Guests Get Majorly Different Experience on Expedition Everest

Disney Animal Kingdom Yeti
Credit: Disney

The Expedition Everest Yeti is infamous for its “disco” moves and ill-fated animatronic.

The Himalayan roller coaster at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is full of amazing Imagineering and cultural details, from its artifact-filled queue area to its Mount Everest facade.

The ride has inspired many Disney Park traditions, including the famous hair-tie toss, but on a recent visit to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, our experience on the popular Disney roller coaster was a little less…Yeti. 

expedition everest yeti

Credit: Disney

Across Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there is no structure taller than Expedition Everest. After seeing the infamous Yeti rip up the Expedition Everest coaster’s tracks, Guests soon find themselves face-to-face with the creature inside the mountain – well, usually.

The animatronic Expedition Everest Yeti is an impressive twenty-five feet tall, making it one of the largest and most expensive animatronics at the time of its construction.

It is now unfortunately in an eternal motionless state, called “B-mode.” Disney Imagineers have installed strobe lights to give the Himalayan beast the illusion of movement, but Disney World Guests continue to wonder if “Disco Yeti” will ever be fixed.

And on our journey up the Himalayan mountain, we encountered not one single Yeti, not even “Disco Yeti” himself.

yeti expedition Everest track

Credit: Disney

During our roller coaster adventure in September 2023, we did not get to see the silhouetted Yeti ripping up the tracks or the animatronic Yeti.

Both times, we were met with complete, anti-climatic darkness. In both “caves,” the room was dark and we saw no monsters. The ride was essentially a roller coaster ride through the mountain with no threat of the Yeti, not even a roar.

We’re not sure how long this issue persisted in the Disney theme park ride, but we do know it gave us a completely different experience of the Expedition Everest attraction. There was less danger and less fear – which made us sad for those riding it for the first time.


Credit: Disney Fanatic

Related: Video: Remembering the Days The Yeti Still Moved

A few months after Expedition Everest opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – back in 2006 – the Yeti’s framing split, threatening catastrophic malfunction if it were to be operated further in “A-mode”. It is speculated that the problem was caused by damage to the Yeti’s concrete base structure, which is unlikely to be repaired until a major refurbishment occurs because the design of the Disney Park attraction limits access to the Yeti.

Joe Rohde, the famous Imagineer in charge of designing Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, said of “Disco Yeti” at the 2013 D23 Expo:

“You have to understand, it’s a giant complicated machine sitting on top of, like, a 46-foot tall tower in the middle of a finished building. So, it’s really hard to fix, but we are working on it. And we continue to work on it. We have tried several ‘things’, none of them quite get to the key, turning of the 40-foot tower inside of a finished building, but we are working on it… I will fix the Yeti someday, I swear.”

Expedition Everest guests

Credit: Disney

Related: Former Imagineer Reveals What It Would Take to Fix Infamous Broken Yeti

Of course, Joe Rohde retired from Walt Disney Imagineering in January 2021 and never got to complete the promised repairs to the Yeti animatronic. The Expedition Everest Yeti is a tricky animatronic, with issues that prove difficult to fix without expensive work on the structure of Mount Everest itself.

Now, it seems, Cast Members at the Animal Kingdom Park have two Disney Yetis to fix.

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who has worked at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, and Adventures by Disney! A British native, she has traveled the world, and now resides in Florida with her husband, an Air Force pilot. Find her children's book at

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