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Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain - Part Two

In Part One, I gave you a brief history as to how Expedition Everest came into being. Today I'm going to discuss the queue and ride.

Our story actually begins on the other side of Discovery River. Just beyond the Yak & Yeti Restaurant is a clearing and temple. Here you'll find an Information sign describing the mountain range in the distance. Each peak is named and elevations given. The middle peak is labeled Forbidden Mountain and is said to be the legendary home of the yeti.


Mountain Range Plaque

Forbidden Mountain Plaque

Next to this sign is a temple. If you study it carefully, you'll notice that its shape matches the mountains in the background. In addition, the center temple (Forbidden Mountain) contains a representation of the yeti which has been adorned by the local inhabitants.


Forbidden Mountain Temple

Forbidden Mountain Temple Yeti


If you approach Expedition Everest from Dinoland U.S.A., you'll discover tea growing on the slopes of the mountains. More tea can be found around the village of Serka Zong. In years past, this area was a thriving tea plantation complete with steam trains to transport the crops to nearby Anandapur. Several of the buildings were once used for the processing of the tea as can be seen by a sign located in what is now the Yeti Museum.


Tea Crop on Mountain Slope

Tea Warehouse


However, for some mysterious reason, the plantation was shuttered and the trains stopped running. Rumors abound that the yeti played a part in the plantation's demise and locals have erected a number of shrines to appease the creature.


Yeti Shrine

Yeti Shrine

Yeti Shrine


Years after the closing of the plantation, Norbu and Bob came along and opened Himalayan Escapes " Tours and Expeditions. They refashioned a number of the plantation buildings to suit their new business and rerouted the train to take adventure seekers to the base of Mount Everest where they would be dropped off to make their final ascent of the mountain by foot.


Himalayan Escapes


Your adventure begins in the booking office. This building was once the headquarters for the Royal Anandapur Tea Company. Here you'll find secondhand furniture and equipment as supplies are expensive in this remote area. Also pay attention to the board mounted on the back wall. All of the recent tours are listed and their current status and position are noted.


Booking Office Exterior

Booking Office Interior

Expedition Tracking Board


Once outside the booking office, the desolation of the land becomes apparent. Shrubbery is sparse and a dry riverbed can be seen running between the buildings. Also notice the prayer flags waving in the breeze. These pennants are used to promote wisdom, strength, compassion, and peace. As the wind slowly unravels the fabric, the threads are carried to heaven and these benefits rain down and help all.


Outside the Booking Office

Prayer Flags


Signs have been posted from the booking office to the train depot to make sure your tour group stays together and doesn't get lost.


Expedition Group Signs


Next visitors pass by the Yeti Mandir. A Mandir is a Hindu temple that is usually dedicated to one deity -- in this case, the yeti. The ringing of the surrounding bells is one way worshipers show respect to the deity. It's at this point that tourists start to wonder if the legend of this mythical creature just might be true.


Mandir Pogoda

Mandir Sign

Yeti Shrine

Yeti Shrine

Mandir Bells


While admiring the Mandir, be sure to pay attention to the intricate carvings found throughout the structure.


Mandir Carvings

Mandir Carvings

Mandir Carvings


At Tashi's Trek and Tongba Shop you can pick up the supplies you'll need for your climb to the top of Everest. As the sign says, “We provide the finest in mountaineer equipments for all needs new and used.”


Tashi's Trek and Tongba Shop Sign

Tashi's Trek and Tongba Shop

Tashi's Trek and Tongba Shop


From the supply shop you enter what was once a warehouse that stored the tea waiting to be shipped to Anandapur. With the help of Professor Pema Dorje Phd., Norbu and Bob have converted this space into an elaborate Yeti Museum that features a collection of artifacts that present both legend and purported facts about this creature.


Yeti Museum Sign

Yeti Museum

Yeti Museum

Yeti Museum


Be sure to pay extra attention to the “Mystery of the Lost Expedition” exhibit. These artifacts were retrieved from the slopes of the mountain and leave little doubt as to what happened to these adventurers.


