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Matterhorn for Magic Kingdom Fantasyland


Concept for an East Coast Matterhorn! Newly-created concept art created by Imagineering

I was talking with my pal Hoot the other day about how a Matterhorn mountain would fit perfectly in Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland.  Disney talked about the idea decades ago.  It was intended to go where Toontown is today.  The latest rumors about the 'new Fantasyland' or 'Fantasyland Forest' say that some people at Disney are rethinking the whole thing- minus The Little Mermaid ride and the Be Our Guest Beauty and the Beast restaurant.  

I Say Give Us a Matterhorn!  
Wouldn't that make everyone happy??  The thrill-seekers and the nostalgic-minded alike?  The 20K (or former 20k) property is ginomous.  It can fit a mountain, a few dark rides, and a whole lot more.  Hoot says he wants a Pinocchio dark ride and I agree.

A Boat Ride and Swiss Village
In the concept above (drawn on a napkin this afternoon) you'll see the old classic Matterhorn taken to a new level.  Not only is there the Matterhorn mountain much like you see at Disneyland, there is a boat ride going through the lower caves of the mountain and through a Swiss Village.  The Swiss Village would include a full-service restaurant with the boat ride through the middle.  There will be a quick-service restaurant and a bakery full of swiss cheeses and pastries (at the request of my wife).

Two Tracks?
Also unique to this design--- Not only is there a regular bobsled track through the mountain, the concept includes 'Junior Bobsleds' for the little ones.  I ran this idea past Lilly and she said to make the tracks begin and end at the same time.  That way younger riders and older riders can can load and unload together, both experiencing the 'same' attraction at the same time.  This way the little riders get to ride the Matterhorn AND have a more thrilling ride to look forward to when they are older.  The junior track would go through lower caves of the mountain but mostly traveling through smaller hills outside the mountain.

I say the bobsleds on both tracks should not only depart next to each other but they parallel each other for the first little while before going their own separate ways.  THEN they meet up next to each other at a couple points along the way THEN end at the same unload dock.  Now you can ride the same attraction three ways:  regular, junior, and by boat.



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Reader Comments (35)

I would love to see a Matterhorn is Florida. But I am a huge fan of the Beauty and the Beast restaurant. Maybe we could still keep that but also incorpporate the mountain.?

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDisneyChick0210

This whole Matterhorn concept would fit back in the Toontown area with plenty of room going west towards the Arial's Grotto area for the Be Our Guest restaurant and whatever else. They'd be completely separate.

July 25, 2010 | Registered CommenterFritz

HAHA! Funny you should post this. I made a comment on Jim Hill Media this morning. Here it is:

"It's really a no brainer. This is the best bang for your buck, Imagineering, so pay attention to Uncle Hoot.

The best way to expand our Fantasyland would go like this: (west to east)

1. Pinocchio dark ride as close as possible to the village house. East coast needs this ride. Tooling exists. Build it.

2. Next, across from pooh, a brand new Mr Toad's Wild Ride. Hype it to the locals because we miss Toad.

3. Alice in Wonderland right next to the tea cups. Tooling exists. Again East coast needs this ride.

4. BEHIND (North) this row of three new rides and shops, an Alpine Village (goodbye Toon Town) and the mighty Matterhorn. A big fat "E" ticket which was planned for our park originally in that very location. Dick Nunis was quoted as saying that even the WDW Railroad would pass through it via Ice Cave.

5. Go ahead with Mermaid. It will still fit nicely up there.

That's five new rides, three dark rides and two "E" tickets. I'm willing to bet it would all cost less than Harry Potter-land.


They won't do it and I know that. It makes too much sense.

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

As always, Hoot, you are dead on. Those ideas would make Fantasyland WDW a practically perfect land. Even greater than Disneyland's- which I love.

I might add to that a Casey Jr. Circus Train to tour parts of the land where appropriate. Maybe a boat ride through the land instead. (Why do I love boat rides??)

July 25, 2010 | Registered CommenterFritz


I LOVE this concept.

