Thursday, October 02, 2014

3000th POST!

Today marks the 3000th post here on GDB. Oy! And I haven't missed a day since October 30th, 2009… that's 1,807 days ago (I think). It's amazing to look back at my earliest days of blogging, when I hoped to reach 1000 posts, at which point I would retire and go back to fighting crime. It's also odd to see so many of my photos on places like Tumblr and Pinterest (GDB predates those) and Facebook (which was still in its baby years in 2006). I suppose it's a compliment? Anyway, let's get to a few nice vintage images, which is what you're here for!

Let's start with this beautiful shot of the yellow Monorail circa 1973. A few years ago, my friend "Mr. X" showed me a stack of 35mm negatives and asked if I wanted them, because if I didn't, he was going to throw them away. AIEEE! There were some 50 images of Disneyland, and perhaps another 50 of Walt Disney World from November 1971 (about a month after it opened). And let me tell you, many of them are super nice! I am so grateful to Mr. X for giving these wonderful negatives to me. In my opinion, the photo below is basically professional in quality. If this one doesn't make you happy, nothing will.

Now we'll jump back to 1956 for this wonderful Fantasyland view (not from Mr. X), right next to Monstro's gaping maw. It's a great angle of a familiar scene, beautifully composed, crystal clear, colorful, and it has an added bonus - the ornate circus wagons that were used for the "Mickey Mouse Club Circus". By '56, the MMC had moved on, but Professor George Keller was in the tent with his "Jungle Killers" (notice the yellow banner)! We can also see part of a sign for the Junior Autopia.

Here's another one from 1956, a very nice view of part of Frontierland, with Rainbow Ridge in the background. To our left is the entrance to the "Rainbow Desert Stage Coaches", while to our right is the entrance to the "Rainbow Caverns Mine Train". I love the people in the picture almost as much as the park!

One interesting anomaly… notice the dapper kid in the middle of this photo. You can see that he is holding a copy of the first Disneyland souvenir guidebook. It's distinctive because of the simple, colorful map on the back cover.

Here's what it looked like (for those who don't already know)… it was printed before the park was built, so only conceptual artwork is used. It's pretty nice! I guess that they continued to sell them into 1956, even though there was yet another 1955 book released with color photos ("In Natural Color"), and then 1956 saw the release of its own guidebook. It's a mystery!

And speaking of guidebooks, I will wrap things up with this guidebook-quality photo (hey, yet another one from 1956!) showing the new Tomorrowland Skyway and its station. Once again, the color and composition are way above average. I love the fun "mid-century modern" look of this structure, with the bright wind-powered kinetic sculpture - sort of pre-Tower of the Four Winds. A favorite detail is the two older ladies at the bottom of the picture… twin sisters? 

As always, thanks to the GDB readers out there for sticking with me for all these years. Without readers, what would be the point? 

Those of you who take the time to comment get an extra-special "thanks" and an honorary gold star… I look at plenty of blogs, and don't leave as many comments as I should, so I appreciate the time that some of you take to help make this whole experience so much fun.

Good news! I recently acquired a rather large bunch of vintage Disneyland slides (from various years) which should keep me going for at least another year or so!


Nanook said...


3,000, huh-? Ouy vey, indeed-!! You've pulled out some great images in that honor.

#1 Did indeed make me happy.
#2 For all the reasons you mentioned. Plus, our young friend in the tee shirt appears to be preparing his look for the day he'll start using those rolled-up sleeves to carry around his pack of smokes.
#3 Captures Rainbow Ridge in a wonderful forced perspective that makes it look all too real.
And the Skyway image is another beauty, including the signage indicating this ' "ride" cannot accommodate wheel chairs or strollers'. Apparently this pre-dates the moment when the Skyway became a full-fledged Attraction-!

Thanks Major, again, for these images and your continued perseverance with GDB. I look forward to another 3,000 - even if the thought makes your teeth itch.

D Ticket said...

The Yellow Monorail photo makes me very happy too. People in the monorail looking down, people in the queue looking up. And what a great colour to paint on the nose of a train.

