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Matterhorn Bobsleds

This roller coaster, one of four in the Disneyland mountain range, is connected to the mostly forgotten 1959 film Third Man on the Mountain though the ride opened before the movie did. Built on a 1/100 scale to the real Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps, the four person cars pull you up eight stories and then plunge back down the outside and inside of the mountain. The abominable snowman showed up in 1978, and has survived many tweaks and renovations to the ride over the years.

General Information - Hide Section
  • Location: Far east end of Fantasyland next to submarine lagoon.
  • Date Opened: June 14, 1959
  • # of Ride Units: Up to three cars can be on each track at a time.
  • Ride Capacity: There are actually two separate tracks, which keeps capacity up. Each bobsled consists of two cars that can hold six people. Hourly capacity is at least 1,500 riders.
  • Restraint Method: Seat belt
  • Ticket Rating: E Ticket
  • Ride Photo: No
 
Time Commitment Information - Hide Section
  • Open/Close: Opens and closes with the park. Open during Magic Mornings.
  • Wait Times: Since the queue wraps, single file around the Matterhorn, it frequently seems longer than it actually is. It should be noted that there are also two queues, each wrapping in different directions around the mountain. Waiting more than 30 minutes shouldn't be necessary except on the busiest days.
  • Length of Ride: 2 minutes
  • FastPass: No
  • Single Rider: Yes. Entrance at exit gate across from Alice in Wonderland.
  • Queue Description: No real themed queue, just a single-file corral that wraps around the attraction and then enters through a small Swiss chalet-styled cover.
Access Information - Hide Section
  • Health Restriction: Though not the most extreme one in existence, Matterhorn Bobsleds is still a roller coaster and passengers should be in general good health and free of heart, back, neck, or other health problems that could be exacerbated by sudden changes in direction or extra g-forces. Pregnant women and people prone to motion sickness should also not ride.
  • Ride Access: Most of the queue is wheelchair and ECV accessible and you should use the normal entrance for the queue. Once you reach the switchback portion of the queue, you'll find a gate that skips this portion. Wait there until directed by a cast member.
  • Wheelchair Transfer: It is required that riders transfer from wheelchairs or ECVs into the bobsleds which will require a step down and then a step back up to exit.
  • Service Animals: No
  • Audio: No assistive devices are available and sound does not play an important role in the attraction.
  • Weight and Size Issues: The bobsleds ride units are pretty cramped and even average-sized people sometimes find them a bit tight. The front seats have less leg room; riders' feet in the second and third seats go to either side of the seat in front. Just about everyone should be able to get in one, though, even if it is uncomfortable.
Parenting Information - Hide Section
  • Height Restriction: 42 inches (107 cm)
  • Child Swap: Yes. Ask the Cast Member standing in front of the Matterhorn building for a Rider Switch pass. When the rest of your party comes off the ride, two people can return with the Rider Switch pass through the wheelchair-accessible gates at the attraction exits.
  • Other Issues: Riders sit in individual seats, so children will need to be comfortable sitting on their own in front or behind a parent. The abominable snowman appears during this ride and may be scary for especially young children. At times only his glowing red eyes are visible. We have found that itís best to prepare the children ahead of time by letting them know that they will see him.
History and Trivia - Hide Section
  • At this location: Prior the opening of Matterhorn Bobsleds in 1959, the space was mostly occupied by a support tower for Skyway to Fantasyland which opened in 1956. The central support tower for the attraction was right where the Matterhorn now is and the hill that was there was called Holiday Hill and provided a quiet out of the way place for gets to avoid the crowds. To make room for the Matterhorn did require shifting elements of the surrounding attractions such as Autopia and helped prompt the closure of Viewliner, a Tomorrowland-only railroad that ran from June 1957 to September 1958 (though mostly it was the Monorail that was responsible for this closure).
  • This attraction's history: Matterhorn Bobsleds is based on a little-known Disney movied called Third Man on the Mountain. In 1978 the attraction received a major refurbishment, where the Abominable Snowman was added and the single-car bobsleds were replaced with two-car bobsleds, to double capacity and the trackway was better themed as ice tunnels. In 1994, when the Skyway closed, the passage through the montain was filled in. In June, 2012 the ride reopened with new ride vehicles, swapping the two tandem seats for individual seats, three to a car.
  • Other Trivia:
    • Making history: When it opened, Matterhorn Bobsleds was the first coaster to use cylindrical rails with urethane wheels.
    • Moving the Mountain: Until sometime in 1971-1972, Matterhorn Bobsleds was listed in park guides as a Tomorrowland attraction; at some point in that period it began to be listed as a Fantasyland attraction.
Links of Interest - Hide Section

MousePlanet Links

  • The Snowman's Origins — Wade Sampson tells the story of how the Matterhorn became the Matterhorn but still eventually ended up with a resident from the Himalayas.
  • Measuring Up: Handling Height Restrictions — MousePlanet's Parenting Panel discusses how to handle it when your child is just a bit too short for a ride. (February 18, 2010)


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