I think they need to extended the swiss/german storybook feel of fantasyland. My personal opinion is to look at fantasyland as a mini world showcase in away, by placing popular disney stories in environmental settings of their classic origin. Swiss, German, French, British/UK (4 themes for the 4 sections of fantasyland). I would bring the matterhorn to WDW (your version of course) along with Pinocchio, then move snow white over to this new chalet-gingerbread themed section. I also would completely move and rearrange the other attractions, which would make my ideal fantasyland a complete overhaul (which would never happen). But for a company that keeps encouraging us to dream...I'll continue to do so.

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWDIDreamer

I'm so happy you posted this. And I love your napkin drawing.

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLilly

I SERIOUSLY vote for this!! That is a WONDERFUL idea! It would really make the Magic Kingdom a special experience. Come on Disney, do the right thing!

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLambo

Love this idea! I love the matterhorn at Disneyland. I have never been to Disneyworld, I didn't know that they did NOT have the matterhorn. I mean, it's the first thing we look for when we get in Anehiem! lol

I don't know if a separate little kids line would be nesisary though, because both of my toddlers were tall enough to go on the ride ( I have a 2 and a 3 year old). Plus, I don't know how many parents would feel comfortable letting their not tall enough 2 or 3 year old ride on a ride by themselves. (I could hardly get my kids to sit still with me sitting NEXT to them on the Pooh ride. They kept standing up.) The kids would need supervision, and then that defeats the whole purpose.

But a matterhorn is needed.

July 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdisney obsessor

I love the idea of the Matterhorn coming to WDW! But I also love the plans for a Little Mermaid dark ride! It was the first movie I ever watched and I think those of us who grew up during the time when The Little Mermaid was a fairly new movie would love to see an attraction based on the film. Same with the Beauty and the Beast restaurant. What Disney kid in the 90s didn't dream about dining in the Beast's castle like Belle did?
That said, I am also a Disney history enthusiast and a fan of the Matterhorn. It'd be cool to see some vintage Disneyland in Florida and the Matterhorn would fit nicely into the new Fantasyland, seeing as how it's going to be more outdoorsy and nature themed.
And while we're talking about bringing some DL to WDW - how about Storybook Land? It too would be a wonderful addition to the new Fantasyland and I know it's one of my favorites from DL!

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Great to see so many people like these ideas!

But to be very clear, this is not meant to start or fuel any rumors. It was literally a couple of ten minute "what if" conversations between a couple of us and a napkin drawing. I didnt' even get my butt off the couch to get real drawing paper. I reached for a napkin and a Sharpie Pen and drew this thing in 12 minutes while eating a turkey sandwich my wife made while watching Arrested Development.

But as you could expect, the rumor boards are all talking about it as if it were something from WDI. It ain't. As Hoot said in his comment above, "They won't do it and I know that. It makes too much sense."

There's our little disclaimer, so Disney geek message boards, go nuts if you feel the need! But it ain't real.

July 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterFritz

Wow! I would *love* to see a plussed Matterhorn in WDW.
Thanks for the post.

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGator Chris

I don't know... that looks more like an Epcot country to me. It's good looking, but am I the only one who wants to see something totally unique in this space? I mean, Matterhorn's great and all, but why not pull out all the stops and go for something big, like they're doing with Carsland? Not that I want Carsland, but it's big, new, and unique (even if it's Test Track with new tricks).

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Yeah I think it would have worked at Epcot. It's interesting to think of a mountain on the World Showcase skyline. Then there was the Mt. Fuji concept for Japan.

Ryan- I get your point about Fantasyland. I'm a big fan of new and original ideas. My big hesitation with that is that I've lost so much faith in Disney to create great original ideas in the last couple of decades, with few exceptions.

This Matterhorn concept is just one a a billion possibilities.

July 26, 2010 | Registered CommenterFritz

Just read through an exhausting 8 pages of WDWMagic forum discussion devoted to this very post. They get off topic, discussing whether Space Mt is a wild mouse coaster or not, or if the Everest yeti has a name. But the two prevailing and conflicting feelings are as follows:

1) Everest is the same as Matterhorn only better so it is completely unnecessary for WDW (I can't agree with this. They can be made into two completely different experiences much like they already are).

