Why Doesn’t Walt Disney World Have The Matterhorn? The Reason Might Surprise You

If you ever go to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World (WDW), you know there are three “mountains” – Space Mountain (opened in 1975), Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (1980) and Splash Mountain (1992).

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Yet if you go to Disneyland, you’ll encounter FOUR mountains: similar versions of the three above, plus the Matterhorn Bobsleds.

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Opened in 1959, the Matterhold Bobsleds (a.k.a. the Matterhorn) was the first thrill ride at Disneyland. It proved to be so popular mid-that anyone would have thought when Walt Disney World was being built in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it would be a shoe-in as one of the original attractions, right?

Welp, apparently…not. Here’s why…

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Experiencing “Dark” Disney & Universal Attractions With The Lights On

Some attractions at Disneyland (DL), Walt Disney World (WDW) and the Universal parks are nearly 100% outdoors – DL’s Grizzly Peak, WDW’s Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster and UO’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish all come to mind. Other attractions (DL’s Radiator Springs Racers, WDW’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Roller Coasters and Uni’s Jurassic Park, for examples) are partially outdoors and partially indoors, which gives the parks the opportunity to control more aspects of the ride experience. Still other attractions are nearly 100% indoors – i.e. The Haunted Mansion and Soarin’ at the Disney parks, or Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey or Despicable Me at Uni – besides even more control over the experience, it also protects guests from the weather (which is more of an issue at the Florida-based parks that have to deal with more rain, thunder, lightning and extreme heat and humidity than their California-based counterparts).

Many of the partially and completely indoor rides are considered to be “dark” rides, which means the rooms you go through are dark, either to make it seem scarier (i.e. Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, E.T. Adventure) or to get the riders to focus on whatever the “lit up” scene they’re up to (i.e. DL’s Monsters, Inc., WDW’s Journey Into Imagination, Universal’s Revenge of The Mummy).

There are occasional opportunities to see “dark rides” with the lights on – Disney Cast Members are sometimes allowed to experience the attractions that way, and there are occasional behind-the-scenes tours at the various theme parks for guests to have the experience. When something goes wrong on a dark ride, the emergency lights sometimes go on, which is also a way to see these usually “dark” rides in a whole new way. Several videos of these “special” experiences have been captured on video, and we gathered a bunch of them. Enjoy!

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Adventures By Disney: Bringing Disney Magic Around The World

The Walt Disney Company has always been trying to expand the Disney brand experience outside of their theme parks. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Disney unsuccessfully tried to build different types of theme parks with the unrealized Disney’s America concept and the Port Disney project, which eventually morphed into Tokyo DisneySea. After these missteps and the eventual failure of the DisneyQuest concept, (which eventually lead to the closing of the final location at Walt Disney World), the company smartly changed course. Instead of trying to build Disney around the world, why not take people around the world “the Disney Way?”

The first step of this initiative was Disney’s launch into the cruise business in 1998, with Disney Cruise Line. The executives noticed the success of the cruise division and looked for a way to replicate the model, but somewhere they didn’t have to build multi-million dollar cruise ships. There are iconic places around the world that people want to visit, why can’t Disney take them there. IRL.

That’s how I imagine Adventures By Disney was born. Continue reading “Adventures By Disney: Bringing Disney Magic Around The World”

The History of What May Be Disney’s #1 Favorite Snack, Dole Whips

Dole Whips. If you’ve ever been to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, the mere thought of them might make your mouth water. #amiright?

For the uninitiated, Dole Whip (also known as Dole Soft Serve) is a soft serve, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan frozen dessert created by Dole Food Company. It was introduced to the Disney parks soon after Dole became the official sponsor of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (an attraction inside the Adventureland area of Disneyland) in 1986. It’s always been popular but in the past few years has gotten something of a cult following, along the lines of some snacks at another popular Disney park…

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Those Times When The Onion Satirizes Disney Parks & It’s Not All That Far from The Truth

The Onion, as per Wikipedia, is “an American digital media company and newspaper organization that publishes satirical articles on international, national, and local news. Based in Chicago, the company originated as a weekly print publication on August 29, 1988 in Madison, Wisconsin….The Onions articles cover current events, both real and fictional, satirizing the tone and format of traditional news organizations with stories, editorials, op-ed pieces, and man-in-the-street interviews using a traditional news website layout and an editorial voice modeled after that of the Associated Press.

The Onion, as per The Onion, is “the world’s leading news publication, offering highly acclaimed, universally revered coverage of breaking national, international, and local news events. Rising from its humble beginnings as a print newspaper in 1756, The Onion now enjoys a daily readership of 4.3 trillion and has grown into the single most powerful and influential organization in human history.”

And that pretty much gives you an idea about The Onion ;-).

What can I say…some people love The Onion and some people hate it. And when you’re a hardcore Disney fan, that love/hate thing can become even stronger because not only are they sometimes kind of spot on (that’s when you have to do a double take at the headline to see that, oh yeah, it’s just The Onion), but the popular satire site has not always been kind to The Walt Disney Company, particularly the division of Disney Parks and Resorts. Cases in point…

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