One of the most popular and thrilling attractions at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom is Expedition Everest located in “Asia”. Expedition Everest takes riders on a trek from a base camp in Tibet to the top of the “forbidden mountain,” where riders encounter the allusive creature called the Yeti.
Expedition Everest, or EE, is a favorite of mine and each trip I challenge whoever is with me to my EE Challenge. There is only 1 rule, “How Many Times Can you Ride BACK TO BACK before you have to tap out?” My record is 6 times, set back in November of this year. Did I happen to mention, that this is a high speed steel roller coaster and I am pushing the 50 year old birthday soon (my stomach is not what it used to be)? Trust me EE has multiple surprises and thrills that only Disney can provide.
Before I go into how it is possible to ride 6 times in a row without standing in line the entire day, let me tell you that I LOVE to stand in line for this ride because the theming is INCREDIBLE. The queue for EE will keep you engaged the entire wait time. While in line you will get to look at artifacts brought back from Nepal by Disney Imagineers while in the planning stages of this attraction. There are tons of things to see and read that are fascinating, and really make you feel like you are at as base camp high in the Himalayan’s and that just maybe the Yeti is real. Make sure at least one of your rides in the challenge is through the queue, and don’t hold the line up because you are reading.
If possible try to score seats in the first car. I am not going to spoil the ride for a first time rider, but make sure you take a look around when you reach the top of the mountain…the view is incredible and trust me you have a few moments. Make sure you (and your stomach) are prepared for what is next, because you won’t know if you are coming or going.
What’s my secret to riding 6 times in a row without standing in line all day? My #1 tip is to make sure you are at “Rope Drop,” opening time of Animal Kingdom and head directly to EE. You can ride 2-3 times without long waits in line, usually by the 3rd time the wait is 20 minutes.
Once the crowd builds, locate the single rider line entrance, between the entrance and exit of the ride near the gift shop. Your wait will be just a few minutes…and if you really want a challenge go through the regular line 1 time and then hit up the single rider line until your stomach has had enough. Warning, you will be separated from your challenge group, don’t argue with the Cast Members…this is the SINGLE RIDER LINE. For your final ride, schedule your FASTPASS+ selection around 10:30 am.
One of my favorite things during the challenge to do is ham it up for the camera. If you purchased Memory Maker and taking advantage of PhotoPass+ services you can document each ride. The ride camera is located just as you escape the Yeti towards the end of the ride, the coaster will take you back outside the mountain. Just as you come out the mountain and take the big drop, the camera will be to your right. Have fun with it.
WARNING: IGNORE THE INCESSIVE GUM CHEWING and NO HUGE SPOILERS!
And if you are even more daring, document your ride with your camera on video as well as taking a few selfies of your own while on the ride…after several rides you know when you can do this.
When you are all finished make sure you find the PhotoPass Photographer in front of EE and take an after photo throwing up how many rides with your fingers!
When you’re finished, or rather your stomach is finished with the challenge…there are Mickey Bars next door or if you need to celebrate with a more celebratory drink, try the Triple Yeti Blast (mix of Mango, Lime & Strawberry frozen margaritas) at Warung Outpost near EE.
Are you up for the challenge? If you are, post your pictures and results on my Facebook Page or here in the comments! Let me know if you were able to escape the Yeti.