Walt Disney World wanted to celebrate its 50th anniversary in a big way. So in 2006 Walt Disney Company introduced Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This is more than your average roller coaster. The roller coaster not only has the unexpected twist and turns we all love, but also an incredible attention to detail. This roller coaster really took some impressive management skills. This roller is based off of Mount Everest in Nepal. The ride contains 18 mountains with the tallest one (Everest) peaking at just under 200 feet. The rollers coaster contains nearly a mile of track and also has a robotic 10 foot tall Yeti. Surrounding this roller coaster in 900 bamboo plants, 10 species of trees, and 110 species of shrubs was planted to give the feel of the lowlands in the Himalayas.
The Disney Imaginers actually went to the Himalayas in Nepal to study the lands, architecture, colors, ecology, and culture. They actually got more than 2000 handcrafted item for Asia to use as props and ornamentation. This is actually the most expensive roller coaster in the world. Disney’s approach to the management of project such as Expedition Everest is to combine careful planning, including schedule and budgeting preparation, with the imagination and vision for which the company is so well known. Prioritizing the needs for project success took discipline and creativity. Disney seemed to spare no expense when creating their new ride. The budget must have been astronomical. Wanting the new ride open for their 50th anniversary, each step of the project had to be met with strict deadlines taking over 2 years to develop.
The approach to the management of the project displays the embodiment of the Disney spirit: a ride that combines Disney’s trademark thrills, and impressive project management.