Dozens Forced to Evacuate From Top of Mountain in Disney World

in Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

A Disney ride filled with people ascends a steep track against a backdrop of a clear blue sky, with rugged terrain and trees below.

Credit: Disney

Dozens of guests were forced to exit a frightening Disney World attraction.

Expedition Everest
Credit: Disney

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While the Disney theme parks are known for their impressive attention to detail and magical atmosphere, not everything goes to plan, with dozens of guests being forced to exit a popular thrill ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

There’s a wide range of rides and attractions guests can choose from while visiting the Walt Disney World Resort, but few are quite as thrilling as Expedition Everest. Expedition Everest recently celebrated its 18th birthday, officially opening to guests in April of 2006. It may be hard to believe, but Expedition Everest has been a part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom longer than it hasn’t. Despite the thrilling roller coaster’s age, it still packs a punch, offering guests of the Walt Disney World Resort one of the most exhilarating and intense experiences they’ll find. The coaster is super fast and incredibly tall and features some of Walt Disney Imagineering’s best work when it comes to theming and immersion, placing guests directly on the path of a ferocious yeti.

However, this exhilarating thrill ride came to an abrupt stop recently, forcing guests to exit the attraction entirely.

expedition-severest-animal-kingdom
Credit: ITM

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Twitter user @starfallracers shared an image of an evacuation taking place at the very top of Expedition Everest. The incident occurred on Wednesday around noon, with guests stopping right before the backward portion of the roller coaster. Some guests may feel disappointed when a ride or attraction abruptly stops, especially at Disney. However, a large portion of Disney theme park guests get excited by the possibility of having to evacuate a Disney attraction, allowing them to explore behind-the-scenes parts of their favorite rides.

Expedition Everest can hold up to 34 people per train and runs a total of five trains. This means up to 170 riders were affected by this evacuation.

EVAC ON EVEREST YEAHHH BABY

There was no information given as to what caused the ride to break down, but it’s safe to say guests got a very unique view of the Walt Disney World Resort.

As we stated earlier, Expedition Everest’s yeti animatronic is perhaps one of the most fascinating parts of the entire experience. Unfortunately, this is where the attraction falters, with Expedition Everest’s impressive animatronic yeti figure being turned off for most of the ride’s lifetime.

Not much official information has ever been released regarding the issue, but reports indicate a problem occurred shortly after the roller coaster opened, causing Disney to scale back the movement of the yeti. As time went on, this problem became worse, forcing Disney to shut down most of the yeti’s movement. For about a year, the yeti operated normally, swinging towards guests as they zoomed by. However, the majority of guests have encountered the yet in “B mode,” a name given to rides and animatronics that are not working as they were intended.

expedition everest yeti
Credit: Disney

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In the past, Walt Disney Imagineers like Joe Rohde pledged to “fix the yeti,” but no official plans have ever come to fruition. The cost to fix the yeti would be astronomical and would also mean Expedition Everest would have to shut down for quite a long time. This would pose a problem for Disney’s Animal Kingdom due to the fact that the theme park does not have a lot of rides in the first place. While many guests have not lost hope, the possibility of Disney ever truly fixing the yeti continues to shrink.

Disney is preparing to pour a lot of time, energy, and money into Animal Kingdom, just not with Expedition Everest. Several years ago, Disney announced that it was developing a plan to overhaul DinoLand U.S.A. in Animal Kingdom, bringing new rides and attractions to the land. Disney did not divulge all of the details of this overhaul but made it apparent that the DinoLand U.S.A. would, in fact, be closing in the near future. The original plan included building new attractions based on Disney’s popular Moana and Zootopia franchises, but these plans have since changed.

DinoLand U.S.A. at Animal Kingdom.
Credit: Inside the Magic

In 2023, Disney unveiled updated plans for its DinoLand project, announcing that it was now looking at turning the land into a South American-inspired landscape, bringing along several new attractions. Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, teased turning DINOSAUR, the land’s divisive thrill ride, into an Indiana Jones experience. Fast forward a year later, and nothing has officially been announced. However, recently filed permits indicate work is about to start, meaning that an announcement regarding Disney’s DinoLand project will come sometime in 2024.

What’s your favorite ride or attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

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