Yeti is still some way off…….the car lurches forward over a death defying drop, bringing screams of fear from its occupants and then twists around the mountain at high velocity in an attempt to break free from the pursuing beast. We speed onwards through glaciers and walls of ice until a small window of opportunity to finally get clear presents itself. We make it out of the mountain, but only just, and not before the Yeti makes one last desperate attempt to take us out.

To sum up, the ride is very similar in style to that of the Thunder Mountain Railroad in Magic Kingdom but with far more creativity, better effects, steeper drops, sharper turns and, not forgetting, that high speed reverse motion which is so disorienting. A great ride…not be missed.

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