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Expedition Everest Coaster Tragedy: Witness Details Man’s Death in Heart-Wrenching Account

Expedition Everest
Credit: Disney

A witness to a tragic death on Expedition Everest at Walt Disney World Resort recently spoke out on social media. The widely publicized incident left a permanent mark on the guests present at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park that day.

Expedition Everest—Legend of the Forbidden Mountain opened in 2006 and remains the only roller coaster at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Located in the Asia area of the park, the attraction first teaches guests about Yeti folktales and search expeditions. Once on board, guests traverse the Himalayan mountains to find the truth behind the Mount Everest legend.

Sadly, a tragedy forever stained Expedition Everest’s legacy just over a year after the roller coaster opened. On December 18, 2007, 44-year-old Jeffrey Reeb died on board the Walt Disney World Resort attraction. According to NBC News, the Florida man was conscious when his picture was taken on the Mt. Everest ride’s highest drop. He was found unresponsive when the train arrived at the unloading station.

Adults riding Expedition Everest

Credit: Chloe Rice/Disney

Autopsy results indicated that Reeb died naturally of a pre-existing heart condition. Walt Disney World Resort wasn’t held responsible for the man’s death as health warnings outside Expedition Everest indicate that guests with certain health conditions should not ride.

A guest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park on that day in 2007 spoke out on social media this week. Redditor u/sweetbeans2001 was enjoying their first visit to Walt Disney World Resort when the incident occurred. Initially, the guest assumed Disney cast members were responding to a lost child situation.

expedition everest google earth

Credit: Screenshot via Google Earth

“I was in Animal Kingdom in December of 2007 when an announcement came over the PA system throughout the park, ‘Will the family of Jeffery Reeb please contact Guest Services,’” they wrote. “This was our first trip to [Walt Disney World] and I remember thinking that they take lost children really seriously here. Of course, it was much worse.”

“Someone in our extended family messaged us a day or two later while we were still there and asked if we were at Animal Kingdom on that day,” the Disney Park guest continued. “They heard or read about the story and when they described what happened, I realized that the PA announcement was about him. That felt weird. I had rode Everest about 30 minutes earlier.”

The broken track on Expedition Everest

Credit: Inside the Magic

Another Redditor, u/infrared_hologram, was also at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that day.

“I remember hearing that announcement and finding out what it was about later,” they wrote. “Very sad.”

If you or someone you know has witnessed a traumatic event, it’s never too late to seek help processing your feelings. Check out resources from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) here or call 988 in the United States for assistance during immediate mental health crises. 

This post Expedition Everest Coaster Tragedy: Witness Details Man’s Death in Heart-Wrenching Account appeared first on Inside the Magic.

About Jess Colopy

Jess Colopy is a Disney College Program alum and kid-at-heart. When she’s not furiously typing in a coffee shop, you can find her on the hunt for the newest Stitch pin.

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