The Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland is a pair of intertwined steel roller coasters that have been a staple of the park since their opening on June 14, 1959. This ride is a unique blend of thrilling adventure and cutting-edge engineering, with a rich history that dates back to the earliest days of Disneyland.
The Matterhorn at Disneyland, officially known as the Matterhorn Bobsleds, is an iconic pair of intertwined steel roller coasters inspired by the real Matterhorn mountain in the Swiss Alps. Opened in 1959, it was the first-ever tubular steel roller coaster and is known for its thrilling ride experience that includes a high-speed journey down icy slopes and encounters with the Abominable Snowman. It’s a beloved part of Disneyland’s history and a testament to the park’s creativity and engineering ingenuity.
The Inspiration Behind the Matterhorn
The Matterhorn Bobsleds was inspired by the real Matterhorn, a majestic mountain in the Swiss Alps. Walt Disney himself, while on a trip to Switzerland, sent a postcard of the Matterhorn to his team with the simple instruction, “Build This”. Thus, the first-ever tubular steel roller coaster was born. The ride was designed by coaster builder Arrow Development and WED Imagineering, and it was the first roller coaster to employ a tubular steel track and an electronic dispatch system, setting a new standard for roller coasters worldwide.
The Ride Experience
Riders on the Matterhorn Bobsleds can expect a thrilling journey that begins with a climb to a height of 80 feet inside an icy cave. As they reach the summit, they are treated to sweeping views of Disneyland before plunging into a high-speed journey down the icy slopes of the Matterhorn, weaving in and out of dark caves and along jagged rocky ledges. The attraction also features encounters with the Abominable Snowman, adding a touch of excitement and fear to the ride.
Unique Features of the Matterhorn
The Matterhorn Bobsleds stands out for several reasons. It was the first thrill ride at Disneyland and the first tubular steel roller coaster in the world. The ride has two separate tracks, each offering a slightly different ride experience. The Matterhorn is also the only Disney roller coaster with a single rider line, making it a great option for those visiting the park alone or willing to split up their party for a shorter wait time.
Renovations and Changes
Over the years, the Matterhorn has undergone several changes. In 1978, the ride received a major overhaul that included the addition of the Abominable Snowman and the creation of more detailed, icy caves. In 2012, the ride was closed for a six-month refurbishment that saw the addition of new, safer ride vehicles. Most recently, in 2018, the waiting queue was redesigned to accommodate more guests.
The Matterhorn’s Contribution to Disneyland
The Matterhorn Bobsleds is a beloved part of Disneyland’s history and lore. It’s not just a roller coaster; it’s a testament to the ingenuity and creativity that has made Disneyland the Happiest Place on Earth. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for an exciting ride or a Disney fan interested in the park’s history, the Matterhorn has something to offer.
In conclusion, the Matterhorn Bobsleds is more than just a roller coaster. It’s a piece of Disneyland history, a marvel of engineering, and a thrilling ride all rolled into one. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned Disneyland veteran, don’t miss the chance to experience this iconic ride for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the ride on the Matterhorn Bobsleds?
The ride on the Matterhorn Bobsleds lasts approximately 2 minutes and 15 seconds.
Is the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride suitable for young children?
The Matterhorn Bobsleds has a height requirement of 42 inches (107 cm), so it may not be suitable for very young children. It is also a thrill ride with fast speeds and sudden drops, which may be too intense for some children.
Are there any restrictions for riding the Matterhorn Bobsleds?
Yes, aside from the height requirement, pregnant women and guests with certain health conditions such as heart problems or back or neck problems are advised not to ride the Matterhorn Bobsleds.
Is the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride available all year round?
The Matterhorn Bobsleds is typically open year-round, but it may be closed for maintenance or due to weather conditions. It’s always a good idea to check the Disneyland website or app for the most up-to-date information.
How many people can ride in one bobsled on the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride?
Each bobsled on the Matterhorn Bobsleds can accommodate up to six riders.