Sunday, May 12, 2013


To whom it may concern: Happy Mother's Day!

Hey howdy hey, today marks the SEVEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Gorillas Don't Blog! I can hardly believe it. In addition, I haven't missed a day since October 30, 2009; if my math is correct (and it probably isn't) that would make today my 1,300th consecutive day in a row. Wheeeee! 

So let's get to the pictures already. First up is this supa-cool scene featuring the northern part of Fantasyland as it was in 1957. There's the old Fantasyland Station, complete with train (and original yellow passenger cars); the Viewliner; the Midget Autopia, the Motor Boat Cruise, and the Junior Autopia. It is interesting to note that basically nothing in this photo exists today.

Here's a neat photo of a sign heralding the addition of the "Primeval World" section of the Grand Canyon Diorama, which is still one of my favorite things. The sign is a cool variation on the wonderful attraction poster. And you may have noticed some construction going on.  Somebody had the bright idea to put up a new Administration building around the chunk of railroad track that would roll past the Primeval World scenes. Commenters on this blog have mentioned being able to hear dinosaur sounds (Triceratops babies querking) from the employee locker room upstairs!

This next picture (from April 1962) shows the rather startling image of an antique hot-air balloon sitting at the end of Main Street. Or maybe it is not so startling, considering that it is blocking a fairytale castle. Somehow, "La Coquette" from Mike Todd's 1956 roadshow extravaganza "Around the World in 80 Days" wound up at the Hub for Easter. It does look pretty cool! At some point the balloon was released into the air, which would have been quite a sight.

This next photo is from a slide date-stamped "September 1963", and it shows a packed Huck Finn raft crossing the glassy waters of the Rivers of America. But lo! What's that in the background?

Why, it's a certain Haunted Mansion under construction! Did the people nearby have any clue what was being built? Of course the ride itself would not open for another six years, which only increased the public's anticipation.

Aaaaand, since I am in a good mood, I am adding one last nice photo. The slide might be labeled "Matterhorn", but we all know that this is really Cascade Peak, still covered in scaffolding. If only they hadn't used so much wood in the construction. Leaks were bound to happen eventually. It's kind of cool to see the hard-hatted construction workers all over the Peak.

Seven years is a whole lotta time! Many thanks to everybody who continues to read GDB, or at least look at the pictures. A special thanks to those of you who take the time to comment; people come and go over the years, but if it wasn't for comments, I would have quit a long time ago!

I'm on my last box of images. It's a BIG box, probably over 1000 slides (500 of which are Mark Twain and castle shots), but they won't last forever - keep in mind that I have already scanned a portion of them. When it's all done, your pal Major Pepperidge will retire to his secret island lair and learn to play the ukelele.

NOTE: To all of you who commented this morning, THANKS! Apparently people were having trouble seeing the larger versions of the photos, so I re-composed the whole post, stupidly deleting the comments by accident. Sorry about that....


Gnometrek said...

Thank you so much. Happy anniversary your pictures are fantastic. I might say your sence of humor is fantastic as well. Thank you and your loyal commenters for brightening each and everyday!

Anonymous said...

Major, looks like I'm the 1st to leave a comment since your 'oops' moment. I don't comment very often here, but I want you to know that I check your site EVERY DAY since I stumbled across it about 3 years ago. Absolutely love and appreciate the pics you post. It's a trip down nostalgia lane seeing images of Disneyland, Knott's and all the other parks and places that you have posted. Makes my heart yearn for the old days, and my feet itch to go time and location traveling. And I am sure that, like myself, everyone out here will be saddened when you do retire. Thanks for your time and effort here.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Looks like Gnometrek beat me by a minute. That's what happens when I pause to check my spelling abilities.....

thepicklebarrel said...

seriously, conrats!

ye are a stronger lad than i!

Orange Co Native said...


Those are 5 great photographs + the one enlargement for Haunted Mansion. The first photo is interesting because it shows what was beyond the berm as well. I am guessing this is where Small World is located now.

I see they are playing Buster Keaton movies at the Main Street Cinema. One of my favorite silent comedians along with Chaplin and Harold Lloyd. Good old Main Street. It never changes very much which is good.

SundayNight said...

