February 6, 2006

WELL WORTH VIOLATING THE STATE BORDER RULE:

Imagineers traveled far for Everest's details: Walt Disney World hopes thrill-seeking tourists will put Animal Kingdom's Expedition Everest on their must-try lists (Scott Powers, January 25, 2006, Orlando Sentinel)

The Nepalese Coke bottles, pot-bellied stoves and a few Buddha statues are real, imported from Asia. The tattered handbills and intricate woodwork are handcrafted, in some cases by Himalayan artisans, to meet Disney's needs. The 200-foot-high mountain range and robotic abominable snowman are designers' dreams brought to reality.

Detail is what people get for the kind of money Walt Disney World spent building Expedition Everest, the new mega-ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The ride is the combination of a story attraction -- about the Abominable Snowman known in the Himalayas as the yeti -- with a roller coaster known at Disney as a runaway train.

"Detail is there to make you believe in the reality of the story you're immersed in," said Joe Rohde, lead designer of Animal Kingdom. "You need to not think, 'Wow, that rock looks realistic.' You need to think, 'That is a rock.' Detail at the Everest level is there to define 'You're not in Kansas anymore.' "

The ride made its media debut Tuesday and will be open to Disney's seasonal and annual passholders Thursday through Sunday. Next month it will be open intermittently to all Animal Kingdom customers, though an official grand opening won't come until April 7.


Only in America would you spend $100 million to simulate Nepalese poverty...but the ride is awesome.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 6, 2006 9:40 PM
Comments

Did you pass Hines Ward on the way home, OJ?

Posted by: John at February 6, 2006 10:47 PM

What kind of ride is it? They were just getting started on it when I was there last May.

Posted by: Brandon at February 6, 2006 10:53 PM

Who?

Posted by: oj at February 6, 2006 10:56 PM

Brandon:

Roller-coaster.

The 8 year old, upon riding Big Thunder Mountain after Expedition Everest, termed the former the Wimpiest Ride in the West.

Posted by: oj at February 6, 2006 10:59 PM

This year's Lynn Swan.

Posted by: joe shropshire at February 7, 2006 12:24 AM

What? No Marxist guerrillas?

Personally, I'd demand a refund.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at February 7, 2006 3:15 AM
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