The Matterhorn is my brother's favorite ride at Disneyland.
Making the Mountain
Walt Disney fell in love with the real Matterhorn while filming the 1959 live-action film Third Man on the Mountain.
Back at Disneyland Park, Walt decided to cover a forested 20-foot-high mound named Holiday Hill with artificial snow, add a toboggan run and rename it Snow Hill. However, Walt always dreamed big, and the “hill” soon grew into a 147-foot-tall mountain. The attraction opened on June 14, 1959.
Matterhorn Bobsleds was the first roller-coaster-style attraction at Disneyland Park—and the very first tubular steel coaster in the world. The iconic attraction is also one-of-a-kind—no other Disney park can claim a Matterhorn mountain.
There are 2 bobsled tracks: 1 on the Fantasyland side of the mountain and the other on the Tomorrowland side. During slower periods, only a single track may be in operation.
Matterhorn mountain certainly looks like its counterpart in the Swiss Alps— partially thanks to the excellent use of forced perspective. However, the peak is just a bit lower than the original—it’s exactly 100 times shorter than the 14,700-foot-tall real thing.
More than 800 gallons of paint were used to create heavier snowfall on the north-facing—just like the real Matterhorn. Glass beads on the façade glitter like actual snow!
Climb into a 6-person bobsled and brace yourself against howling winds as you ascend 80 feet up into an icy cave. Take in the sweeping views at the summit and prepare for a thrilling, high-speed ride.
Swoop in and out of shadowy caves and along jagged rocky ledges. Throttle through snowy chutes and around frozen precipices. Fly across bridges and under waterfalls before splashing down into an alpine lake.
The real peril is not snow or sleet! Stories abound of a growling creature known as the Abominable Snowman—who will do anything and everything to protect his home.
Ride time 2:30 minutes.
Top speed 27 mph
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".