These are all great but that picture of Fantasyland is just so amazing. To see the Viewliner and all those other rides in one picture, wow!
Thanks very much for 9 wonderful years. I’ve been here for most of that time. Once you are done, I’ll just start back at day one and read through the posts again.

HBG2 said...

Congrats! What would we do without you and your ilk? And they can stamp 1963 on the back of that HM photo until their hand is raw and bleeding, but it was taken in the middle of 1962. Just to set the record straight. (And is there an uglier word in English than "ilk"?)

D-ticket said...


Today's slides are a great way to celebrate your milestone. Each of these images from 50 or more years ago are scenes that many of us have never seen before!

Thank you for all your work, it's very much appreciated.

Nancy said...

What a great day! Congratulations on bringing us 7 years of sunshine, smiles and often laughter, memories and a look at things we never got to see, and a hankering to go back to Disneyland as often as we can!!

I look forward to the rest of this fun ride with you and all who enjoy it as much as I do!

Thanks, David :-D

K. Martinez said...

Congratulations on your Seven Year Anniversary of Gorilla's Don't Blog!

The quality and consistency of your blog has been high throughout the years. In addition to the great images, your commentary and daily response to reader comments makes you a cut above the rest.

Thanks for all the hard work you put into this blog. It's appreciated. Here's hoping there are more glorious years to come.

Nanook said...

At least part of my comment bears repeating, and that is: Thanks for seven years of diligent effort in bringing GDB to the vast internet on a daily basis-! Your images run the gamut from fun, weird, and odd, to unique, memorable and spectacular. And as to your commentaries - you can easily hold your own against the best scribes out there-!

Happy Seventh anniversary, and please excuse me while I get completely lost (again) in today's incredible images.

Graffer said...

ACK! I was deleted!

Congratulations. But don't stop.

Matt said...

Wow, that is amazing, quite the high bar you set for us all. Keep 'em coming!

SundayNight said...

Just noticed I said 9 instead of 7 years. Wishful thinking?

Chuck said...

Major - your posts are an island of joy in a vast sea of Interweb hohummery. Thanks for sharing your collections and your wit with us and for tolerating my poor attempts at humor all these years.

Sometimes, we don't really realize the impact we have on others. I can tell you that, although we've never met, there were many days on a couple of deployments when stopping by your place was the highlight of an otherwise lonely or depressingly bleak day. What you do on a daily basis really does make a difference.

Again - many thanks.

Irene said...

I am one of your every day look at your photos but only occasionally comment fans. Because I've been going to Disneyland since 1955 the photos bring back so many memories or help me see things I don't remember because I was so young. I keep hoping that one day I will see myself or one of my family members in the background of someone else's slides. It's a long shot but weirder things have happened! Congratulations on seven great years.

Debbie V. said...

Thanks for all the wonderful pictures and commentary - I've always felt "at home" here.

Melissa said...

Happy anniversary, Major! Thanks for the memories! I'm wearing my most festive babushka to celebrate.

Wow, that picture with the balloon really is shocking! Before reading the caption, I thought Spaceship Earth had migrated west in some twist of the space-time continuum.

walterworld said...

Congrats to you Major!

Gorilla's should receive some kind of award for outstanding achievement in Bloggery, or something of a similar ilk! Can't imagine how much work you've put in all these

The images are outstanding, but your commentary (and everyone's comments) really make this a special place to stop by, and daily no less!

Thanks again---

Major Pepperidge said...

THANKS everybody!

Tom said...

I'm Late to the party! But Happy Anniversary just the same! Thanks for 1,300 awesome posts and some multiple of that in phenomenal pictures of my favorite place in all of its historical glory.

And by the way - these photos are amazing.

Looking forward to 7 more years! (somehow we're going to pitch in and find a few more boxes of old slides for you)

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I'm even later to the party but had to add my 2 cents worth.

Thanks for the greatest guilty pleasure on the internet.

Not many places on the internet that a middle aged southern California native (now 400 miles away) can go on a daily basis and feel like he's home again. Even on days I don't chime in I always look and these pictures help with the homesickness. Thanks for the much appreciated effort. This site always put a smile on my face.

jedblau said...

Thank you for your INVALUBLE service to Disney nerds everywhere, present company included.

Smee said...

