If you’re heading to Disney World soon, and you know you’re definitely going to Animal Kingdom, then you might be wondering the following question: is Disney’s Expedition Everest scary? It’s a fair question, considering this is indeed a roller coaster that features a Yeti monster.
So in today’s article, we’re going to discuss this attraction in depth from a “scary” perspective, helping you understand whether or not this ride truly is terrifying to experience, or if the scare factor is a bit overblown and this is an attraction people of various ages can comfortably enjoy.
How Scary is Expedition Everest?
Disney itself has a warning on its website about Expedition Everest and its appropriateness for all ages. I would agree that this warning is warranted. While Disney lovers of all ages will marvel at the beauty of Expedition Everest from afar, Everest rates an HIGH on my “Scary Meter” for rides and attractions at Walt Disney World.
Let’s break this ride down in a general way before we go into specifics a bit later:
- Theming: 8/10 on the Scary Meter
- Story: 8/10 on the Scary Meter
- Ride Speed: 7/10 on the Scary Meter
- Drops: 9/10 on the Scary Meter
- Age Appropriateness: 8/10 on the Scary Meter
Continue below for further analysis and explanation on these ratings!
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Expedition Everest Train Height Requirements
In an effort to not let anyone too small for this ride get their hopes up, the height requirement for Expedition Everest is 44 inches. As far as Disney World coasters go, this is definitely on the higher side for height requirements. This height requirement generally means that the youngest guests eligible to ride Everest are about 7-8 years of age.
If your child can ride Space Mountain in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom or Rock ’N’ Roller Coaster featuring Aerosmith over at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios, your child will be tall enough to ride Expedition Everest!
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Expedition Everest Theming and Story
One way in which Expedition Everest can be scary is the theme of the mountain rollercoaster. As we know, Mount Everest itself can be a bit of a scary concept and on this coaster, Disney ups the ante on the fear factor. As its full name suggests, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain is said to be cursed and haunted by a mountain-dwelling snow monster – the Yeti.
The coaster takes you up the mountain directly into the lair of the beast, with evidence of its existence greeting you all along the way. On its website, Disney explicitly warns that Everest features “loud noises, fast drops, high speeds, dark places, and frightening creature effects,” all of which are true about the Expedition Everest experience.
The ride could very well be considered creepy and haunting, with spooky music and sounds playing as you ascend Everest. These initial creeps upwards are steep and super suspenseful. Guests of all ages will find Everest to be one of the scarier rides in the Disney Parks just on the suspense factor alone and toward the tail end of the ride, you will encounter the legendary snow monster himself.
When considering whether or not the theme of the ride is scary, I would say that it definitely is, earning an 8/10 on my Scary Meter. For reference, there are few rides in the Parks that I would say top an 8/10 in terms of theme (think, Hollywood Studios’ Tower of Terror—which you can read about much more in the link below).
As far as the story itself, Everest also earns an 8/10 on the Scary Meter for similar reasons. Very few attractions at Disney World contain themes as dark and spooky as Expedition Everest does!
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Expedition Everest Experience
Despite these thrills, the ride itself is beautiful and the setting and landscape that you twist and turn through really feel like you are climbing an actual mountain, complete with snowy peaks and lush evergreen forest design. Due to the ride’s cohesive theming and design, you may feel like you are magically transported out of Florida and into Nepal.
It is of note that Expedition Everest is a fairly long ride with a ride time of about 3 minutes!
The ride begins by taking you up the mountain and with small twists. You ascend until you reach the end of the train tracks which appear to be twisted up and broken by a monster. Here, you sit and listen to the mountain winds and ominous music whistle through the air, you can also see much of the other parks from this height and it can be quite a harrowing experience. What comes next may be even scarier though, as you are suddenly plunged back down the mountain backwards and into pitch black darkness, down the steep hills and curves that you had just climbed.
Be warned that this period of darkness is quite lengthy! The next thing that you encounter in the dark might just be the thing that may make you decide against taking your younger kids on Everest — the monster itself (spoiler alert). While you might be expecting to see the monster in a scary animatronic, you will only encounter his shadow, but his loud growls and the darkness combined can be quite terrifying.
The coaster then surges forward once more at top speeds, barreling up hills, down through dark tunnels, and on wide turns and maneuvers as your company successfully evades the snowy legend and arrives safely back at the station to disembark the ride.
As far as Age Appropriateness goes on the Scary Meter, it scores an 8/10. Younger kids might want to stay away from this roller coaster. A 10 year old could definitely have a good time on this coaster, but those on the younger end that meet the height requirement should be wary.
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Expedition Everest Speed
Expedition Everest is one of Walt Disney World’s speediest roller coasters with a top speed of 50 mph. There are very few rides at the parks that come out at top speeds to rival Everest, one of which being the Rock’n’Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios, which goes from 0-57mph in a matter of seconds!
Other speedy rides that you or your kiddos may have rode in the past could come close to Everest in speed. Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom has a top speed of 45 mph and the newer Slinky Dog Dash in Hollywood Studios tops out at 40 mph. It is safe to say that Expedition Everest will impress you with its speed, but I think that for most Disney lovers the speed of Everest adds to its thrill factor more than its scariness.
For younger guests who have just recently met the height requirements for rides like Everest, this may be the fastest roller coaster that they have been on, so be sure to be wary of your child’s limits!
As far as speed goes, with Expedition Everest being one of the fastest roller coasters on Disney property, Everest earns a 7/10 on the Scary Meter for Ride Speed. Some may find it thrilling, others will find it scary, and overall it is one of the fastest!
Expedition Everest Drops
Expedition Everest is definitely scary when it comes to its drops, some of which are completely in the dark and while going backwards! A great deal of the magic of Expedition Everest comes from the building suspense of climbing the mountain itself and what goes up must come back down!
The roller coaster is Walt Disney World’s tallest attraction, standing at a towering 199.5 feet. This explains why you get such a nice view of the other Parks while you are hanging out at the top before you begin your backwards descent down the mountain.
This staggering height means that Expedition Everest is taller than Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom, Spaceship Earth (aka the Epcot ball) in Epcot, the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom, and, also in Animal Kingdom, the equally tall Pandora Floating Mountains.
Although the height of the coaster is enormous, the largest drop in Expedition Everest is 80 feet, not the full height of the attraction. Even still, this drop is the largest roller coaster drop in all of Walt Disney World (not counting the Tower of Terror at 131 feet). For comparison, the largest drop in Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain is only 50 feet!
Disney guests that fear heights will be more likely to be afraid of Expedition Everest as the drops on Expedition Everest score a 9/10 on the Scary Meter.
Expedition Everest is a longer roller coaster that is meant to be thrilling, enthralling, and even a bit scary. A great deal of this ride is also in the darkness, which adds an extra fear factor for Disney lovers who are afraid of the dark.
However, given all of these factors, Expedition Everest is also a fan-favorite for roller coasters in Walt Disney World. Many guests rank Expedition Everest in their personal top five Disney World rides.
So, is Expedition Everest scary? I would venture to say it is definitely scary for many younger kids and even some adults who fear heights. However, if you or your child has already conquered the more thrilling likes of the Tower of Terror or Rock’n’Roller Coaster, you are definitely prepared for Everest. If your child has rode Splash Mountain already and is prepared for the darker themes of Everest, it may be time for them to give Everest a try!
All in all, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain is a must do for thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies alike, but may not be a great pick for younger guests or those that fear heights or the dark. If you want to challenge yourself, Expedition Everest is a great pick to try out, as it ranks HIGH on my personal Scary Meter for Walt Disney World visitors.
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