Although I had less than four hours in Disney's Animal Kingdom yesterday and crowds were anticipated to be at record levels, the 40-some dollar admission fee to search for the elusive yeti was worth it. Expedition Everest is the theme park's newest ride and riders are quickly prepped to find this greatly feared creature. Does it exist?
In true Disney fashion, we were led through a scene depicting Nepal. Backpacks, socks, caps and hiking boots hung from the carved wooden beams; a meditation garden was dotted with Buddhist statues. Colorful flags, showing their weathered age, drifted in the wind as the Himalayas stand majestically.
Slowly, the train leads us up into the Himalaya range and then, a slight stall. The coaster twists, turns and dives in smooth perfection. Upon reaching the top, the yeti has destroyed the train tracks. We stall and I scream. The entire car screams as we fall backwards, racing into dark caves. We catch a glimpse of the yeti's shadow. The car moves forward, racing through the snow-capped mountain range. I attempt to catch my breath but the cool mountain air is too thin to breath. We reach another dark cave where the huge, hairy yeti is waiting for us - swinging his arm down, he reaches to scoop up the train, but we're too quick and escape his capture. We safely arrive back at the train station to debrief the next expedition on the quest to find the yeti. And yes, he does exist.