Monday, June 11, 2012

Expedition Everest - What happens when it breaks down?

I just got back from an almost two week visit to the most magical place ever!  I was able to experience lots of new things:  lunch at Tusker House restaurant, we stayed in the new Royal Rooms at Port Orleans, went to the Hoop-Dee-Doo revue at Fort Wilderness, and dined with an imagineer at Hollywood Studios.  However, the thing that was the most memorable - the thing we keep talking about - telling stories about - is when we got stuck on Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom.

When we get to Animal Kingdom, our first plan is to always keep riding Everest until there is an actual line.  We also like to ride in the front row.  First time around, my husband and oldest daughter sat in the front row.  Second time around, my husband and youngest daughter sat in the front row.  Well.  We never got to finish our second time around.

This is what Expedition everest looks like.  See the train going up the tracks?  That is where we got stuck.

We sat there for about 5 minutes - and then we noticed that cast members were headed to the mountain.  We could also see people from other trains being led toward the loading platform from wherever they were when the ride broke down.

Another 5 minutes went by.  I kept snapping pictures.  We could see Epcot.  The Swolfin.  Hollywood Studios.  And downtown Disney.

If you turn around you can see Kali river rapids.

Off in the distance - with the thatch roof - that's Animal Kingdom Lodge (and that "hut" across the water is the Flame Tree BBQ).

You can see the tree of Life as it stands above all the other trees.

And completely behind us - where I couldn't quite turn enough to get a photo - you can see Cinderella's castle and Space Mountain.

And then our sherpas - errr - Cast Members arrived to help us out of the cars and escort us from the mountain.  They had to wait for an engineer to arrive to put a rope at the bottom of the stairs - and once that was done, they went to the last car and started helping people out of the train and onto the steps.

Because we were in rows one and two - we were the last ones off.  It's kinda difficult to get out of the seat because we are at such an angle - you had to pull yourself forward - and then maneuver out of the seat - onto a running bar (kinda like what they have on an SUV) - and then onto the stairs.  I had the train to use to hold onto - as well as some very helpful cast members.

 Here is my husband - last one out of the train.

When they were getting us out - they said that if we couldn't get out or were unwilling to walk down stairs - they had options - I don't know what those options are - but they said they could make whatever you needed work!  (Oh, and there is a speaker system that they used to talk to all of us)

Once everyone was out - we all walked UP the mountain - and they told us to put away cell phones and cameras - but I did manage to be safe and still take some ninja photos for you.  Here we are waiting at the door to go down.

Then we walked down 13 flights of stairs - it was a regular stairwell - you couldn't see any part of the mountain from in there.

And then we were at the bottom.  We stopped for a second and our sherpas --- errr - tour guides - errr - cast members told us a little of what we were looking at:

The beams are all color coded - black and red - with one of them coordinated with the mountain and the other with the tracks - and neither touch the other.  Where we are standing here is directly under the Yeti.

Finally as we walked out we were met with a sea of cast members making sure that everyone was okay - we each got a bottle of cold water and a set of fast passes that could be used anytime over the next 10 days!

Breaking down was actually a rather cool experience.  And proved how out of shape I am as my legs felt like jelly after walking down all those stairs. about you?  What ride would you like to break down on?  Have you ever been evacuated from a ride?



  1. Katrina, you are a true joy! Thanks for allowing us to experience (albeit vicariously)a fun and unique trip. While there is nothing that compares to an actual trip to the Wonderful World of Disney,your blog (especially this entry) puts a smile on our faces nonetheless. People say that I have a DisneyWorld mentality and attitude. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one. Art

  2. While I am always enthralled by behind the scenes info, I'm elated that I'm reading about your experience and not recounting my own because I would have been terrified if I had been in your place! During our trip last year, every time we rode EE, I got very nervous at the prospect of us getting stuck on that climb. I'm like that about all high rides, but thankfully it doesn't stop me from riding them. Thanks for the great story and ninja pics!

  3. Nope, I've never been on a ride that's broken down mid-ride. I think it would be so cool! But not gonna lie, it would freak me put a bit. Getting out if the car would be the scary-freak-out part for me... my knees would be shaking, I'm sure!

  4. Just another reason I avoid roller coasters. I would have FUH-reaked out.

  5. Roberta and I were very glad that you made it down safely and were still up to meeting us right after that! Hope the rest of your trip was great!

  6. I would LOVE to break down* on Haunted Mansion, if that would mean we'd get to walk through the attraction to get out.

    While I love EE, this would not have been a fun experience for me. I'm happy just to read about yours!

    *By break down I mean completely--for more than the 2-5 minute stretch it breaks down at least once when I'm riding on each trip to MK.

    Also--Spaceship Earth broke down while we were on it back in May. For 20 minutes. Cast members with flashlights immediately sprung into action. We kept hearing things about a "blocked track," and "maybe a purse strap," or "it could be someone's Key card." At one point they asked, via loud speaker, if any of us had accidentally dropped something on the track, or if something might have fallen from a backpack or purse. Scott asked the CM closest to us if this was a common occurrence (I've ridden Spaceship Earth dozens of times and this has never happened--for longer than a minute or two, that is) & the reply was, "Officially? Of course not! Honestly? Yes. And 9 times out of 10 it's because a rider has dropped something onto the track." Interesting! And after 20 minutes, we resumed our ride...with Dame Judi picking up right where she'd left off, YAY!

  7. Cool and Scary all at the same time!!! I can't believe they evacuated you in such a dangerous spot!!! I was on Superman at Six Flags with both my sons in law on either side of me. We had just moved out and were in the "flying" position when the ride stopped. We hung there for about 20 minutes, then it just started without warning and we were 0 to 60 in a split second! Both the guys grabbed my hands (which I had outstretched in flying mode!!) and clutched them during the entire ride. It was hysterical, I'll never forget it!

  8. Oh my gosh I would have been so scared breaking down on the right, must have been fascinating seeing the inside workings!

  9. That sounds so cool. I would have loved it! Thanks for those ninja shots too!

  10. What a fun experience! I don't think I could have made it up the stairs. I'll have to keep that in mind next time.


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