Questions about Matterhorn

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by nannyz, May 13, 2012.

  1. nannyz

    nannyz DIS Veteran

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    I know a lot of people have strong opinions about the two deaths on the Matterhorn, but one of those people was the daughter of a friend and we never believed that she did anything stupid on the ride to cause her death. We will always believe that she fell out of the car.
    Anyway, as you can imagine, I have a lot of fear about this ride.
    I understand that the new cars have no seat belts, just lap bars.
    How are lap bars safer than seat belts?
    My little grandson will just be tall enough to ride, but I will be petrified to put him on it if all that holds him in is a lap bar and no one can ride next to him to hold him.
    I remember taking my daughter on Big Thunder when she was little and if I had not held on to her for dear life, she would have flown right out the car.
    I am hoping that someone can diminish my fears, and I also will be checking back to the boards after the re-opening to see what people think.
    Thanks for your help.
     
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  3. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

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    The old seat belts could easily be disconnected by the guest by just reaching over and pulling it off the hook. Lap bars will go down and stay in place and cannot be lifted by guests.

    Also, the old arrangement was fun which allowed 2 people to sit in each seat - one in front of the other. But I could see how this would be more dangerous especially for the person sitting in front.

    The new bobsleds will have one person per seat and per lap bar.

    Altogether it is easy to see how it would be safer with the new design - although not as fun. However, Matterhorn is such a slow ride compared to other coasters I have hard time seeing it dangerous in any way - aside from your friend's daughter experience. It just never builds up enough speed to have anything happen - it was like the seat belts had little value because you were going so slowly. The seat belt approach was more to keep people from leaning out or standing up.

    My two cents.
     
  4. Robin&Marian+2

    Robin&Marian+2 Earning My Ears

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    The old seat belts on the Matterhorn aren't like car seat belts, or the kind they have on Soarin' where you pull it out and click it in. They were basically a strap with holes in it that you hooked onto a metal hook on the opposite side. Very easy to detach even mid-ride. A lap bar fits across your lap snugly.

    I know roller coasters can be scary, but in general its really forces that keep you in the car, not the belt or bar. I can't imagine how your daughter would fly out if others don't. But hey, I'm a nervous flyer even though I know it's safe. :)
     
  5. Pixiafurie

    Pixiafurie College Dreamer

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    I understand completely your fear of these rides. I was always on the punier side growing up and so i always felt like the seat belts never quite fit right. On my roller coasters I felt I came close to flying right out of my seat! But I strongly believe that Disney does everything they can to ensure the safety of their guests. The Matterhorn may be considered a thrill ride, but I don't find many areas on the ride that really cause too much jarring that could knock someone out of there seat. Lap bars have always made me more comfortable to ride with since you can hang onto them in addition to their ability to hold you into your seat.

    Big Thunder is definitely more jarring than Matterhorn, so I would hesitate to use this attraction as a reference to your decision on letting him go on it. I strongly believe you will be safe on this ride, but it is entirely your decision on whether to go on it. You could even discuss your fears with the cast members before riding, if it will ease some doubts. Overall, if you are so uncomfortable with it, there are many other wonders to explore at Disney that can make your day super magical :)
     
  6. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    New Matterhorn Bobsleds.....

    Will still use seat belts, not lap bars.
     
  7. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

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    I am not an expert on this but remember reading "lap bars" multiple times.

    Al Lutz is not all-knowing but usually knows way more than I do and said Matterhorn will have lap bars.

    http://miceage.micechat.com/allutz/al040312a.htm

    I am curious where you are hearing seat belts as that is new to me.

    :wizard:
     
  8. ArchOwl

    ArchOwl The Highly Educated Owl

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  9. Huff

    Huff DIS Veteran

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    I assume your daughters friend was Dolly Young whom was killed in 1984 riding the Matterhorn. Her seat belt was found unbuckled and she was thrown from the car. She was the only one in the car so it was never determined why her belt was not buckled.

    The earlier 1964 Matterhorn death was caused by a teen deliberately unbuckling and standing up.

    There have been 9 deaths at Disneyland over the decades, some because the person did something dangerous and sometimes ride malfunction.

    Deaths include Matterhorn, Carousel of Progress (now innovations), Big Thunder, Sky Tram, Monorail, Rivers of America, Columbia ship and People Mover.
     
  10. indygirl99

    indygirl99 Choose Happiness

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    When I look at the pictures I don't see lap bars. I see a bar behind the head at the top of the head part of the seat, but there is no way that can come over the head and down into someones lap.
     
  11. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    Simply take a look at the bobsleds, they are many available, there are no lap bars. I have known this since some of the first picture became available because I looked at how the sleds are made.

    In later pictures you can also see the seatbelts.
     
  12. nannyz

    nannyz DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much for your kind replies. I guess we will have to wait until the ride opens to settle the question about lap bars or seat belts.
     
  13. Robin&Marian+2

    Robin&Marian+2 Earning My Ears

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    If you look at the drawing on the wall in the background there do seem to be bars. I don't know one way or the other for sure, but those look like bars and a headrest for each seat. Of course who knows how accurate that is?

    ETA: looks like they'll have locking seatbelts according to these pics, not the old loop and hook kind.
    http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/135593-new-matterhorn-bobsled-merged-threads.html
     
  14. Blue32

    Blue32 DIS Veteran

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    So... if the information that is out there about there being lap bars instead of seat belts turns out to be just a rumor, what are the chances that the info. about the height requirement going to 42" is also just a rumor? :confused3
     
  15. DebbieB

    DebbieB DIS Veteran

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    Those pictures were from a prototype from 2010, might not be the end product.
     
  16. Blue32

    Blue32 DIS Veteran

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    Has the height requirement of 42" been officially posted somewhere?
     
  17. Tommy_B

    Tommy_B Mouseketeer

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    It was in the OC Register.

    It is pretty impossible to leave your sled completely if you are sitting. I've ridden the mountain many times without a seat belt and never came close to leaving the car, not even in the dip where Ms. Young was thrown from the car.
     
  18. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    The 42inch ride height was revealed in a comment on the Disney Parks Blog.
     
  19. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

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    I guess today is my day for being curious. When the PP asked about the 42 inch being official I did a search a few hours ago for Matterhorn key words on the Disney Parks blog and could not find any mention of the 42 inch requirement in any of the blogs in 2012. I also checked the Matterhorn attraction page and it still says 35 inches.

    Maybe I missed it when I looked earlier today. Do you remember which blog item it was mentioned?

    I only rememeber seeing 42 inches in Al Lutz's articles.

    :wizard:
     
  20. skiingfast

    skiingfast <font color=teal>Has had no bacon<br><font color=b

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    I can't, but I remember what happened. Someone asked in the comments about if the ride height would go up. The PR person replied it would increase to 42".

    Then other news sites started stating 42" this included Miceage.
     
  21. DharmaLou

    DharmaLou Once a Princess, Always a Princess

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