Disney Urban Legends

The Matterhorn

The Legend: Hundreds of gullible Disney fans were led to believe that they could help Disney Imaginengineers saw the Matterhorn in half.

Behind the Legend: In 2001, someone with the screen name "SuperCynthia" posted a startling message on a popular Disney-fan bulletin board Web site. The post claimed to have been written by the head of Imaginengineering for Disneyland, and it claimed that volunteers were being sought to assist the company in sawing the Matterhorn in half.  According to the post, management had decided that the newly opened Disney California Adventure needed another thrill ride, and the Matterhorn was going to be moved to its sister park and renamed Mount Shasta. But because the mountain was too large to move in one piece, it was going to be split vertically into two  sections which would be individually trucked down Main Street and across the esplenade to their new home.

For obvious reasons, Disneyland fans went bananas at the announcement. How could Disneyland even think of moving such an icon to another park? Would the newly vacated space be reclaimed by Tomorrowland and +used to expand the Submarine lagoon in preparation for a new attraction that management promised was on the way? Didn't people understand that Walt wouldn't have done this? Why didn't they just demolish the entire Disney California Adventure Paradise Pier area and rebuild it as a mountain range in which an extensive ride filled with high-tech audioanimatronic figures could be built?

But despite their doubts, thousands of Disneyland fans signed up to wield one of the gigantic saws, jackhammer the mountain off its foundation, fill and attach the thousands of weather balloons that would keep the halves upright during their journey, operate a mammoth crane, help direct traffic out of harm's way, capture and care for the mountain's fierce snow monster, see that the ball from the basketball court didn't get lost, and more. Hundreds more indicated that they would be willing to help demolish the Disneyland train station (and underlying berm), Disneyland and California Adventure main gates, and Monorail track to make room for the bisected mountain's trip. In return, volunteers would be given a pin and the opportunity to purchase pricy limited-edition event merchandise. Lunch would be available for a nominal fee.

When the day came, Disneyland was crammed with confused volunteers. Nobody appeared to take credit for the joke, and eventually everyone just decided to laugh it off and enjoy the park. To this day, nobody knows who started the hoax, and it remains part of Disneyland history.

Note: Ironically, the day chosen for the hoax just happened to be the one day all year that was blacked out for all Disneyland annual passes, so all of the "volunteers" had to purchase park admission.

The Legend: If the submarine lagoon is ever drained, the Matterhorn will fall over.

Behind the Legend: Now what kind of sense would that make? Could you imagine an engineer allowing such a situation to exist? The fact of the matter is, if the lagoon is drained the Matterhorn sinks a couple of feet and that's it.

The Legend: There is a basketball court inside the Matterhorn.

Behind the Legend: Almost. There is a storage room at the top of the Matterhorn, part of which has been decked out like a half-court basketball court. The other portion of the room is occupied by a half air-hockey, half foosball table.

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