Sunday, April 22, 2018

Matterhorn Bobsleds, April 1969

Remember when the Matterhorn boblseds were single vehicles that zipped along at near-light speeds around the mountain tracks? This was in the days before the colorful ice caverns and abominable snowman formed. 

Here is "fun Mom", in day-glo pink, along with her family. We don't see much of the Dad in the scores of slides that I have, but here he is, looking like a fun guy. He kind of reminds me of actor John Polito. Look at the kid in front, he had a great time!

And there they go, back to the unload area. I don't remember the tracks being painted turquoise, is that still the case? 

The Richfield eagle is headed straight toward us!


Nanook said...

We get to see the family coming AND going. Who could ask for more-? (Well, maybe if the 'splashdown' was also captured...)

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

I remember the Matterhorn like this with the single bobsled vehicles. It was still a pretty cool ride and I do also remember those turquoise tracks. I don't think they're the same today, but I could be wrong. I also remember the hollow interior with steel support structures. That's so long ago now. I also like the look of the lawn around the tracks and base of the Mountain. Nice shots today! Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

That first shot is such a fun pic. I wonder who took these? Could it have been one of the little kids that we've seen in earlier posts?

And what would happen if we were to pull down on that red lever underneath the Monorail beam? Would the Monorail come to a sudden stop, hurling all of the food in the dining car onto everyone's laps?

Chuck said...

The turquoise coloring is due to the fact that the original Matterhorn tracks were sheathed in copper, just like the Statue of Liberty.

Love seeing this family having a wonderful time at the Happiest Place on Earth!

JC Shannon said...

The single bobsleds are just as I remember them. A happy family, enjoying the day. Turquiose tracks (my favorite color by the way), and a very cool shot of the Richfield Eagle. All is right with the world. Thanks major.

Anonymous said...

During the 1978 rehab (and addition of "Harold"), the track was all repainted a tan color, which it has remained ever since.

Patrick Devlin said...

Well just let me say, "Thanks so much", for that lovely first shot which will serve as a lovely reference photo for the scale models of the Monorail (beam and pylon) and the Bobsleds that are on my agenda. I hope by the end of the year but we'll see.

The Richfield eagle is lining up for a strafing run to punish those guests who are failing to keep their hands, arms, and legs (?) inside the vehicle at all times. They deserve it!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I have very few splashdown photos, even though they are great. I guess the bobsleds were still moving too fast at that point, and the average photographer had difficulty capturing the image?

K. Martinez, I *barely* remember the Matterhorn when it was a big open structure. It’s one of those things… had I ever imagined that it would change someday, I probably would have paid a lot more attention.

TokyoMagic!, some of the photos show another adult woman, perhaps a sister or sister-in-law. My guess is that she took these particular shots. I didn’t notice the large lever, but damn, I would sure want to pull it to see what happens!

Chuck, not many people know that the tracks were fabricated by Gustave Eiffel and his crew.

Jonathan, turquoise is the perfect color for a 50’s car, or for a Telecaster guitar!

Anon, interesting; I had wondered if the track was only turquoise down in the lower part that was visible to most guests, or even the part that went through the “Alpine stream” at the end.

Patrick Devlin, are you really going to build scale models of those items? If so, VERY COOL! Take pictures along the way, it will make a very cool record of how you did it. Is the Richfield Eagle going to strafe guests with poop?? I had to ask.

Patrick Devlin said...

Models are coming along slowly since the PeopleMover and Keel Boats are in front of them. I hope to have both of those done for Xmas presents and the PeopleMover is waiting for me to pour a mold of the main car body and make patterns for the lower chassis and a section of track for display. Will update, of course.

JC Shannon said...

Major, I have a tuquoise Stratocaster in our guest bedroom, which is done in Mid-Century Modern. You obviously have excellent taste! I have it on good authority that the Red Switch in the photo was the original launch lever for the TWA Moonliner. I have an overactive imagination.

Chuck said...

Patrick, you know how I feel about telling me what my presents are before Christmas. It ruins the whole surprise.

Patrick Devlin said...

Well Chuck, it's not like I'm telling you how big the lump of coal is going to be...

Melissa said...

Hey, it's Fun Dad!

I think this is the first time we've seen Fun Mom without a hat. I wonder if that pile of curls is a wiglet? Real or not, I hope she's wearing enough bobby pins!

