The Disneyland Monorail, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and Submarine Voyage are three of Disneyland’s oldest and most iconic attractions. Today, we were lucky enough to attend a special media event celebrating the 60th anniversary of these beloved Disneyland rides.
During the event, we not only had the opportunity to ride each attraction but we also heard from a Disney Archivist about the history of each one. Take a journey with us back in time as we fill you in on what we learned!
Disneyland Monorail System
The Disneyland Monorail System, originally called the Disneyland ALWEG Monorail System, opened as a sightseeing attraction around Disneyland property. In 1961, a second station opened at the Disneyland Hotel, which marked the first time a monorail system crossed a major road.
Today, you’ll see Mark VII trains at Disneyland, while Mark VI trains operate at Disney World.
When the Matterhorn Bobsleds opened in 1959, it was the first thrill ride at Disneyland, AND the first roller coaster to use tubular steel for its track — giving Matterhorn its signature twists and turns (which earned the moniker “the Batterhorn.” The Matterhorn’s construction also allowed for multiple vehicles on the track at one time, which was uncommon back then.
It initially wasn’t a grand journey through Alpine glaciers as originally advertised. But a major refurbishment in 1978 improved the aesthetic of the ride, introducing enhanced show scenes, tandem bobsleds and, of course, HAROLD. A little-known fact is that the growl heard from the original animatronic was voiced by a Disney Imagineer!
The Submarine Voyage, now reimagined as Finding Nemo’s Submarine Voyage, opened in 1959 as part of a major Tomorrowland expansion project. Charles Kirkpatrick, Admiral of the US Navy, was on hand for the dedication ceremony.
For 49 years, the ride took guests on a journey inspired by the USS Nautilus‘ historic trip to the North Pole. The Submarine Voyage was the first of its kind at any theme park, treating guests to Animatronic mermaids and many underwater special effects.
Walt Disney wanted to have a submarine ride at Disneyland, and we’re so glad he did. Though the original Submarine Voyage is in the past, the lasting effects of this historic attraction still remain.
Thanks for going back in time with us and learning about these iconic pieces of Disneyland history!
And Don’t Forget To Check out our Disneyland Food Reviews Here!!
Thanks to Disneyland for inviting us along to celebrate the journey of these three iconic attractions!
Which is your favorite of these historic Disneyland attractions? Let us know in the comments!