Expedition Everest, a $100 million attraction at Walt Disney World featuring an encounter with a giant robotic Abominable Snowman, or yeti, opened this week as a preview for Disney fans.
By placing the thrill ride in Animal Kingdom, Disney Co. is hoping to excite teen-agers about the least attended of the four Disney parks in Orlando.
Animal Kingdom, known more for its animal safari and its support of worldwide conservation, was the eighth most visited amusement park worldwide with more than 8.2 million visitors in 2005, according to Amusement Business magazine.
Its sister park, Walt Disney World, saw nearly twice as many visitors last year. "It's not as big a gamble as you would imagine it would be," said Steve Baker, an Orlando-based amusement industry consultant of the new ride's price tag. "It's all geared to hotel rooms and increasing the length of stay in hotel rooms."