Coming ‘Round the Mountain
Expedition Everest is right at the top of everyone’s list of favorite attractions in Animal Kingdom, and indeed rightfully so. It has big thrills, high speeds, big drops, and even a disorienting section where you are rushing backwards to get away from the fabled Yeti. While it doesn’t have any live animals along the ride as most of the attractions at Animal Kingdom do, and in fact, it doesn’t even have much of a reference to any real animals, it is still one of the definite highlights of a day at Animal Kingdom.
While I like the park’s original designs to center around real animals and animal encounters, I am glad that they went back and put in this ride to add to the park’s offerings. We do take time to see all of the animals that we can see when we are there because there are all kinds of animals that we don’t get to see all that often. But we do ride Expedition Everest, too. Because even animal people like thrills from time to time. And until the Disney legal folks let us start riding on the elephants, a roller coaster will do for our dose of thrills at Animal Kingdom.
During our December trip to Walt Disney World, we ended up riding Expedition Everest four different times on the single day that we were at Animal Kingdom. Yes, four, believe it or not. And no, we did not have to wait an hour and a half for any of our rides. We rode it a couple of times right when we got there first thing in the morning, which I highly recommend. Get there when the park opens and go right to whatever it is you want to make sure to ride because you can often ride it multiple times that way without waiting very long. We then rode it again later in the morning with our FastPasses that we had reserved for the ride, which again meant that we did not have to wait long at all. Later on in the day, we were in line for Dinosaur when it quit working, so we got another FastPass to use anywhere. We waited a while to see if Dinosaur would open up again, but when we guessed that it wouldn’t open any more that day we used the free FastPass for another Expedition Everest ride. Nothing wrong with that, especially on a crowded, pre-Christmas December day!
Some of those extra rides, particularly the first two in the morning before we used our FastPasses, gave us a little more time to wait in line than our FastPass rides, although it never was more than 15 minutes or so. However, that extra time did give me a chance to take a few photos of some of the line areas, which you can see in the two photos above. I really like how detailed the queue areas are in design, really making this seem like something in the real Asia. It was very much like some of what I saw in Bangkok a couple of years ago, actually. Very well done, even though most people seem not to pay very much attention to it. For them, it is just a way to pass the time before you get to the ride and nothing more. Their loss, because they are missing out on some fascinating details.
As we were moving along in the line, we tried to take a group photo when we stopped moving for a moment. Apparently, something was funny when we were trying to take the photo, but I’m really not sure what it was. I would like to take credit for making everyone laugh, but it probably wasn’t me. But really, that is how just about all of our trip went. We weren’t very serious for very long, because someone was always making a joke of some sort. Always nice to have friends that you can laugh with and that you can make laugh pretty easily.
Oil and incense bring joy to the heart, and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel. - Proverbs 27:9
About the Photos
As with many of our days during our December trip, this day was cloudy and overcast, particularly in the morning. So I worked on these photos a bit to compensate for the cloudy sky. For the first one, the clouds made a good backdrop for the mountain, so that turned out just fine. For the second and third one, I went with more artistic looks, just for something different. And I think that for the looks that I ended up with, a blue sky would have been slightly distracting, anyway.
Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: December 19, 2016
Location: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Florida