Close Banner

special offer

best price 365 days
family photo more savings



The Secret History of Disney Rides: Matterhorn Bobsleds

by Tad on March 27, 2017
8 Video

Secret History of Disney Rides - Matterhorn Bobsleds

Let's go on a sledding adventure through the caves and icy slopes of the Matterhorn! During this secret history of Matterhorn Bobsleds, we'll learn about the changes this classic Disneyland coaster went through from its first day of operation to present day. So grab some gloves and maybe even a ski mask to get ready for our own snow journey in the Swiss Alps! Remain seated please; Permanecer sentados por favor!

===>Hop here for Matterhorn Bobsleds wait times, ride details and more!<==

The Secret History of Matterhorn Bobsleds

Did you know that where Matterhorn Bobsleds sits today was actually a large pile of dirt at first? During the construction of Disneyland Park, the dirt that was dug out from around Sleeping Beauty Castle was piled up between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. The "mountain" was nicknamed Holiday Hill! Walt Disney covered the hill with snow, added some toboggans and named it Snow Hill. However, he wanted to do something even greater with the hillI, and the rise of mouse-style roller coasters led to the idea of a toboggan-style roller coaster!

Secret History of Disney Rides - Disneyland's Matterhorn Mountain

Walt Disney recently visited Switzerland to film the 1959 film "Third Man on the Mountain" and fell in love with the beauty of the Matterhorn mountain. So the design of Matterhorn Bobsleds was inspired by the real Swiss Alps! The Disneyland coaster—which opened June 14, 1959—was the first tubular steel roller coaster to ever exist.

When Matterhorn Bobsleds first debuted, the mountain was actually covered in tons of holes. This was due to the Skyway that traveled through the Matterhorn, carrying guests from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland. Throughout the years, holes were filled in, changing the appearance of Matterhorn. In 1978, the roller coaster went through significant changes, including the addition of Yeti scenes. The bobsleds were replaced by two-car, eight-passenger bobsleds, and the open interior of the mountain changed to tunnels of ice caves.

Does Matterhorn Bobsleds reside in Fantasyland or Tomorrowland, you ask? It's moved back and forth between the two! Well, the roller coaster never actually "moved;" it was part of Tomorrowland when it first opened but was officially declared a Fantasyland ride in 1972.

Matterhorn Bobsleds Fun Facts

  • Disneyland's Matterhorn is 147-feet tall, making it exactly 100 times shorter than the real 14,700-foot Matterhorn!
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds was the first thrill ride in Disneyland. In fact, it was the first roller coaster built by Arrow Development.
  • More than 800 gallons of paint were used to create a realistic look of heavy snowfall on the original Matterhorn!
  • What's the yeti's name? Harold.
  • Throughout the years, climbers have appeared during the day to scale the mountain, including Mickey Mouse!
  • Some other changes made throughout refurbishments of Matterhorn Bobsleds include the addition of more pine trees and glass beads to the mountain's snow to create a glistening look.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds is unique to Disneyland Park; you won't find another Matterhorn at any other Disney park!
  • According to, the attraction paid tribute to the accomplished mountain climber, Frank Wells.

What's your favorite thing about Matterhorn Bobsleds? Let us know in the comments below! Don't forget to check out our Matterhorn Bobsleds wait times and more.

Stay cool!

Keep hopping, Tad!
View Comments


Mar 17, 2022 at 10:50 p.m.
Tom Says...

The best. Our family tradition for over 30 years of annual passports and early morning late night 398 mile each way car rides to get to the park. The ride is great just enough thrill for my 4 girls no matter what age they were

Mar 18, 2022 at 8:24 a.m.
FrogBlog Says...

What a frogtastic family tradition! Thanks for sharing, Tom :)

Stay cool!


May 6, 2021 at 7:55 p.m.
Fred Says...

I love this ride so much. Disney himself fell in love with the mountain and did all he could to get his own. The hikers names are Fritz, Hans, and Otto. The top 67 feet of the mountain is like an attic, only the first 80 feet is used on the ride. Harold is now in the Guardians of the Galaxy Queue. The right track is longer so make sure you hop on that one. Cast members sign their names on the interior next to the BBall court for fun, and head imagineer himself over the project eventually gave in and signed his name with the workers.

Apr 13, 2020 at 5:38 a.m.
Jeremy Barraza Says...

There's actually a basketball court up there too. My friends played up there once. So jealous.

Apr 13, 2020 at 8:43 a.m.
FrogBlog Says...

We are jealous too, Jeremy - that sounds awesome! Thanks for hopping by!

Stay cool!


Jan 30, 2020 at 5:51 p.m.
Curt Says...

1975 my 4 year old brother begging to go on the Matterhorn and then getting scared and screaming the whole time to let him get off at the top. He actually thought we would let him get out while it was speeding along the tracks!

Jun 15, 2018 at 1:08 a.m.
Carlos Says...

Matterhorn bobsled ride is the best than Hollywood rip ride rockit

Mar 28, 2017 at 10:43 p.m.
Carlos Medina Says...

My favorite thing about matterhorn bobsled was the tracks above fantasyland and tomorrowland


Leave a comment

Search blog articles

About Undercover Tourist

Undercover Tourist is the leading supplier of online discount tickets to Orlando, Florida-area attractions, including Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort™, SeaWorld® Orlando, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and more.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get the inside scoop on theme park news, planning tips, concert and sports announcements, special offers and much more!

Park Plans

Our step-by-step guides will save you up to 4 hours a day.