Walt Disney Imagineers and Vekoma rides engineers have successfully transformed a real Mount Everest expedition into a magnificent roller coaster experience, from the world's highest mountain expedition, into the highest mountain ride in Florida.

a reaL expedItIOn at DISNeY'S ANIMAL kINGDOM PArk

This custom designed coaster, which was opened to the public in 2007, guides guests aboard a mine train on a journey from the base station in Serka Zong to the top of Mount Everest. From the authentically themed station, the explorers board the mine train which takes them on an exciting adventure to Mount Everest. Five 34-passenger mine trains depart the station at regular intervals and climb a little hill, immediately followed by a sudden drop and a relaxed cruise through the fields.
Then suddenly after a turn, the train faces a second lift, carrying the riders on this adventurous 1200 m long ride towards the mountain peaks. On the way up the 36m high lift they are flanked by a ceremonial stairway that ascends the mountain at a steep angle. Near the midpoint of the climb, the track passes through a tunnel carved from the rock beneath an ancient Fortress. In the darkness above the track, lit by flickering firelight, is a monumental mural. The mural depicts a monstrous hairy creature, wild-eyed and snarling - the Yeti, guardian of Forbidden Mountain warning the riders that the mountain is his territory. At that moment, the train disappears into the mountain, away from the spectators' view.

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The Yeti

When the mine train then reaches the top of the mountain it curves around the main peak and runs through a cave. Upon leaving the cave, the mine train slows to a halt as it cannot continue because the track has been torn apart by the Yeti. During this brief stop, a track switch rotates inside the cave hidden from view to the riders, and suddenly the mine train reverses backwards into the cave on a new route, spiraling downward and up again through a dark tunnel.

The train comes to a halt in a large cave inside the mountain where riders see the shadow of the Yeti on the wall as he tears up more track. During this time, a second track switch is activated. As the shadow moves away, the train rolls forward and dives down at a speed of 80 km/h, out of the mountain and down the main 24 m drop. The train makes a steeply banked turn and speeds up a hill, disappearing in another cave in the mountain, in which the roars of the Yeti are heard again. The train dives down low again and spirals around twice in a loop outside before going back through a cave into the mountain a final time. There it meets the Yeti, but escapes by dropping suddenly - all explorers are safely brought back to base.

Outstanding Achievement Award

The tremendous success and popularity of Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden mountain, at Disney's Animal Kingdom park at Walt Disney World resort, with an Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Themed Entertainment Association, make Vekoma Rides extremely proud to have participated in this prestigious project.