Thanks for all you do, there are very many of us that look in every day to see the latest don't blog entry, much appreciated!

Chiana_Chat said...

YAAY!!! The news that you could be bloggin' with us for a bit yet, that made me up an' do a (beautifully balletic, of course) happy dance! Love your blog, both your kindness in sharing your hobby with your fellow enthusiasts here & your whimsical wit on this, the happiest blog on Earth.

More thanks as well to the generous Mr. X!

Lessee: women mostly in men's style clothes, sideburns, a 'fro and 'shades; yup, it's 1973. Gosh I wanna be in the front of that mustard Monorail!

Think those guys must've seen Monstro's eye blink and are delighted with the idea and how they done it.

What a fantastic pic of early Frontierland! My eyebones rattle with glee. Plus, the early map, after seeing it in action. Or is that in situ...?

Anys, neat people lookin' in the pic of early Tomorrowland looking not quite as Walt might have had in mind. Yuo're right I think, those ladies must be twins.

Super post for a super milestone. :D

Graffer said...

WE WANTS 4000!

Nancy said...

Happy 3000!

Monorail Yellow is perfect for this celebration...everyone is so happy just to be there :-) and loving this look at the Skyway...look at those bright colors! Sunshine for everyone!

Rainbow Ridge is my other favorite part of Disneyland, properly envious of all those happy folks who are getting a look around and a stagecoach and/or train ride.

Eternally grateful for the day I found this blog and met the wonderful gorilla who keeps on keeping on. Looking forward to lots more enjoyment along with the rest.

Thanks for making my day EVERY day! :-)

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Congrats on the huge milestone!!!

#1 jumps off the screen, yellow monorail, orange fro, cast member that looks like a hot dog on a stick worker. Awesome

#2 caption this: "I tell you fred aw seen his eye movin'"

#3 Best shot of Rainbow Ridge in ages-well done.

The Tomorrowland Skyway shot is a beaut. Big crowd, all that color. Does anyone know if the designs on the skyway sign spun free like the tower of the four winds or were they just a Roland Crump design warm up.

Thanks for the great start to every day.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Extra big thanks to Mr. X too! I almost forgetted.

Matterhorn1959 said...


Pegleg Pete said...

Congratulations on reaching 3000! The blog brightens my day more than any other and I look forward (thank you, Mister X) to many more. Today's crop of photographs is especially nice!

Unknown said...

Congratulations! Great photos as always!

Oh, does anyone know what's going on with Vintage Disneyland Tickets? His blogspot is still up, but the domain where he hosts all of his "bonus sunday" PDF posts - - is down. I tried emailing him but didn't hear from him.

thepicklebarrel said...

holy 3000!

now THAT'S what I call, "STAMINA"!

Chuck said...

From the Jan 6th, 2012 issue of "Gorillas Don't Blog":

"I am sorry to say that there definitely won't be a 3000th post, because I am very nearly out of slides, and will almost certainly run out sometime this year. At that point... who knows. I've got some thinkin' to do."

I am so glad that Professor Harold Hill's "Think Method" is working for you and you have been able to keep this blog going against all odds. It really is a bright spot in an Internet full of darkness and drudgery, where people scream nonsensical political and social vitriol past each other and every other webpage is an excuse to throw ads at you. I start my day here, even before I shower and dress (wait - erase that mental image), and it always puts a smile where a smile should be on everyone's face. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This is an extra-specially crunchy set of images today, and everyone else has already pointed out most of the whole-grain goodness evident in every...single...frame. The only thing I can add is a couple of minor observations on the third image. In addition to the short-lived circus tent and wagons, the bow of the canal boat also bears a short-lived name - "Annie Oakley." The scenery-free Canal Boats of the World was rethemed into Storybook Land in the spring of '56, reopening on June 16th with those glorious miniatures we all know and love and its fleet of boats renamed after female (or feminine-sounding - sorry, Flower) Disney animated characters.

In addition, we have evidence here that not only were the muddy banks of Canal Boats of the World unthemed, so were its trash cans.

