Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Greetings, GDB readers! Today is the momentous NINTH anniversary of Gorillas Don't Blog. Yes, waaaay back in 2006, I decided to share just a few of my vintage Disneyland slides for folks who might enjoy them. I'm not even sure how most people found this blog, since I did absolutely nothing to advertise it. On one hand I feel like I should have done something to get the word out… viewership hasn't really changed in years! But I'm weird about it. For one thing, I generally don't like Facebook. For another, I am mentally deranged. Which reminds me, I have now shared over 2000 consecutive posts without missing a day. That's over five years.

ANYWAY…. on with the pictures! There are some goodies today.

Let's start with this fun photo of three lovely hostesses from Adventureland's "Tahitian Terrace", from July 25, 1966. Walt was still with us at that point. If I could go back in time and visit any restaurant, I think the Tahitian Terrace would be way up there at the top of the list. How could anyone resist these ladies? I love their dazzling dresses, the flowers in their hair, and the leis.

One fun detail: take a look at the tall one on the left...

Hello, Carliss Rofoli! She's pictured in the Summer 1966 issue of "Backstage Disneyland" - a magazine for Disneyland employees. Isn't she pretty? I wonder where she is today.

I included this closeup because Carliss and another hostesses are holding stacks of those colorful, wonderful menus that I'm sure you've seen before. Those menus can fetch over $200 apiece on ebay, and up to $400!

You know, these menus (though they are probably holding the green lunch version rather than this orange dinner version).

Next we'll head over to Fantasyland, circa November of 1960. There's the familiar Pirate Ship to our left, but the neat thing is seeing Skull Rock to our right, still under construction. The rebar outline of the skull is clearly visible, looking very much like a CG "wireframe" model. 

Over in Frontierland (from 1957), we get a good look at a large "storybook"-style billboard showing the layout of the nearby Rainbow Caverns Mine Ride. In the background you can see the not-yet-finished  location for the "Casa de Fritos" restaurant. I'd love to know which Disney artist designed those wonderful, stylized storybook signs (there was also one for the Skyway, and for Tom Sawyer Island) - they resemble the background paintings from animated shorts of the period.

Next we have this beauty from the Instamatic negatives given to me by "Mr. X". It was shot in Fantasyland, near the "Alice in Wonderland" attraction (giant leaves are just visible to our right), with the red Monorail, the Matterhorn, and the Skyway. I love the sense of movement and activity in this picture.

And lastly, here's a neat (and rare) 1957 shot, taken aboard the blue Viewliner, just as it was about to pass its salmon-colored twin. It's hard to believe that these little trains were in the park for such a short time - around 15 months. And that they were apparently scrapped, though, long ago, one reader of this blog said that he saw one backstage years after the ride was closed. I wish I could confirm this! Even so, they were never seen again by the general public.

Well, that's it for this special edition of GDB! As always, I would like to thank all of the folks who continue to check it out regularly; and a special thanks goes to those who have contributed to this blog with their helpful and friendly comments, and to those who have shared their personal photos and souvenir items. It definitely helps to keep me going (mentally)! 

Who knows what the future holds, but I will keep on keepin' on until at least the end of the year. Then my people will place me on an ice flow, and I'm on my own.


Nanook said...


Some pretty images, here. "See it work" - as it were, for both Casa de Fritos & Skull Rock. (No need to attempt any sort of construction wall here).

And that shot of both Viewliner Trains - Man 'o man-! I visited the park when they were still in operation. Unfortunately, I have no memory of riding on it.

Once again, thanks for nine incredible years - honest. The images - changed daily - are a terrific start (or finish) to each and every day. I don't know how you do it.

And if for some odd reason at the end of the year you do find yourself on an ice floe, I hope you bring along many images from GDB, as that'll make for some awfully wonderful good times.

K. Martinez said...

Wow!! A shot of Skull Rock under construction which I've never seen before and a color photo of the Tomorrowland Viewliner and Fantasyland Viewliner passing each other in a single shot. Absolutely fantastic!

Congrats on your ninth anniversary, Major. It's been and continues to be a blast visiting your site every morning. Let's see if we can get you to the milestone of your tenth anniversary.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Happy Anniversary Major!!

I love the shots of the Tahitian Terrace. This was my favorite restaurant and I loved watching the parting waterfall that the hula girls came out of.

The shot of skull rock in the noggin formation stage is unique to see.

The monorail/matterhorn shot is a beauty. Thanks Mr. X.

Thanks for all the time and effort, you really brighten our days. Thank you.

Matterhorn1959 said...

Congratulations on 9 years of fun and goodiness!a

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting so faithfully and for so long. This is one of my morning go-to blogs and it always brings a smile to my face. I'd love to see you celebrate your 20th anniversary, much less a mere 10th!

Chuck said...

Major, thanks so much for taking the time to share the things you do with the rest of us. Nine years in a row - and not a day missed in the past five - is pretty spectacular for something that (as I think many of us tend to forget from time to time) is an unpaid hobby. You really do brighten our days. I can remember some pretty dark ones where I was a long way from home in an unpleasant place, and my daily (or, more often in that place, less frequent) doses of GDB really did help get me through it all. You rock!


Does anyone know which artist did the Tahitian Terrace menu?

Pegleg Pete said...

You've really pulled out all the stops for this anniversary post, Major – these are some great photographs! Congrats on the nine years. Yours remains the most 'must-visit' blog on my list!

Anonymous said...

Looking at the Matterhorn / Monorail photo makes me curious. At what point did the bullet-shaped taillights disappear from the monorail's skirt?

K. Martinez said...

Anonymous - The bullet-shaped taillights disappeared when the Mark II Monorails debuted in 1961 as part of the monorail system extension to the Disneyland Hotel.

