Matterhorn Bobsleds Refurbishment Review

In 1959, The Matterhorn Bobsleds opened, as the first true steel coaster.  Nearly 55 years later in January of 2012, the ride closed for a 6 month refurbishment project.  The theming was refurbished on the outside of the mountain, adding new, more realistic snow by adding glass to the white paint mix to make the “snow” glisten in the sun, and there were some repairs as well new theming was added to the inside of the mountain.  The ride vehicles were changed from possible lap sitting bobsleds to a newer and more comfortable single seating only cars, similar to the cars in Space Mountain in Disney World in Orlando.  The ride consists of two separate tracks that run roughly parallel to each other for much of the ride, intertwining and eventually deviating from each other at the loading areas.  The tracks aere named the Tommorowland Track, which faces towards Tommorowland, and the Fantasyland Track, which faces towards Fantasyland.  The new Matterhorn cars feature two bobsled with 3 riders seated single file in each bobsled.  There restraint system is a simple seat belt, and there are grab bars on the sides inside the bobsleds.  The ride features one lift hill, which is completely dark inside, until you reach a snow cavern, which features snow effects on the walls, and is the key part to the new theming.  The ride reaches its highest point in the cavern before dropping into the completely gravity propelled track.  The ride twists and turns through the caverns of the mountain, and at one point, passes a large animatronic yeti, that reaches out at the ride vehicle.  The ride finishes at its climactic point when it dips and splashes down into a water pool.  This water pool serves a duel purpose.  It both cools off the brake fins as well as works as a breaking system to slow down the bobsleds.  The new theming of the ride adds a fantastic new modern element to the original coaster.  Unfortunately, the same may not be said for the new ride vehicles.  These vehicles reduce the bumpiness of the terrain of the mountain, which, although is more comfortable, it takes away the thrill factor of the ride.  Also, the smaller, single file riding system makes ride operation slower, being able to only hold 6 riders at a time, instead of the possibility of 8 with the old bobsleds.

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