Gibbons swing through an ancient Thai temple and tigers stalk in the high grass: this is Asia, Disney style. The primary note in the architecture is of India, although details may be noted from other neighboring regions and there's a segue into Nepal near Everest. The Asia section is home to one of Animal Kingdom's wildest, and wettest, rides, and its wildest roller coaster.
Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. The latest addition to Walt Disney World's mountain range is the tallest and wildest yet. It's nominally a runaway train roller coaster (there are no inversions) like Big Thunder Mountain, but this is Big Thunder's big brother -- on steroids.
We enter through the peaceful village of Serka Zong, nestled at the base of the mighty Everest. After a trip through the tour outfitter and the Yeti museum (just part of the wonderful theming on this attraction) we're ready to take the little old tea train up the mountain -- but, beware, for the legendary Yeti protects his lair. The tracks have been torn up, and there's nowhere to go but down, backward, until the shadowy Yeti interferes again, and we're sent rushing forward only to come face to face with the fearsome monster! But the Yeti is the least of our problems as we go careening down the mountain out of control and race through a series of high speed turns.
Expedition Everest is a serious thrill ride and numerous warnings are posted. If Big Thunder Mountain Railroad scares you, Everest will terrify you. If you think Big Thunder is for wimps, you'll love Everest. (Height requirement 44").
Kali River Rapids. Round 12 passenger rafts challenge river rapids, waterfalls, and fountains in this exciting, if not very long, adventure. Along the way you pass an ancient temple as well as a section of river that has been ravaged by unscrupulous loggers and is now choked with burning logs. You will get wet, especially if you happen to be sitting in the back when your raft goes over the fountain near the beginning of the ride. Watch out for those elephant fountains at the end of the ride, especially if you see someone with an evil grin waiting on the bridge as you pass below.
The small village of Anandapur serving as the ride's queue area is a masterwork of Disney Imagineering, authentically recreating an Indian temple, curio shop, and the offices of our river rafting company with many fine touches and featuring numerous detail pieces imported from India.
Maharajah Jungle Trek. This walk through the ruins of ancient temples brings us to encounters with tapirs, giant fruit bats, and tigers (which, like most cats, spend much of the day sleeping -- but they're beautiful to see nonetheless).
Flights of Wonder. Animal Kingdom's bird show puts the emphasis on the natural behaviors and soaring majesty of members of the avian world -- no roller-skating parrots here. Features many varieties of exotic birds from the beautiful to the downright majestic.
Yak and Yeti Restaurant. No yak or yeti is to be found on the menu, instead Asian fusion cuisine is highlighted at Animal Kingdom's newest table service restaurant.
Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes. This is the quick service side of the above.
Anandapur Ice Cream, for ice cream and floats (now, this is an ice cream truck).
Royal Anandapur Tea Company. This little stand offers a variety of exotic and flavored teas, both hot and iced. (But since when is "Tall" and "Venti" authentic Asian terminology?)
Mandala Gifts has merchandise themed to India and Asia, with a concentration in Tigers (and Tiggers, too).
Serka Zong Bazaar. Looking for Expedition Everest souvenirs? Look no further than right here at the ride exit.
From Asia you can walk to Discovery Island,