The Matterhorn is a unique looking mountain in the Swiss Alps at the edge of a small town called Zermatt, Switzerland. Its jagged profile may look familiar if you’ve ever eaten a Toblerone – it’s featured on the logo of the Swiss chocolate. It may also look familiar if you’ve ever been to Disneyland… #MatterhornMonday
Walt’s fascination with the mighty mountain first grew during a set visit to the production of the 1959 live-action feature film Third Man on the Mountain.
According to author Jim Denny (via Disney Avenue), Walt had always wanted a mountainside attraction in Disneyland to remind him of his childhood days sledding down the snowy hillsides of Marceline. While on location in Zermatt, Walt became obsessed with the site of the Matterhorn mountain so much that he couldn’t take his eyes off of it – he knew it had to be a part of Disneyland. Legend has it that he mailed a souvenir postcard back to Imagineering with a hand-written note: Build This.
In the summer of 1959, Walt’s vision came to life and the Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction opened in Disneyland. The ride is still in operation today with only minor cosmetic and theming changes happening throughout the years.
Today, you can also catch a glimpse of this fantastic snow-capped mountain for approximately 18.2 seconds at a time while riding Soarin’ Around the World (Disney California Adventure), Soarin’ Around the World (Epcot), Soaring Over the Horizon and Soaring: Fantastic Flight.