Disney Gambles On $100 Million Roller Coaster
Disney officials are hoping a $100 million roller coaster thrill ride through the Himalayan Mountains opening to some riders this week will boost attendance numbers at the Animal Kingdom theme park, according to a Local 6 News report.
The $100-million roller coaster called Expedition Everest sends riders on a 4-minute adventure through the Himalayan Mountains in search of the Abominable Snowman. The ride reaches speeds of 50 mph and features an 80-foot drop.Disney flew creators of Expedition Everest to Nepal in an effort to make the ride as authentic as possible."Imagineers actually went over to Nepal and the Himalayan Mountains and did a lot of back story research," Animal Kingdom spokesman Richard Gregorie said. "They went and spent months and months there understanding the culture and the people and the legend of the Yeti. They just learned everything they could and brought it here to Disney's Animal Kingdom."
The last major new rollercoaster added to a Central Florida theme park was in 2000 when SeaWorld Orlando added the Kraken rollercoaster. The ride helped SeaWorld boost attendance totals by 11 percent, Local 6 News reported.Also, in 2003, the Disney Epcot ride Mission: Space helped turn around the park's falling attendance.Animal Kingdom hopes to recover from a steep drop in attendance that has plagued the park during the last few years, according to the report.However, according to a report published by Amusement Business magazine, Animal Kingdom's attendance totals of more than 8 million last year were far ahead of non-Disney theme parks in North America."This is going to be that final piece that takes us to the next level," Gregorie said. "Again, we have a lot of great attractions here already but with this with as kind of our signature attraction, it will do Disney's Animal Kingdom almost what Tower of Terror did for MGM Studios."The ride opens to annual and season-pass holders late this weekend and to other guests next month.Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park opened in 1998.Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.
Source : Local6
Source : Local6