Melissa said...

Think of it this way, Major: You ARE fighting crime, because of you weren't here to keep me entertained, I'd be so bored I'd have no option be to turn to a life of corruption, lawlessness, dereliction, misdemeanors, transgressions, vice, capers, misconduct, delinquency, malfeasance, villainy, malefaction, infamy, and skullduggery of all sorts and varieties. I thank you, my sainted, gray-haired mother thanks you, and society at large thanks you.

MRaymond said...

Congratulations on reaching 3000. Your site is always a fun read. I'd donate my slides to you if they were still intact.

Melissa said...

Holy ghost of Walt’s mustache, this is a real bonanza today! Crisp, clear shots of interesting stuff with great composition!

1. LOVE how the yellow in the Monorail train makes your eyes pick out all the yellow clothes in the crowd, and the yellow trim on the Cast Member’s stripey costume. Neither van Gogh nor Gauguin could have done it better.

2. No such thing as too much Monstro, especially the rare close-up.

3. Is the gent at far left particularly tall, or is that roof particularly low? And there’s one of my favorite paper souvenir hats at the far right!

4. Of course he’s dapper; he’s right in front of the tailor’s shop.

5. Just how many electrons orbited Disneyland in those days?

6. It’s a little-known fact that Statler and Waldorf got their showbiz start as a drag act in Tomorrowland in 1956. It didn’t really take off, so they fell back on their more lucrative safety net of heckling puppet shows.

K. Martinez said...

Congrats on your 3000th post, Major. Not only do you have longevity, but you're still in top form.

Looking forward to your GDB decennial on May 12, 2016. It's not that far away.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Major! Reminds me of what Derek Jeter's dad said to him after he got his 3,000th hit - "Good job. Now get started on the next 3,000."

Seriously, your blog is the starting point for my internet day, and while the photos are the heart of the posts, your words are the soul. I laugh out loud when I read about Slumpy McGee or boneless cats or a babushka sighting. Simply put - GDB makes my day, without fail.

Thank you. (Oh, and great pics today too!)

Bill in Denver

Tom said...

Congrats and happy 3000th!!

These slides are a perfect example of why I stop and browse here first thing every single day: Supreme Disneyland Deliciousness!

The color, the clarity, the composition... all of them first rate.

Thank you thank you thank you for your hard work and keep it up!

JG said...

Congratulations, Major.

Also, what Bill in Denver said, and thank you.

I am sure that I am in that photo of the yellow Monorail, just behind the photographer. Memories of that little alleyway, the shortest distance to the Bobsleds, are vivid.

I have a picture of me, taken by Dad, from almost the exact spot of pic no. 2, right by Monstro's eye. I swear it used to move. This shot is so much better.

That Guidebook cover looks really familiar, I'm sure I had one once. Maybe I still do. Now, I'm going to go hunt for it.

Here's to the next 3000.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I hope the kid in #2 puts a deck of cards in his rolled-up sleeve instead - he can look cool, with no terrible after-effects. Thanks!

D Ticket, I appreciate the kind words.

Chiana, I wasn't sure if I should post even more exceptional pics today, except that it seemed like, in the past, the more I posted, the less attention each photo received. If you know what I mean.

Graffer, well, there's no law against wanting it!

Nancy, you are very welcome.

Alonzo, part of me wishes that the first photo really was a stereo photo. Can you imagine? But it still works pretty good as is. I am pretty sure that those shapes moved (look at how they are curved to catch the wind), but I can't say for sure 100%.

Matterhorn, thanks!

Pegleg Pete, it's always nice to hear that people are enjoying GDB.

Tom Simpson, I think Mr. Vintage Disneyland Tickets has hung up his blogging hat for good (based on a few emails between us). It's too bad, but I think he had just lost the "eye of the tiger" when it came to the blog.

thepicklebarrel, I don't want to brag….!

