A-Z Coaster of the Week: Expedition Everest
This week we travel to the sunny state of Florida for the “E” coaster of the week: Expedition Everest.
Opened in 2006 at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom theme park, Expedition Everest quickly became an iconic Disney attraction, and brought a much-needed E-ticket ride to the Animal Kingdom.
As is the case with most Disney attractions, the focus of the attraction is the story rather than the ride itself.. The official Expedition Everest page states: “Climb aboard a railway car for a full-steam-ahead adventure bound for Mount Everest. Your trek across the treacherous terrain of the towering Forbidden Mountain begins with a few scenic twists and turns, then sets out on an ascent towards the summit.”
While the “mountain” encasing portions of Expedition Everest is nearly 200 feet tall, the coaster itself stands just over 11 stories tall and features an 80-foot drop. During the course of the 4,242-foot-long ride, trains reach a maximum speed of 50 mph and travel both forwards and backwards as the train weaves in and out of the mountain.
The ride’s conclusion brings riders face-to-face with the abominable snowman himself. The entire ride experience lasts just under 3 minutes, and repeat rides are most definitely necessary to take in all of scenery and hidden surprises.
© Walt Disney World
Expedition Everest Fun Facts
- The 2011 book of Guinness World Records listed Expedition Everest as the most expensive roller coaster in the world, with an estimated cost of $100 million.
- Disney Imagineers traveled to Nepal to conduct research prior to designing Expedition Everest to guarantee authenticity of the ride experience.
- The coaster was a produce of Vekoma, but Disney won’t find that on Disney’s website.
Below is an on-ride video from our trip to Florida in 2007 (I apologize in advance for the quality):
For more Expedition Everest photos, check out our “Expedition Evacuation” feature where we got to walk down and through the mountain after an emergency stop.
Be sure to check out the other A-Z Coaster of the Week coasters!