Wondering if Expedition Everest is too scary for your group? Fear not, we’re here to help!
This quick guide will tell you everything you need to know about the ride’s speed, drops, theme, and more. It’s one of the absolute best rides at Disney World, so don’t skip it!
Let’s dive in and see if the attraction is a good fit for you and your traveling companions!
IS EXPEDITION EVEREST SCARY?
Expedition Everest is one of the more scary and intense rides at Disney World. The loud sounds, quick maneuvers, high speeds and drops can be overwhelming for non-thrill seekers. Disney doesn’t recommend the ride for small children.
With that said, the “scary” factor of Expedition Everest may be on par with that of the Tower of Terror or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios; both are more geared towards fun-loving teens and adults. Neither are thought to be terrifying, rather more intense than other rides at Disney.
Expedition Everest is one of the only rides in Walt Disney World that we would deem a true roller coaster in that it has a traditional steel rail build with many thrilling drops, turns and other similar effects – but it does not feature inversions.
In our book, Expedition Everest is in the very top tier of Disney rides. It ranks high on our monster list of 110 Things You Must Do at Disney World.
We always try to include Expedition Everest in our Fastpass+ plans when visiting Animal Kingdom and consider it to be the best thrill ride in the park, next to Avatar Flight of Passage.
Still not sure if this is the ride for you? Check out the information below to get a better idea of the full experience.
P.S. – After you’re done learning about Expedition Everest, we highly recommend reading our 30 Animal Kingdom Tips & Secrets post. It’s got a ton of essential information for getting the most out of your time in the park.
THE EXPEDITION EVEREST EXPERIENCE
Expedition Everest has an extremely unique experience. Located in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom, the ride stays true to the Anandapur village themes taking you from the base of Mount Everest to the top of the mountain and back down again.
The recommended age for riding Expedition Everest is at least 7-8 years and older, but any child that meets the ride’s 44″ height requirement will be allowed to ride. Be sure your child is prepared and will be able to handle darkness, fast turns and drops, as well as the giant Yeti at the end.
Most teens and adults will enjoy this one. If you have ridden any of the steel roller coasters in neighboring Central Florida theme parks, like those at Universal or Busch Gardens, you will likely be fine with the intensity presented on Expedition Everest.
The ride is inspired by the infamous climbing expeditions only a few have boldly taken to the top of Mount Everest. On the coaster, you’ll travel through a Tibetan temple, explore the heights and depths of the “Forbidden Mountain” and come face to face with a Yeti.
Getting a fastpass for Everest is fairly manageable these days, but if you happen to wait in line, you’re in for quite the education. The line queue serves as a travel office for trekking the Himalayas, then morphs into an informational guide preparing riders for their trek to Everest.
In addition, there is a museum room in the queue showcasing the legendary Yeti, a giant snow beast who is said to live on the Forbidden Mountain, which is next to Everest. The tribute includes photos of the Yeti, speculated drawings, footprints and artifacts from real sherpa expeditions.
Overall, we think Expedition Everest has the best theme of any Disney coaster. (Slinky Dog Dash is pretty great too.)
Expedition Everest can get quite speedy in several parts of the track. To start, you glide out of the train station into the base of the mountain going a fair pace.
The next burst of speed comes when you’ve reached the top of the mountain where the Yeti has presumably ripped the track apart. You can’t possibly go forward here, so the train races backwards.
The top speed listed for Expedition Everest is 50 mph. We believe this speed is reached at the main drop of the roller coaster, which comes in the middle of the ride experience. You slow up to take a few curves, but will continue at a steady pace until the ride’s conclusion.
Most people will feel pretty comfortable with the speed of this ride – although it can be quite bumpy and uncomfortable for some. The long turns are where you’ll experience the bumpiest parts of the coaster.
DROPS & MANEUVERS
Expedition Everest has a ride time of nearly 3 minutes – plenty of time for the fun drops and curves as you escape the grasp of the Yeti. We’ve comprised the full experience in a short description below.
As mentioned previously, the train takes off at a quick pace around the base of the mountain, then begins the ascent to the tallest point. The ascent takes you through the Tibetan temple warning of the Yeti’s presence before coming to a complete halt.
On the ascent, riders can view Animal Kingdom in it’s entirety to the right side and can see parts of the Epcot resort area to the left. As a matter of fact, Expedition Everest is Walt Disney World’s tallest attraction at 199.5 feet.
When the train starts back up, you descend backwards into darkness then feel the surprising sensation of shooting vertically up to the next stop in the center of the mountain. Once inside, you’ll see a shadow of the Yeti pulling up more parts of the train tracks, looking for climbers!
As if the train realizes it’s occupants are in danger, it jolts forward out of the mountain with an 80 foot drop – this is longer than Splash Mountain’s 50 footer in Magic Kingdom – achieving the 50 mph speed.
You take several more turns and long curves around the mountain before entering again to find the Yeti. As you race past him, he appears to be hanging from a rock, with lights flashing behind him, reaching for the riders in the train.
At last, the coaster exits the mountain escaping the clutches of the beast and you come to a jerking halt to disembark from your expedition.
Expedition Everest has a mine train roller coaster design and each train has a small, locomotive steam engine at the front labeled “Anandapur Rail Service”. The cars hold up to 34 people, seating two side-by-side and four total in each vehicle.
The ride vehicles have individual lap bars to secure riders in place and seat back pouches to hold your belongings. As said before, the rickety train is quite sturdy but can get bumpy as you move along, so be sure your items are safe inside these pouches.
Ready to brave the trek through the Forbidden Mountain and escape the legendary Yeti? In all honesty, he’s not as scary as you might think. This is my absolute favorite ride in Animal Kingdom and definitely in the running for my favorite ride in all of Walt Disney World.
We’ve done our best to explain the details here, but nothing beats the real experience. If you’re traveling with older children and teens or a group of adults, we urge you to try this one!
WANT A MORE FAMILY-FRIENDLY RIDE?
If you’d prefer a slower paced, less intense ride to fill out your schedule, we recommend you try Kilimanjaro Safaris. It’s a different kind of trek taking you through the Harambe Wildlife Preserve complete with African wildlife that both children and adults will thoroughly enjoy. We also have some tips and tricks for when/how to do Kilimanjaro Safaris.