By Tyler Slater
Click click click… moment of silence and then… well, we all know what happens next. There are few experiences more thrilling than reaching the peak of a roller coaster. To celebrate National Roller Coaster Day, D23 is sharing fun facts and distinct details about attractions found at Disney Parks around the world. We know that Disney fans love iconic attractions like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain, so today we are showcasing roller coasters unique to individual Disney resorts.
Walt Disney World Resort:
Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Date opened: April 7, 2006
- At 199 feet, Expedition Everest is the tallest mountain at any Disney park.
- The largest drop throughout the attraction is approximately 80 feet.
- Vehicles reach top speeds of around 50 miles per hour while trying to escape the Yeti.
Date opened: June 14, 1959
- The Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction was the first tubular steel roller coaster in the world. It was also the first roller coaster to use a block zone system, which allows for multiple vehicles to be on the track at the same time.
- Towering 147 feet above Fantasyland, the Matterhorn is a 1/100th scale snow-capped version of Switzerland’s most famous mountain.
- The Fantasyland side track of Matterhorn Bobsleds is roughly 100 feet longer than the Tomorrowland side track.
Tokyo Disney Resort:
Date opened: July 21, 2005
- The design of the attraction’s fire idol was inspired by the look of Emperor Kuzco’s temple from Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove (2000).
- The hands of the pocket watch inside the archaeologist’s field office are set to the time 7:17 to commemorate the opening day of Disneyland (July 17, 1955).
- Raging Spirits is the first and only looping roller coaster at the Tokyo Disney Resort.
Walt Disney Studios Park:
Date opened: June 9, 2007
- Guests board giant turtle-shell ride vehicles, facing forwards and backwards. All early scenes of the attraction are designed to delight both forward- and backward-facing guests. Then, once in the East Australian Current, the shells begin to spin freely, swooping and diving along the twisting track.
- The underwater world of Finding Nemo (2003) is created by special “illusioneering” effects that use absolutely no water. Through other special technologies, Nemo and Squirt talk and move right along with guests.
- The English-speaking Crush guests hear in the attraction is voiced by Andrew Stanton, the writer and director of Finding Nemo.
Hong Kong Disneyland:
Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars
Date opened: July 14, 2012
- A crate near the ride track is labeled “M. Davis & Co., Est. ’79” as not only a reference to Disney Legend Marc Davis, but also 1979, the year Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened at Disneyland.
- The ride track is almost one mile in length.
- Much of the architectural detailing of Grizzly Gulch was inspired by Columbia, CA, one of the best-preserved towns in the “Mother Lode” area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Shanghai Disney Resort:
TRON Lightcycle Power Run
Date opened: June 16, 2016
- TRON Lightcycle Power Run is one of the fastest roller coasters at any Disney park.
- Guests ride atop individual, two-wheeled Lightcycles for a unique roller coaster experience.
- The cable and wiring for this attraction could circle the city of Shanghai 37 times.