Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Legend holds that high in the Himalayan
Mountains lives an enormous creature that fiercely guards the route to Mount
Now that legend comes dramatically to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in a
high-speed train adventure that combines coaster-like thrills with the
excitement of a close encounter of the hairy kind.
“Expedition EVEREST adds a new dimension to our storytelling in Disney’s
Animal Kingdom,” said Joe Rohde, executive designer at Walt Disney
Imagineering and lead designer of the park. “It’s a thrilling adventure
themed to the folklore of the mysterious yeti.”
In Expedition EVEREST, guests board an old mountain railway
destined for the foot of Mount Everest. The train rolls through thick bamboo
forests, past thundering waterfalls, along shimmering glacier fields and
climbs higher and higher through the snow-capped peaks.
But suddenly the track ends in a gnarled mass of twisted metal and the
thrills intensify as the train races both forward and backward through
mountain caverns and icy canyons and guests head for an inevitable
face-to-muzzle showdown with the mysterious yeti -- known to some as the
Expedition EVEREST is located in the Asia section of the theme park. At
nearly 200 feet high, it is the tallest mountain in Florida.
The Yeti is still down.
Guests must be 44 inches or taller to ride
Expedition Everest Fast
A perilous journey aboard a runaway train through the Himalayan mountains.
Adventurous riders push deep into the lair of the feared yeti, guardian of
the forbidden mountain. En route, they encounter torn tracks, spiral
backwards through the fog into an ice cavern and dart into and out of the
mountain in a high-speed adventure.
Mountain peak: At just under 200 feet, one of 18 mountains created by Disney
Imagineers at Disney parks worldwide.
Chilling thrills: A careening adventure including an 80-foot drop, plus
frightening encounters with the mystical yeti.
Length: Nearly a mile of track as riders encounter harrowing twists, tight
turns and drops.
Ride vehicle: Modeled after an aging, steam-engine tea train; 34 passengers
Yeti, Guardian of the Mountain: The mammoth-sized Audio-Animatronics yeti
has a potential thrust, in all of its hydraulic cylinders combined, of
slightly over 259,000 pounds force -- potentially more instantaneous power
than a 747-400 airliner.
Forced perspective: To create the sense of an enormous mountain range,
Imagineers painted a "mural" of shadows across the face of the mountains.
The range, glaciers and valleys is a canvas of rockwork, carvings and
painting creating a forced perspective where closer-in objects have a
massive look while appliqués trick the eye into perceiving far off objects.
Bringing the Himalayan environment to Florida: More than 900 bamboo plants,
10 species of trees and 110 species of shrubs are being nurtured and planted
to re-create the lowlands surrounding Mount Everest.
Steelwork: 1,800 tons of steel were used in the mountain structure. That is
about six times the amount of steel used in a traditional office building of
Mountain make-up: The mountain is crafted with more than 3,000
pre-fabricated "chips" created from 25,000 individually computer-molded
pieces of steel.
Color palette: 2,000 gallons of stain and paint were used on the rockwork
and throughout the village. The color scheme has ritual meaning to the
In the Himalayan regions, villagers commonly preserve yak dung and dry it
out on village walls. They later use the hardened material as fuel in their
homes. Disney Imagineers recreated the look of these walls in the Serka Zong
Artisans at work: Artists from Imagineering used hammers, chainsaws and
blowtorches to "age" wood and buildings in the village, giving them the
appearance of being longstanding parts of the landscape.
Hillary step: The 1953 famous final ascent of Sir Edmund Hillary is
represented in Disney's man-made mountain. The coloring of Mount Everest
differs from the rest of the mountain range because at more than 29,000 feet
elevation, hurricane-force winds often blow the snow off its peak, revealing
a raw sheet of rock.
Authentic detail: Some 2,000 handcrafted items from Asia are evident in the
props, cabinetry and architectural ornamentation.
Seating: 17 rows of seating two abreast.
Restraint: Lap bar.
(click on any thumbnail to enlarge or tour photos by
clicking on the first)
January 2005 -
Putting on the *Cap*