New Avalanche Of Thrills: Expedition Everest

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One of America’s newest thrill attractions takes visitors on a high-speed runaway train adventure through the Himalayas, leading to an encounter with the legendary yeti.


New Avalanche Of Thrills: Expedition Everest

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One of America’s newest thrill attractions takes visitors on a high-speed runaway train adventure through the Himalayas, leading to an encounter with the legendary yeti.

The ride, Expedition Everest at Walt Disney World Resort, provides chills and thrills for Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests, but you wouldn’t dare call it a “roller coaster.”

You definitely don’t want to use the “c” word-coaster-around Joe Rohde, Executive Designer and Vice President, Creative, for Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), who, with other Imagineers, spent years researching the legend of the yeti to add authenticity to the attraction’s storyline.

“Expedition Everest is not like a roller coaster in the traditional sense,” Rohde says. “It’s so much more than that. While it is an intense thrill ride, the story this ride tells is as important-if not more important-as any dip, spin or drop.

“Walt Disney always said that ‘story is everything,’ and that’s the credo we live by at WDI,” Rohde adds. “Expedition Everest is a testament to the lengths Imagineers will take to make the story perfect.”

Expedition Everest leads guests on a journey through a rich story rooted in the yeti. Visitors are explorers on the latest expedition to the world’s tallest mountain. To get there, they have to pass through “The Forbidden Mountain,” which they are warned against through posters, flyers, signs and artwork sprinkled throughout Serka Zong, a detail-rich Himalayan village re-created to be the attraction’s queue area. The mountain is the yeti’s lair.

Ever intrepid, guests ignore these warnings and board abandoned “tea trains” to traverse the Forbidden Mountain’s lofty realm. Almost immediately, they sense a foreboding-as if being watched. As the train gains speed, evidence of the mythical yeti starts to become more real. Guests hear snarling sounds and catch glimpses of the creature, which is becoming increasingly unhappy that strangers are invading its territory.

Guests feel the beast’s full wrath, as it rips up part of the ride track, forcing riders to plummet backwards into darkness and through icy caverns at one point. The ride culminates as guests come closer than they ever dreamed to the largest Audio-Animatronics creature ever crafted by WDI.

“To the people of the Himalayas, the yeti is absolutely real,” Rohde says. “We at WDI just took their inspiration to create the most realistic creature possible. And by the time you get through riding Expedition Everest, you will believe, too.”

A new thrill ride-a high-speed runaway train adventure-builds upon the Himalayan legend of the mythical yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando.

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