Are you planning a Disney Parks vacation? Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is your gateway to an exotic world of adventure. And Expedition Everest is arguably the most thrilling stop on your journey. Located in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom, this thrill ride is not for the faint of heart, as it reaches speeds up to 50 miles per hour and includes an intense, 80 foot drop. Riders must be a minimum of 44 inches tall to board.
Like most rides and attractions you’ll find at the Disney Theme Parks, the theming of Expedition Everest really immerses riders in the experience. You’ll begin in the “offices” of a travel company called Himalayan Escapes, the company who has ostensibly arranged your Expedition Everest trek. The ride queue winds through a museum, which features artifacts from Nepal, as well as a “Yeti Museum,” foreshadowing the mythical creature you are about to encounter and the danger involved in the upcoming expedition.
Ride vehicles are old steam trains, seating two adventurers to a row as you board at Serka Zong Village. The high-speed, intense coaster travels through the Himalayan Mountains to the base of Mt. Everest. However, a trespass through Forbidden Mountain infuriates its most famous resident, the mythological Yeti (also known as the Abominable Snowman), and he “destroys” your train’s track. What is a train filled with adventurous travelers supposed to do? Hightailing it out of there as quickly as possible requires your train to travel backwards down the track (after a brief rotation onto another set of tracks), plummeting through darkness only to see the Yeti (well, his shadow anyway) in hot pursuit!
DIStracted Tip: While my children (and nieces and nephew ages 5 and up) absolutely love this attraction, some children who are tall enough to ride may not be entirely comfortable riding. One thing to consider is that the speed of 50 miles per hour is TWICE the speed of Space Mountain. The trains not only travel backward, but the trek is dark in spots as well. In addition, Disney Parks lists this ride as one that has “physical considerations: For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not ride.”
Expedition Everest opened to the general public on April 7, 2006, delighting fans of thrill rides and drawing them to Animal Kingdom in droves. Towering over guests at about 200 feet high, “Mount” Expedition Everest is the tallest mountain found at Disney Parks. The ride even holds a spot in the 2011 Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive roller coaster in the world, setting the company back about 100 million dollars. If you have thrill-seekers in your pack of adventurers, I would highly recommend choosing Expedition Everest as one of your FastPass+ selections for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But be prepared to ride it again and again…it is likely to be a family favorite!