2) Matterhorn would rock (no pun intended) in place of the existing Toontown

First of all, as one forum post mentioned, "IT WAS DRAWN ON A NAPKIN. IT'S NOT GOING TO BE BUILT!" Seriously people. Calm down and fighting about outdated tubular steel track technology. You are missing the point.

I personally would love this idea to happen. I don't always love the idea of cloning existing rides but this is clearly not just a clone and would greatly enhance that land and the park for that matter.

July 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTL98H8R

Most people are missing the point. This drawing and concept are exactly the type of thing that Walt would have loved and conceived himself. You could also bring back the skyway which was such a great memory of my childhood. People want what Walt would do, with new fangled glory mixed in for good measure. If Disney really is making decisions based on polling, perhaps they should take a listen to discussion boards or better yet, hold a contest and hire the winners with the best concepts and designs. People could enter and the public could vote - that way, there is no screwing it up!

July 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany Kruse

This post is great and saddens me at the same time. Of course, I think this is a fantastic idea. It's great to see people commenting that they like the idea. What makes me sad though is there's too many money hungry people at Disney that are so short sighted they can't see past the money in their hands. They are putting in 3 princess locations. Yeah, that's really "fun" for the whole family. Children of all ages my ass. I'm so sick of the stifling of creativity. Disney should realize that if they add something like this, over time, will create a much deeper branding than some simple princesses. It's the uniqueness of Disney that made it as successful as it is today.

July 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSubsonic

And once again the Disney Fan community has suggested that Disney invest billions of dollars in giving us more of the same; duplicating what has already been built elsewhere. If Imagineering was run by us, Kiddees, we'd never have Indy, Everest, Splash, Soarin', Tower... or Disney Seas.

Sure, innovation means we run the risk of being disappointed by something new. Don't forget that Tower of Terror opened the same day as Food Rocks, vividly illustrating WDI's 50% rate of success. Fortunately, Food Rocks perished... But today we have Tower of Terror... because WDI doesn't always recycle ideas; they innovate. THAT's what Walt wanted... 'not more of the same'.

I'd rather be surprised... Wouldn't you?

July 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDreemfinder

No one is saying they should only duplicate. But every once in a while, yes. And exact clones, I think we'd all agree, are lame. We want dupliate attractions to be a bit different and 'plussed' if you will. Both MK and DL have a lot of the same things, as prescribed by Walt. I'm talking about Tomorrowland, Main Street, Fantasyland, etc. I know he didn't want a carbon copy of DL but he did want a Jungle Cruise, a submarine ride, an Autopia type ride, a castle, a plussed Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (ie: Hall of Presidents), Rivers of America, a railroad, etc. Just look over his shoulder in the Florida Project film at the map of property . He points to a park (the MK) with these thing on it. And of course he wanted a bunch of new stuff. I wish those new things he helped plan made it into the park.

I think I can speak for a lot of the Disney Fan Community when I say that a great new attraction is just as exciting if not more exciting than a duplicate. But sometimes a plussed Matterhorn is more exciting to us than a few little meet-n-greets.

July 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTL98H8R

that is cool

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTrey

Love napkin designs, didn't Jorn Utzon sketch out the design for the Sydney Opera House on a napkin? Great ideas, quickly put down. Would that it might be built!

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike Linton

I hate this idea...sorry, I love the matterhorn but disney needs somthing new in Magic a scary ass dark ride rollercoaster based around a mountain. (I know that will never happen but still). I just dont like the repeats in the parks at all they look like a pre-fab mold now

July 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScales

Scales- you can hate it but it's clearly not just a repeat. Anyway, it's better than the watered down princess idea. Your scary dark coaster mountain sounds a little like a repeat of Space Mt. I could be wrong.

July 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTL98H8R

IMHO what "Walt" would have loved were some NEW ideas... not "well we can just keep recycling the same things over and over again" IMHO, this is just sad.

Have we reached the point where there are no new ideas? We get one every few years and then we just repeat it over and over and over again..........

