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 with 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 Yeti audioanimatronic 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 was the subject of much reader mail. A Seattle family rated Expedition Everest four thumbs up:
The Expedition Everest ride is tremendous. It has enough surprises and run-away speed to make it one of the more enjoyable in the whole Orlando area. The little details leading up to the ride are unbelievable.
For a Kettering, Ohio, mom, it was a multigenerational happening:
Expedition Everest alone is worth the cost of park admission - we had three generations on the ride, and everybody loved it!
A Macon, Georgia, teen did some recruiting for the yeti:
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:
At Animal Kingdom the first ride we rode was Expedition Everest. 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 the ride we noticed the line was already enormous and to our delight the wait at the other major rides was negligible.
Finally, a mom from Fishers, Indiana, wonders where you can get a little butt-time:
They need benches near Expedition Everest--there was nowherer to sit with babies while older people in our party rode it over and over. We sat on a rock!
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.
- 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 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.
Disney Dish with Jim Hill
In addition to the bizarre computer-generated critters of the upcoming Avatar â€œland,â€ Animal Kingdom may be getting some cuddly new for-real residents in the near future. To commemorate the opening of the $4 billion Shanghai Disney Resort in late 2012, the Chinese government will reportedly partner with Disney to bring giant pandas to the park. Look for these cute-times-infinity creatures to set up housekeeping just north of Expedition Everest.
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
|Single Rider||14 min|
|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|
Let us know.