With the recent arrival of Spring, I’ve still got flowers on the brain. Another wonderful area for them at Disneyland is at the base of the Matterhorn, where blooms spring above a bed of lush green grass.CONTINUE READING
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It’s amazing to think that the Matterhorn is over fifty years old. I never grow tired of seeing that mountain bid me welcome as I get near Disneyland and it never seems to grow tired of offering its greeting. Once in the park, I think I enjoy sitting back and watching people pop in and out of the mountain in the bobsleds as much as I enjoy being the one to do it. They’re always smiling, screaming or something in between as they look on in determination, daring the icy slopes.
As a kid, nothing said you were almost to Disneyland like the icy peak of the Matterhorn coming into view. What seemed like an eternity in the back seat of a car quickly faded from memory as the mountain and the realization of all your excitement grew.
The day after the Matterhorn reopened we spent the day at DCA taking in Buena Vista Street and Cars Land. In the early afternoon we met up with a friend and headed for a ride on Mickey’s Fun Wheel, which was practically devoid of a line. As we approached new heights, I wondered if there might be climbers on Anaheim’s iconic mountain. To my great pleasure and surprise there was one mountaineer, sitting peacefully atop the Matterhorn. I can only imagine that view.
When Disneyland opened in 1955 Fantasyland was in a much different form. The Matterhorn didn’t exist yet, The Mad Tea Party (Tea Cups) sat where King Arthur’s Carrousel is today, and the Carousel was squeezed between the Tea Cups and Sleeping Beauty Castle. The overall theme of the land was dressed with tournament tents and had a very medieval fair atmosphere. The original drawings of Fantasyland by Herb Ryman looked like a small village with a fairytale like theme, which is much of what you see today. Due to economic factors, and time constraint, the original much cheaper theme was implemented. In 1983, Kim Irvine, Director, Concept and Show Design at Walt Disney Imagineering, re-opened Fantasyland with the village theme that was intended in the first place. It’s amazing how much Disneyland has evolved over the years, and how naturally accepted the changes have been. It is a great testament to the future of the Disneyland Resort.
It was very quiet in this area of Fantasyland during the Matterhorn’s refurbishments recently. No waterfalls. No screaming bobsledders. No abominable snowman growls. Worst of all, no yodeling. It was nice though to see the bobsleds getting some much deserved rest. I found this one particularly interesting, parked all on its own, glistening in the afternoon sun. If you’re like me and find yourself at some point suffering Matterhorn withdrawals, I find that alternating chocolate and Ricola helps. If all else fails, bust out the lederhosen.