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Animal Kingdom’s Expedition Everest Ride: Everything to Know

Among the various attractions that Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers, Expedition Everest is one of the most sought-after rides.

If you’re planning a trip to this park, you might be wondering if the hype is real and whether it is truly worth your time.

So today, let’s take an in-depth look into Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain so you can decide if you should add this roller coaster to your Disney itinerary and if so, how to make the most of your experience.

An introduction to Expedition Everest

Photo of the entrance to Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Expedition Everest takes guests on a ride through the Himalayan mountains – except there’s a destructive Yeti on the loose! It’s a heck of a lot of fun and one of my favorite rides at Disney World.

The ride lasts almost 3 minutes and reaches a top speed of 50 MPH (source). It is located in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. With the peak of the mountain reaching around 200 feet, it’s hard to miss!

Health and safety restrictions

Photo of test seats near the single rider line for the Expedition Everest ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost. All rights reserved.

Riders must be at least 44 inches tall to ride Expedition Everest. In addition, children under 7 years of age must be accompanies by someone age 14 and up. Older kids can queue and ride without a teen or parent.

Guests with heart, neck, or back issues should not go on this ride, as it can aggravate these issues. In addition, expecting moms should also skip this ride to ensure the safety of both mom and baby.

Lastly, this ride has a lap bar which may prevent some guests from riding if it cannot comfortably close properly. If you’re concerned this might prevent you from riding, there are test seats near the single rider line entrance

Accessibility accommodations

Guests in a wheelchair or scooter must transfer into the ride on their own or help of their party. Cast members cannot help with this.

In addition, service animals cannot go on this ride, but there is a safe space for them to wait in a kennel while you enjoy the ride.

Thrills and scariness

Photo of a man and woman riding Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Chloe Rice/Disney

Many people ask if Expedition Everest is scary, which is totally understandable. It’s definitely something many worry about before going on thrill rides!

This is one ride that could be too scary for some riders. Let’s go over a few common fears so you can decide if it’s too scary for your or others in your party.

Since this is a roller coaster, there are sharp turns and steep drops, but it does not go upside down.

However, there is a section of the ride where it goes backwards, which could be very disorienting and cause panic. Personally I find this part of the ride to be a bit intense, but in a fun, adrenaline-inducing way!

One of the elements of this ride that might make it too scary is the infamous Yeti that you’ll encounter during the ride, coupled with darkness, loud roars, and a strobe light effect.

Little kids who are tall enough to ride might still be scared too easily due to this part of the ride.

Ride photo

Photo of Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom as a ride car starts to go down a big drop.
Photo by Meg Frost. All rights reserved.

If you love to capture memories, this ride has got you covered. There is a ride photo that you can buy as a souvenir from the Expedition Everest merchandise store.

In addition, if you have the Memory Maker package or Genie+ for the day that you ride, your photo will be added to your account.

Just be sure to wear a MagicBand so the ride knows to add the photo to the right account. Alternatively, there is a preview station once you get off the ride and you can tap your band to the correct photo to add it.

Rider switch

Photo of some decor in the line for Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, such as backpacking gear and photos of Yeti tracks in snow, and maps.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Expedition Everest is one of many rides at Disney World that offer rider switch. This option allows adult riders to take turns while supervising kids that are unable or uninterested in riding.

When my niece was young, we would sometimes hit up a ride or two while she was napping in her stroller, and utilize Rider Switch so someone could stay with her at all times without anyone missing out.

Single rider line

Photo of the Single Rider Entrance sign for Animal Kingdom's Expedition Everest ride.
Photo by Meg Frost. All rights reserved.

Yes, there is a single rider line for Expedition Everest. This is a great way to ride without a long wait or need for Genie+.

It makes wait time pretty minimal, as not many people utilize it, so you often can walk on or only have to wait a few minutes.

The trick with this ride, though, is actually finding the entrance, as it’s a bit hidden.

To get there, walk past the standby and lightning lane entrances and head toward the Gift Shop and steps at the exit. The single rider line entrance is to the left of the gift shop entrance.

Genie+ & Lightning Lane

Photo of the entrance to Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Expedition Everest is available as part of Genie+ at Animal Kingdom. However, there is no ability to purchase individual lightning lanes.

Depending on the season, wait times can reach 1-2 hours. However, many days the average wait time is only 30 minutes (source).

If you’re trying to decide whether to get Genie+ for Animal Kingdom, keep an eye on wait times on the app close to your trip to see if your must-do rides have long wait times or not. You might be able to get away without this extra expense!

Alternatively, if you get Genie+ or the Memory Maker package, the photo will automatically be added to your My Disney Experience account as long as you’re wearing a MagicBand while on the ride.

Best time to ride Expedition Everest

Photo of Expedition Everest mountain at night, reflecting in a river in the forefront.
Courtney Di Stasio/Disney

Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park has its peak hours between 12-2 PM per Thrill Data.

Given that information, if you’re hoping to avoid Genie+ and can’t use the single rider line, a good time to tackle this ride is before noon or between late afternoon and closing time.

Keep in mind that the wait times for Expedition Everest may vary depending on the season and day of the week, so mornings and late in the day may be busier than average during certain times of the year, like Christmas.

Is Animal Kingdom’s Expedition Everest worth it?

Expedition Everest is one of the most popular rides at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and a must-visit attraction for sure!

With a single rider line, a rider switch option, and Genie+ availability, it’s super easy to add this ride without waiting too long.

And while it might be scary, with a little warning and a brave face, you’ll undoubtedly have a memorable time.

So next time you’re at Animal Kingdom, don’t forget to give Expedition Everest a go!

Oh and be sure to give yourself a few extra minutes to browse the souvenir shop that you exit through after the ride. They have some super cute merchandise, like faux fur Yeti-themed Loungefly backpacks, stuffed Yetis, and “Yeti Ski School” shirts.

About the author

Photo of Meg Frost on Buzz Lightyear: Space Ranger Blast at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.

She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.

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