I will be giving an overview of Disneyland’s first roller-coaster; The Matterhorn. It is a classic ride and can be seen throughout most of Tomorrowland and Fantasyland.
The idea for the ride came when Walt Disney was on vacation in Switzerland. He saw the real Matterhorn and was instantly inspired. Disney built The Matterhorn on a spot which had once been called Holiday Hill. Holiday Hill was basically the dirt from the excavation of Sleeping Beauty Castle, which had been piled in the empty spot next to the castle and left there. Disney made the smart decision to build the Matterhorn on the mostly useless spot.
Walt Disney originally wanted to make it a toboggan ride with real snow, but that idea was thrown out the window because snow and California obviously don’t mix. The mountain was built, and it’s exterior looked the same for the most part. The major difference was the interior. The inside looked like a large cave, which the bobsleds passed through. The theming for the ride became much better, with the bobsleds passing through several caves instead of just one.
This Matterhorn, while not one of my favorites, is definitely a can’t-miss for a roller-coaster fan. As many know, it is the first tubular-steel roller-coaster in the world. For some this may not matter, but for history or coaster enthusiasts, I thought it was worth a mention.
The queue of the ride is mostly outside. If the wait is short, you will probably start off under the swiss-style shelter at the end of the queue. Once boarding the ride, you then enter a tunnel into the Matterhorn. You then slowly move up a hill and see through windows of ice. Looking through the ice you can discern the shape of the abominable snowman move past. You then go in and out of the mountain, and encounter the Abominable Snowman twice during the journey. Near the end of the ride, you move through a small puddle of water, and roll back into the station.
While this is a good ride, it is also extremely bumpy. The seats are hard, so you feel every drop and every irregularity in the track. While none of the drops are large, the small drops are enough to give you a sore bum.
This is a wonderful ride, and excellently themed. This is a can’t- miss for the roller-coaster fan. Make sure to stop by the Matterhorn on your next trip to Disneyland.