The Matterhorn in 2016
|Opening date||June 14, 1959|
|Model||Special Coaster Systems|
|Fantasyland Track||Tomorrowland Track|
|Height||80 ft (24.4 m)||80 ft (24.4 m)|
|Length||2,037 ft (620.9 m)||2,134 ft (650.4 m)|
|Speed||27 mph (43.5 km/h)||27 mph (43.5 km/h)|
|Height restriction||42 in (107 cm)|
|Trains||20 trains with 2 cars. Riders are arranged 1 across in 3 rows for a total of 6 riders per train.|
|Trains Per Track||10|
Must transfer from wheelchair
|Matterhorn Bobsleds at RCDB|
Pictures of Matterhorn Bobsleds at RCDB
The Matterhorn Bobsleds are a pair of intertwined
During the construction of the park, dirt from the excavation of
The Matterhorn Bobsleds have a striking resemblance to "one of the oldest rollercoasters in the world, Rutschebanen, also known as Bjergbanen (the Mountain Coaster, which opened in 1914 and still operates with a rider on each train braking the car on each hill)." Similar to Rutschebanen, which predated it by nearly half a century, the top of the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride is also an icy scene with snowbirds and the interior featuring the abominable Snowman is also quite similar in design. 
The structure was also intended to act as a decorative overlay to camouflage the central pylon of the Skyway. Use of the Matterhorn, both in style and name, grew from Disney's extended vacation in Switzerland while filming
The view to the northwest shows a corner of the now-defunct
Trees could be seen on its sides; by making the trees at higher altitudes smaller, the Imagineers used
In the early 1970s, the ride was officially made a part of Fantasyland, but this was merely a prelude to far more significant changes. In 1978, the Matterhorn received a major refurbishment. Most notably, the hollow interior space was broken up into a number of small, icy caves and tunnels with far more convincing theming. Some holes in the mountain's skin were filled in as well, including the two large openings at the top of the lift hill that had allowed guests to briefly glimpse the entire southern part of the park.
Another major addition was an
The Skyway continued to travel through the mountain, but its passageway was now enclosed in similarly themed ice caves. Following the closure of the Skyway in 1994, the cavernous holes through which the Skyway buckets had traveled were partially filled in. The holes in the Tomorrowland face remained mostly intact, and a
The Matterhorn temporarily closed on January 9, 2012, for a 6-month refurbishment. The mountain was renovated, receiving new paint externally and some repairs internally. The vehicle seating arrangement was also modified to accommodate a single passenger in each seat as opposed to a lap-sitting arrangement of two riders. This resulted in three individual seats within each bobsled with two cars linked together for a total of six guests, similar to the trains on Florida's version of
Part of the rehab included giving the entire mountain exterior a face lift. For only the second time ever, the first being when the attraction was originally built, scaffolding was erected all the way from the base of the mountain to the top for the rehab. The mountain had essentially been painted over and over again through the years, resulting in a mostly white, snow-covered Matterhorn mountain, but in 2012, the entire mountain was made bare again and carefully painted to be more realistic to what the actual Matterhorn looks like. This meant placing more snow on the northern side and less snow on the southern side of the mountain. For the first time since the Matterhorn's early days, the base of the mountain was mostly snowless. The "snow" on the mountain's surface in the past was merely white paint, but for the refurbished ride, glass beads were mixed into the paint so that the snow actually reflects sunlight like actual snow does. Jim Crouch, Walt Disney Imagineer, served as field art director over the rehab project. The mountain climbers that used to climb the Matterhorn in the past on any given day also returned after the refurbishment.
On January 5, 2015, the attraction was closed for an extended refurbishment in order to prepare for the park's 60th anniversary. It reopened on May 22, 2015, with new special effects and updated animatronics. On the lift hills, a projected image of the Abominable Snowman is now visible through a sheet of ice. A newer animatronic version of the Snowman appears at the top, while improved sound effects help create the illusion that it is in pursuit as the train descends down the mountain.
The Matterhorn once again closed on July 30, 2018 for another renovation, this time redesigning the waiting queue. The ride reopened on November 16, 2018 with a brand new queue. The front of the old Matterhorn entrance has been re-worked to accommodate a bigger queue area.