Mystery of the Lost Expedition

Mystery of the Lost Expedition

Mystery of the Lost Expedition

Mystery of the Lost Expedition

Mystery of the Lost Expedition


As you approach the train platform, pictures of your staff line the wall. Under each photo you'll find their title and job function. For example, it's the responsibility of the Expedition Leaders to organize the food, supplies, and gear, select team members, and monitor their health and well-being. The Porter carries equipment and food weighing in excess of 125 pounds.


Train Station

Expediton Leaders

Porter


If you would like to ride at the front of the train, just tell the cast member who is directing guests to their seats. You will be asked to step aside and wait in another line. Personally, I don't see the front of the train adding any additional thrill so if this second line is long, I'd just sit where directed.

After boarding the old converted tea train and securing the lap restraint, your journey begins. With a toot of the whistle, the train pulls out of the station and passes a siding before easing down a slight dip in the track. It then begins a small climb as you hear the sounds of birds native to Nepal.


Secure in Your Seat

The Journey Begins

The First Incline


The train glides down another hill as you pass beside a waterfall and underneath an old trestle. The track straightens out for a few moments as you cross the lowlands that surround the mountain chain. Once again, the arid nature of the area is noticeable by the sparse placement of the plant life.


Tracks and Waterfall

Overhead Trestle

Straight Track


After another hairpin turn, the train starts up a steep incline. To the left is a ceremonial stairway leading to an ancient fortress. As the train passes through a tunnel beneath this citadel, ceremonial drums, gongs, and low churning horns can be heard. Overhead on the back wall is a fresco of the Yeti, guardian of the Forbidden Mountain.


Incline to Fortress

Fortress

Yeti Fresco


As we exit the tunnel the train whistle blows and we discover we're high above the ground on the old trestle seen earlier and remember that Serka Zong means “fortress of the chasm.” Off to our right is a stunning view of this charming village and Discovery River. Ahead are the inhospitable mountains beckoning us forward.


Trestle

Serka Zong and Discovery River

Inhospitable Mountains


Across the 110 foot high trestle we cross a mountain crest and speed downhill along a curve and into an ice cavern.


Ice Valley

Ice Cave


On the other side of the cavern the train speeds up a sharp incline and comes to an abrupt stop. It seems that the track ahead has been ripped up, preventing us from going forward.


Emerging from the Ice Cave

No Track Ahead


Sitting in the front seat of the train affords the rider with a spectacular view of Walt Disney World. However, for me, this breaks the storyline of being high in the Himalayan Mountains and I usually avoid this seat.


View from the top of Everest


The train sits perched for several moments on this precarious slope. Overhead, prayer flags flap in the wind. To the side of the cars, large footprints and claw marks can be seen in the snow. At the same time, gravity is tugging on the train whose brakes are not equipped to handle this sort of stress. Soon the train begins to shake and rumble and eventually, the brakes fail. The cars begin to move backwards, picking up speed as they travel back into the ice cave. But this is not the same route that was used to ascend the peak. We now find ourselves hurtling in reverse deep within the mountain. Eventually, we come to a second stop within a large cavern. On the wall before us we can see the shadow of the Yeti ripping up more track.


Shadow of the Yeti


A few moments later, the train reverses directions again and starts moving forward down an eighty foot hill, reaching a speed of fifty miles per hour. The train passes through a bamboo forest then races up the other side of the mountain and disappears into another cave.


Leaving the Cave

Down the Hill We Go

At the Bottom of the Mountain

Back Inside the Mountain


Emerging on the other side of the mountain, the train spirals upwards through another forest before plunging back into the cave and darkness. As the track straightens out, we see the actual Yeti perched on a ledge above us, reaching out to grab anyone within his reach.


Racing Through the Forest

The Yeti Attacks


Narrowly escaping the Yeti's clutches, the train rumbles forward and out into the open once again. Fortunately, the Serka Zong Station and safety are close at hand.


Back at Serka Zong Station


After exiting the train, you enter Serka Zong Bazaar, a shop set up by the townsfolk to cash in on the tourist trade. Besides the normal souvenir purchases, a number of handicraft items are on display.


