Expedition Everest is a steel roller coaster located at Walt Disney World Resort’s Animal Kingdom. This is currently the only Disney park you’ll find this attraction. At first glance, you may be reminded of Disneyland’s Matterhorn.
You will board a steam train (formerly used to transport harvest tea leaves) in the village of Serka Zong and swiftly be on your way to the base camp of Mount Everest. To shave some time (and add to the ride’s plot line) the train takes a shortcut through the “Forbidden Mountain” – which is heavily guarded by the yeti. As you speed along the track you can spot more evidence of the Yeti. When you enter the cavern on the first big incline you’ll spot artifacts and carvings that remind you who/what you may encounter on this ride.
Everything seems to be going fine – until suddenly, the train comes to a halt. What’s that up ahead? Broken tracks? What could have caused that?! Now your train is plummeting backwards in the dark at full speed! Finally the train finds a passageway out of the mountain. Is that the Yeti ripping apart more tracks? The train takes off (forward again, this time) for one last cave and one final encounter with the Yeti. Don’t forget to smile nice when the train exits the mountain, you’ll have your photo snapped here.
The Yeti audio-animatronic is the largest and most complex figure ever built by the Walt Disney Imagineers. It measures over 25 feet tall and has been stuck in “B” mode since a few months after the ride opened in 2006. This creature is completely stationary but a strobe light is used to give it the illusion of movement. There are many rumors surrounding exactly WHY the Yeti is broken as well as if it will ever be repaired.
You’ll find a stand-by, Fastpass+ and single rider line at this attraction. It is also worthy to note that once you reach the boarding platform there is a line reserved for those who would like to sit in the front seat of the train. This is a ride that is worth riding stand-by at least once so you can check out the queue. Heavily themed with artifacts from Nepal, you will find yourself entertained by the “Yeti Musuem” while you wait in this queue.
This is hands-down my very favorite ride at any of the Disney parks. I will happily stand in line for this one all day (and sometimes do – I once rode it 6 times in a row!) You can find me holding up the line reading about the Yeti and I still don’t think I have seen everything in the “museum”. I love everything from the tea garden and bells in the queue to the gift shop at the exit. Do I scream when I see the Yeti? Yes!
If I had to pick a favorite roller coaster at Disney, Expedition Everest would be it. This coaster is definitely one of the most thrilling rides in the parks. I absolutely love the fact that you can see all the other parks from the apex of the mountain. There are plenty of cool Yeti related items to look at while you are waiting in line. Everything is so detailed too. It makes you feel like you are going on a real adventure. I am not sure if my favorite part is the dead end track or the part where you found out how it got that way. Either way I feel the need to wear my Yeti T shirt every time I head to Animal Kingdom, just so everyone knows how much I enjoy it.
- Be sure to get a FastPass+ for this attraction to avoid longer wait times during the busy season.
- If you want to ride in the front of the car – ask the cast member near the front of the line.
- Your photo will be taken as you exit the mountain (after the Yeti sighting), so smile!