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Working for Walt: the best day ever

Tuesday Oct. 20, 2015

 

So, last week I promised a story about my adventures on Tuesday. I guess it is time to deliver on that.

For starters, Tuesday was basically the best day ever. It kind of made me feel like this all day:

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My coworkers Lyndsay, Meg, Becky and I started our day at 4 a.m. We got up, got dressed, did our makeup and headed out the door. We drove to Animal Kingdom and arrived just before 6:30 a.m.

This is where the fun begins.

Once we arrived at Animal Kingdom, we spent the next 3 hours touring the backstage area of IMG_4271Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. We got to learn how the ride operates and the story behind the Asia portion of Animal Kingdom. Oh, and we got to get up close and personal with Betty the Yeti (featured right).

After we climbed 14 flights of stairs to reach the top of Everest, we had a quick question and answer session with our Sherpas, and were able to learn the following:

  • Disney’s Mount Everest is 199.5 feet tall. This is because at 200 feet, the company would be required to place blinking red lights for aircraft, and they feared it would be distracting from the ride’s experience.
  • Expedition Everest reaches a speed of 55 mph
  • Contrary to popular belief, the yeti is not broken. The reason is no longer “works” is due with an issue in the structure that supports the yeti.
  • The yeti and the mountain stand on two completely different structures.
  • The yeti is the largest animatronic at Walt Disney World
  • The mountain itself is only partially designed after the real Mount Everest. The peak on the far right is designed to look like Everest, but the other two peaks were designed by Imagineers to fit the story of the area.
  • If you look around in the queue, you will see the remnants of an old tea shipping company, which was bought out by the touring company that “you are traveling with.” You will also pass through a small museum curated by a professor that urges people not to travel up the mountain.

After we exited the mountain, we were allowed to explore all of Asia… IMG_4324Well, Disney’s Asia anyway.

We learned the history of the area, such as how illegal logging through the Chakranadi River (another Disney invention) was affecting the animals and how they were making homes in temples the locals were working to improve.

Remnants of an expedition in the Yeti Museum designed to deter guests from traveling up the Forbidden Mountain.

Among the animals we saw were a family of white-cheeked gibbons, who, while we were watching, participated in a “family call.” During the call, the family climbs into the trees and make noises that sound an awful lot like a video game.

About fifteen minutes before the park opened, we walked back to Expedition Everest and rode it twice: once with the lights on and once with them off. By the end of our second ride, the park was open and there was a 20-minute queue already waiting for their journey onto the Forbidden Mountain. So, we left to explore the rest of the park some more.

We rode DINOSAUR and met Flik from A Bug’s Life and Tarzan (who was disappointed by the lack of bugs in my hair).

Around lunch we called it quits, having decided that everyone was too tired to continue after waking up super early, and hopped over to Epcot for a bite to eat before heading home.

This time around, we decided to eat at the Hawai’i marketplace, and I tried the Kalua Pig Pork Slider, which was delicious.

Overall, it was a fantastic day, and I am looking forward to our next adventure.

 

 

About LeAnn Endsley

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