Last week we discussed the design dilemma that accompanied Walt's dream project.
One of Walt's crazy ideas about replacing Holiday Hill was to just put some snow up
here and somehow turn this into like a toboggan ride or a sled ride. Admiral Joe Fowler pointed out that Anaheim is too hot for snow and it's going to melt and create flooding.
That didn't stop uncle Walt! He eventually figured out how to put snow in this location. A Disney cast member walked up and saw Walt sitting on a bench inside of Tomorrowland and he was staring up in an empty sky. The cast member asked Walt what he was staring at and Walt replied "my mountain".
Needless to say Walt had a vision and even though a thrill ride went against his early design principle: everything should be accessible to every guest.
Eventually Walt would find his vision of a mountain in 1958 when he visited the set of Third Man on the Mountain. As a result there is snow today inside of Anaheim every single day of the year and it's also one of the tallest structures inside of Anaheim. Matterhorn is one of the few attractions that's visible from outside the berm where guests going up and down Harbor and over on Highway 5 can catch a glimpse of the Matterhorn and its snowy peak as it rests above as the tallest lookout of Disneyland.
Walt Disney would be inspired by The Matterhorn over in Europe and both the monorail and the Matterhorn are two things that Walt Disney was inspired to create by traveling through Europe.
Walt sent a postcard of the Matterhorn from Europe and it read: build this. Admiral Joe Fowler said fine we'll build it but it has to do something to justify taking up both space and budget from Disneyland. So the idea was not just one roller coaster but to build two inside!
Stay close for part 3.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".