Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Matterhorn Instamatics

I have a few precious Instamatic scans to share with you today... there are only a couple left!

We're used to the Matterhorn attraction, now that's it's been around for 60 years (if you can believe that). The mere idea of a roller coaster designed to look like an actual famous mountain seems nutty. My grandpappy told Walt he was crazy, and suggested a coaster that looked like a rutabaga ("They're a good source of vitamin C!", he exclaimed), but Walt held firm, and the rest is history. Sorry, gramps.

Here's an unusual late-afternoon shot taken with some of the "Alice" ride leaves in the foreground. The blue Monorail zipped by so fast that Mr. X barely caught it. And the Skyway moves back and forth without a care in the world. 

A different photo, probably from a different day (or even a different year). Look at those waterfalls go! Like most waterfalls at Disneyland, they are now a mere trickle. What else is there to say, except that this is a very pretty image!


Melissa said...

You can find 'em in the basement,
You can find 'em in the attic;
You'll never find a better shot
Than X's Instamatics.

Seriously, what great composition in that first picture! Nice of Monorail Blue to pass through at just the right moment.

I would totally ride the hell out of Grandpa Pepperidge's Rutabaga Coaster. It's cruciferocious!

Andrew said...

It's nice to see some of those purposely-miniature trees on the slopes of the Matterhorn.

Nice pictures for today!

K. Martinez said...

Very nice. When the Skyway was removed it was an improvement and now with the rumored removal of the Monorail track from around the Matterhorn it will be even better. By then, maybe they will turn those pesky waterfalls completely off. Static is the new beautiful.

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

On the positive side, these pics are wonderful! Walt's Imagineers did some amazing things in the early years. Also, thank you too Mr. X.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, it’s like you are channeling Dr. Seuss! Knowing Mr. X, he purposefully waited for the Monorail to pass, though I can’t say for sure. Imagineering never throws away a good idea, so maybe we’ll still get the rutabaga roller coaster. Probably in Shanghai though.

Penna. Andrew, I always thought that the small trees were a nice touch - I first really noticed them when I was a kid, and thought, “Aha! I see what they’re up to”.

K. Martinez, wait, what? The removal of the Monorail track from around the Matterhorn?? Is that really a possibility?

K. Martinez, it is kind of amazing to see how wonderful these 50 and 60 year old attractions still look; will any of today’s new attractions stand the test of time like that? Big Thunder is turning 40 this year, and I don’t see that going anywhere!

JC Shannon said...

Two great images of the Matterhorn. The colorful Skyway gondolas and the blue Monorail are very cool. Walt sure did like his waterfalls. I wish someone in charge today would bring them back to their original strength. Too bad we can't go to the Disney order window...I'll have a Skyway, a Mine Train and an order of Peoplemover to go. Thanks to the enigmatic Mr.X and the great thinker Major P.

Stefano said...

In photo 2, more reasons for nostalgia: it's summertime because the support for Tinkerbelle's wire is in place---and look how light the crowds are. They even sent an empty Skyway bucket through, take your time folks. The people on view just rode both Matterhorn tracks twice, at least I would have (though that would have depleted the E-Tickets in the Deluxe Fifteen book, costing $6 for kids in 1974).

Anonymous said...

That little corner of Fantasyland is a lot fun. Having the monorail pass by periodically makes the wait for Alice and the teacups easier. I think I see a bit of the mushroom roof to the left, and a great view up the Matterhorn nostrils. (Ever since you coined that, Major, I can't look at the mountain without seeing it).

Are they seriously discussing removing the monorail track? How on earth would it be re-routed? I can't believe that this would be planned, it's an important route back to Downtown Disney, especially with the mania for parades dividing the Park in two for hours at a time. In fact, I think they should expand it and have a stop in DCA and add another train, a green one. I'm surprised this wasn't done back when.

Photo two shows a bit of the Tomorrowland DLRR station in the upper left too. Can't beat the view from there, even today with so much missing. That tiny building is a sweet little relic of the old TL. I hope they never "plus" it. I can sit over there and pretend that TL 1998 never happened. The summer snowmelt runoff is powering those waterfalls and the mountain looks as it should.

Thank you, Major and Mr. X for today's pics.


Melissa said...

Yeah, every time I hear or see somebody say they wish the WDW monorail could be expanded, I hear a bunch of people come back with, "It would cost x number of millions of dollars per mile of track, and it will never, ever happen." As if Disney didn't have a pile of cash as big as Scrooge McDuck's. But I guess all the other capital projects they're working on now would tend to have a bigger ROI.

K. Martinez said...

Rumor from a popular Disney parks site is that Disney will remove most of the monorail track in Tomorrowland and reroute it with a simple return loop for the monorail station along with removing half of the Autopia. They want to use the Motor Boat Cruise/Autopia area for an expansion of Fantasyland (Frozen Village?) and the Monorail track as it currently criss-crosses over the Autopia and Tomorrowland woodlands is in the way. That and there's the rumor of the Snow White and Pinocchio dark rides being removed for a Beauty and the Beast attraction.

These are only rumors though and we know how some of that stuff fans out. Who knows what will really happen. The only positive thing I got from it was that the PeopleMover tracks may finally be removed.

Melissa, I always felt Disney should've expanded the WDW Monorail System over to DTD, DHS and DAK. Instead WDW gets the Disney Skyliner which is nice, but still not the Monorail.

JC Shannon, I like your idea of the Disney "order window". I'd have a really big order for them.

Anonymous said...

@Ken and JC, yes I would step to that window and order a whole new park, based on the model in the Walt Disney Museum basement.


Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, I’m surprised more people aren’t interested in Rutabaga Mountain, but what can you do. As for waterfalls, if it was up to me I’d have them on at least half the rides. There’s just something about a roaring cascade.

Stefano, I never thought about it, but did they remove the Tinkerbell wire for the off season? I guess I assumed that it was always there. Wonder why there is an empty Skyway gondola; maybe there was some sort of holdup on the platform. Like a kid barfing?

JG, I always loved seeing the Monorail pass by, especially when it came through Fantasyland. Never mind that it didn’t make sense! I think they are going to reroute the Monorail track so that it does OVER the Matterhorn. That way they save something something. Gosh, I didn’t even think about that piece of awning being part of the Tomorrowland RR station, but I guess it must be!

Melissa, yeah, for some reason expanding the Monorail has become prohibitively expensive these days. Not sure why. And I’m sure it’s not that they don’t have the money, but that they have deemed any expansion as “not worth the investment”. Bummer.

K. Martinez, to be honest if they are going to remove half of the Autopia track, I’d rather they just get rid of that attraction altogether. Not that I want it to happen, but I get it - that thing eats up so much real estate. I’ve never been that big of a fan of “Beauty and the Beast”, but I know that puts me in a very small minority. So the idea of a BATB ride… meh. Frozen Village, oy vey. Ah well, it has nothing to do with me, clearly!

JG, I’m still waiting for that immersive VR experience. It could be great!

Chuck said...

Nothing more to add except that I'm homesick for this Park. And...oh, there goes the tornado siren again. See ya later!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, watch out for those twisters!

Chuck said...

major, I have a feeling I'm not in Kansas anymore.

Come to think of it, I haven't been in Kansas since 2008. Road trip!