Matterhorn Bobsleds: Epcot Center's Canceled Attractions Part 44

Epcot Center's Canceled Attractions

Matterhorn Bobsleds Submarine Lagoon Disneyland

Epcot opened with only a single ride in the World Showcase, so as phase two plans for more countries were being developed, most of the pavilions that were being planned included rides to bring more people to the back half of the park.

Today in Epcot Center's Canceled Attractions we are exploring the plans to bring a version of Matterhorn Bobsleds to the World Showcase. Make sure you check out the rest of this series up to this point here.

At one point Epcot was planning to add two mountains on both sides of the World Showcase to both give the park its first roller coasters, and give a sense of balance to the land. One was to be added to the preexisting Japan Pavilion and the other was to accompany a new Switzerland Pavilion in roughly the same position on the other side of the World Showcase.

The Matterhorn Bobsleds was not set to be an exact copy of the Disneyland version, as it would take advantage of the many advances in coaster technology that had come in the decades following the original.

The first major change would have been only utilizing one track, instead of Disneyland's two dueling tracks, making up for the lost capacity with larger ride vehicles that resembled Disneyland's Space Mountain.

Unlike in Disneyland, the ride would be entirely inside to allow the ride to operate in all of the elements present in Orlando.

While the track was fully designed, at the time of the ride's cancelation Disney had not set on the ride's theming. Two warring versions were developed for how to theme the same basic coaster track

One would have been a scientific expedition into the mountain that in practice would have been a very similar experience to the Disneyland version, with elaborately themed ice caves, although without the abominable snowman.

The other would have seen a Space Mountain like approach with very little theming and the majority of the ride taking place in the dark.

The ride was canceled along with the other mountain, Mt Fuji, as a result of scaled-back budgets across Epcot. Disney put most of their development plans into their third theme park Disney's MGM Studios at this time, and with constantly backing out sponsors, this ride was far from a sound investment.

Epcot remains without a roller coaster to this day in the wake of this ride being canceled. While it will soon get its first coaster with Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, that will be nothing like what Matterhorn was supposed to be.

This ride was more similar to Disneyland's Space Mountain than anything else, in the same way, that the Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain took its inspiration from the Matterhorn. It is really just where coaster technology was at the time.

Would you have liked to have ridden the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Epcot? Be sure to check out the rest of Epcot Center's Canceled Attractions here and come back next week when we explore Blueprints of Nature, the originally proposed version of Living With The Land that would go on to inspire Journey Into Imagination.