March 23, 2009

Concept of the Forbidden Mountain

Once Disney offically released the information regarding Expedition Everest, the fans were excited. Not only because of a new THRILLING attraction in Disney's Animal Kingdom, but many thought that this could be the link to a new land of Beastly Kingdomme.

To start this out, lets go back several years where Disney Imagineers, including Joe Rhode, traveled to small villages in Nepal to investigate all there is about the Legend of this Forbidden Mountain, Mt. Everest. All the Legends pointed to a mysterious creature living in or around the mountain, the mysterious Yeti. The one element that the Imagineers focused on for this was a VERY important story to imerse the guests in the Legend, and actually make them feel as if they are in the Himalayas and searching for the Yeti. In their search for any information they could find for this Yeti, the Imagineers talked to most of the residents of the villages they visted. To get the most acurate portrayal of the beast the people call the Yeti. In a Quest for Authenticity, Joe Rohde collaborated with a monk in Nepal to learn the art of mining the raw earth to create colors. This unique method will be used to apply color and create authenticity to the buildings being created in the mythical village. The Walt Disney Imagineers went to great lengths to research the legends, architecture and lore of the areas they explored near Mount Everest to create a rich environment that reflects the spirit of the Himalayas. The imagineers had many designs for this Yeti, from a multi armed spirtual creature, to a extremely large monkey type creature, in all colors from white, to brown, to blue. And the plans for the encounter of the Yeti varied differently. From a direct encounter above him, to under him barely escaping his grasp, to a more mysterious encounter, (such as the Walt Disney Imagineer pin to the left).

After being announced at the 2003 Shareholders Meeting in March by Michael Eisner, it was officially announced and viewed by Joe Rhode on April 22, 2003 as a part of Disney's Animal Kingdom 5th Anniversary. With construction started in mid 2003 and finishing near late 2005, this mountain was built in about two years. This build was unlike anyother build for anyother Disney attraction, because the support, the track and sculpting all had to be done simultaniously. Because all fit into each other, and could not be built one by one. It was a giant puzzle.

With the January 2006 previews came pins for the Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members.

With previews started in January 2006, the hype and anticipation was growing and growing for all fans. And before opening on April 7, 2006, a countdown pin set was started 6 days before officially opening. With the set featuring Mickey and Gang going on an expedition.
Day 1-
Mickey Mouse and Goofy are at the base camp in the mythical village of Serka Zong with Mt. Everest in the background. They are excited for the upcoming expedition

Day 2-
Mickey Mouse avoids falling snow during his trek to Mt. Everest.

Day 3-
Mickey Mouse and Goofy find mysterious footprints outside their tent. Could these prints have come from the yeti?

Day 4-
Mickey Mouse and Goofy make a dangerous climb on their way to the summit.

Day 5-

Mickey Mouse passes through a dark and foreboding cave. Is the yeti just around the corner?

Day 6-

Mickey Mouse and Goofy find a car from the aging Anandapur Rail Service. Goofy and Mickey wonder if this train will take them to the top of Mount Everest.

Day 7-
Ancient legend holds that high in the Himalayan Mountains lives an enormous creature that fiercly guards the route to Mount Everest. Celebrate the Opening Day of Expedtion Everest with this Limited Edition Jumbo Pin. This pin features Mickey Mouse and Goofy narrowly escaping the yeti after their trek to Mount Everest
Coming Up ... The Story of the Mountain and the Pins

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