Popular Disney World Ride Will Shut Down for Three Months Next Year

A popular Disney World attraction will shut down for the first part of 2022. Walt Disney World recently announced that Expedition Everest, the only roller coaster in its Animal Kingdom park, will shut down from January 4th until mid-April. The ride will be shut down for "refurbishments" and Walt Disney World Today News claims that the prolonged shutdown involves the ride system. Notably, it does not appear that the Yeti animatronic, which has not operated correctly since 2006, will be fixed while the ride is not active. Additionally, the Kali River Rapids ride will also be shut down starting on November 1st for its annual maintenance cycle. The Kali River Rapids ride refurbishments are expected to take about a month to repair. 

Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain officially opened in 2006 and is the tallest attraction at Walt Disney World, standing at just under 200 feet. The ride is a train ride that starts with a climb up a recreation up a fictional mountain before dramatically stopping at its peak due to the track being torn apart due to a yeti. Riders then proceed backwards through parts of the ride as the yeti gives chase, until a final confrontation between the yeti and the riders in a large cave at the end of the ride. The yeti animatronic at Expedition Everest was the largest animatronic created by Disney's Imagineering department but had its frame split just after the ride opened. Since then, the yeti has been inoperable and uses a strobe light to give off the illusion that its rushing towards the trains. Due to the size of the animatronic and its positioning inside the ride, Disney Imagineers have yet to find a fix for the yeti.

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The temporary shut down of Expedition Everest means that Animal Kingdom will be without a roller coaster for the start of 2022. Its other roller coaster, Primeval Whirl, was permanently shut down last year and could soon disappear entirely from the park. Luckily, visitors can still experience some thrills at the Avatar Flight of Passage ride, which typically has the longest lines in the park.