One of the original women on the Disneyland design team was Miss Harriet Burns, the creator of the Matterhorn model and sculpture. The history and design of Disney's first mountain, the Matterhorn and the world's first ever tubular steel roller coaster.
Walt Disney's vision for what he wanted Disneyland to be was absolutely so unique and so special for the time. It's a template that still holds up today not only in Disney Parks but theme parks all around the world. And like everything with Disneyland it's a little jigsaw puzzle, an incredibly small theme park located in the city of Anaheim which wasn't a city when Disneyland opened. It was farm country but a city accidentally sprouted up all around it. Because it is a jigsaw puzzle every piece of the puzzle somehow has to fit into the one next to it.
Everyone knows how small Sleeping Beauty Castle is by comparison to Cinderella castle in Orlando. The idea was to make Walt's Castle, the original Disney Castle, feel as tall as possible. Therefore they took all the ground around to create a mound for it to set on. After All Disneyland was built inside of one year! In 1954 this Orange Grove would transform into Disneyland now visited by millions of people all around the world and it was done on an incredible budget.
If you dig out all of the earth to create the moat around the castle and also pad it up on a pedestal, there's a lot more dirt left over. Two stories of dirt which became Holiday Hill, place some benches a little bit of flowers and slight design decoration and now you have a lookout point.
Walt Disney absolutely hated Holiday Hill! It was just a pile of dirt in his park and not exactly what he envisioned. He knew he could do better as always held himself to a higher standard.
Along the way trying to figure out what to do with this parcel of land, he came up with some pretty crazy ideas. If you notice the monorail pedestals in front of the Matterhorn are extremely short compared to the ones that are on the back of the Matterhorn to make the peak of the mountain feel even taller.
We'll discover Walt's design solution in part two.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".