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

"... no new ideas? We get one every few years... "

That's right; WE get one every few years. But WDI is working on dozens of them all the time. All we ever see are the ones that get through the exhaustive trial-&-error, R & D, budgeting-&-testing stages of development.

They may start sketching ideas on napkins like we do... but unlike us, they have a lot more hurdles to jump through.

Still, I guess it feels good to whine about their lack of originality.

August 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDreemfinder

Of course Walt would have loved new ideas. This napkin sketch just says, "Some 51 year old ideas are better than the ones they are announcing today". I would love to see a NEW e-ticket built on that property. Ideally, for me, we'd see some new and some old attractions built there.

Sometimes I feel that too many fans think ANY new thing is better than any old thing. That can be their taste by all means. No one is stopping them from feeling that way. I'm in the camp that says, "Wow, Mission to Mars was way better than this pizza fast food place that replaced it". Others might say, "There was a need for more fast food in that part of the park and that attraction was 'dated' "--- Two very different opinions.

I like to whine about things and blame it on BOTH Imagineering and Management. :) I worked closely with both for years. Yes, WDI has a ton of hurdles to jump through. Definitely. But my many experiences with Imagineers have taught me that a very very small percentage of them are the creative geniuses we all like to think are everywhere throughout the department.

Sadly, the best ideas normally never see the light of day. I think one of the ideas with this Matterhorn in MK is that some things that have a chance at getting green-lit are better than others.

I'd take a Matterhorn + Swiss boat ride + Swiss village (+ Little Mermaid dark ride) over a princess birthday card-making activity + color-changing dress + interactive circus tent any day! That's just me.

August 3, 2010 | Registered CommenterFritz

I love this idea! But, just for your consideration, what about Bald Mountain from Fantasia? Same concept, different theme. Just an idea.

August 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Bald Mountain- not a bad idea! It would bring a little darkness to Fantasyland. Not a lot of fun darkness since Toad left. I guess Snow White's Scary is still there. Anyway, I think the story of Night on Bald Mountain could lend nicely to a dark ride + mountain e-ticket attraction.

August 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterFritz

Definitely love Hoot's plan! Just add one thing: Do a renovation of Pirates to include the scenes missing from the DL version. Then the Magic Kingdom in FL would be an incredible, unbeatable experience!


August 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterinnovation

umm yeah that's kind of unnecessary. Disney World has essentially the Matterhorn 2.0 in Animal kingdom. This would be like adding Frances Space Mountain to California Adventure.

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbill

I don't like this idea. Theming aside, it would be too similar to Space Mountain. I'd rather see something completely new.

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersolus909

There is only one thing to say: "If we can dream it we can do it!"

May 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKyle

I have no problem duplicating rides as long as they are worth duplicating. I especially don't mind adding duplicate rides at Magic Kingdom in Florida... Its not like they don't have the room to expand.

October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Reasons it wouldn't work (IMO):

I don't know. Maybe I'm being anal as one of the few people on the site who's native to Disneyland not WDW, but it would not fly with some of the more particular "purists" who already think Magic Kingdom copies Disneyland enough and is in someways trying to one up us on all the original rides. Matterhorn is one of the few things we have that no other Disney park does. I wouldn't mind it honestly, but the parks should be two parts of the (north american) Disney story. They should offer completely different but equally magic experiences, and taking old rides and pumping them up on the opposite coast shouldn't be the way to go for either of the resorts.

I also think it's just too similar to other rides in WDW. You have Expedition Everest just down town in Animal Kingdom, and the ride system is too similar to space mountain. Unlike the Anaheim space mountain, with a totally different (and more fun) system. Also, what's wrong with new ideas from imagineering? I know they've let us down before, but they should still try.

Reasons it could work:
Some things just work well on both coasts (Splash Mountain, Big Thunder, etc). Especially when they take an imagineering original and add a new element. This would essentially be Mr Lincoln vs Hall of Presidents, you took the original Matterhorn and made a whole experience out of it. This could be the case. But the cons outweigh the pros here.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

You drew that on a napkin? O.O

May 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZabadoo

Thanks for posting Fantasyland facts here, I would never know these things if I haven't read your post. YOu brought up something that I had not really thought about.

May 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

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