Serka Zong Bazaar

Serka Zong Bazaar

Serka Zong Bazaar

Serka Zong Bazaar


Outside the Bazaar is a large courtyard and wonderful spot for taking a few pictures of the mountains. Be sure to look at the scenery on the other side of the wall. You'll see more yeti shrines and a dry riverbed created by the spring runoff.


Courtyard

Dry Riverbed

Yeti Shrine


Expedition Everest is an extremely popular attraction. If you want to ride, I suggest making this one of your first stops of the morning. FastPass and a Single Rider Line are available. Children must be 44” in height to ride. Guests in wheelchairs must transfer to the train. Near the Single Rider Line is a mockup of the Special Needs train seat and transfer instructions.


Special Needs Seat

Special Needs Seat Instructions


I have created a seven minute video of Expedition Everest. However, I've done more than just film the ride. I tried to capture the surrounding area and recreate the “feel” the Imagineers were trying to convey. Enjoy.



The previous post in this blog was Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain - Part One.

The next post in this blog is D Street Grand Opening at Downtown Disney.

Comments (52)

Emma:

Fantastic article... thank you!

Just wondering - the bells around the temple in the queue.... is it true that if you ring each one in sequence, it plays a classic Disney song? Maybe 'When you wish upon a star' or 'It's a Small World'...

Really impressed by the on-ride photos you have taken too!

Jack's Answer:

I have not heard this about the bells. Nor did I come across this information during my research. But that doesn't mean it isn't true. If anyone else can shed some light on this, please let us know.

Kimberly:

Jack -- Wow! Another great blog! How on Earth did you get such clear photos and steady video during the ride???? I have a hard enough time being able to look around and enjoy things while I am riding!!! Thanks for a descriptive and interesting background on Expedition Everest!

Jack's Answer:

I use a Nikon D-80 camera. I can take pictures in "burst" mode which allows me to take multiple pictures every second. So by the time I finished riding Everest, I had well over a hundred pictures. All were pretty good, but I only published the best.

Phil:

This is my kids favorite ride at Disney and you did it justice with your blog, good job. One question though, do you know what happened to the bird(hawk/eagle?) that origninally appeared when you stopped at the top of the mountain?
Thanks

Jack's Answer:

I have never heard anything official, but this is my guess... Everyone I know thought the bird looked cheap and fake. It had become a joke. I suspect that the Imagineers caught wind of this and removed the bird.

Betty:

Great Piece!
I was just there in December and I loved the shrine emulating the mountains beyond.
I have never mentioned to you before, I really appreciate the details you go into about the queue. Being in the profession of Architecture, I have always been fascinated about the wonderful details Disney immerses you in. One of the reasons I went into this business!
Keep up the good work!

Ashley Wilson:

Jack, this is an incredible description of the line and ride! I can't wait to go back and really take the time to notice all of these details. Once again you have made me want to slow down and "take everything in!" Thank you!

Ethan Shuster:

Nice overview of the ride, Jack! While I enjoyed the engineering and impressive design of this coaster, I have to admit I'm a little cowardly when it comes to some intense rides. I know there are "worse" coasters than this, EE was a little bit much for me! :)

I like to think that the pause at the broken track where you're just hanging there is a psychological moment. It's as if the imagineers intention is for you to realize that, yep, they're gonna drop you backwards!

Josh:

hey jack
loved part 2 and the movie. as i said earlier this is one of my favorite attractions at AK. I am always willing to wait a little longer in the stand-by line just to see all of the cool stuff in the mueseum that you miss if you are in the fast pass line. the story of the yeti is amazing and it is shown exceptionally well in the ride. Disney did a great job with it. can't wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

Jack - thanks for the great blog and video. This is one of my favorite rides and marvel at the attention to detail I love when you go through the little tunnel at the top of the hill and hear the chimes and music. That moment for me is when I get totally sucked in to the ride experience.

Nicki Selley:

Just BRILLIANT! So atmospheric! Thank you, thank you. Maybe I'll do it next time!

Tony:

Wonderful blog Jack, I'm always impressed with the amount of research you put into these blogs.
EE is one our all time favorite rides. On our last trip, my sons rode it 8 times!

