This month three of the attractions at the Disneyland Resort are celebrating milestone anniversaries. In June, the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Disneyland Monorail, and Submarine Voyage all celebrate 60 years in the park!
Both the Matterhorn Bobsleds and the Disneyland Monorail debuted on June 14, 1959. The Submarine Voyage debuted on June 6, 1959 and, after a non-operational period of approximately 9 years, re-opened as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage in 2007.
To celebrate the longevity and history of these three attractions, here are a few fun facts:
- The Matterhorn was the first tubular steel roller coaster. It has a top speed of 27 mph and is built into a 147-foot tall man made mountain.
- In 1978, the Abominable Snowman, was added to the attraction. Harold, as he has known to be called, was updated in 2016 for Disneyland Resorts 60th anniversary. His girlfriend, Betty, can be found in Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
- The attraction is a 1/100 scale replica of the real Matterhorn mountain found in the Swiss Alps.
- The total ride length is 2 min, 15 seconds, however, one side is faster than the other- approximately 20 seconds faster! Which side?! You’ll have to ride both and find out for yourselves!
- You can eat the Matterhorn- well, sort of…the Jolly Holiday Bakery sells coconut macaroons in the shape of the Matterhorn.
- The total track is 2.5 miles long and it takes approximately 13 minutes for the monorail, which travels at 30 mph, to make a complete round-trip.
- There are only two stops- one in Tomorrowland, above Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage; the other in Downtown Disney, across from the Lego Store.
- The monorail emits no direct exhaust or pollution as it uses a 600-volt DC power source.
- What’s that sound?! The distinctive horn sound comes from a Grover 1056 horn. The horn is used when leaving the stations, passing Disneyland trains, approaching the Matterhorn, or when a bird lands on the track.
- When Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage re-opened, the monorail was painted blue and yellow to match the ride. Likewise when Cars Land opened, temporary decals were added to the outside of the monorail to give it the appearance of having eyes and a mouth.
Submarine Voyage/Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
- 6.3 million gallons of recycled water are used in the lagoon.
- From 1959-1967, young women were recruited to be mermaids and were paid to lounge in the lagoon and sunbathe as a way to entertain park guests.
- Originally the submarines were all painted a military gray but when a refurbishment took place in 1986 the submarines were changed to a bright yellow.
- After the submarines were painted yellow the attraction was re-themed as an oceanic research trip and the formal name for the expedition was the Nautical Exploration and Marine Observation Institute (N.E.M.O). How’s that for some foreshadowing of what was to come?!
- Technically the ride vehicles are not submarines as the ride vehicles themselves are not entirely submerged. The seating does sit below water level and provides riders with the feeling of being completely submerged.
- The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction reused all eight of the original Submarine Voyage ride vehicles.