Brad Abbott said...

Another amazing post Major, I don't see how you've managed to do it daily for over 5 years straight!

The rebar version of Skull Rock is definitely a unique site, and you can't beat two passing Viewliners!

Congrats on 9 years with the blog. Here's to another 9 more!

Tom said...

Happy Anniversary and congratulations on nine amazing years! How the time does fly. Pretty sure I stumbled upon your blog while googling for "Rainbow Caverns Mine Train", and got hooked on the fantastic photos. Rare, colorful, unique - every one a keeper. Great job and like the others, I wish for nine more years of it!

Patrick Devlin said...

Thank you so very much, Major, for all the hard work and time. If all your blog consisted of was vintage photos it would still be worth the time to follow. But add in your ability to write well (rare these days) with historical tidbits and lots of genuine humor and it's a special part of my days.

I came late to the party so I'm still catching up, as it were. I have a long recovery period coming up from some minor surgery and you can guess whose blog pages are going to keep me company!

MRaymond said...

Happy Anniversary and thank you for all the wonderful posts. Your site is on my list of daily visits for some Disneyland goodness.

I don't remember how I found your site but I have suggested it to several people.

Kenneth Lane said...

Happy anniversary!!
We can never thank you enough for the years of joy you've given all of us!
A window into the past so sharp and clear one could almost step right in and get lost in another time...

JG said...

Congratulations, Major. An embarrassment of riches today. Who could have imagined construction shots of Skull Rock?

Let me chime in with others thanks for making one of my favorite blogs. I found you by google search for vintage Disneyland pics in 2008. Your work and the fellowship of readers has had a big part in keeping me sane since then.

"GDB, Cheaper Than Therapy".

Thank you, very much, indeed.


dennis said...

keep up the good work Major!
Dennis- Levittown NY

Anonymous said...

Dittos from me too! I never miss a blog. I capture a few to jog my memories when I worked there.


Patrick Devlin said...

A couple of interesting (to me) points in those last two photos: the first shows the Alice in Wonderland giant foliage in its translucent-fiberglass and rebar-outline phase. That and apparently all vehicles in Disneyland are bright red, well except for that pesky Bobsled in the back.

Way in the back of the Viewliner shot you can just see a rectangular Skyway bucket in 1957! It took a couple of looks to see that it's two of the old-style buckets just passing each other. Just for a moment I was sure there was hope for my time machine...

Dean Finder said...

Thanks for the daily rides in the time machine.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I guess if anybody would know about ice *floes*, it would be somebody with your nickname.

K. Martinez, I only wish more of my collection was of that quality, rather than the endless Castle and Mark Twain pix…

Alonzo, you are welcome!

Matterhorn, thanks for your support and inspiration.

Anonymous, I wish I had the material to go to 20 years, but I am limping along to try to get to 10!

Chuck, lucky for me, Blogger makes it easier with the ability to write posts in advance. On a good day I can sometimes do almost a whole week’s worth, and then take a few days off. Maybe Kevin Kidney knows who did the TT menu artwork, I would love to know.

Pegleg Pete, I appreciate your frequent visits!

Anonymous, I see that K. Martinez answered your query below.

K. Martinez, thanks for the info! That was one I actually knew, for a change.

Brad Abbott, thank you; I look forward to hearing more about your project.

Tom, I’m glad you found GDB, thank you for your frequent comments!

Patrick, I appreciate the kind words about my writing, but then I read FoxxFur’s “Passport 2 Dreams” blog and feel like a loser!

MRayond, thanks for spreading the word, something I am not good at doing.

Kenneth, one of the pleasures of doing this blog is knowing that others enjoy it.

JG, take two Viewliners and call me in the morning!

dennis, I’ll try to share more World’s Fair stuff!

KS, any time you want to share your memories, I am sure folks here would love to hear them.

Patrick again, when I zoom in, I think it might just be a single old-style bucket. But it’s hard to tell, being in silhouette.

Dean, thanks!

Mark Taft said...

Congratulations on 9 years!

Melissa said...

Happy anniversary, Major, and to the GDB crew as well! You guys always make my day. The three Tahitian Terrace ladies make me think of the Three Little Maids from "The Mikado."

Nancy said...

What a milestone!!

Congratulations, David, and please know how much I enjoy seeing your pictures every morning....they really do make my day!!

Nancy :-)

Chuck said...

...and suddenly, "Thee Little Maids From School" became his mental soundtrack for the rest of the day.

Thanks, Melissa. :-)

Matthew said...

Major, I am so late to the party... but I didn't want to miss the opportunity to say congratulations on the ninth anniversary! It seems like only yesterday when you Dave and PJ got started... and the three of you were the only game in town. Now look what you've done! Here's to more happy blogging!

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

thepicklebarrel said...

holy toledo!


Major Pepperidge said...

Mark Taft, I appreciate it!

Melissa, thank you for all of your wonderful comments over the years.

Nancy, thanks for your always-cheerful addition to GDB!

Chuck, maybe that will finally get that TV Batman theme out of my head.

Matthew, I’m glad to know you are still checking in!

thepicklebarrel, thanks!

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

OOP! Sorry I missed the special day. Sometimes I don’t turn off my computer at night, and the page doesn’t refresh, and I am tricked into thinking that a day has not gone by.

For me it was a search for the Chicken of the Sea pirate ship. You have LOTS of pics of that. Then I discovered all the other magnificent photos on this blog, but for the most part it was your brilliant sense of humor that kept me coming back.

Nice set today! Thanks for your great commitment, and thanks for all you do!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations from mostly a lurker but sometimes a contributor who has enjoyed your blog for most of the 9 years. Thank you for these photos that keep my memories of the early park from fading. And thanks to the rest of the regulars from whom I have learned so much.