Joe Rohde comments on Expedition Everest's broken Yeti animatronic

Jun 29, 2020 in "Expedition Everest"

Expediton Everest creator Joe Rohde has again commented on the condition of the broken Yeti audio-animatronic which has now been out of order for more than 13 years.

In response to a Twitter post suggesting maintenance access to the figure was a problem, Joe said, "It’s not an issue of maintenance access, they were part of the design team and set the standard. In fact, it was seen as a model collaborative process. It’s an unexpected and unforeseen set of issues, very complex, with no easy or timely solutions as of yet."

In a follow up response to a poster saying that in other words, it was "messed up" Joe replied with, "Not “messed up.” These guys did not ignore something or botch it. Innovation is like physical exploration of unknown spaces. There is stuff out there that you didn’t know, and you only encounter it by exploration. But then....there it is."

Joe Rohde is a Portfolio Creative Executive with Walt Disney Imagineering, and was the creative lead on Expedition Everest and Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The Yeti, Guardian of the Mountain, is a mammoth-sized Audio-Animatronics figure with a potential thrust, in all of its hydraulic cylinders combined, of slightly over 259,000 pounds force -- potentially more instantaneous power than a 747-400 airliner.

The animatronic's motion was switched off less than a year after the ride opened in 2006 due to what is believed to be various unspecified structural issues around the figure.

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Article Posted: Jun 29, 2020 / 8:56am ET
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Pepper's Ghost2 days ago

Might be tough. The closest we have proof of is grainy video from a hundred yards away. Good luck getting him to pose for pictures. 🤪

MisterPenguin2 days ago

An excellent idea. I'm going to remove the Yeti from the ride and add a Yeti M&G!

Pepper's Ghost2 days ago

Very true, hence a point made a few posts ago that they should move the Yeti to a place that allows you to see it for several seconds. ;)

Master Yoda2 days ago

I agree, but it is what it is. When it comes down to it, the biggest issue is it is a multi-million dollar repair to an effect that probably less than 50% of guests even see, and maybe only 5% actually know is not working. The days of spending the cash because it is the right thing to do are long gone.

Pepper's Ghost3 days ago

I'm sorta proud to say after years of going every couple of years, my last time was 2009. Value for the price was part of the reason, as well as other reasons, but for me that's around the time things started going downhill, or thereabouts. I'm sure everyone has their own opinion on when that was... 2020, 2015, 2010, 1985, 1971... I guess just pick when your favorite era ended. 🙃

yensidtlaw19693 days ago

It's relavent insofar as being a testament to the degree which Disney is ignoring customer service complaints about maintenance. Unfortunately, when an attraction still garners long lines of guests they seem to assume that whatever they're doing is sufficient.

Rodj3 days ago

I am not sure if this is relevant, but it took direct messaging with a CM at Tower of Terror in order for SOME of the show effects to be fixed/working again because they had communication with the maintenance staff. Just telling customer service or to people outside of the attraction probably will lead to it getting ignored.

yensidtlaw19693 days ago

The problem is, if the people paying money to visit the 10-story building keep coming, keep paying, and haven't submitted meaningful complaints about having to take the stairs, they start to think they can get away with not fixing it. Pride in their product should overrule that, of course, and used to. But alas . . .

Pepper's Ghost4 days ago

I've read this explanation in previous posts years ago. It's the worst excuse I've ever heard for letting a customer facing blunder last 13 years. I'm not saying you're defending it, but TWDC should've fired the leaders of both these departments over 12 years ago for not having resolved it back then. It's the equivalent of an elevator being broken in a 10-story building for 13 years of a 14 year old building because maintenance thinks the builder should've repaired it. Who cares. Fix it. It's embarrassing at best.

EagleScout6104 days ago

Forget A Mode...dude needs a leaf blower aimed at him for like 5 seconds. Thats one dusty yeti

Master Yoda4 days ago

That is the situation.

EagleScout6104 days ago

Master Yoda4 days ago

In short, the problem is who picks up the bill. WDI blames operations for improper maintenance, operations blames WDI for a defective design. There might be a legal issue now as new guidelines exist regarding moving items over guest's heads, but these did not exist when the problem first arose and for several years after.

EagleScout6104 days ago

And location and size and performance