Friday, May 12, 2017


Believe it or not, as of today "Gorillas Don't Blog" (such a dumb name, I know) is ELEVEN years old! Where were you in 2006? If you are bored, check out the first post - there's not much to it. Back when I started this thing, I had no idea that it would go on for so long, or even that it could go on for so long. I've added and added to the collection of photos (though I rarely buy stuff these days), and I've widened the scope of the blog (with the "Anything Goes Saturdays" for instance), and I've had some much-welcome contributions from people such as Nanook, Ken Martinez, Alonzo P. Hawk, Chuck, the Devlin family, DrGoat, Kurt Raymond, Bill Youmans, Huck Caton, Mr. X, Patrick McGilligan, Doug Baker, Scott Heinz, Mike Guerena, and more (I apologize if I did not mention a contributor here - please chime in with a comment!

I might as well mention that I haven't missed a day since October of 2009 - well over 3000 posts in a row. I had a theory that if I posted every day, readership (viewership?) would steadily increase, but that hasn't really been the case, which is a little discouraging. Perhaps blogs are too old-school. But you guys still check in, so thanks! I've predicted the imminent end of GDB so many times that I'm not going to do it again, but... let's just say that nothing lasts forever. Anyway... let's look at some photos!

Here's a beauty from New Year's Day, 1957! That was a Sunday; the park was open from 10 AM to 10 PM; the high temp was 64 degrees, but it got down to a low of 38 degrees; and attendance was at 22,122 (according to Jason's Disneyland Almanac!) - fairly busy for those days. I never grow tired of the wonderful Clock of the World - a classic piece of mid-century design. Notice the nearby hill where the Matterhorn would eventually be - I like to think of it as the Matterhorn's larval form.

Our photographer came back later for a dramatic and beautiful night shot; the clock seems to indicate that it is only around 5:00 in the evening, but it gets dark very early in January. And with the cold, it looks like most people went home, too. Either that, or the long exposure made them all vanish as they continued to move. Still, it's a gorgeous shot.

I wanted to zoom in so that you can get a better look at the lobby of CIRCARAMA, with a diagram of the round theater, and a giant, staring Eye of Sauron in the center!

Next comes this fun photo from November, 1961, featuring a guest goofing around with the Tomorrowland Spaceman and Spacegirl. I think she's flirting with the Spaceman! But the adorable Spacegirl knows it's all in fun. She reminds me of Sandra Dee; the rose pink lining of her cape is very striking, and I love her "atomic" headgear.

Some of you might remember this great photo that was originally shared over on the Vintage Disneyland Tickets blog (raise your hands if you miss that blog!); the picture shows the same young lady, standing in an almost-identical pose. 

Here's a very nice photo of the Matterhorn under construction - almost half of it is covered with stucco and is painted as the workers moved from top to bottom; exactly the way real mountains were formed. The Yacht Bar looks kind of sad and neglected here, but it will be selling hamburgers, hot dogs, and lemonade soon enough.

I wanted to zoom in because I get a kick out of seeing all of those construction guys swarming over the scaffolding. Notice the blue Skyway bucket passing through the tunnel! There is a bicycle in the foreground - could it be Walt's? Yeah, probably not. Imagine seeing this amazing structure for the first time, before everyone was used to it being there.

One of the long-gone features of old Frontierland was a corral that contained miniature horses. Walt loved miniatures! Some of you may remember that there was a tiny mule named "Lilly Belle" (see a photo of it at this post) on display in this corral - I'm sure Lillian Disney was thrilled.

And I might has well finish things up with this lovely photo of the blue Viewliner pulling into the station. A pair of giant fuzzy dice would be just the thing to make the Viewliner even more perfect.

That's it for this special post. As always, thank you to everyone who continues to visit the blog, whether you have been here since 2006, or are a relative newbie. And a big THANK YOU to everyone who takes the time to comment - it's a small but vocal community (I have friends who have never commented in 11 years!) and it helps to keep me going more than you know.


Graffer said...

WOO-HOO! Your're at the halfway point! Congratulations.

Nanook said...


Wow - it seems like only yesterday we were celebrating the Tencennial-! Where does the time go-? Every shot here is a beauty, and it's hard to pick a favorite. But if I had to indicate a preference, the night shot of CirCARama is rather stunning and very unique. (But then again the Spaceman & Spacegirl [and guest] all looking so swell, is also hard to top.

So, where's the birthday cake with 11 candles blazing-?? I was so looking-forward to a slice.

Congratulations, Major, for blogging GDB into some sort of historic achievement. And thank you.

D-Ticket said...

Nice selection of scans tonight. I've rarely missed a post, but I refuse to believe it's been 11 years.

andrew said...

Congratulations, Major!

Thanks for 11 years of brightening up my mornings

TokyoMagic! said...

That night pic of the Tomorrowland entrance is a beaut! I think the atomic headgear on Spacegirl was intended to be an example of "orthodontia of the future," but it never came to be....just like flying cars. And did they really operate the Skyway with all that construction going on around it?

Happy anniversary, Major! And thank you once again, for all that you do!

Scott Lane said...

Happy anniversary!! What would we do without you to brighten our day and give us a momentary respite from the lunacy around us? So glad you're here and appreciative of all your hard work.

