Monday, July 20, 2015

Harold Gets An Upgrade

On my recent trip to Disneyland I was very excited to experience the refurbished Matterhorn and Peter Pan attractions. Today's post covers the former. I was surprised to read that the Matterhorn was going dark again since it didn't seem that long ago that it received the new bobsleds. This time around they really worked on the experience. Love these light fixtures in the queue!

It was a beautiful day out and the Matterhorn peak was picture perfect.

Look at the detail on the queue number:

Thanks to the single rider feature, I was on my bobsled in no time. And no, I am not the perky blonde in front.

The first change I noticed was the video effect of something sinister behind the ice.

A great precursor it truly enhances the attraction.

I understand the thought behind the next scene, but what it replaced was unfortunate. The tribute to Frank Wells was a lovely little vignette.

The beaten up bobsled and Skyway buckets function as another precursor to Harold:

What was previously here:

I know…the majority of today's guests have no idea who Frank Wells was and probably don't care. But I do care. Somehow with a little brain power the 2 scenes could have coexisted.

Back to the positives: Harold the abominable snowman formerly seemed to come out of nowhere, looking like a figure that had stumbled out of a Rankin-Bass Christmas Special.

Now, he has full movement and could scare the living crap out of the little ones. Yay!

The bobsleds were just as uncomfortable and back-breaking as before.

As they jerk you around, you are mentally making your next appointment with the chiropractor.

One more glimpse of Harold-

…and then you are back on the ground. Overall, a fantastic job that has given new life to an old classic.

Visit my main website and see more Disneyland Matterhorn photos.


  1. You did a great job capturing the upgrades, even down to the little details like the light fixtures. I love the new scene of the Abominable Snowman's hoard, but agree that it's unfortunate it was at the expense of the Frank Wells tribute.

    The "Matterhorn Bobsleds" use to be my number two attraction, but after the bobsled redesign in 2012, it slipped off my top ten. What a painful experience it is now. Nice job! Thanks, Dave.

  2. The new snowman looks great, but I think it is odd that we never seen his legs. He is always popping out from behind a hole. It would have been nice to get at least one view of the whole critter.

  3. Thanks for the pics Dave...we'll check it out in September when we go down.

    Reading the blogs, I almost get the feeling that Disneyland should be left alone and remain in a "classic" state...but not "stagnate" state. Keep it fresh and vibrant, always incorporate new technology with plussing and upgrades...but move the 1967 "new" Tomorrowland back in (which I know will never happen) and Swiss Family Treehouse...major replacements and new attractions should be sent to DCA or WDW...leave Walt's park alone.

    The biggest cries I hear is when something is replaced at Disneyland, but not much at WDW...but maybe I am more tuned into Disneyland. Carnation Plaza, Club 33 expansion, etc.

    But then again I get some of it...Innoventions had to go, Circarama, Carousel of Progress, America Sings couldn't last forever either.

    ...just have to remember there is a great big beautiful tomorrow.

  4. Eric F.12:47 PM

    I love looking at your blog and the wonderful pics you take and share! Thank you Dave.

    They could have kept the Wells Expedition box in that scene. Maybe peeking out of the snow a bit or out of one of the cars. I wish they would not have made the new cars in this new fashion. Very uncomfortable and even more jarring to the body, unless you can manage a front seat and sit cross legged. I will still ride this every time I go.

  5. Dave, I especially like your two pics showing the caverns that the Skyway used to pass through! I do like the idea behind the old Skyway buckets and bobsleds, but I think the scene was poorly executed. It just looks like a big trash heap. And if Disney was going to close the Matterhorn for that long and spend all that money on upgrading it, why not fix the problem that almost everyone is complaining about.....the horribly uncomfortable new vehicles. Get Bob Gurr in there.....he could fix the problem! I hope whoever designed those new bobsleds is no longer working for the company! And I agree with Major P., why is it that we used to be able to see the entire Abominable Snowman figure and now we only see him from the waist up? And just to show that I don't dislike everything at Disneyland that is new, I have to say that I do like the advanced animatronic figure (it's a shame though that they couldn't have kept Harold's face the same as the one from 1978).

  6. Very cool upgrades on this ride, so unfortunate that they continue to miss the biggest complain of THE RIDE. I don't care of those new bobsleds DO increase capacity, they're so uncomfortable that we went from "a long wait for a good ride" to "a slightly shorter wait for an assuredly bad ride." Today's society is obsessed with "fairness" which typically equates to "make everyone miserable, equally."

    As for the loss of Wells, well sure I miss that too and agree they could have at least sandwiched in the crate with the expedition on the side. On the other hand, I kind of like the wrecked bobsleds and the old gondola buckets. I assume the "59" is for the year of the buckets and the "13" is for bad luck.

    I just skip the Matterhorn most times when I go. I too ranked it as one of my favorites but that was before the chronic back damage, all in the name of ridership capacity.