Travel through the Forbidden Mountain to get to the base of Mount Everest. Beware: Some say a legendary snow monster lives deep in the mountain.

Expedition Everest is located in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and is the tallest of the artificial mountains at Walt Disney World Resort. The ride sits at precisely 199 feet tall. The Imagineers had to do this to prevent a flashing light from being required on the structure to alert airplanes that may be flying overhead. Disney couldn’t allow a flashing light to take away from experience, so they kept it just under the requirement and use shading, shape, etc. to make it visually look even taller.

The ride experience begins peacefully enough, but that changes once the expedition train comes across torn up tracks that the Yeti destroyed. The train suddenly rockets backwards and into the mountain where guests get see the silhouette of the Yeti wreaking havoc. From here, the train goes forward and now in and out of the mountain before narrowly avoiding a close call with the legendary Yeti himself. Expedition Everest reaches top speeds of 50 mph.

Towards the end of the ride, guests will get a glimpse of the Yeti leaning over the track. It happens fast and is very dark, so many guests fail to see him at all.

Fun Facts:

  • Expedition Everest was announced April 22, 2003 for Animal Kingdom’s fifth anniversary.
  • Expedition Everest cost $100 million.
  • The name of the mountain is Forbidden Mountain, not Mount Everest.
  • Expedition Everest is the tallest attraction in Walt Disney World. Standing at 199.5 Feet tall, only a ½ foot taller than Tower of Terror.
  • Expedition Everest was the second Disney roller coaster to feature an abominable snowman, Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland Park being the first. On Expedition Everest, the Yeti “destroys” the track, facilitating the coaster’s thrilling backwards section.
  • Expedition Everest was Walt Disney World’s fourth “mountain” attraction, following Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Splash Mountain, all located at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Currently the Yeti of the Forbidden Mountain is sitting in “B Mode.” What does that mean? Well, when the ride was first built the Yeti lunged 5 feet horizontally towards guests. Unfortunately, this movement was putting stress on the foundation. So until the foundation can be fixed the Yeti doesn’t move.
  • It took 6 years of creating and multiple trips to the Himalayas to research for this ride to be built.
  • The photos hanging in the Expedition Everest Himalayan Village “museum” were taken by Joe Rohde, the executive designer at Walt Disney Imagineering and lead designer of Animal Kingdom, while on his research trip to Nepal for the attraction’s village, Serka Zong.
  • xpedition Everest features arguably the most detailed queue in any Disney theme park. Elements of the queue include a ticket office, desolated land, a Hindu temple, a mountaineer supply shop, and also a Yeti museum. While many queues are details, this one features authentic items.
  • The ride reaches speeds up to 50mph.