One of my favorite attractions of all time is the Matterhorn. It’s only at Disneyland, it has two distinct tracks, your riding experience varies depending on the weight of the people in the car with you, you get a great view of the park as you twist and turn your way through the mountain, it has that lovely polka music, and it was my grandfather’s first attraction that he was in charge of at WED.
There are a couple stories told in my family about how this attraction came to be. The generally accepted one is that when Walt was on one of his trips to Zermatt, Switzerland, a town at the base of the Matterhorn, he sent a postcard back to my grandfather at WED with two words on the back — Build This.
There are also stories told of late nights around the dining table with attraction and queue blueprints spread out everywhere. One of the unique aspects of the Matterhorn queue is that it is slightly angled up on one end. This plays an optical illusion on the guests in queue making the people on one end appear closer than they actually are and making the wait seem shorter.
The always well written Michael Barrier has the third reort from his european trip up and he discusses Walt Disney and Zermatt.