Joe Rohde comments on Expedition Everest's broken Yeti animatronic

Jun 29, 2020 in "Expedition Everest"

Posted: Monday June 29, 2020 8:56am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

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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PREMiERdrumApr 02, 2024

With this new lighting - assuming it's intentional and sticks around - a little articulation to his reach and perhaps his neck would do a ton. While the original animation was incredible, it could only be fully appreciated outside of the normal pace of the attraction.

𝕴𝖒𝖆𝖌𝖎𝖓𝖊𝖊𝖗97Apr 02, 2024

I know what you mean. As someone who saw the A-Mode several times, I was always disappointed by how little you could see. That being said, them letting an animatronic sit static for fifteen years is completely unacceptable.

𝕴𝖒𝖆𝖌𝖎𝖓𝖊𝖊𝖗97Apr 02, 2024

April Fools' jokes on April 2 are just mean!

EagleScout610Apr 02, 2024

So, I heard the big guy was moving yesterday.

mergatroidApr 02, 2024

I'm in the minority of the people on here who isn't bothered by the lack of movement (or B mode) particularly. I understand many are and I'm not trying to change their minds when I explain this. Whenever I rode Everest when the Yeti was working which I did numerous times, I was always disappointed by it. I think the speed you travelled past it didn't do justice to the detail that was put into it. It was always blink and you miss it and always left me thinking "Was that really it". I always used to think the better way of displaying the animatronic to a guest in a fast moving vehicle would have been to have a longish tunnel in a straight line with the Yeti at the end. That way you'd have a few seconds view of it as you approached to take it in with it swiping his arm towards you as you got closer, the way it was just felt a waste to me. I'm sure hardly anyone will agree which is fine, it's just the way I feel about it.

GCTalesApr 02, 2024

Can they? Yes Will they? They have pretty much made it clear they have no interest in doing so.

SirwalterraleighApr 01, 2024

And just to be clear…no one is ever “clear” That’s why you can’t trust them

SirwalterraleighApr 01, 2024

The staging area on the permits filed does not imply reskin And of course…a reskin doesn’t solve the problem at the park unless it includes significant expansion

JohnDApr 01, 2024

They've been pretty clear on that. I'm not sure why you're debating that. It's just a matter of time. Back to my point, as long as they are there, why not go over several hundred feet and do something with the yeti.

SirwalterraleighApr 01, 2024

I hope that’s not what they’re doing… Rethemes are just moving deck chairs around

JohnDApr 01, 2024

If Joe Rhode is going to lead, or be part of an effort, to retheme Dinoland into Tropical Americas, can't that team be bothered to put some love into Everest and restore the Yeti?

PREMiERdrumMar 30, 2024

Notes from this past Thursday, March 28th. We were on the first EE train of the day thanks to a pre-opening private attraction and breakfast experience I booked for my group. We stopped fully at the last block brake before the yeti, releasing and rolling slowly into the scene. Reaching the cave there was no strobe light firing at all, and fairly bright blue show lighting. You could see his details clear as day as he was very well lit. Obviously he wasn't moving. On three subsequent rides that day, the strobe light *was* firing, but the bright blue show lighting remained on in full. While it made his lack of motion more obvious, it was great to see his scale and details again. Not sure what it means - if anything - but I figured it was worth noting here.

thelookingglassFeb 05, 2024

It should be addressed that the rockwork around the structure itself is looking very filthy. It's all covered in "Florida rooftop grime" and a lot of it has turned black. It doesn't look like natural dirt, but I'm guessing Disney hopes it does and that is their excuse for not giving it a facelift.

Cmdr_CrimsonFeb 05, 2024

Yep, like how to make Communicore hall and a Grand Ave Coke stand the slowest possible things to be put together..