Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fun Facts: Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest is a runaway mine coaster found at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The ride features a backwards section and an encounter with a giant animatronic yeti. Here are some fun facts:

The ride was manufactured by Vekoma.

The mountain is 199 feet taller. If it were any taller a red beacon light would've had to been placed on top ruining the effect and theme.

The ride has 13 trains, 7 of which can be used at one time. Each train is only supposed to run continuously for a maximum of 5 hours. This is something I've often wondered about because most regional amusement park's coasters have only two trains and they run ten or more hours a day. Is this a Vekoma or Disney imposed rule?

The interesting thing about this ride for me as an engineer is the fact that it is actually three separate structures that never touch each other: the coaster, the mountain and the yeti. The coaster is a dynamic structure that vibrates and can yield a little bit without getting damaged. The coaster supports are colored black. There's that old saying for coasters "if it doesn't shake it's going to break." The mountain is a static structure. The fake rock work is constructed from plaster which would crack under vibrations. The mountain supports are red in color. The yeti structure is also dynamic.

The anti-roll back device uses magnetic fields so that it doesn't make the typical click-click-click sound while going up the lift hill.

This is another ride where I could draw you the entire layout of Expedition Everest even though I've never been on it (or even near it). The last time I was at Disney's Animal Kingdom was 2003. Everest opened in 2006.

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