On This Day In Disney History

April 7, 2006, the grand opening of Expedition Everest.  Yes, today is the anniversary of the day the Yeti became a big part of Animal Kingdom.

The ceremonial grand opening is led by Disney CEO Bob Iger and theme parks chairman Jay Rasulo. The attraction, which features a snowy mountain setting and an “abominable snowman” figure, is sculpted from 1,800 tons of steel, and covering more than six acres!

It is listed in the 2011 book of Guinness World Records as the most expensive roller coaster in the world. Including sets and extras, its total cost was reported to be US $100 million, following 6 years of planning and construction. It is the tallest of the artificial mountains at Walt Disney World and in the world. Contrary to popular belief, Expedition Everest is not Florida’s tallest mountain. Expedition Everest stands at 199 feet tall while Walton County’s Britton Hill is 345 feet tall. However, it is Disney’s 18th mountain-themed attraction.

The Yeti is the largest and most complex audio-animatronic figure ever built by Walt Disney Imagineering. It is 22 feet tall. Its “skin” measures 1,000 square feet, and is held in place by 1,000 snaps and 250 zippers. Its movement is controlled by 19 actuators (when functioning in “A-mode”, its full mode of operation). It can move 5 ft horizontally and 2 ft vertically when functioning in “A-mode”.

The Yeti has not been in full “A-mode” operation since a few months after the ride’s opening, when its framing split, causing significant risk of catastrophic malfunction if it were operated. It currently only operates in the alternative “B-mode”, which is limited to a strobe-light effect designed to give the appearance of movement, earning it the nickname “Disco Yeti”. The problem was caused by damage to the yeti’s concrete base structure, which is unlikely to be repaired until a major refurbishment in the future, because the design limits access to the Yeti without major deconstructing of the superstructure.

Even without the full Yeti movement, this is still by far one of my favorite attractions in all of Walt Disney World.

Happy Anniversary to Expedition Everest and the Yeti!!!



Co-Owner / Webmaster / Business Relations / PT Writer As co-owner and co-creator of The Main Street Mouse. Working in a technical support position for 18 years, it was time for a change. As the Webmaster and Project Planner, I spend most of my time researching everything from the latest Disney News, technology advances and of course keeping up on all the Marvel news that comes out. I never considered myself a writer but I’ve come to like blogging and sharing news with all. I feel blessed everyday that I get to spend my days working with my best friend and love of my life while we continue to grow and expand what started as a hobby all those years ago.

Scott has 3592 posts and counting. See all posts by Scott


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