Imagineer Joe Rohde Discusses Complex Nature of Fixing Expedition Everest’s Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

It’s been a repeated request from Disney Parks fans for years: “Fix the Yeti.” But fixing Expedition Everest’s star Audio-Animatronic resident isn’t easy, as legendary Imagineer Joe Rohde recently discussed on Twitter.

VIDEO: Animal Kingdom Testing Full-Bright Lighting on the Broken Yeti in Expedition Everest

Spinning off from a discussion about the Disney’s Animal Kingdom attraction’s circular layout resulting from the need to economize space, a fan asked if this space-saving need is the reason the Yeti was placed in the middle of the mountain, making it extremely difficult to repair.

Rohde responded, mentioning that maintenance was involved in the design of the attraction and that their work was considered to be a “model collaborative process.” He then explained that the Yeti has created an “unexpected and unforeseen set of issues…with no easy or timely solutions as of yet.”

When the attraction opened in 2006, the Yeti was the most advanced Audio-Animatronic ever created. And with new technology, new issues are bound to follow, as Rohde discussed: “Innovation is like physical exploration of unknown spaces. There is stuff out there you didn’t know, and you only encounter it by exploration. But then… there it is.”

The Yeti broke just months after the attraction opened, and has operated in “B-mode” ever since. But Rohde’s words suggest that no matter how long it takes, Disney continues to work on a solution as complex as the problem itself.

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Robert
Robert
2 months ago

Bob Chapek’s logic: Shut down a beloved classic attraction because of snowflakes who are just trying to get famous and turn it into something totally unrelated to the setting of the ride, but shutting down a ride for probably the same amount of time to fix an important issue and make it better? Nah, not on their timetable. Priorities!

Sean
Sean
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Sure, the Yeti has been broken for 14 years but let’s throw Bob Chapek under the bus who just took over in February. If you want to point fingers you best be looking at Iger.

Not a liberal
Not a liberal
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert

It’s the Disney way. Bend over so they don’t offend some cupcake that wants five minutes of face time. Its different to change the Vikings ride in the Norway pavilion to Frozen. That wasn’t racially motivated. But changing Splash Mountain to appease and pander to blacks is going to backfire. But we, the people who.disagree because the is a classic part of the park are racist and difficult for opposing it

Bob
Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Someone who is easily triggered by changes to a 30-year-old theme park ride but not by the 400 years’ worth of systemic reasons for those changes is the very definition of a snowflake. I can smell the privilege from here.

freedom
freedom
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

oh get over it. People had YEARS to complain and didn’t you know why? BECAUSE EVERY ONE LOVES SPLASH MOUNTAIN! LOOK into the history of your beloved Dem party! Thank goodness I vote policy not party!

truthseeker
truthseeker
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

400 years, really? Then why are there so many women and people of color and ethnicity in all levels of leadership? Maybe read some history books and learn instead of spew the fake history from aoc by the way she’s Sandy from Westchester in case you didn’t know…

Bob
Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  truthseeker

Fascinating how it turned political so quickly and how assumptions were made about my political leanings, and then out came the politically divisive talk about which side is better, etc. People are either easily triggered by something as insignificant as an amusement park ride getting a new story, or, more likely, they’re just using that as a jumping-off point to vent about politics in general on a Disney website.   If someone wants to imply that having diversity in all levels of leadership means that humanity has made all the progress that needs to be made in identifying and fixing… Read more »

Tom Corless
Admin
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

If you are here, you likely have strong emotional connections to these places forged over decades. To discredit that Disney fostered an emotional connection to a ride and then suddenly told you “it’s not ok, we will close this”, and then to tell people to “get over it” is idiotic. Just because it doesn’t emotionally hit you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt others. People who grew up with this ride do not love it because they are racist (if they do, that’s not a group I’m defending). Growing up in a different region and not of a certain background, you… Read more »

Bob
Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom Corless

I have no doubt that the change will illicit worldwide news coverage, but I believe that this kind of coverage would exist for any ride regardless of its popularity, be it 50 years old or merely two days old, and that’s because the reasons behind its closure are profound enough to merit that kind of media attention.   My use of the phrase “get over it” was in reaction to another person’s use of that same phrase in an earlier comment above mine, not because of any heartless disregard for people with an emotional connection to Splash Mountain, and this… Read more »

Ryan Guenther
Ryan Guenther
2 months ago

There is no issue with a single animatronic figure that the worldwide Walt Disney Coporation can’t figure out in the span of 14 years. People keep riding and few complain so in translation; it’s not a priority.

Steve-ako
Steve-ako
2 months ago

I hadn’t heard the term B-Mode until “Rise”. Maybe on a future New Tonight, you could do something telling about all the different B modes.

Prince Naveen
Prince Naveen
2 months ago

Take the boat load of money you’re going to put towards “re-theming” Splash Mountain and put that towards something that will actually add value and Guests will appreciate, like fixing the Yeti. Fools.

Joe Potter
Joe Potter
2 months ago

I think the Yeti is too big and the forces being generated from the swinging motion when the animatronic is active might be adversely affecting its foundation or the overall ride/building integrity.