California Man Builds Working Replica of Disney’s Matterhorn Bobsleds Roller Coaster

Matterhorn Bobsleds (Photo: Disneyland)
Matterhorn Bobsleds (Photo: Disneyland)

We’re all dealing with the self-isolation and forced social distancing of 2020 in our own ways. Some of us are reading more books (and so are our kids). Some of us are dedicating ourselves to building intricately detailed LEGO replicas of the world’s great architectural marvels and tourist attractions. And some of us—like, say, Sean LaRochelle of Napa, California—are taking things to an entirely different level by building an actual working replica of one of Disneyland’s greatest rides.

The Napa resident began building a two-story working model of Disneyland’s Matterhorn Bobsleds ride in March and completed the project in July with the help of his brother. Officially named Matterhorn: Alpine Escape, LaRochelle’s backyard ride is getting some serious attention from Disney-starved fans and theme park aficionados.

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“I always wanted to build a ride and Disney rides are always special to me because they’re themed, they tell a unique story,” LaRochelle told local media outlet ABC7 News. “They talk about all the negatives of COVID, but one of the benefits of COVID is you have all this time and you realize you know, what can I be doing with all this time?”

With Disneyland closed since mid-March and unlikely to open any time soon, it looks like LaRochelle’s DIY theme park project might be the best ride in town at least until 2021!

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Josh Roberts
Josh Roberts is the Editorial Director and Co-Founder of FamilyVacationist. He is the former Senior Executive Editor at Tripadvisor, SmarterTravel, Airfarewatchdog, and FamilyVacationCritic. He has been recognized with multiple awards for excellence in travel journalism from the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). His work has also appeared in Insider, Yahoo, USA Today, Tripadvisor, and many other publications.