Description And Comments
The first true roller coaster in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Expedition Everest earned the park’s longest waits in line from the moment it opened—and for good reason. Your journey begins in an elaborate waiting area modeled after a Nepalese village; then you board an old train headed for the top of Mount Everest. Throughout the waiting area are posted notes from previous expeditions, some with cryptic observations regarding a mysterious creature said to guard the mountain. These ominous signs are ignored (as if you have a choice!), resulting in a high-speed encounter with the Abominable Snowman himself.
The ride consists of tight turns (some while traveling backward), hills, and dips, but no loops or inversions. From your departure at the loading station through your first high-speed descent, you’ll see some of the most spectacular panoramas available in Walt Disney World. On a clear day, you’ll be able to view the arrangement of the buildings at Coronado Springs, Epcot’s Spaceship Earth, and possibly downtown Orlando. But look quickly, because you’ll immediately be propelled, projectile-like, through the inner and outer reaches of the mountain. The final drop and last few turns are among the best-designed coaster effects Disney has ever made. A few minor criticisms: At a couple of points, your vehicle is stopped while the ride’s track is reconfigured, affecting the attraction’s continuity. And while the audio-animatronic Yeti is undoubtedly impressive, he breaks down more than a 30-year-old Fiat. Most days Disney just simulates the Yeti moving by flashing a strobe light on his motionless body. But don’t let these small shortcomings stop you from riding.
The coaster reaches a top speed of around 50 mph, just about twice that of Space Mountain, so expect to see the usual warnings for health and safety. The first few seats of these vehicles offer the best front-seat experience of any Disney coaster, indoor or out. If at all possible, ask to sit up front. Also, look for the animal poop on display in the Fastpass return line—a deliberate attempt at verisimilitude, or did Disney run out of money for ride props and use whatever they could find? You decide.
As you might expect for a super-headliner attraction, Expedition Everest is the subject of much reader mail. A Seattle family rated Expedition Everest four thumbs up:
Expedition Everest is tremendous. It has enough surprises and runaway speed to make it one of the more enjoyable thrill rides in the whole Orlando area.
A Macon, Georgia, teen recruited the aged:
Expedition Everest was so smooooth! I went right out and brought my granny back to ride it. She didn’t throw up or anything!
Beating the morning crowds to Expedition Everest is also a hot topic. From a Yonkers, New York, man:
When the park opened, the Disney people walked the crowd through Asia to the ride. We went right toward DinoLand and followed the path around the lake to Everest. We arrived about 90 seconds ahead of the crowd being walked in and were the first to ride. Upon exiting we noticed the line was already enormous, and, to our delight, the wait at the other major rides was negligible.
A Tucson, Arizona, reader had trouble finding the line:
The creative minds at Disney haven’t seen fit to remedy the rope-drop stampede at park opening. You’re herded from the main gate to wait in another area, where the person on the loudspeaker giving the “walk, don’t run” warnings is mocked by most of the crowd. At rope drop, after the footrace to Everest, the crowd was so thick between the ride entrance and the Fastpass distribution area that you couldn’t tell where either line was. People were crowding into the ride entrance from every direction, and tempers flared among those who thought they were in the “real” line. Disney needs better mob control here—either stanchions outside the entrance instead of an open area, to give the semblance of a line, or an employee ushering people into one line.
A multigenerational family from Brookfield, Connecticut, had great luck with the singles line, writing:
The single-rider line at Expedition Everest is amazing! I went there without my mother and daughter and rode seven times in a row. I think my longest wait was 3–5 minutes, but often I just walked on!
- This attraction offers FASTPASS / FastPass+.
- This attraction has a Single Rider line.
- Open for Morning Extra Magic Hour.
Get Fastpasses for Everest first thing in the morning. Alternatively, ride immediately after the park opens or the last hour the park is open. If using Fastpass in the morning, try to tour DinoLand U.S.A. before you return; Kali River Rapids and Flights of Wonder don't usually open with the rest of Asia, so you'll backtrack less if you can get the must-see attractions in DinoLand covered early.
This chart shows you roughly how long you'll wait for Expedition Everest when you visit on a day with a given Disney's Animal Kingdom Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average "peak" wait time (that is, how long the line will at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it's the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see Expedition Everest Wait Times.
- We rate this attraction as Not To Be Missed.
- This attraction has a minimum-height requirement of 44 inches.
- This attraction offers rider swap.
44-inch minimum height requirement. Switching-off option provided.
Other Attractions in Asia
Touring Plans with Expedition Everest
- Animal Kingdom Scoping the Park
- Animal Kingdom Unofficial Guide One-Day Touring Plan
- Ultimate Touring Plan: Animal Kingdom
- One-Day Touring Plan for Tweens and Their Parents
- One-Day Happy Family Touring Plan
|Wait per 100 people ahead||4 minutes|
|Assumes||2 tracks operating|
When to go
Before 9:30 a.m., or after 3 p.m., or use Fastpass.
|Opening Date||April 7, 2006|
|Scope and scale||Super Headliner|
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