Expedition Everest’s Yeti Troubles Explored

The Orlando Sentinel has a short piece running on the adventures, or lack their of, of the giant Yeti mechanical beast at the end of Expedition Everest roller coaster at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The gist is that while Disney won’t disclose their plans, Disney fans wish they’d hurry up and fix the effect. That pretty much sums things up for me.

When I think of the Yeti in the mountain, I always think of Harold, the Disneyland version in the Matterhorn. There’s not any motion there, but the loud growl and glowing eyes are the perfect level of thrill for the world’s first steel tube roller coaster. If that works in Anaheim, why not Orlando?

The problem is that Harold-east was built up to be the most spectacular creature this side of King Kong at Universal Hollywood (who is now just a thin 3D movie version of his former self) complete with Jet Engine Power equivalents required to make him work. It was doomed to fail. A couple more glowing eyes and some loud growls would be a better investment than rebuilding a working Yeti if you ask me.

That said, the Expedition Everest creature worked so briefly that I barely recall — was it wonderful, was it frightening? All I remember is the current version where strobe-lights hide the fact that he’s just not moving around much.

My understanding is that WDI has been working on a fix that will give some motion and end the stroke-light “Disco Yeti” effect, but won’t be the original all powerful version they originally intended. Frankly, I’m okay with that. You go by that scene so fast anyway. I’d rather they fix what I see to be the biggest flaw in the ride, the lack of a denouement after you see the beast. You’re just suddenly back at the train station without any extra exposition. Bad storytelling or signs of budget cuts, I don’t know which.

What would you like to see done on Expedition Everest?

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