• Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Apr 03, 2024

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024

Expedition Everest
Rating
9
Outstanding
  • Year: 2006
  • Type: Roller Coaster
  • Single rider line: Yes
  • Minimum Height: 44″
  • Ride Duration: 3min
  • Great setpieces
  • Good buildup

The tallest ride in all Disney World is also one of the best

Wooow, a roller coaster! Disney World doesn’t have many of that, even more so a steel roller coaster that you can see from afar. This was the first ever “super big update” to Animal Kingdom, back in 2006. For more than ten years, Expedition Everest held the record for the most expensive roller coaster in the world, a record that was only broken by Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventures at Islands of Adventures in 2019. 

I can definitely see how Expedition Everest might have cost a lot, by the way. Disney constructed an artificial mountain in the heart of the park, accompanied by a ride queue adorned with hundreds of high-quality items and Easter Eggs. Scattered throughout the queue are various items that could easily belong to climbers and adventurers on the hunt for the elusive yeti: grappling hooks, books, pans, binoculars, and even sketches of the abominable snowman.

Animal Kingdom Expedition Everest Ride Height.webp

It wouldn’t matter much if the whole attraction cost a billion dollars if it just wasn’t fun. Thankfully, Expedition Everest is one of the best roller coasters in Disney World, and was probably the best one before Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind launched in Epcot. Your vehicle goes through a journey through the Himalayas, as the first part of the attraction looks more like what you’d experience in a dark ride. This is until you come face to face with the Yeti and he decides to play with the tracks.

Everything looks expensive and well crafted in Expedition Everest. You start the ride with your vehicle going up until you reach an area with some walls and the projection of the Yeti running around and stalking you. That is until you get to a segment where the tracks are simply broken and you can’t continue forward. So, since you can’t go forward, there is only one thing to do, right? Yep, Expedition Everest features a backwards section which is pretty fun, as it makes you speed backwards while also climbing a small hill. 

Disney animal kingdom expedition everest entrance.jpg

The roller coaster part starts right there, with a main 80ft drop. While it may not match the towering 140-foot drop of rides like the VelociCoaster, it still provides a very fun moment. That’s the main word for this attraction. Fun. Expedition Everest is just a very good time, and still holds the title for Walt Disney World’s tallest roller coaster to this day. 

There aren’t any loops and the sharp turns aren’t enough to give you a headache. It does bounce you around more than something like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, since that’s more of a family coaster, but it’s nothing major like Islands of Adventure’s The Incredible Hulk Coaster. Near the end you even get to enter a cave and see the yeti up close in a dark environment as your vehicle zooms past it.

You should definitely come here more than once. Wait times aren’t as huge as something like Avatar Flight of Passage, and there is a single rider line which works pretty well most of the time, since it skips all the pre-show.  

Will Kids enjoy it?

If your children are fans of roller coasters, they will probably have a good time here. Expedition Everest has a height requirement of 44 inches, which means kids that are 6yo and older can ride it. Before coming here, it’s a good idea to take them to roller coasters like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom and Slinky Dog Dash in Hollywood Studios to see if they will also like this one. If they love Expedition Everest they might just keep climbing the roller coaster tier list, and maybe soon enough they can ride the VelociCoaster in Islands of Adventure!

Even if there is a giant yet after you, he isn’t that scary. At first, he appears mostly blurry in some visual effects near your train. Only toward the end of the ride does it materialize as an animatronic, but it happens so quickly that you might not even get a good look at it. The most "scary" aspect is the initial backward segment, which might catch guests by surprise. Going backward also creates an illusion of greater speed than usual since you lose your sense of spatial awareness, so it's something to alert your children about beforehand.
 

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