Expedition Everest set for soft opening this weekend

Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2006 9:13 AM | Contributed by Kick The Sky

Disney officials are hoping a $100 million roller coaster thrill ride through the Himalayan Mountains opening to some riders this week will boost attendance numbers at the Animal Kingdom theme park. The ride opens to annual and season-pass holders late this weekend and to other guests next month.

Read more from WKMG/Orlando.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 5:13 PM
This ride looks like a hit no matter which way you look at it. The detail put into it looks simply amazing. The pictures of the mountain and surrounding village look unreal. The amount of work Disney went through to develop this single attraction blows me away. I'd say it was $100 million well spent without even riding it.

I last visited Disney in 1997 and nothing made me want to go back as much as this ride. Let's hope 2007 will be the year.
*** This post was edited by gomez 1/25/2006 5:16:51 PM ***

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 11:48 PM
For those who wants to ride... DON'T go this weekend! Last weekend were the Cast Member previews and it was a mess. Parking lot filled, 3 hours lines!!! for the ride, etc. Better to let the hype go down...
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Thursday, January 26, 2006 12:26 AM
I'm going to Disney World in march. Can't wait to ride this!
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Thursday, January 26, 2006 12:11 PM
Watching the Modern Marvels on WDW and Expedition Everest's little blurb was pretty fascinating. Can't wait til I can get back to WDW (some day) to ride this!
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Thursday, January 26, 2006 8:21 PM
My parents have a second house in Tampa and they stopped at Animal Kingdom on their way home. Both said it is one of the best rides in all of Disney. They said they were very suprised how smooth the ride is. They are being very strict about the height and the line today was a full que and it only took 20 mins to make it through. The line for the special annual passholder pin was longer than the line to get on the ride.

See ya!

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Thursday, January 26, 2006 9:55 PM
Keith, i had heard that this ride will not be open until april 1st, i could be wrong though. Sorry if i burst your bubble.
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Friday, January 27, 2006 12:02 AM
Well here the situation. I heard it was soposed to be open April 4th. However this article says "The ride opens to annual and season-pass holders late this weekend and to other guests next month." Anyways, it's not like I'm going JUST to ride EE, I am actualy going to a friends cheerleading competition.
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Friday, January 27, 2006 8:47 AM
That's the whole concept of a "soft opening"... it's open (essentially for further testing with real people on it) to select groups of people before being available to the general public. Kinda like an extra perk for season pass holders because the ride is complete ahead of schedule.
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Friday, January 27, 2006 2:34 PM
There is something interesting that I have noticed. When we talk about something new at a park like Holiday World, Knoebel's, Kennywood, et cetera, we generally say that we CANNOT WAIT to make it this year! However, when Disney park expansion conversations arise, generally we say that we HOPE to make it out there this year. This is just an observation and I do not mean to ruffle any feathers. Doesn't this say something about Disney parks?
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Sunday, January 29, 2006 12:12 PM
I had a few hours to spare while passing through Orlando, went by Animal Kingdom on Thursday, rode it 10 times with an average wait till of 5 minutes in the single rider line, 10 minutes on the regular line. I was quite pleased to have Passholder ERT and can only imagine the forthcoming waits.

That said, the ride was wonderful, very much a "Matterhorn" on steroids, with some really great effects and elements that make a complete story arc to the experience. As with any Disney coaster it is not the highest, fastest, wildest ride in the amusement industry, but it is extremely well done and exciting to experience. (And yes, there are hidden Mickey's on the ride, too!)

I'm so glad I stopped by and look forward to going on it again.

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Sunday, January 29, 2006 10:51 PM
Disney is a different animal, when people thing Holiday World, Kennywood, etc they think: 1 day trip mulitiple times a year (for parks close to you). When they think Disney World (and dont live in Florida) they think: 1 week trip once every 4+ years, hence the cant wait/hope to ride attitude.
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Friday, February 3, 2006 11:02 AM
That makes sense, I did not think about it that way.
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