The Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, is a unique and iconic attraction that has captured the imagination of visitors for over six decades. Its towering presence offers a thrilling alpine adventure for thrill-seekers and Disney enthusiasts alike. But have you ever wondered just how tall is the Matterhorn at Disneyland? Let’s dive into the details.
The Matterhorn at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, stands at a height of 147 feet, which is approximately 44.81 meters. This height was carefully chosen to maintain a 1/100th scale of the original Matterhorn, a majestic mountain in the Swiss Alps that reaches a staggering 14,700 feet.
The Height of the Matterhorn at Disneyland
The Matterhorn at Disneyland stands at a height of 147 feet, which is approximately 44.81 meters. This height was carefully chosen to maintain a 1/100th scale of the original Matterhorn, a majestic mountain in the Swiss Alps that reaches a staggering 14,700 feet.
Forced perspective, a technique commonly used in theme park design, is employed to make the mountain appear larger than it actually is, enhancing the illusion that visitors are embarking on a bobsled journey down a massive, snow-capped mountain.
The Construction of the Matterhorn
The Matterhorn was constructed using 2,175 individual steel girders, each of varying weights and lengths, which were then covered by hundreds of plywood shapes to create the contour of the mountain. The entire form was then covered with tons of concrete that was sculpted to resemble the majestic mountain. The concrete was then covered with 800 gallons of paint to give it the appearance of the real Matterhorn mountain.
The Matterhorn was designed by Bob Gurr and Harriet Burns, two notable Imagineers in Disney history. Bob Gurr was responsible for designing the track plan for the Matterhorn Bobsleds, which was the world’s first tubular steel roller coaster. Harriet Burns, on the other hand, created the model and sculpture that the Matterhorn was based on.
The Matterhorn Ride Experience
The height of the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride contributes significantly to the overall ride experience. The 80-foot (24.4 meters) drop offers a thrilling experience for riders, as the bobsleds travel down the mountain at speeds of up to 27 mph (43.5 km/h). The height also allows for a longer ride duration, with the Tomorrowland track lasting 2:07 minutes and the Fantasyland track lasting 2:26 minutes.
However, it’s important to note that the height of the ride also necessitates a height requirement for riders. The Matterhorn Bobsleds has a height requirement of 42 inches (107 cm). This requirement is in place to ensure the safety of all riders. Disneyland enforces these height requirements strictly, measuring guests who appear to be close to the requirement for each attraction.
Renovations Over the Years
The Matterhorn Bobsleds ride has seen several updates and renovations over the years, but these have not affected the physical height of the mountain structure itself. However, the ride has seen several updates to its bobsleds and safety features. For example, in 2012, the ride underwent a six-month renovation that included new bobsleds with different restraints.
In terms of height requirements for riders, there have been changes over the years. About ten years ago, the requirement was changed to 35 inches, but with the locking lap bars and redesigned seats in the new bobsleds, the requirement was raised to 42 inches.
The Matterhorn at Disneyland is a marvel of engineering and design, standing tall as a testament to Disney’s commitment to creating immersive and thrilling experiences for guests. Its impressive height not only adds to the excitement of the ride but also contributes to the overall aesthetic and authenticity of the Disneyland landscape. So next time you find yourself at Disneyland, don’t forget to look up and marvel at the towering peak of the Matterhorn.
Frequently Asked Questions
When was the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride at Disneyland first opened?
The Matterhorn Bobsleds ride was first opened to the public on June 14, 1959. It was part of the first major expansion of Disneyland park since its opening in 1955.
Is the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride available in other Disney parks worldwide?
No, the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride is unique to Disneyland park in Anaheim, California. It is not available in any other Disney parks worldwide.
How many tracks are there in the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride?
The Matterhorn Bobsleds ride features two separate tracks. They are named the Tomorrowland side and the Fantasyland side, each offering a slightly different ride experience.
What is the minimum age to ride the Matterhorn Bobsleds?
While Disneyland Park does not have a specific age requirement for the Matterhorn Bobsleds, they do require all riders to be at least 42 inches (107 cm) tall. This is for safety reasons, and Disneyland enforces these rules strictly.
Are there any special effects or animatronics in the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride?
Yes, the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride features a variety of special effects, including the “Abominable Snowman”, an animatronic creature that makes appearances throughout the ride. Additionally, there are also sound and lighting effects to enhance the thrill of the bobsled journey.