Tucked deep within the mountains of….Florida…Expedition Everest is a beautiful sight to behold and a wonderfully fun and innovative attraction.
I had the privilege of working as a cast member at Expedition Everest during my first Disney College Program in the summer of 2010. So, I know a lot about this attraction and am excited to share my knowledge about it with you.
Mount Everest looms over the small town of Serka Zong, in the heart of Anadapur. For years, tea trains used to go up onto the mountain and back with loads of tea and workers. However, some years ago, workers started coming back with terrified crews, telling stories of a Yeti up on the mountain. This Yeti got bolder and bolder, eventually attacking a tea crew’s camp. At this point, the tea company shut down their operation and abandoned their trains.
Seeing an easy opportunity, two friends Bob and Norbu snatched up the vacated trains and started marketing them to tourists — suckers who might want to catch a glimpse of the so-called “Yeti”. In fact, when you first enter the queue, the regular entrance is Bob’s office, and the Fastpass+ entrance is Norbu’s. The company they began was called “Himalayan Escapes”!
When you show up to the Anadapur Rail Service, it is actually their first operating day; the very first time trains have reentered the mountain since the incident with the Yeti. So, in order to give yourself some good luck, be sure to ring the bells you see hanging in the queue. You may also notice others have left gifts of fruit to the gods and prayer flags to protect you from the beast.
Once the line moves inside, check out the gear shop. It has all the supplies you will need to complete your trek. If you have a keen eye, you may find a hidden Mickey or two in this room :).
The next section of the queue is a museum, dedicated to the tea workers and their experience, as well as evidence to support or deny the existence of a Yeti on the mountain. As you get closer to the end of the queue, the evidence becomes more and more convincing….
But no time to dwell on that — it’s time to board! Pick your favorite seat (front for a better view, back for a wilder ride) and get ready for fun! And try not to close your eyes; you may just catch a peek at the YETI!
Expedition Everest is a high speed thrill ride, and has a lot of large drops and steep banked turns. The highest drop is 80 feet high, compare that to Splash Mountain which is 50 feet. The top speed is 55 mph, compare that to Space Mountain at 25 mph. You must be 44 inches to ride, pregnant women should NOT ride due to sudden stops.
Expedition Everest is located in “Asia” at the far back corner of Animal Kingdom Park, off towards the right as you come through the main entrance.
My overall review
This is probably my favorite attraction in all of Disney. Even having worked there every day for a summer, I never got tired of it. I usually rode the ride 3 times at least each day. It has thrill, and pit-of-your-stomach drops, as well as a theatrical element that roller-coasters outside of Disney have a hard time achieving. It’s a Must Do for a Disney Vacation!