Chuck, that was before I received hundreds of photos from my friend "Mr. X", and managed to acquire a bunch of other photos in the meantime. Still… I am using them faster than I get them. Thanks for pointing out "Annie Oakley"… it's funny, because I tried to decipher the name, and it looked like it said "Jakely". What the heck is that? I never knew that a boat was named after the famous trick shooter.

Melissa, I am glad to distract you from a life of evil!

MRaymond, "if they were still intact"? I'm thinking I heard this story before, did they get destroyed?

Melissa again, what about Vermeer? I have the feeling that the man in pic #3 is very tall. As for electrons, I counted them. Surprisingly, it was only 200. I don't want to think about those nice old ladies as men in drag!

K. Martinez, I don't know about "top form" but it's the best I can do. "Decennial"? What is that, 5000? Shouldn't it be "Fivecennial", like "Tencennial"?

Bill in Denver, I am expecting a call from Derek Jeter's dad any moment now. Thanks for the nice words!

Tom, thanks to you for your frequent nice comments.

JG, wouldn't it be weird to "tune in" to a blog and see a photo of your younger self at Disneyland? Twilight Zone-y. I don't think Monstro's eye moved, but it did blink (not sure if it still does). Those guidebooks used to go for hundreds of dollars, but ebay proved that they are not as rare as we once thought. Still, a nice one can fetch $40 or $50.

Alonzo P Hawk said...


I love Capers. They are a part of many of my favorite dishes.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Way to go, Major! A day without GDB is like a day without sunshine!

Unknown said...

Congratulations on 3000 posts! We're just inching our way towards 100, but your track record sets a high bar.

I especially love the covers of that first Disneyland guidebook. I think I reproduce it over real satellite imagery for one of my Monday MapDay articles.

Thanks for helping to keep the magic alive!

Chuck said...

Major & JG - I was researching the Eye of Monstro earlier today, and I've found that it did (and does) indeed blink. It just doesn't do it all of the time. Consensus seems to be that the mechanism either breaks down a lot or just isn't on all the time. Some folks also confirm that it did move side to side at one time.

More discussion at :

And here's some video of the blinking eye (as well as the "blowhole" effect):

I didn't know about the "Annie Oakley," either, and read the same thing you did - "Jakeley." I have to give credit to Dave DeCaro's super article on Storybook Gardens over at Davelandweb to helping me solve the mystery:

Irene said...

Wow! 3,000 posts, what a milestone. So happy I ran across you back in July of 2010. Good to know you have a new batch of slides to keep you going :)

Matt said...

You are my hero.

Kyle said...

Greetings Major! Sorry I'm late to posting a comment but just saw this now, so wanted to get my gold star! As per all the other commentators before me, I thank you from the bottom, middle & top of my heart for all you have shared with us on your blog every day! You truly have acquired some awesome photos that you've displayed here. Your humorous captions truly make me laugh & smile, which helps me immensely(I receive less than the recommended daily allowance of levity & fun as it is!). Congratulations on keeping this going on these years & I look forward to many more. Many, many thanks!!

Tviano said...

Man, who can't love a monorail after looking at that picture. Great find. Thanks for sharing.

Major Pepperidge said...

Steve DeGaetano, thank you!

Chuck, now I need to know if Monstro cried. I say "yes"! In fact, that will be the name of my new big budget movie, "The Day Monstro Cried".

Irene, I'm happy you ran across GDB too!

Matt, aw thanks.

Kyle, better late than never! I appreciate your kind words.

Tviano, yep, it's a good one! There are more to come.

Connie Moreno said...

I know I'm late to the party but CONGRATULATIONS!!! You know that you have been an inspiration to me and I love your blog! By the way, did you ever use any of those slides I gave you? I know I haven't been regularly visiting this blog for the past year so if you've used them and I missed it, that is my bad :-(

walterworld said...

Congrats Major!

I read your blog in date order and am just getting to this one today.

Gorilla's is the only blog I still follow after all these years (since May 2007 I think).

Your commentary is a perfect compliment to the pics, and the reader comments add a wonderful dimension as well. I read everything so I don't miss out.

Thanks & take care!