I have a question about the Beastly Kingdom, I have heard rumors that at the time that BK was put on hold, Disney let go of several Imagineers after the completion of AK and subsequently they went to Universal and built the dragon ride. Disney did not want to "copy cat" the ride (although it was their idea first) and they were not happy that former employees took information to a competitor. Is there any truth to this or is it just another myth created by internet postings?

Jack's Answer:

While doing research for this article, I did read that some of the Imagineers that had been let go from Disney and had gone to Universal (Islands of Adventure) and helped with this design. And if you've ever seen the Lost Continent section of Islands of Adventure, it looks very much like you'd imagine Beastly Kingdom looking. However, I have never read anything "official" to support this rumor. But if it is true, it's certainly nothing that Disney would admit to. So I'm afraid I can't substantiate or deny this rumor.

Tyler:

Great blog Jack. by far one of the most interesting queues you will ever stand in at WDW. By the way, is that a hidden Mickey i see made out of thumbtacks on the Expedition board?

Jack's Answer:

My opinion is this is not a hidden Mickey. The reason I say this is because all three thumbtacks are the same size. I believe in order to be a hidden Mickey the head must be larger than the ears. But Steve Barrett is the Allears hidden Mickey expert. Perhaps you need to ask him. :-)

Jennifer Horst:

Jack~ Wow! Super job with the video!! You did a great job blending the different videos and adding the music! I think Everest is one of my favorites... the theme, the visuals, the details, well done. I have never noticed the tea bushes before, I will look the next time we go. Thanks for another great blog!!

Kevin:

Another fantastic post, and one knockout of a video. Expedition Everest is one of my favorite attractions at WDW, not simply because I love roller coasters, but also because I love the theming and the detail work that went into making it. The way you outlined all of this - from the areas leading up to the queue (I had noticed the tea crops but didn't know what they were) to the fact that the gift shop behaves as an organic extension to the ride - is phenomenal.

But special mention should be made for this video, perhaps your best yet. I loved the angles you chose, the way you showed things from different perspectives, as well as the excellent editing. I'd be hard-pressed to find anyone's videos as thorough and engaging as yours. Not to mention the music!

Thanks again. Now, how about America Sings?

Adam Grun:

You have outdone yourself my friend! What an awesome follow up to your first one. It is truly the finest queue in all of parks. I am ancious to see the Indiana Jones one in Disneyland. And thank you for the video. It was awesome! I am video guy myself and appreciate the time and hardwork it took to put into that video. Thank you for a great article!! Can't wait to see the next one.

Karen:

Another great blog!
It felt like I was back in line again! Last August we got "stuck" inside the supply shop due to rain, so I had alot of time to explore. If you look into the cabinet against the back wall (the one ropes hang above with colored bags on top)- if you look behind the top right pane of glass you can see furry Yeti dolls - but there's a special one there wearing Mouse Ears! (or at least he was that day).
Thanks for bringing back a great memory from a perpetual wait in line!
Karen

Bill:

Well done Jack. I want to point out something that I noticed very few have observed while in the queue line. You will notice in your photo that shows the canned goods cabinet inside Tashi's Trek and Tongba Shop, there are some little white fuzzy things in the top right shelf. Those are cute stuffed toy Yeti's. What many people don't notice is that one of them has Mickey ears on his head. Perhaps a hidden Mickey?

Jack's Comment:

You're absolutely right. There is a "hidden Mickey" yeti in the case. There is another hidden Mickey made out of lens caps in the glass counter. But since Steve Barrett (the Hidden Mickey book author) is part of the Allears team, I usually don't point these out as I don't want to stray into his territory. But if my readers want to point them out, well GREAT!

Tricia:

WOW!! Great blog. Makes me want to catch a ride. Which I will in three days.

Edgar:

Does the Fast Pass line goes through the full queue or only the regular line? I think I read the answer in a comment above. Also, is there an exit for people who do not wish to ride but experience the queue? Anybody? Thanks. Jack, great job.

Jack's Answer:

The FastPass line is completely separate from the regular line and only passes a small (different) "gear" shop. This line pales by comparison.

Yes, there is a "chicken exit" for those who wish to stand in the regular line but don't wish to ride.

