Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Matterhorn Refurbishment Revisited

Disney watchdog, Al Lutz in his MiceAge column yesterday, as usual, gave a ton of Disneyland inside information. You can read Al's informational rambling here. Al is wrong about his inside information once in awhile but more often than not, he is right on the money (and beneath it all, money is what Disney is all about). Yesterday, he revisited the upcoming 6 month refurbishment of the Matterhorn beginning January 2012. He talked about imagineers coming up with paint schemes and details that will put the Matterhorn in the same impressive realm as the new Cadillac mountain range over in DCA's Carsland. I'm not worried about that, the new Matterhorn will look great when it officially re-opens next summer. The venerable mountain is far too big and too much of a Disneyland focal point for imagineers to do a shoddy job in its refurbishment. But Al did make an off handed comment about the Matterhorn refurbishment, and more specifically the new bobsleds that will finally be put into commission after more than a year of testing that I had not given a whole lot of consideration to. Al's comment "Those new three-passenger bobsleds will debut with this rehab, satisfying the lawyers and state inspectors, but making it difficult for anyone over six feet tall to ever be comfortable on that ride again" opened my eyes just a bit.

I haven't had a problem getting in Disneyland ride vehicles, more specifically the coasters, but being on the larger side of things, it sometimes is a squeeze. The worst is Space Mountain were the lack of legroom, the lap bar, and my knees fight an uncomfortable battle that sometimes leads to bruising (especially when wearing shorts). The exception to cramped quarters on coasters was the good ol' Matterhorn. Mrs. DisneylandTraveler and I are far beyond the riding the old sleds tandem style. We would go "1 and 1" with her taking the front seat and me in the rear. Getting in the sled you immediately think "Wow - space at last".  Just strap the seat belt on and off you go with with legs outstretched as far as they will go in any direction. I've got 4 cars here at home. One of them is a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis. When I take it to work and the guys and I would want to head out for lunch, we always took the Merc. We take it because it just doesn't matter front seat or back seat, driver or passenger, there is room to spare for everyone. The current bobsleds are the equivalent of the Grand Marquis of ride vehicles. I look forward to the new and improved Matterhorn but I sure will miss all that space.

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