The Unofficial Guide’s ongoing series about Disney attractions we love to hate—but still can’t stop riding —returns to Disneyland’s Fantasyland today for a look at the Matterhorn Bobsleds.
The Matterhorn is the most distinctive landmark on the Disneyland scene, visible from almost anywhere in the park. Open since 1959, the Matterhorn was the world’s first tubular steel roller coaster, and it maintains its popularity and long lines year in and year out. But is this alpine-themed adventure still worth your touring time today?
The Matterhorn is actually made up of two separate coasters. Though the two sides are similar, they are not identical; veterans say the left-hand Tomorrowland track is faster with steeper drops, while the Fantasyland side on the right is slightly longer with sharper turns.
Matterhorn Bobsleds is only moderately scary by modern coaster standards, having no loops or other inversions. However, the tight under-banked turns, low-slung seating, and encroaching rockwork serve to make the ride feel far faster and more intense than its G-forces would suggest.
The special effects don’t compare to Space Mountain’s, but they do afford a few surprises. Riders first glimpse the mysterious yeti during the initial uphill climb as a menacing silhouette distorted by ice, then they cruise past an ominous collection of old ride vehicles (including vintage bobsleds and an antique Skyway bucket) that the beast has hoarded. Finally, you’ll come face-to-face with the furry legend not once but twice; the encounters are brief, but he moves with a fluid ferocity that his frozen cousin in Disney World’s Expedition Everest can only dream of.
Check out our 4K POV video of Disneyland’s Matterhorn Bobsleds below:
What you can’t feel from that video is that the thin layer of padding provided on the bobsled seats is barely adequate for preventing your tailbone from being pulverized.
What’s more, the three-passenger cars with individual seats are unfriendly to the long-legged. Tall riders are advised to ask for the middle or back rows, which have slightly more room, and then slide their feet forward into the snug footwells on either side of the seat ahead. For the short-limbed, the front seat is usually the smoothest. Just be warned that, wherever you sit, this is the bumpiest coaster in Disneyland’s inventory. As a visitor from San Francisco, California, puts it:
“The Matterhorn is really just a fast, jarring roller coaster. The [Bobsleds] don’t have much legroom, and my husband was very uncomfortable the whole ride!“
And a Richboro, Pennsylvania, dad had this to say about the Matterhorn:
“My biggest disappointment was the Matterhorn. I understand it’s iconic, but [after] the steep climb in the dark, you basically just go down in circles until you are left baffled that the ’roller-coaster’ ride is over.“
Besides our bruised behinds, the biggest thing we dislike about the Bobsleds are the long lines for the Matterhorn that form as soon as the gates open and persist throughout the day. If you do insist on riding it, your best bet is to ride during the first 90 minutes the park is open (right after riding Space Mountain) or during the hour before it closes. The Matterhorn Bobsleds’ single-rider queue is located to the right of the entrance at the ride’s exit near Alice in Wonderland, and it can save you significant time. This ride also offers Lightning Lane through Genie+.
We rate Matterhorn Bobsleds as 3 1/2 stars in The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and recommend choosing one of the other coasters or saving this one for a second day.
What do you think of Disneyland’s Matterhorn Bobsleds? Let us know in the comments below!
For all there is to see and do at Disneyland, check out The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland by Seth Kubersky with Bob Sehlinger, Len Testa, and Guy Selga Jr. All Disneyland fans should also check out The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream by Sam Gennawey. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Threads, X, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.