Michelle Schaefer:

Wow! Your blogs are always the best of the bunch...you always add so much to these rides...history, details...its fantastic! But the video with this ride takes the cake for sure...if there were Oscars handed out for videos of this sort, you would be taking home a golden statue for this one!! It totally speaks of how sound editing plays such a huge role! The music you put into the video made it almost a spiritual experience...it makes you feel like everything there is real and you're on a true life expedition...thank you for that!!
And for those readers that don't think they can stomach the ride for real, your video is the next best thing. Kudos again...you went above and beyond this time...AMAZING!

Jack's Comments:

I very much appreciate your comments about my video. Most people don't realize that most all of the sound you hear has been added by me. The only "authentic" sound you here on this video are the screams -- which I softened to lessen their distraction. Even the waterfall sound was added by me once I got home.

I take great pride in my videos and it's nice to know my efforts are valued.

Diane:

Hi Jack,
Great blog! I actually felt chilly listening to the wind sound effects and seeing the prayer flags flap in the breeze. The queue looks fabulous in your photos. I have never seen it myself because I'm not a coaster person, and have avoided walking into this attraction. Is there a chicken exit for people like me who'd like to see the queue but want out just before taking the actual ride?

Jack's Answer:

Even if you don't intend to ride, you should experience the queue with your family and friends. It is worth your while. And yes, there is a chicken exit.

Leah Parodi:

Jack,
Super photos! In one photo we saw the wait time at the rides entrance as 10 minutes...what time of year did you go?

Jack's Answer:

I shot this video about three weeks about. However, I shot it first thing in the morning. At this time, there is virtually no line.

Karen:

Jack you have done another great blog! To be honest, I have spent a whole lazy afternoon reading your past blogs because of your amazing attention to detail.

Any idea or have you heard when they are looking to fix the Yeti? I haven't seen it in A mode and am hoping its back to that state by the time I go down in October.

Jack's Answer:

I have not heard a thing about when the Yeti will be fixed. But I'm sure Disney is hesitant to close Everest for an extended period with the summer season coming up. I can't imagine anything happening until fall or later.

Liz:

Thanks Jack! My husband and I raced through this queue Feb. '08 as my mother was watching my daughter. When we got off, she was asleep in the stroller, so I slowly walked back through the queue and took my time. My husband is a big Everest fan, and we both really enjoyed all the artifacts and detail. Thanks for telling the complete backstory too. It's by far one of the best queues Disney has.

Thanks for all the great photos and details, Jack! Confession: I've only gone through the standby line once, during the very first time I rode Everest in 2006. It's been FastPass ever since. Clearly, there are so many details that I've missed. Perhaps I'll have to spend some quality time in the standby line when I'm there in June.

Susan:

Jack, Another great blog on Expedition Everest. It's always my first stop at Animal Kingdom. Someone asked about the bird at the top of the mountain. It is still there. I rode EE twice this past Sunday, April 11 and the bird was definitely there and working. Perhaps it only works sometimes as this was the first time I'd seen it in a long while. Personally, I like it and was glad to see it back. Looking forward to your next blog.

Jack's Comment:

I have ridden EE at least two dozen times in the last year and have not seen the bird. In fact, that's why I didn't mention him in my blog. I assumed he had been removed. Thanks for bringing me up to date.

Susan Albert:

Thanks for the ride. I am much too scared to ever go on but now I feel like I've seen it. Loved the wind sounds.

Jack's Comment:

I totally understand that EE is not for everyone. I was hoping my video would allow people like you to experience the ride without actually riding it. However, next time you visit the Animal Kingdom, you should stand in line for EE with your family and friends then take the Chicken Exit. You'll be glad you did.

Carrie Rampy:

Jack,

Excellent blog as usual. I was wondering, what type of camera and video camera you shoot?

Jack's Answer:

My still camera is a Nikon D80 with a Nikkor 18-200 zoom lens.

My video camera is a Sony Hi Def HDR XR500V.

jason:

Jack
Since you said you rode Expedition Everest many times, how long is the part that goes backwards? Does it go upside down? I still haven't rode this ride because of this part. I don't want to get sick!!

