Former Imagineer Joe Rhode Comments on Expedition Everest Hair Tie “Ritual”

For many years now, there’s been a strange, unspoken tradition of guests flinging hair ties at the top of Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Joe Rhode, who was the chief designer on the attraction (and the park as a whole), has spoken out on the “ritualistic behavior.”

What’s Happening:

  • Here’s what the retired Imagineer had to say on his personal Instagram account:

“The hair tie thing at the top of Everest is Weird but also ritualistic. It violates the illusion of the scene, but it oddly parallels what people do at the top of a real Himalayan pass…which is to leave a rock. Obviously someone started it, but what is significant is the huge numbers of people who follow along. What’s going on with that? It messes with the illusion of the fantasy place completely… However, it creates a very real interactive ceremony at the actual top of the highest point of the ride. I cannot condone this behavior partly because some poor person has to clean it up…but it does interest me.”

  • Rhode takes an interesting stance on the tradition, which he calls weird, but also ritualistic.
  • For those unaware, guests often fling their hair ties off during the lull at the top of the mountain, where your train prepares to descend backwards.
  • Case in point, while Rhode sees the symbolism in the practice, it’s still not something you should be doing. Prepare to scream instead!

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