Disneyland has an anticipated return date set for a classic, one of a kind ride.
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) – Get The Walt Disney Company Report theme parks are constantly updating and transforming their rides and attractions to keep their loyal fans returning for thrills and enjoyment.
In some cases, rides are temporarily closed to allow new rides and attractions to be built. In other cases, longtime classic rides are refurbished, reimagined or reinvented.
At Walt Disney World in Florida, the railroad in the Magic Kingdom, shut down in December 2018 and has remained closed while the park builds its Tron Lightcycle Run roller coaster. During this shutdown time, the park has been refurbishing the railroad’s trains so they will be in top shape when the ride reopens. The train ride is expected to reopen in October 2022 at the earliest and maybe as late as in early 2023.
At Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., the park in 2007 reopened a reinvented classic Submarine Voyage ride as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, based on the Disney Pixar “Finding Nemo” animated film. When the covid pandemic hit and the park shut down in March 2020, the theme park drained the submarine route and completely refurbished the ride over two years updating and improving the ride, adding new colors, new lighting, special effects, projections, 3,000 coral pieces and about 12,000 feet of seaweed.
The ride even added a new character, septopus Hank from the “Finding Nemo” sequel “Finding Dory,” and reopened July 25.
Both Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Disneyland plan to reimagine their “Song of the South”-themed Splash Mountain ride and convert the theme to its animated film “Princess and the Frog.” No definite dates have been announced for the transition.
Another Classic Ride to be Refurbished
Disneyland’s classic Matterhorn Bobsleds ride had major overhauls in 1978 and 2012, that left the popular ride closed for months. The ride also was partially closed in 2019 for some cosmetic rockwork, but Disney continued to operate one of the tracks and had minimal closures until the repairs were made.
The bobsled ride consists of two different tracks with riders swooping in twists and turns through the mountain replica trying to stay one step ahead of an Abominable Snowman, Harold. Harold was added to the iconic ride in 1978.
Needless to say, theme park goers were upset to see the ride unavailable during these closures. The ride itself is rated by numerous Disney theme park fans as one of the top rides out there.
Not only was the Matterhorn Bobsleds the first rollercoaster in Disneyland, it was also the first tubular steel rollercoaster in the world. The ride was one of the first to use water in the braking system and was also the first coaster to allow two cars on the same tracks. This was possible because of how the ride was designed with spots in the ride to brake.
Disneyland Sets a Reopening Date
Disneyland closed the Matterhorn Bobsleds down again for refurbishments on Aug. 8, and the ride will be closed for roughly two months. Part of the refurbishment includes some interior reinforcement.
The timing is probably best for Disneyland as it coincides with a slower time of the year for the theme park as summer ends and children and youths return to school. The current date set for reopening is Oct. 14, also just in time for the final couple of weeks of Halloween Time.
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This story was originally published September 3, 2022 9:28 PM.
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