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Family builds backyard tribute to Disneyland roller coaster

Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A California family who missed going to Disneyland amid the COVID-19 pandemic passed the time during lockdown by building a smaller version of the Matterhorn roller coaster in their back yard.

Brothers Sean and Michael LaRochelle said they came up with the idea for the Matterhorn Alpine Escape in March and pitched their parents, Jacques and Diana LaRochelle, the idea of building the Disney-inspired coaster in the back yard of the family's Carneros backyard.

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Sean and Michael enlisted the help of their parents, as well as siblings Mark and Nicole, to build the roller coaster. They started work in March and finished the project in July.

"Growing up, Disneyland was something I loved," Sean LaRochelle, an architecture graduate student, told the Napa Valley Register. "I've always wanted to create a roller coaster."

The end result was a roller coaster about 20 feet tall with a track measuring about 400 feet long. The family said the ride takes about 50 seconds.

Sean LaRochelle said he was inspired by a family who built a walk-through version of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean ride in their home.

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"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?'" he told KGO-TV.

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