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Hurricane Ian Removes Evidence of Everest ‘Ritual’

Hurricane Ian has certainly left its mark on the state of Florida and Florida residents (as well as residents in nearby states located in southeastern America). During the hurricane and tropical storm, we saw Disney Cast Members rise to the occasion, theme parks working to quickly assess damage to rides or attractions, establishments like Orlando International Airport working hard to adjust, and plenty more.

Apparently, however, there is one more unexpected effect that Hurricane Ian has had on the establishment that was many Disney Fanatics’ focus: Walt Disney World Resort!

It is common knowledge among Disney Fanatics and frequent Walt Disney World Resort or Animal Kingdom visitors that passengers on the Animal Kingdom roller coaster called Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain have been exhibiting a certain “ritual behavior” that is, essentially, just littering.

Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

At a certain part of the Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain roller coaster, passengers have been tossing black hair ties or hair elastics into an area repeatedly, meaning that a noticeable amount of litter has been accumulating on the fake Disney mountain and Himalayan replica.

Some Disney Fanatics find that this “ritual behavior” is a fun bonding exercise among passengers; others, like this Imagineer, find it to be an act that is of “interest” but still wasteful. As the aforementioned Imagineer put it in the Instagram post shown below, “I cannot condone this behavior partly because some poor person has to clean it up.”

Unfortunately, that pile of hair elastics has been blown away during Hurricane Ian — which means that all of those hair ties and hair elastics may now be further polluting the state of Florida and its already-polluted environment, instead of being cleaned up properly by a Disney employee. Time will tell whether or not many Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain passengers will decide to copy the kind of inappropriate behavior that has been plaguing Disney Guests and resume littering on the Disney ride.

Expedition Everest Hair Scrunchies

Credit: IG: @joerohde

Unfortunately, one Disney Guest has already resumed the practice and shared footage of the scene on TikTok in the video shown below. Hair elastics might not seem like something harmful when tossed into a contained area at the peak of a fake HImalayana mountain, but Hurricane Ian might serve as a reminder to other Disney Guests that, when nature intervenes, a pile of hair elastics can quickly switch from an amusing bonding activity to a problem for local wildlife.

It’s unclear where the hair elastics ended up, but with strong winds like those that occurred during Hurricane Ian, it seems likely that they could have been moved far from the mountaintop.

@brooke_stephens7

lets go🫡 #disney #expaditioneverest #animalkingdom #disneyworld #hairtiemountain

♬ Epic Music(842228) – Pavel

Were you aware of this “ritual behavior”, and are you one of the Walt Disney World Resort Guests who have been littering on Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain in the Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort?

Now that Hurricane Ian seems to have removed the pile of hair elastics and spread them out in the surrounding habitats, do you think that Disney Guests are just going to resume the littering — and do you think that this ritual is a somewhat harmless way to have fun with other Disney Guests, or do you find it disturbing and inconsiderate? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!