Disney World’s Expedition Everest is its newest, and most thrilling, roller coaster. With a huge drop and a rapid, backwards track sequence, it’s no wonder thrill-junkies line up again and again to ride.
But few people get to see the inner-workings of the ride, including color-coded support beams, multiple structure systems, and the details that make the ride’s mascot — a massive Yeti — so picture-perfect.
Popular Mechanics got the ticket to see inside, however, and was shown around by Disney Imagineer Diego Parras. A look at the track’s emergency break system, which Imagineers had to completely re-design when they realized that it was making too much noise, gives great insight into the time and design effort that goes into Disney’s thrill rides in order to make them as theme- and experience-specific as possible. Then, a look into the wide-open Mountain interior, which is actually three, separate structures that “fit together like legos,” brings a new understanding to theme park construction. Finally, as Popular Mechanics checks out the Yeti, Parra offers an interesting story:
Although most riders only see the Yeti for a few seconds, lit sparingly by strobe lights, the beast became an object of obsessive perfectionism from Disney’s Imagineers.
“One guy even brought a bucket of mud which he began packing between the toes,” Parras says.