Rides with Friends with Shalon

This week’s Rides with Friends is by Shalon Given and features pictures by Chris Ridgeway (who has another amazing Walt Disney World blog http://www.growingupdisney.com).

I hope that you enjoy it!!!!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

An essential part of any trip to Disney World is hitting a few rides.  Although I love so many of the rides and could do them any time day or night I always have the most fun when I get to share a ride with a friend….or twenty.  Much to my delight Disney announced they would be doing a special pass holder event to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Expedition Everest.  Without even thinking I signed up for the event mainly because it was occurring after the park closed and being in Animal Kingdom after sunset is a rare treat.  There were several meet ups during the day inside Animal Kingdom leading up to the event and this allowed new and old friends to connect and plan out our attack for the evening’s festivities.

Once the time came for the parks normal closing hours we all headed for the entrance to get our special wrist bands for the event.  Within minutes we were all rushing to get the first ride of the night in on Everest.  Knowing this event was limited to a smaller group we couldn’t wait to see how many rides we could get in that night.  The first ride of the night was fun with several familiar faces, but at this time the crowds were still a little heavy.  To break up the night we decided to bounce between Everest and Dinosaur which was also open for the event.

The view from the top of Expedition Everest!

As we headed over to the Dinoland area we were greeted with the growing sound of dance music as we got closer and closer.  Much too many of our delights Disney had set up a mini dance party area with a DJ, lights and free goodies.  On several of our journeys between the two rides that night we stopped for a dance break.  This may not count as a “ride” but I definitely took away some great memories from dancing with all of my friends in the park.  After we got our groove on it was time to take on Dinosaur.

Party People!!!

Being that Dinosaur holds fewer guests than Everest we were able to secure a vehicle with all of our friends occupying it.  Of course we had all been on this ride numerous times so we tend to try and find new ways to “spice” it up.  This came in forms of grown men screaming like school girls and everyone doing their best “I’m scared to death” faces when the big Dino roars at us.  Needless to say we had a few very memorable photo ops from those rides.


As the sun finally set we decided to head back over to Asia to get a ride that most of us had never experienced, Expedition Everest at night.  Many people know that for the past few years the large Yeti audio animatronic hasn’t been working properly.  These days he sits motionless in the mountain with only fans blowing his fur and strobe lights illuminating him.  Because of this many Disney fans have affectionately nick named him, Disco Yeti.  On this last and final ride of the night I believe the entire Everest train was filled with familiar faces.  Since we all knew each other we were much more comfortable “goofing” off on the ride without fear of ruining it for a first timer.  I was lucky enough to sit in the very front seat on this ride and as we started up the first small light hill a light bulb went off.  Since it was night time the entire ride was basically pitch black, the only lights we’d see would come from the aforementioned “Disco Yeti”.  Thanks to technology I quickly pulled out my iPhone and turned on a strobe light app I had and pointed it towards all my friends riding on the train behind me, which was instantly followed by laughs of my nearby passengers.  We had successfully boarded the first disco train in Disney history!  This night and that particular ride on Everest will go down as one of my most memorable and cherished Disney memories thanks to all my wonderful friends.

The gang on Expedition Everest earlier in the night.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

As always, if you are interested in sharing your ‘Rides with Friends’ story and pictures, please feel free to drop me a line at shelley@onthegoinmco.com!!!

Share this article: Facebooktwitterpinteresttumblrmail

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwitteryoutubetumblrinstagram

Author: Shelley

When she isn't chasing her chihuahuas, daughter, or cheering for her Hokies you can find Shelley On the Go in the Central Florida Area and on-air with WDBO News 96.5 on Friday evenings!

1 thought on “Rides with Friends with Shalon”

  1. Sounds like a great time!! 🙂 Hanging out with friends while at Disney makes the trip even more enjoyable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.