Hi all, just over a week after my first 2 rides on EE, I returned to DAK today, late afternoon in hopes of being able to re-ride again, as it was rumored the ride has been opening every so often to regular day guests for sneak previews.
Lo and behold. It was true. But first..while on my way to DAK, I've noticed "Everest" billboards are now appearing all over Orlando, conveniently placed next to heavy traffic areas in the vecinity of I4, Universal, the Beeline from the Airport and Greenway 417.
Entering DAK after a day and a half of very lousy weather, the grey clouds have already given way to a cool and sunny afternoon. Headed straight to Everest to find that the construction walls are now GONE!!! Yeah! The area in the immediate vecinity of Everest, the walkways leading towards the bridge before Theater in the Wild have now been heavily landscapped, so much so that you can't see a lot of the mountain unless you go towards the village and Bazaar and go to the observation area at the bottom of the main drop. It's an lovely area, nicely themed and great spot to relax I think.
At this point in time, Everest was down on technical difficulties so I went shopping and got me a red "Scream Like a Girl" Tee.. Perfect for WDW's Gay Days in June!!! The CM in the shop commented this was the "most popular tee design they have".. Hmmm.. I wonder why ?
Through all this, guests kept lining up outside Everest in hopes to sneak "peak" a ride before the park closed at 5pm. I went about my biz taking pics... Suddenly a roaring applause from guests nearby.. Everest was reopening for business!!! I ran to the end of the line and waited my turn. Walking thru the queue I could not help but noticed that all of the money coins that had littered the Yeti altars and gardens throughout the queue had been cleaned up and the queue looked spotless clean. Very nice! Also, most guests were playing around with the bells that hang over the queue. Inside the expedition area of the queue, look for the tea tin cans in the armoire.. The tea brand on the cans read 'Ye Tea'. Clever.
Finally reached the boarding platform... and I ended up riding in the last seat of the train.. row 17. I have to admit.. you get the biggest bang sitting in the back. You get tossed around a bit, especially when going backwards. Going backwards in near darkness makes my head feel a bit heavy and dizzy! It's happened every time I've ridden. Also, I noticed that the projection of the Yeti is partially blocked when viewed from the last row, but man..the big drop feels awesome!... throw your arms in the air as if you don't care... SCREAM! and let the air time carry you down down down...
Once the ride was over, I re-rode again... this time I got seated in row #5. You feel the gravity push from behind more than the pull you feel in the back of the train.. but the ride is just as fun no matter where you seat.
One comment I have to make.. this being my 4th time on EE, I came to the conclusion that the scene where you come upon the torn tracks and see the bird... you sit there a good 10 seconds while the track switch is in progress behind you. But not much is happening but that bird of prey hovering over the icy peak. This scene would be highly improved if they added some 3D sound effects...like sounds of stomping feet coming at you and the roar of the Yeti...to build up the expectation that he is near and coming towards you..then you escape by going backwards... That IMO would be a fun sensory effect that would greatly enhance this moment in the ride as you wait for the track to switch, just like it's also fun to see the Yeti projection as you wait for the track to switch before the main drop out the side of the mountain.
Also, the two times I rode, I noticed the waterfall outside the mountain appeared to be a bit more intense as it hit the bottom, with the water preassure being a bit stronger. So much so that both times I rode we got wet as we came out of the Yeti's cave and towards the train station.
Another observation... NONE of the trains I saw leaving the station had the steam effect on. This concerns me. As I expected...there doesn't seem to be an urgency to have these classy effects "on" at all times for the enjoyment of guest. I sure hope they don't let this efx go (or turn off) like they have deleted so many other special effects from other rides, and never fixed them again.
By the end of my second ride, it was 5pm already and time for DAK to close. Just as our train arrived at the station and we were disembarking, the ride went back down again with technical difficulties. By the time I made it out the Bazaar, the entrance into the queue area was closed to the public. Some very disappointed guests we told EE was closed for the day.
Before leaving... I made my way towards Tarzan's ex-home, the Theater in the Wild, which is now behind a construction wall... A CM nearby commented to me that the theater will be redesigned, with it's tent-like top coming down, and a totally enclosed theater ceiling built. There was also some construction going on by the side of the theater. I could not get any other info or rumors out of the CM...so I made my merry way to the exit.
And that was my quick visit to DAK... Now see it in pictures. Enjoy...