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Bring the Yeti Back to Life! Disney Imagineers Struggle to ‘Unfreeze’ Popular Animal Kingdom Legend

1 August 2010 No Comment

Those who brave the wild “Expedition Everest” ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom know the beast well; a 25-foot tall, snarling, 20,000-pound Yeti who, at one time, would give guests an unexpected thrill as they passed by his impending perch. Unfortunately the Yeti hasn’t been working properly for at least a year now & Disney Imagineers are struggling to ‘unfreeze’ the beast. This complicated animatronic still sits motionless, only lit by strobe lights giving the illusion of movement.

Frustrated fans have started a group on Facebook entitled “Disney Fans who want the Yeti Fixed” & a Yeti petition in an attempt to spur Disney officials, in hopes of expediting the needed repairs.

Disney acknowledges the Yeti isn’t working properly but hasn’t reported a timeline for repairs:

“The yeti is a complicated Audio-Animatronics figure whose complex functions have presented some challenges affecting its operation,” said Walt Disney World spokeswoman Andrea Finger. “We purposely took measures in 2008 to reduce unnecessary stress and preserve many of its functions while we studied possible long-term solutions. “At this point,” she added, “we’re still considering those options.” (The Orlando Sentinel)

Being one of the most powerful & intricate audio-animatronics Disney Imagineers have ever built isn’t easy on a Yeti. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that one of the most popular theories explaining it’s current motionless state is because of it’s powerful swooping arm; “The yeti’s swiping-arm motion was so powerful that it has weakened the base of the animatronic, forcing Disney to shut it down to prevent further damage.” Constructed to appear like it’s hanging over the heads of doomed passer-bys the Yeti’s body contains 19 axes of motion and moving parts, from its pelvis to its neck to its fingers with the ability to move it’s arm five feet horizontally and a foot-and-a-half vertically.

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