Friday, February 20, 2009
VIP/Off-Limits Area 2: The Matterhorn B-Ball Court
Coming in at a somewhat close second place, I figured I should go ahead and do a post featuring the very hidden basketball court inside of Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland. Photo #1 shows Walt proudly displaying a model of the Matterhorn at Disneyland, soon to be the first thrill-ride attraction at the park in 1959. Plenty of photos/drawings in the background give the appropriate perception that there was plenty of research done to make the Disneyland version authentic.
One of the persistent "rumors" is that there is a basketball court at the top of the mountain. Fact or fiction? Here are the photos:
Many have also heard the rumor that the court was installed so that Walt could bypass an Anaheim height ordinance that would prevent his faux-mountain from being as tall as he wanted it to be. According to this rumor, putting a basketball court in the Matterhorn made it a "sporting facility," thus avoiding the nasty ordinance. Fact or fiction? Fiction. Truth of the matter is that height ordinances didn’t exist until the 1970’s, well-after the time period that the Matterhorn was constructed.
Smaller in size than a half-court, this little sporting area came to be when some of the Matterhorn climbers got bored in between hikes up and down the mountain. It has also come in handy whenever rain or bad weather (a rarity here in Southern California) have prevented the climbers from doing their job. And no, this isn’t one of the players—however, his history will be appearing here soon!
See more vintage and current Matterhorn photos at my regular website.