Friday, December 13, 2013
Building a Mountain from Scratch
Because of a recent addition to my collection, I am revisiting the construction of the mighty Matterhorn. When looking at the finished attraction, it's hard to believe that instead of rocks and boulders, the interior is actually a maze of steel girders. It all had to start somewhere, as you can see from this shot of the miniature scale model of the attraction. Walt almost looks a little puzzled as his hand gently glides towards the top of the model. In the background of the photo you'll see reference art as well as concept art for what the finished version will look like. Interesting to note that although the Skyway is shown, the Monorail and Submarine Voyage (being built at the same time) are nowhere to be seen.
A closeup of Walt again, posing with his models; the Castle is thrown in to show the imposing scale of the Matterhorn in comparison.
With the Moonliner looming in the background, workers toil to create the framework for the "rock work" that will cover the iron girders.
The Matterhorn's "skeleton":
I have attempted to put these construction photos in chronological order by comparing the progress of the mountain from top to bottom; many of these photos are undated. It is hard to believe that four major attractions were being worked on simultaneously: The Skyway, The Matterhorn, The Monorail, and The Submarine Voyage.
A color view:
Interesting to see how things looked from Frontierland:
Almost there, as you can see by these images that were shot consecutively:
May 1959; deadlines looming!
Still, with a little creative cropping, this May 11, 1959 publicity shot was able to whet the appetite of the public.
Finally, opening day with the Nixon family:
The Matterhorn still sparkles today, whether it's peeking out from the I5 Freeway, beckoning guests to come to Disneyland:
or inside the park itself:
Oh majestic Matterhorn...may you always be part of the Disneyland experience!
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