This fun fact was one of the original, and most shared, fun facts that I heard which sparked my interest in Disneyland history.
There is a half basketball court in the top of the mountain. Rumor has it that the reason they built a basketball court in the top of the mountain was that, back in the 1950s, the building codes prohibited any structure from being that tall unless it was a sports structure. It is located about two-thirds of the way up. It was actually built as a break room for Cast Members, for the mountain climbers to get ready for their climbs, and for Tinker Bell to prepare for her flight during the fireworks. They also added a ping-pong table.
These are the photos of the court that get shared around all the time.
Here is a never before seen photo of the basketball “court” with Tinker Bell before her flight. This is Gina Rock, the longest flying Tinker Bell in Disneyland history. She flew from 1983-2005. She liked shooting hoops with her team or playing ping-pong before she was tossed off the mountain.
In the top left of the photo, you can see the signatures of the Matterhorn Mountain climbers.
Here is a cutaway of the Matterhorn to show you the location of the basketball hoop.
Imagineer Tony Baxter was interviewed about the hoop being up there and about its history.
If you would like to get an autographed Tinker Bell photo of Gina or an autographed Tinker Bell collector’s pin, Gina donates all the money to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, just visit her website www.FlyingTinkerBell.org
*Matterhorn image from Wikipedia
*Basketball playing from invisiblethemepark.com
*Matterhorn cross section from Pinterest
*Other images from extinctattractionsclub.com