It’s once again time to talk about the infamous Yeti animatronic inside Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Yeti animatronic, which has sat idle for the vast majority of its existence, is routinely brought up by Disney fans to imagineer Joe Rohde. Specifically, Rohde is constantly asked if and when he plans to fix the Yeti.
Rohde previously spoke about the matter in 2018 when he stated he still plans to fix the Yeti. But, throughout its history the Yeti has become a bit of an urban legend. Some believe the Yeti can’t be accessed for maintenance. Others believe the Yeti is hooked into the attraction’s foundation and can’t be repaired as a result (it’s not). There are some wild and crazy ideas surrounding why the animatronic hasn’t been fixed.
Rohde brought some additional clarity to the situation on Twitter.
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. https://t.co/tTp3RGde5v— Joe Rohde (@Joe_Rohde) June 27, 2020
The Yeti was highly promoted before Expedition Everest opened, but few guests have ever seen the Yeti working as intended. The animatronic was supposed to sweep its arm dramatically over guests, but unfortunately a series of problems have forced the Yeti to sit idle, illuminated by a strobe light.
The video below offers a quick look at the Yeti from before Expedition Everest’s debut in 2006.
Ultimately, the Yeti hasn’t been a top priority for Disney. That hasn’t slowed Disney fans from peppering Rohde with the same questions for more than a decade. That’s a shame as some are willing to overlook Rohde’s many great achievements and focus in on a blemish he may have little control over. It’s unlikely Disney would move Rohde off a new project to have him return to work on the Yeti, especially when many guests may not even realize the animatronic isn’t working.
That’s not to say the Yeti will never return to its original form. Rohde has mentioned he hopes to one day bring the Yeti back to its original glory. When or how that may happen remains to be seen.