Jack's Answer:

Expedition Everest does NOT go upside down. However, when riding backwards, you almost feel as if you might. I would guess the backwards portion is between 20-30 seconds. I NEVER try to talk people into riding attractions that they think might make them sick. Nausea can ruin a perfect day. I hate Space Mountain because it is too jerky for me. However, I love EE and Rock 'N' Roller Coaster. Both are smooth so my tummy can endure one ride an hour. :-)

Cindy:

Another great blog! The Imagineers are getting so good at designing the queues you almost hate to get a Fastpass because you'll miss too much.

Lasto:

It is no mystery why your blogs have so many comments. Another great job, Jack! Thanks for letting me re-live a great attraction.

Joan Feder:

Dear Jack,

I look forward to every installment of your blog, but this one blew me away. We just got a new HD TV with video streaming ( i think that's what it's called) and we used it to watch your Everest video on youtube. It sounds cliche, but it was really just like being there. The sound you added really "plussed" the whole experience. You have a terrific talent.

Thanks again for sharing the magic.

Joan

JBranton:

This is mine and my husband's favorite ride at Disney. The first time he rode it, he told me the line was very long, but there was so much to look at that he was glad it was. He really loved all the detail that was put into it.

Loved the pictures and I'll have to watch the video and share this with him when we get home tonight. Thanks!!

Alison Crutchfield:

AWESOME!

That was an amazing report, and fantastic video. Thanks for the effort you put into it.
You've done a beautiful job both describing the attraction, as well as explaining many parts of it that I - sadly - never paid attention to as I ran through the queue during Extra Magic Hour.

I will share it with all of my Disney World fan friends.

Thanks again!

David:

Jack -

Another great article.

In regards to the question about the bird at the top of the mountain, it's still there. I saw it both times when I rode the ride last week. I thought it looked like an owl.

Anne Heriot:

My kids and I have always been too afraid to ride EE. We are returning in Jan 2011 with my kids now 14 & 16. They were going to give this a go for the first time and I was going to chicken out but thanks to your great blog I think that I will give it a go too. Hey you only live once right. We love Big Thunder and Splash Mountain but always thought this was a bit too much for us. We shall have to wait and see. Thanks for a great blog.

Jack's Comment:

Your kids are definitely old enough to enjoy Expedition Everest (or at least give it a try). I think if you and your family like Space Mountain (and even more so, Rock 'N' Roller Coaster), then you should have no problem on EE.

Steve Smith:

Great blog and video! This definitely raises the bar. All the info on the details makes me appreciate the imagineers work even more and you are to be commended for your thorough research along with the cinematography. That term seldom should be applied to internet videos, but it fits here.

Emily:

Jack,
Thanks for this! To your comment about the front seat... I think the scariest seat on this ride is the last seat! The first time we ever rode this, we were afraid of the front and so chose the back. Oops... it is way scarier!

Thanks again so much for this. Your blog makes the pain of being away from "home" a little easier!

Emily

Jack's Comment:

I'm in total agreement with you. I think the further back you sit on EE the better the experience.

Laura:

Jack,
Your blog and the subsequent comments made for very enjoyable reading. This is my favorite ride at AK. My 6 year old loves it too. We always use Fastpass and get them for our whole group - even those not riding. This allows us to take him on twice in a row. He rode for the first time when he was 5 and he was hooked. I think this ride is so smooth and doesn't give me the head banging headache that the Rock & Roll Roller Coaster does. Plus it's a really good length. Always worth any wait. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

Ron Stalsberg:

Thanks for another great blog and video Jack. The video was really great. I felt like I was really there while watching it. It's amazing all the work that Disney does in creating a ride. This is what sets Disney apart from all the others. When we were there this past December we rode it 5 times in an hour. Next time were going to go for 6 times.

Trisha Johnson:

Jack,
Thanks for the great stories. I never noticed the mountain range details before but will look for them now. Keep up the great work!

Diane Fehring:

Jack, After watching your Tower of Terror video, I was so tempted to eat my dessert first and skip right to your EE video, then go back to your blog but I held back and built up the suspense just like the actual ride itself. What can I say that the others havn't already. It's great! The next best thing to actually being at WDW is reading one of your blogs and watching one of your videos. For all you ride chickens, repeat after me, "it's Disney, it's perfectly safe", this is what I say to myself over and over before I tackle a ride that I feel might be too intense. By the way Jack, I'm with you on Space Mountain, too jerky. The one at Disneyland is way better. 2 more weeks and I'm in the World! I'll be watching for that bird!

