Perhaps one of the most thrilling rides in all of Disney World is Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom. This roller coaster opened in 2005 and gives Animal Kingdom guests a true heart-pumping experience that is great for kids, teenagers and adults. The popularity of this ride, however, can lead to very long waits. We don’t want you standing in line for more than 30 minutes.

In this article, we’ll give you a brief history lesson of Expedition Everest, go over some details of the ride itself, and give you some touring tips to help you stay out of long lines.

History of Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest opened in 2005 at a reported cost of almost 100 million dollars! In 2011, it was listed as the most expensive roller coaster in the world, by the Guinness Book of World Records. The theme of the ride is based on a Yeti that is hiding around Mount Everest. There is a giant 22 foot Yeti on the ride. It was the largest single piece of animatronics ever built by Disney. When designed, it had the ability to move 5 feet horizontally and 2 feet vertically.

However, soon after the ride opened, the framing split, causing a risk of running the Yeti in “A-Mode”. After that, Disney was only able to run the Yeti in “B-mode”. B-mode consists of strobe lights and effects that makes it seem as if the yeti is moving, though in reality it isn’t moving at all. Fixing the yeti will require a big refurbishment.

Everest – The Ride

This is a roller coaster where you ride next to one other person on a train that is 17 rows long. The cars are made to look old and worn-out. The ride features an 80 ft drop and approaches speeds of 50 mph. But there is another aspect of this ride that sets it apart from most other roller coasters. Once your reach a certain point, the train stops while you are at the top of the ride. The tracks switch, and your train begins going backwards for the remainder of the ride! It is the only Disney ride that enables it’s riders to go forwards AND backwards on the same ride.

Expedition Everest Tips

As we’ve mentioned, this can be a tough ticket. For a long time after it’s opening, Expedition Everest had one of the longest wait times in all of Disney World. In terms of waiting times, the shine has worn off a bit. With the opening of Avatarland, Everest is no longer the hottest ticket in this park. But you can still find yourself waiting for long periods of time, especially in the peak hours of the day, and during the peak times of the year. So how can you avoid standing in line?

The first thing you can do is to get a fastpass. This is usually rather easy with Everest. You’re still going to want to try to book your fastpass as far in advance as possible, but an Everest fastpass isn’t as difficult as it used to be.

If you aren’t able to get a fastpass, there are two other great times to ride this attraction. First of all, you can head straight there at park opening. I wouldn’t recommend this. If you are there when the park opens, you need to head to Flight of Passage.

A great time to ride Everest is late in the evenings. As darkness approaches, Avatarland gets very popular. It’s beautiful at night and many guests want to see this. The wait times on Everest will plummet. That’s when you want to go.

Another thing you can do is to use the single-rider line. If you don’t mind sitting next to a stranger, you can ride this as many times in a row as you want, with a minimal wait.

Disney World has had many new rides open in the last few years. The shine of the new rides often leaves the old ones a bit forgotten. But Everest remains perhaps the best roller coaster in all of the parks, and these days it’s easy to ride. Enjoy!

For more details on how to quickly ride Animal Kingdom rides and attractions, please see our Animal Kingdom touring plan!


Ride Information

Park - Animal Kingdom
Park Section - Asia
Height Requirement
- 44 inches
Ride Type - Steel Roller Coaster
FP+ - Fastpass Eligible


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