Keep them coming, I lurk quite a bit without commenting, doesn't mean I'm not there though.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I too lurk daily and comment now and then. You keep me coming back. BTW, the front facade of that picture of Primeval World...I think that is the old Administration building going up. Cheers.

Chiana_Chat said...

Accidentally deleted comments (saved on my feed reader) were as follows:

Graffer said: "Congratulations. But don't stop."

K Martinez said: "Congratulations on seven glorious years of GDB. I'm amazed at how much you've done with such a consistent high quality throughout. I hope there are seven more years of this fantastic blog! I love it!"

Chiana_Chat said: "f I could articulate how much cheer this blog has brought me over the years, it'd bust this here comment box, make your ears turn bright red, your foot slide side to side over the ground and you to say "....GAWRSH!"

But I can't do that. Just remember to send me the slides before you cast all your troubles in the Tropic Sea and retire to play on your Uke as the Gorillas Babes serve Dole Whip and luau at your feet."

Nanook said: "WOW-! I'm uncertain where to begin, so I'll start with the most important comment.

Let me express my thanks for all the wonderful, odd, exceptional and just downright fantastic images you've posted, lo these many years. Not to mention the best commentary this side of, oh, I don't know - I'm at a loss for words. But suffice it to say, you can hold your own with the best scribes in the business.

Evidently seven year anniversaries are celebrated by giving bronze or pottery. Sorry, this poses a bit of a challenge. I suppose you'll be expecting a bronze statue of Mickey. Or a collectible Brayton Laguna Pottery figurine from the 1940's-? If the world were a fair place, I'd shower you with those gifts as a small token of all the joy the DAILY GDB postings have brought. I'm afraid you'll just have to accept my sincere thanks-!

Now, on to today's images - ALL are a feast for the eyes. But it's hard not to get completely lost in the first one for several minutes. There's so much eye candy, virtually all of it gone today. And rarely are construction shots of the Grand Canyon Diorama building, Cascade Peak & the Haunted Mansion available for viewing. Very nice.

Thanks again for all swell images which never fail to make my day."

Stu said: "Please dont stop, as Im sure there is no clinic for the treatment of Gorilla Addiction....."

and Jimmy said: "Congratulations! I don't think I've missed a day since I discovered the site. Thanks so much."

You know you could've posted an anniversary trumpet with no pics or a few favs, but you add a mother lode of vintage Disneyland pic gold here at the same time!

Thanks (again!) Maj!

Daveland said...

Congrats on 7 years AND a fab-tastic selection of cool images today!

Yendorb said...

Congrats and Thanks!

Major Pepperidge said...

Thanks once again to everybody for their congrats!

And thank you to Chiana for salvaging the "lost" comments!

JG said...

Splendid images, as usual, Major. Truly images of a lost world.

Congratulations on your achievement. A daily commitment of such scale is very creditable.

As others above have noted, your handiwork has effects far beyond what you could imagine. I credit you with my continued (approaching)sanity. I found your writing in a dark time and place and have since found my way back, via Disneyland and points North, South East and West. To say I am grateful is to understate the case.

When and if you hang up your kit, I will mourn, but not as I did before. Until then, I will enjoy every day as it comes from your pen, since that is how they are supplied by the Maker.

Best regards to you (and to my fellow commenters). You will be missed.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your work. My day wouldn't be complete without a visit to your site, and I'll definitely miss this place when the day comes that you finally run out of new photos.

Pegleg Pete said...

I missed the blog over the weekend and have only just now seen this 7th anniversary post – congratulations and thanks for all the time and effort involved in the blog! You've especially outdone yourself with these pics – that Fantasyland image is quite amazing indeed!

Clyde Hughes said...

Many thanks for your hard work and congrats!!

StoryBookLand said...

Congratulations, Major!!!

Love your blog and I wish you had 7 more years of pictures to share! So it seems that the only question is... when does the book come out?

Come on... you know you wanna :0)

Thanks for 7 years of smiles!


Snow White Archive said...

A huge CONGRATULATIONS to you Major! Seven years is just incredible and what tremendous milestone. We're gonna have to find you some more boxes...or entice you over to the Filmic Light. ;)

Thanks for all the great posts, and I hope that box of pics doesn't run out too soon.

The Viewliner Limited said...

Happy 7th Major. Thanks for everything all these years. Truly appreciated, Richard.