Featured Attractions

Monday, June 16, 2014

55 Years of the Matterhorn, Monorail & Submarine Voyage at DISNEYLAND

According to Disney Legend Harriet Burns, Walt Disney could sometimes be a bit demanding but was always fair with his staff. While he hated when someone dismissed an idea of his without really looking into it, he was reasonable if, after much research, he discovered that an idea of his was technically impossible. After all, when his original idea for Space Mountain was deemed ahead of its time, Walt tabled the idea rather than just build something substandard. So that's why Harriet Burns was stressed during an interesting meeting about the Matterhorn...

Harriet recalled the meeting as starting off well. Mr. Disney had brought in some outside architects and went over his plans... He wanted a replica of the Matterhorn, only with a bobsled ride running inside of it. The DISNEYLAND Skyway would run through it as sleek monorails glided around it. And just across the way? A submarine lagoon, complete with a fleet of submarines that would take DISNEYLAND guests on a trip to liquid space. The staff turned to the architects to see what they thought...

And they quickly dismissed the idea as impossible without giving it any consideration. Harriet expected Walt to become enraged, since the architects hadn't really put any thought into why they rejected the idea. They just did. Walt, however, graciously thanked the architects and led them out of the meeting room. Walt's staff assumed that since he didn't get visibly mad, he had accepted the opinion of the architects. After he reconvened the meeting, he made it very clear- they were going to build it all anyway. He didn't care what those architects thought.

So 55 years later, we're still enjoying the projects that were deemed impossible- the Matterhorn, the Monorail and the Submarines, because as Walt Disney once said- "It's kind of fun to do the impossible." It's a favorite quote of ours and one that Mr. Disney consistently proved was more than just a saying.