/ Monday, September 17th, 2007

ExpeditionEverest_logo.jpgExpedition Everest is a journey aboard a runaway train through the Himalayan mountains. Adventurous riders push deep into the lair of the feared Yeti, guardian of the forbidden mountain. On this advenure, Guests encounter torn tracks, spiral backwards through the fog into an ice cavern and dart into and out of the mountain in a high-speed thrill ride.

At exactly 199 feet, it is the tallest “mountain” in Florida and one of 18 mountains created by Disney Imagineers.

This careening adventure includes a “monstrous” 80-foot drop and multiple encounters with the Yeti

The ride track is nearly a mile in length

Expedition Everest, a roller coaster that opens next summer, will run forward and backward at speeds up to 50 mph while an angry Yeti chases it around a 200-foot-tall mountain. Each of the three elements needs its own superstructure. That’s because the roller coaster frame shakes, the fake Yeti’s actuators produce forces equal to the engines of a Boeing 747, and the concrete mountain would shatter if it moved under all that rattling.

Riders must be 42″ or taller to ride.

This is the largest ride in Walt Disney World at a cost of $100 million (USD).

The Expedition Everest is be the first ride to use Vekoma’s newest track system. Rather than the rails be on the inside of the ties, they are be on the outside. To date Vekoma has only used this system on their smaller roller coasters. This is the first large scale installation of such a system.

The ride travels both forwards and backwards.

The coaster will climb 120 feet high, include an 80-foot drop, and reach speeds of 50 mph.

The ride vehicles are known as “Steam Donkeys”, are modeled after steam-engine tea trains, and carry up to 34 passengers per train

The mammoth-sized Audio-Animatronics Yeti has a potential thrust, in all of its hydraulic cylinders combined, of slightly over 259,000 pounds force — potentially more instantaneous power than a 747-400 airliner.

To create the sense of an enormous mountain range, Imagineers painted a “mural” of shadows across the face of the mountains. The range, glaciers and valleys is a canvas of rockwork, carvings
and painting creating a forced perspective where closer-in objects have a massive look while appliqués trick the eye into perceiving far off objects.

1,800 tons of steel were used in the mountain structure. That is about six times the amount of steel used in a traditional office building of this size.

The 1953 famous final ascent of Sir Edmund Hillary is represented in Disney’s man-made mountain. The coloring of Mount Everest differs from the rest of the mountain range because at more than 29,000 feet elevation, hurricane-force winds often blow the snow off its peak, revealing a raw sheet of rock.

The mountain is crafted with more than 3,000 pre-fabricated “chips” created from 25,000 individually computer-molded pieces of steel.

2,000 gallons of stain and paint were used on the rockwork and throughout the village. The color scheme has ritual meaning to the Himalayan culture.

Artists from Imagineering used hammers, chainsaws and blowtorches to “age” wood and buildings in the village, giving them the appearance of being longstanding parts of the landscape.

Creating the Himalayan Environment in Florida: More than 900 bamboo plants, 10 species of trees and 110 species of shrubs are being nurtured and planted to re-create the lowlands surrounding Mount Everest.

Some 2,000 handcrafted items from Asia are evident in the props, cabinetry and architectural ornamentation

The ride’s Height Restriction is 44 inches.

Look for more Expedition Everest trivia in the Walt Disney World Trivia Book – Volume II