Saturday, June 16, 2012

Matterhorn Returns - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

With all that went on with Disney California Adventure yesterday, quietly over in Disneyland, an icon was returned to service, the mighty Matterhorn roller coaster. The mountain has been closed for 6 months for refurbishment. Was the wait worth it, or a bit of a disappointment? Both.

The Good -

For generations, the Matterhorn has provided screams and fun for Disneyland fans. It was the first roller coaster I ever rode on as a child and I remember it to this day. Just having the coaster up and running is a very, very good thing. The mountain looks great with a fresh coat of paint. Also, for the first time since Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration back in 2005, climbers have returned to the mountain. It's an entertaining spectacle to watch them trek up the mountainside while enjoying a break over at the Tomorrowland Terrace.

The Bad -

While the outside sparkles with new paint, many fans were looking for something new and exciting inside the ride, perhaps a new abominable snowman, or a new scene of fright. Well that didn't happen, the ride is essentially the same. Maybe he's been cleaned up a bit, but it's the same old Harold.

The Ugly -

Disneyland forums and discussion boards are filled with negative comments about the new 3-seat sleds. Maybe if you're a kid, all is well in the Matterhorn world. But if your an adult, especially if you are a bit on the taller and larger framed side, the comfort of the old sled design has gone out the window. The new sleds are considerably more cramped inside, though the more typical Disneyland side-to-side seat belt design (similar to Indiana Jones, Soarin', and the Tower of Terror) makes getting buckled in much quicker.

The Bottom Line -

Yeah, people will long for the space of the old sleds and the ability to ride tandem and maybe there was a wish for something new and different with the mountain but in the end, just having the ride running again is its own reward. It's a classic and a Matterhorn with a few shortcomings is better than no Matterhorn at all.

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