Good morning and HAPPY FRIDAY! This day in Disney history, June 14th, 1959: Three major attractions are christened! The first being the ALWEG Monorail Mark I. At this time it ran on a .8 mile track around Tomorrowland. It was the first daily-operating monorail train system in the Western Hemisphere. The German ALWEG company developed a working monorail prototype, which caught Disney’s eye in 1957. He worked out a deal with ALWEG in which his designers would develop a monorail using ALWEG’s basic design as the starting point. Bob Gurr, designed Disneylands' version, a sleek train w/ a rocket-ship nose, stainless steel side panels, & the famous front bubble top. The Disneyland Monorail’s appearance was a completely different from the plain, functional design of ALWEG’s prototype (or ALWEG’s later Seattle Monorail, built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair). The day was celebrated with a dedication ceremony & ribbon cutting that included V.P. Nixon & family. To watch the ceremony: http://tinyurl.com/2d2mc6b In June of 1961, the Monorail track was extended to 2 1/2 miles, Disneyland Hotel guests were then able to board the Monorail at the hotel & begin their park visit in Tomorrowland. Do you like the Monorial? When was the last time you were on it?
Also on this day @ Disneyland, The Matterhorn Bobsleds, open! Modeled after the Matterhorn, a real mountain in the Swiss Alps it is the 1st roller coaster to use cylindrical rails & urethane wheels (standard in the roller coaster industry today). Built by coaster builder, Arrow Dynamics & WED Imagineering. Originally a dirt mound created from what was removed to make the moat around Sleeping Beauty Castle. First named Holiday Hill & then Lookout Mountain, Park Operations staff continually had to keep a look out due to its unofficial status as “Lover’s Lane.” The Matterhorn was conceived by Walt during two trips he made to Switzerland. Walt wanted to figure out a way to hide the unsightly Skyway pylon, what better then a 147' high mountain? Supposedly, Walt sent a postcard featuring the Matterhorn back to the states w/ the edict “Build this.” Walt was discouraged by Joe Fowler when he wanted to “make some snow & have a toboggan ride.” Difficulties in creating the snow & drainage were solved by using steel, wood, plaster, & paint. Disneylands Matterhorn is a 1/100th replica of its Swiss namesake & the tallest structure inside Disneyland. What was Walt’s response when he first saw the completed attraction? Legend has it that he said, “It’s 10' too short.” HA! It wasn't until 1977/1978 that the Matterhorn was refurbished to add the Yeti (Harold) & instead of being 1 car, 2 cars were joined, which basically doubled the attraction's capacity. Do you like this attraction? Do you have a favorite side, & why?
In addition, The Submarine Voyage, is officially dedicated (even though it's been open since June 6th). Another E ticket attraction, it cost $2.5 million dollars to create. 38 Riders were able to enter the 8 half-submerged mini-submarines. Each 52' long sub cost about $80,000 to build were each 52 feet long, weighed 94,000 pounds, & could go about 1.7 miles per hour. The Disney-designed subs were built @ the Todd Shipyards in San Pedro, California. The fleet was originally named after the U.S. Navy's atomic submarines: The Nautilus, The Seawolf, The Skate, The Triton, The Ethan Allan, The Patrick Henry, The Skipjack, & the George Washington. Sitting on small fold-down seats, guests leaned forward to peer out through port holes on either side. The subs moved around a track in the mermaid lagoon and gave the illusion of diving by having bubbles rise around it while the captain intoned commands over the loudspeaker. Guests saw an underwater volcano, lost treasure, a "graveyard of lost ships," the legendary Lost Continent of Atlantis, a treasure chest of gold, mermaids, a sea serpent, and passed under icebergs at the “North Pole” during their 9 minute voyage. "REAL(!)" mermaids actually swam in the lagoon for a brief period. During the opening ceremonies, there was a water ballet of mermaids. To take a ride: http://tinyurl.com/km9tqly Does anyone here remember this attraction?
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Alice in Wonderland will be closed Mar 10-July 3, 2014 Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage will be closed Jan. 6-Sept. 26, 2014: it’s a small world will be closed Jan. 21-Apr. 18, 2014: Indiana Jones will be closed Mar 17-May 8 Space Mountain will be closed May 12-Jun 26: King Arthur's Carrousel will be closed April 28-May 22 Pirates of the Caribbean will be closed April 28-May 22 Club 33: Reopens July 1st
DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE:
Grizzly River Run will be closed Apr. 21-June 19, 2014
The Little Mermaid will be closed Mar 20-May 9, 2014:
it's tough to be a bug will be closed April 21-May 8
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