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Five Expedition Everest Secrets You Didn’t Know

So many hikers taking the journey have not returned, and many secrets remain untold…

Well, we know one thing, at least; Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain stands as one of Animal Kingdom’s most popular attractions. On this journey, thrill-seekers desiring to reach Mount Everest must confront the Yeti, guardian of the Forbidden Mountain, and escape before they face its evil wrath. 

Here are five Expedition Everest secrets straight from the Forbidden Mountain!

Cast Members Walk up 14 Flights of Stairs

Attractions cast members have no simple task at this thrill ride. Aside from operating the ride and resolving Guest issues, cast members ascend 14 flights of stairs every day to power up the attraction and each time they need to evacuate Guests. Same goes for the end of the night as well! In 100-degree heat or cold weather, this certainly is a challenge and a workout!

The Yeti Is a Girl!

Yes, that fierce creature defending the Forbidden Mountain is actually a girl, and she’s got a name! Although Imagineers designed the 22-foot-tall Yeti with a male body structure and facial features, cast members at this attraction call her Betty!

Fixing the Yeti Is not Simple

As many Disney fans know, the Yeti on Expedition Everest has been broken for about 15 years now. While the Yeti used to reach out its arm and lunge towards riding Guests, now it remains frozen in time. It turned out these actions were so forceful that they cracked the foundation of the mountain. To fix the Yeti, Imagineers will need to carve out paneling from the 199-foot-tall mountain and lift out Betty with a crane, which is a fairly expensive venture.

This massive refurbishment project could take years, and considering that almost every Guest passing through Animal Kingdom will ride on this Forbidden Journey, this attraction is vital to the park. Many predict that if DinoLand USA gets remodeled with some “E” ticket attractions, then the Yeti will receive the update she deserves.

Some Pictures on the Queue Walls are Imagineers! 

To prepare for construction of Expedition Everest, Imagineers traveled to Nepal to research Asian culture and bring back authentic artifacts to place around Asia in Animal Kingdom. If you pay attention to the walls while waiting in the queue, you will see photographs of Nepal natives. While Imagineers did take photos of actual native dwellers, some Imagineers posed for pictures as well and are displayed on the wall. If a subject is smiling, odds are it’s an Imagineer, since many natives were not familiar with cameras!

The Omen Bird

This last Expedition Everest fact is easy to miss! At the beginning of the ride, when the train reaches the broken track, a bird looks down from a branch to the upper left. This bird is supposed to warn hikers that they’re on a dangerous path for disturbing the Yeti. A triggered sensor causes the bird to emerge into sight and caw, but it isn’t always in the mood to present itself. Imagineers tinker with it from time to time, so its appearance is rarely a guarantee. Look out for it the next time you ride!

The Forbidden Mountain holds so many more hidden legends! Do you know any Everest secrets? Tell us in the comments if you think they should fix Betty the Yeti!

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Bayley Clark

An elementary teacher taking every opportunity to go to Florida and explore Disney, Universal, and Orlando. Happy to share the secrets and guides to help make your next trip magical.

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