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Disneyland Article
15 Things You Never Knew About Matterhorn Bobsleds
Orange County Register
Brady Macdonald
Fans of Disneyland’s first E-Ticket attraction that ascends an icy slope and throttles through snowy chutes will be without their favorite high-speed thrill ride as Matterhorn Bobsleds undergoes an extensive overhaul over the next few weeks.

The Matterhorn Bobsled attraction at Disneyland will return in the fall after a seasonal refurbishment, according to signage in the park.

1) A 20-foot-tall star-shaped topper installed by crane has transformed Disneyland’s Matterhorn into the world’s largest Christmas tree in decades past.

2) Santa Claus has scaled Disneyland’s Matterhorn and stood atop the peak during the installation of the big Christmastime star.

3) Disneyland has its own team of mountain climbers that have scaled the park’s Matterhorn through the years.

4) Mickey Mouse began scaling Disneyland’s Matterhorn in the mid-1990s, often cheered on by Minnie and Goofy.

5) A secret basketball half court exists inside the peak of Disneyland’s Matterhorn that is tall enough for employees to play a game of one-on-one.

6) King Baudouin of Belgium once asked Walt Disney why the Matterhorn had holes in it where the Skyway once passed through the mountain. Walt’s reply: “Because it’s a Swiss mountain.”

7) Disneyland’s Matterhorn is based on the 1959 Disney film “Third Man on the Mountain,” adapted from James Ramsey Ullman’s novel, “Banner in the Sky.”

8) While on location in Switzerland for the filming of the movie in 1958, Walt Disney mailed his Imagineers a postcard of the Matterhorn mountain with two words scrawled across the back: “Build this!”

9) Disneyland’s Matterhorn debuted in 1959 as part of the first major expansion of the park, which also included the Disneyland Monorail, Submarine Voyage, Fantasyland Autopia and the Motor Boat Cruise.

10) The real Matterhorn mountain on the Swiss-Italian border derives its name from the German words Matte, meaning “meadow,” and Horn, which means “peak.”

11) Walt Disney always intended to include the abominable snowman in the Matterhorn Bobsleds, but the mythical monster did not join the ride until a 1978 update.

12) The landmark ride was the world’s first roller coaster with a tubular steel track and an electronic dispatch system that allowed for more than one car on the track at a time. The development of Matterhorn Bobsleds by the ridemaker that would become known as Arrow Dynamics launched the modern roller coaster industry with its gravity-defying loops, twists and inversions.

13) The Fantasyland track is slightly longer and features sharper curves than the Tomorrowland track.

14) Through the use of forced perspective, the 147-foot-tall Disneyland mountain is exactly 100 times shorter than Switzerland’s 14,700-foot-tall original.

15) The ride operator observation deck poking up from the top of the Matterhorn attraction queue building was inspired by the clock tower in Zermatt, Switzerland.

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