Clare C.:

Wonderful blog and video, as always. Being a cautious type, I always remove my glasses before riding EE. Your photos and video helped me to really "see" EE for the first time. Thanks for clearing up the mystery of the non-moving yeti also. Even with my glasses off, I could tell in January that the yeti was not his usual active self.
Can't wait for your next ride.

Juli Williamson:

Hi Jack
Another great blog, as with your description of Tower of Terror this has given me the courage to try the ride. I'm not a fan of big roller coasters but hate feeling I've missed some great Disney detail unless the ride really is too much for me. My kids saying "it's fine, no big drops" doesn't exactly convince me but your detailed descriptions mean I know what to expect and how severe the speed and drops really are.

Kacie:

What a great blog. You make my time away from Disney more bearable. I do have a question for you that I am not able to find anywhere. When my family visited Disney World in December I enjoyed Expedition Everest very much. I thought is was thrilling but not too extreme. My husband on the other hand thought it was very scary (since we used rider swap we didn't ride it together). I rode EE 3 more times and I just thought my husband was being a wimp. Then on the last time riding EE is seemed much more extreme that the previous 4 times. The time backwards seemed to last longer and faster and although I know the ride doesn't have an inversion it sure felt like it did. Is there 2 different versions of this ride or is it all about where you sit? Thanks.

Jack's Answer:

There is only one variation of this ride. That's it. But I do think that the intensity can be different based on your mood, nerves, and anticipation. I guess one ride might be a little faster than another depending on the weight of the people riding. The heavier the load, it might go a little faster. But I doubt that this would be noticible to the average guest.

Also, the ride is rougher in the very back as you get more of a fishtail action.

Andrea Greco:

Great video Jack!! I love the last scene it is so beautiful!!!

Dorit:

Hey Jack,

Just wanted to say thank you so much for all your amazing posts - the research/background, the descriptions and the videos. All are great ! I live in Israel, so can only visit every decade or so... but you make WDW alive and accessible across the internet. Thank you so much for that!

Marco:

Please don't take this the wrong way--this is one of my favorite attraction in the World, definitely in my top ten...but...the Yeti effect as it currently exists is pretty weak. They really need to get it fixed so that, even if a fleeting glimpse, the effect is more impactful. As some have suggested, often you can ride this wonderfully themed attraction and not even see Yeti. Otherwise, a tremendous trip!

Jen:

AWESOME. Thank you so much. My daughter is nervous to go on this ride. I can't wait to have her read your article and watch the video. Hopefully she will go on it with the rest of the family!

Hey Jack,

This blog was wonderful! EE is one of my favorite attractions at WDW because of the theming, which you highlighted.

I will look for the tea plants and the temple in the shape of the mountain range on my next visit. The details of Disney never cease to fascinate me!

Your video was excellent, too! I loved how you toned down the screams. It gave the ride an eerie feeling. The music was perfect, too. Well done!

Last thing: Aren't the front and back seats equally thrilling? You're whipped around during the ride in both seats. The front seat remains my favorite. No heads blocking my view! ;)

-Kirstin

Hermes Chiong:

Thanks for another great blog, Jack.
Even though the story is pretty clear, there were some details about it that I did not know.
To me, this attraction has the best theming and immersive storytelling at WDW since Tower of Terror. Needless to say, Joe Rohde is the Imagineer I admire the most, AK in general has maintained the highest standards of theming of all 4 parks, in my opinion.
Thanks again for filling in the rest of the story for me!

Hermes

Hermes Chiong:

You got my nomination for sound editing for this video!

Hermes

mark:

wonderful blog on this excellent ride, i was wondering what is the music on and around expedition Everest as well as Asia and Kali river rapids, would also love to find the chimes and bells as you go through the temple on the final lift hill...if i can find this on i-tunes that would be awesome indeed, thank you

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 14, 2010 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain - Part One.

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