in Mastering the Matterhorn

"Matterhorn" is a feature of the original Disneyland park in Anaheim, California, USA. The toboggan (panel 1.5) refers to the Bobsled ride in Disneyland, which opened on June 14th, 1959, the same year the story was published. When Barks wrote the story, the ride was not yet open and details about it were obviously sketchy at best. So, the story writer or Barks apparently improvised and assumed the ride was about toboggans (in this case one toboggan - how could he know different?). As it turned out, the Bobsleds ride more closely resembled a customized roller coaster. The tracks go around the mountain and through tunnels. There are many small segments that each hold about 4 riders, whereas many roller-coasters have only one long "train" for about 30 riders. Thus, each section for 4 riders on the Matterhorn roller-coaster is probably called a "toboggan", although it's not sure if that's a commonly used term there.

The design of the story's toboggan doesn't look like it has been thought-out much. In panel 5.3, the toboggan is visually shown, and it looks like a sled. The Beagle Boys put rockets on it, so they shot up the Matterhorn with the greatest of ease. The story doesn't explain how they could have used this toboggan without those rockets. The toboggan doesn't look like it can go up by itself alone. And, in panel 7.6, a nephew comments that it's too steep to toboggan back down. Another nephew gets the idea of firing the rockets backward, so they can go down at a safe speed. The story doesn't explain how the toboggan could have been safely used if it was kept standard, without these forward/backward rockets.

The story doesn't seem to give information about the Matterhorn being for real or not. For a 4478 meters high mountain, the ducks climb it rather easily and quickly. But, in panel 5.1, the Beagle Boys refer to the snow being everlasting. Disneyland's Matterhorn is probably about 50 meters from base to peak, and the base is probably about 20 meters above sea level, so the only permanent snow has been placed there by the Imagineers. Disneyland's Matterhorn is not an exact replica, but the shape is quite familiar. (One can see the bobsleds as they travel in and out of various openings in the Matterhorn's exterior.) Maybe the story just pretends that the Matterhorn in Disneyland is the same mountain as the real Matterhorn in the alps in Europe.

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