Winter is here, and some of you may be hearing the swish-swish of skis sliding down a snow-covered mountain – even if only in your head. Here at the Disneyland Resort, we’ve got our own mountain range, of course, which started with the Matterhorn. Here are some things you might not know about this monument to Alpine adventure:
- A Disneyland icon since 1959, the Matterhorn was part of the first major expansion to take place at Disneyland park since the park’s debut in 1955. The Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction opened on June 14, 1959, along with the Disneyland Monorail and the Submarine Voyage.
- The Matterhorn Bobsleds was the first roller coaster in the world to employ a tubular steel track and an electronic dispatch system which enabled more than one car at a time to be on the track.
- The Disneyland Matterhorn was built to 1/100th scale of the original Matterhorn, or 147 feet versus the 14,700 feet of the original.
- The Matterhorn has been the highest point in Disneyland park since 1959. It is the second-highest point in the Disneyland Resort, behind the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure park which stands 183 feet tall.
- The attraction was inspired by the live-action Disney adventure film, “Third Man on the Mountain,” which starred James MacArthur and Michael Rennie as mountaineers. The movie was filmed in Switzerland, on and around the real Matterhorn.
- Guests who look quickly while whizzing through the Matterhorn caverns may spot mountaineering supplies and other evidence of the “Wells Expedition.” These scenic details are a tribute to the late Frank Wells, who was president and Chief Operating Officer of The Walt Disney Company from 1984 until his death in 1994. Wells was an experienced mountain climber and skier.