June 14, 1959 – The Matterhorn Bobsleds Attraction Opens in Disneyland
“Embark on a thrilling, high-speed run down the icy slopes of Switzerland’s most famous peak.”
On June 14, 1959, the Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction opened in Disneyland as the park’s first thrill attraction. Part of the first Disneyland expansion, the attraction was based on the Disney live-action film Third Man on the Mountain as well as the Swiss mountain of the same name. It is also the first tubular steel roller coaster in the world, with its design becoming the standard for roller coasters around the world. Although it is 1/100th of the actual size of its namesake, the use of forced perspective makes it appear much larger than it is. The attraction is also known for having a basketball court hidden inside, with popular lore stating that it was added to get past height restrictions within the city of Anaheim, although this myth has been disproved. Guests enter a six-person sled and slide through the icy caves of the mountain while trying to avoid the wrath of the Abominable Snowman. Guests can also pick one of two tracks for different views of Disneyland: the Fantasyland track, and the Tomorrowland track. Guests also have an opportunity to see mountain climbers on the side of the mountain, including very special appearances by Goofy and Mickey. Disneyland is the only Disney Park to have this attraction.