@JC Shannon, my Grandma was crazy about turquoise. When my mother was buying her first car, Grandma would only co-sign the loan if she got the turquoise one on the lot rather than the baby blue one she originally wanted.

JC Shannon said...

@Mellissa, your grandma sounds like a woman of incredible taste and style.

Anonymous said...

Rather big shame that Disney World never received a Matterhorn. The reason why was that the mountain wouldn't have allegedly fit within the park, but consider that Disney World is much larger than Disneyland, I call shenanigans. Then again, if there's one good thing that came from its absence, it's that we received a much larger Space Mountain.

dean finder said...

At the time WDW was being built, they planned to have mostly different attractions than at Disneyland, so no Matterhorn. I'd also guess that some of the Imagineers didn't like having such a tall attraction visible from several different lands since they were trying to make each land completely visually consistent, with nothing intruding from one land to another.
After a few false starts (like the never-built Mt. Fuji coaster at EPCOT Center) WDW got it's Matterhorn as Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom.

Major Pepperidge said...

Patrick Devlin, I’m not sure if you have mentioned your model making skills before, but (when you are ready) I would sure love to see what you have done!

Jonathan, ah, very nice. The “sea foam green” examples are also very cool. PS, there’s no such thing as an “overactive imagination”!

Chuck, I know what you mean, but luckily Patrick is making one for each GDB reader. What a guy!

Patrick Devlin, I thought coal was for the “naughty” kids. Chuck should be on the “nice” list, so he should get an orange and some walnuts.

Melissa, yes, it’s Fun Dad! “Wiglet” might be my new favorite word. I’ll try to use it in many sentences tomorrow. Meanwhile, my grandmother had a turquoise kitchen. It was very cool.

Jonathan, Grandma drives a hard bargain.

The Magic Ears Dudebro, on one hand I agree with you, but I do think it would be cool if the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland had as many different rides as possible. So maybe there could have been a alternate mountain roller coaster. I’d say “Everest”, but now you guys have that cool ride in Animal Kingdom. How about an erupting volcano roller coaster?

dean finder, I am almost positive that I have seen concept artwork showing a Matterhorn, perhaps in Epcot (?). One could argue that the Matterhorn at Disneyland, being visible from all over the park, clashes with some of the themed environments, and yet we all forgive it. I am not sure I’d heard of a Mt. Fuji roller coaster - that would have been pretty neat!

Melissa said...

Yeah, Expedition Everest is a pretty awesome consolation prize for the lack of Matterhorn, despite the two glaring failures to plan that mean it will never function as it was intended. But I'm not the target audience for the more intense, thrilly coasters, so what do I know. Space Mtn. and Big Thunder are about my speed.

A Mt. Fuji coaster at the same thrill level as the Matterhorn would be really cool in the expansion area of the Japan Pavilion, but I don't think there’s quite enough room. I know there are fans who don't want to see any more rides brought to World Showcase, but I'm not one of them. I'd love for it to be shown that you don't have to do something like shoehorn Arendelle into Norway to make a successful attraction.

Meanwhile, it's my belief that there are just too darn many attractions squeezed into the Magic Kingdom. That's why lots of people spend half a day each at DAK and DHS, and two at the MK. They're doing a great job *now* of increasing attractions at the smaller parks, but not so much at easing it off at the MK. By the 2010’s there were a handful of attractions at the Magic Kingdom that either didn't fit the theme of their setting and/or blocked foot traffic patterns that had been carefully planned. (Aladdin spinner, I'm looking at you, for the second reason.)

I found this article from interesting. Basically, since 1971 there was a new park at the resort opening every 11 years, until they stopped 20 years ago. I dunno, maybe a 5th gate *would* be a good way to increase capacity while reducing crowding. It would also be a fresh chance at a park where all the attractions are related to the stated themes. I wish the budget and the will was there to move existing attractions that are good, solid crowd-pleasers but would just be better somewhere else.

I didn't mean to write a novel, here, fellas; thanks so much for humoring your old Auntie Melissa and Uncle Insomnia.

Patrick Devlin said...

Of course Chuck isn't on the "naughty" list: I can't think of any regular who would deserve such a fate...

Anonymous said...

It's good to see pics of the old Matterhorn, just as I used to run to it, while Mom and Dad had coffee.

Thanks Major, the "Fun Family" and the commenters. Made my day again.


MRaymond said...

I have a few pics from the hollow Matterhorn interior. Lots of lumber to be seen as well as the steel structure. I also remember looking down into the belly of the beast while on the skyway.