Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hello, Harold

The Disneyland 60th Anniversary celebration brings with it many new and enhanced offerings and attractions. One of them is an upgraded Matterhorn Bobsleds experience with brand new effects and animatronics.  Yesterday, I took several rides to capture these impressive new additions. 

It goes with out saying: SPOILERS AHEAD!!

The first new things riders will notice occurs going up the lift hill.

This used to be dark and relatively uneventful, passing only a mysterious ice cave with rather unimpressive visuals.

But now, the Abominable Snowman stalks the sledders, roaring intimately closely.

For those not expecting it, the effect is jolting and kind of scary!


After ascending the hill, riders notice the wreckage of bobsleds past.
There's also a nod to the old Skyway, with some buckets buried in snow! Clearly, the Abominable Snowman is a ferocious beast!

At night, the scene takes on an even more eerie blue cast.

Bobsleds buried in frozen tundra.

These photos do not do justice to the new animatronics (and are not as crisp as I'd like anyway).

The new "Harold," as the Abominable Snowman is lovingly called by cast members, has much wider range of motion.

He snarls and lunges and is more active, similar to the Yeti animatronic at Disney Animal Kingdom's Expedition Everest.

No more static standing Abominable Snowman rotating two arms mechanically around in limited motion...

This beast is quite ferocious and furious.  This was my smoothest photo, but I didn't quite turn quickly enough to capture the whole frame! Oops.
Don't mess with this beast!

A second animatronic occurs at the second half of each side's circuit. This makes for three total new Harold's, as the first one is visible from both tracks.  All three are quite impressive!

And even though this photo turned out blurry, I like the savage it effect it gives the Abominable Snowman!

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