Before Disney’s Avatar: Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest was the premier ride at the Animal Kingdom. But, even with the land of Pandora now in its neighborhood, this Nepalese wonder can still hold its own. And, it could be a great addition to a fun-filled day at the Animal Kingdom.
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2006. And, it has been busy ever since. Billed as the most expensive rollercoaster ever built at the time, the ride cost Disney $100 million to construct, according to RCDB. And, most Disney fans say the cost was worth it. The Forbidden Mountain itself is almost 200 feet tall, making it one of the tallest structures in all of Disney World.
The story behind the building of the ride is an interesting one. The ride creators traveled all the way to Nepal to do their research into the mountains, culture, and even the Yeti. For those who have not visited Nepal, the Yeti is a famous legend. It’s the Asian version of the abominable snowman, living in the upper Khumbu Valley, along the way to Mount Everest.
Giving the Everest Expedition the flavor of a Nepalese trip through the Himalayas was part of the Disney Experience. Like many rides at the parks, the experience starts with the wait in line. The story unfolds on a trek through the Himalayas called “Expedition Everest.” This is “the name of a specific trek arranged by the Himalayan Escapes [a fictional] tour company in Serka Zong,” according to The Official Disney Fan Club. The trek ends, and a train trip up the mountain starts. But, the train trip is not destined to end well. With the evil yeti trying to defend its territory and keep the train from running, the track is damaged beyond repair. In fact, there is nowhere to turn around, meaning the steep climb up will result in a wild backward ride down.
If you haven’t had the chance to experience Expedition Everest, it may be something that you include on your next trip to the Animal Kingdom. Even though it isn’t the newest ride there, it still can have wait times of up to an hour. That could be your indicator that this may be a ride worth the wait.