Disneyland's Closed So Some Guy Built The Matterhorn In His Backyard

Matterhorn mountain at Disneyland

If you're a fan of Disneyland, then 2020 has been more than a little frustrating. The resort has been almost entirely closed since March and at this point there's not even an indication when that might change. A lot of Disneyland fans are truly passionate about the park and would certainly go to extreme lengths to have a Disneyland experience right about now, but one guy took things to an extremity that's even impressive by Disney fan standards, as he built his own Matterhorn Bobsleds roller coaster.

Sean LaRochelle of Napa, California has officially launched himself into the top tier of Disney nerds, as the aspiring architect decided that, since he couldn't go to Disneyland to ride the park's oldest roller coaster, he would build his own in his backyard. The Matterhorn - Alpine Escape, as it is officially called, isn't quite as big as the actual thing, but it still looks like a mountain, and it does, in fact, have its own yeti. Check it out.

While this Matterhorn might not be quite as impressive as the real thing when it comes to scale, it's that much more impressive when you realize this was completed by only a handful of people over a few months, properly socially distanced, of course. If one wanted to build a functional model of what the Matterhorn would look like this is it.

And since the Matterhorn itself was Disneyland's first roller coaster, and as a result, is not the most technologically advanced thrill ride in the park, it makes it that much easier to build for an amateur. And if things are bit shaky, that's actually pretty accurate to the real thing. Also, while the ride vehicles are likely designed the way they are more for simplicity than accuracy, the seating position most closely resembles the old Matterhorn carriages rather than the current ones, and I fully support that.

This is probably the most extreme way that we've seen somebody dealing with their lack of Disneyland. Other fans have tried to capture the magic of the parks in their own way, but those generally haven't involved heavy duty construction. The project was apparently begun just a couple weeks after Disneyland closed in March, and took most of the spring and summer to complete. If things had gone a different way we could have seen Disneyland reopen before this was done, and while most would have preferred that, we might have never seen this epic project completed if that had happened.

When we'll all be able to go for a ride on the actual Matterhorn is anybody's guess. California has seen an overall uptick in COVID-19 cases, and while Orange County is in better shape than the counties that surround it, it will have to do significantly better than it is before California will allow Disneyland to reopen.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.