In the summer of 1959, Walt’s dream of including a mountain in Disneyland came to life when the Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction opened (#MatterhornMonday). The ride is still in operation today with only minor cosmetic and theming changes happening throughout the years.
Walt’s fascination with the real Matterhorn Mountain first grew during a set visit to the production of his live-action feature film Third Man on the Mountain (1959). Legend has is that while in Switzerland, he mailed a souvenir postcard back to Imagineering with a hand-written note: Build This.
While the Disneyland version resembles its real-life counterpart, its peak is only 147 feet high, making it exactly 100 times shorter.
While the Matterhorn doesn’t have a very elaborate queuing area, the few details present are entertaining.
- Check out the entry sign to the main loading area, it features the red and white cross of the Swiss flag surrounded by with a number of other symbols representing the flags and arms of cantons of Switzerland.
- The control booth that can be seen from the ride’s loading area is designed in a Swiss chalet style which features an angled roof and an intricately designed wooden balcony rail.
- Throughout the ride, a number of a references to “Wells Expedition” can be found. This pays tribute to the late Frank Wells, president and COO of The Walt Disney Company from 1984 to 1994, who was an avid mountain climber and skier.
Official Information: Disneyland.com