Disneyland Adds Cushions to the Matterhorn Bobsleds

Rides got a little comfier on the Matterhorn Bobsleds.

Disneyland officials confirmed they have added cushions on the bottoms of the seats on the ride vehicles.

The bobsleds were converted to a single seat configuration in 2012, with new interlocking seatbelts. The belts were designed to keep people from unbuckling or slipping out of them while riding the tubular roller coaster. Under the current configuration, each two-car bobsled holds six people.

Originally, the bobsleds featured a two-person seat, where the larger person boarded first and sat down, then the second, smaller, person boarded second and sat between their legs. The seatbelts were more like standard, at the time, car seatbelts that could be removed at any time.

The change in the seating configuration was considered by many regular visitors to be a little rough. The cushions were designed to add a little extra padding and make the ride a little more comfortable.

The Matterhorn Bobsleds opened in 1959 at Disneyland. It was the first tubular steel track ever built for a roller coaster. Originally, the bobsleds were single cars, containing two of the two-person seats, with four people total on each vehicle.

In 1978, one year after Space Mountain opened at the park, it was modified to have two cars attached together, making for a faster ride – but with the same original seat configuration. In addition, much of the more open track was enclosed and the Abominable Snowman was added to give the attraction more thrills. This modification changed the bobsleds, now two cars, to hold up to eight people.

In late 2011, the Matterhorn was closed to modify the bobsleds to the current configuration. In addition, there were upgrades to the special effects seen throughout the ride and the snowman, affectionately named “Harold” by employees, was upgraded to be more animated.

While many reviewers of the revised attraction liked the upgrades to the show, there were some complaints that the ride was now rougher then some liked.

With the addition of the cushions, Disneyland officials hope to make the ride less rough.

From the Orange County Register

Disneyland’s New Abominable Snowman Bulks Up to Stalk Guests

DL Matterhorn Yeti

From The Orange County Register

The scare factor of the Abominable Snowman on Disneyland’s Matterhorn Bobsleds has clicked up a couple of notches.

Since 1978, he had stood at the top of the mountain, with riders getting a glimpse of him before they scooted down the roller coaster.

“It used to be you just rode by him and that was it,” said Jim Hill, a Disney historian and blogger.

Friday, as the attraction re-opens after several months, riders will see a more-ferocious Abominable Snowman (who Disney employees affectionately call Harold).

As visitors get pulled up to near the top of the mountain in their bobsleds, a projected image of Harold’s face is seen, peeking through an ice sheet. At the top, Harold is now an animatronic.

And as visitors head down the hill, the more-limber Harold seems to chase them – with sound effects creating the idea that he is in pursuit.

The old animatronic Harold, by the way, isn’t retired – he will be on display in the next D23, Disney’s periodic convention.

Disneyland Announces Overhauls to Peter Pan’s Flight and Matterhorn Bobsleds for 60th Anniversary Celebration

DLR - Matterhorn - Snowman

Disneyland is always looking for new and innovative ways to enhance their storytelling. For example, updating beloved classics allows them to – as Walt Disney said – “keep molding and shaping” the guest experience. As they look forward to celebrating the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, they also have exciting changes coming to two of our classic attractions this spring.

First, a Disneyland park favorite is about to get even better as new effects are being added to Matterhorn Bobsleds. Just wait until you see the Abominable Snowman in ways you’ve never seen him before when the attraction reopens in May!

Also reopening in May is Peter Pan’s Flight, featuring a reimagined nursery scene and a variety of special effects that will make this classic and beloved attraction come to life in new ways.