Disneyland Resort is open once more, but the famous mountain that defines its horizon is still closed off to the public. We’re referring, of course, to the Matterhorn attraction, which is arguably the first highly-themed coaster in the world. Based on Disney’s refurbishment schedules, we now know they’re planning to get the ride up and running before Independence Day.
What is of interest about the situation for Disneyland is just how extensive the refurbishment is, and the fact that they’ll be continuing to work on the ride for a long time after reopening. The reason for that is that the ride is literally falling apart in places. According to sources, and confirmed by Disneyland guru, David Erickson, the ride has serious issues with the integrity of its façade. For that reason, even once the coaster is up and running, work will continue in phases to secure the aging rockwork.
Not only is the Matterhorn literally crumbling, and in need of vast work, but Disney is in a difficult situation with the attraction. Due to California construction codes, they can do very little beyond just cosmetic and integrity repairs. A structure like the Matterhorn would be illegal to build in California today, and so there’s no way to put up a new structure in its place. Neither is rebuilding huge parts of the ride a viable option. And so, Disneyland is literally stuck trying to do what they can to hold the mountain together.
You might recall that in 2019, actual parts of Matterhorn publicly fell off the structure. So when we discuss the issue of the mountain crumbling or falling apart, it’s not hyperbole.
That’s not to say that the ride is unsafe or will collapse in the future. But it is to say that Disney has a heck of a problem maintaining the ride over the next decades. After all, while the yeti’s first home is aging and decaying in the present, it’s only going to be more difficult to keep it in proper condition the longer it stands. So, in order to stay within California’s strict construction policies, Disney will be forced to spend incrementally on significant maintenance for as long as the mountain remains.
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