Today's shots are beauties, for sure, but as much as I get a kick out of seeing those ladies asking Mr Spaceman to show them his raygun that nighttime view of Circarama is the winner, hands down. (and I think that clock is saying 18:00 which would be 6:00pm - and yes that's pitch dark in Jan)

Pegleg Pete said...

Congratulations on the milestone, Major! My days wouldn't be the same without a visit to the blog. And what a great selection of photographs you've given us today. Much as I hate to conform, I'm going to have to side with the majority and single out that fantastic nighttime shot of Circarama which manages to convey both a sense of futuristic optimism and a glow of mid-century retro at one and the same time!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Hey if "Spinal Tap" can make it 11 so can you. Thanks for all the time and effort to brighten up our dreary days. Your blog (like the construction of the Matterhorn) was done without a safety net. Timing is everything. You came along at the right time (like Disneyland) and are haveing a great run!

Gnometrek said...

Happy Eleventh Major! Thank you for the daily dose of smiles and tranquility.

DrGoat said...

Congratulations Major. These photos are bitchin, if I may wax poetic. Your first post 11 years ago is amazing. Yeah, that t-shirt. Wish I could read that button she's sporting.
Thanks again Major. Like I said before, you generously allowed my photos with all the great people in my life that are gone to shine a little again. Indeed Alonzo, the Major does go to 11.

Tom said...

Happy TenPlusOneCennial! Adding another thank you for your monumental efforts to bring us beautiful photos every day.

And what a line up today!

So much goodness, from all over the park. Unusual angles, construction photos, long lost characters and attractions... but my favorite is the night time shot of Tomorrowland with the clock and the CirCARama building, in all of its atomic glory. So uncluttered, so clean and full of promise.

Here's to eleven more! And then some!

Chuck said...

I love all of today's photos, but I think my favorite is the first one for the little boy at the extreme left, marching along to keep in step with the man (Daddy?) in front of him.

Major, thanks again for your continued commitment to entertaining and educating the masses, as well as providing an outlet for those of us to busy (or just plain too lazy) to set up our own blogs. Here's to many more years of pure awesomeness!

Irene said...

How can it be that time has moved so quickly? I believe I found this blog back in 2010. My favorite is also the night time shot because it's so rare to see a good shot at night from that time period. I am also amazed that they continued to run the skyride through the Matterhorn during construction! What a treat that would have been for me as an adult. But seeing as how I was only 10 or 11 at the time it would have been totally boring. I'm also enjoying my brother's pictures on your blog. When I was going through them they looked so boring and lifeless and I really didn't think they held much interest. But seeing them on here and reading the comments has certainly given them new life and interest for which I am grateful. Here's too many more years to come.

JG said...

Congratulations, Major. 3000 posts in a row is significant. I don't want to think about where I was in 2006, that was a dark time for me. I give some credit to you and the blog, and the blog community for being one ray of light at the end of the tunnel.

Your morning dose of Disneyland cheers me up no end. Let me add my thanks to those of all of our friends above and may GDB last as long as it remains fun for you to do it.

Today's pic crop is wonderful, but my heart belongs to the Space Man and Space Girl, with the construction shot of the Matterhorn close second.

I'm pretty sure the skyway wasn't running, the bucket was probably being used to confirm construction clearances or maybe to tension the cable.

Also my thanks, much as Dr. Goat puts it, for posting some pics of loved ones in well-loved places.

All the best.


Anonymous said...

And a Happy 11th from me Major. Your blog is always the first I turn to daily. And the pictures bring back memories of being a guest as well as a CM 'back in the day'. Seeing that Skyway bucket going through the Matterhorn brought back a flicker of a memory of me doing just that back then! Keep 'em coming! KS

Anonymous said...

Tarzman checking in. Just wanted to give special appreciation to your unique style of presentation, Major. That, and the information (and "information") here in the comments have become at least as important to me as the vintage photos. Thank you for creating this wonderful place, and keeping it going for !11! years. Being an honorary gorilla myself, I don't blog, but we here are sure glad you do!

TommyTsunami said...

Thanks for all the work and great writing!

David Zacher said...

So, another anniversary. I started enjoying your blog when your icon was still animated and it's been fun, I tell you. I look forward to the daily reminders of some very enjoyable times in my life and your commentary (everyone's actually) is unlike any other blog I have stumbled upon. I'm pretty sure that this website is the first one I bookmark with each new computer. Keep it up if you can and I'll keep coming back.

Dave Z

MRaymond said...

Happy 11th. May you never run out of pics to post.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Thank YOU Major, for allowing me to relive many fond memories. Your photos of vintage Disneyland (and other places) make me long for the Park of old, as I read about changes to the Park that always seem to diminish what it once was. Thanks to your keeping those memories alive, we will never forget what Disneyland was like "in the good old days." Your vintage photos always inspire and make me smile.

DKoren said...

Woo! Congratulations! I don't comment often, but I visit every single day to check out the photos and hilarious commentary (and hilarious comments). I can't imagine not getting my fix of Disneyland every day. I also have fun showing the pics you post to my mom, who was visiting Disneyland a week after they opened. I try to get stories from her about those early park days.

Thank you so much for your daily posts. They brighten the blogosphere. Here's to many more years and no-burnout for you!! :-D

Steve DeGaetano said...

Oh, and congratulations on 11 years, Major! I must say, this blog doesn't look a day over 10. ;)

Anonymous said...

Simply... thank you for all you do.


walterworld said...

Nice Milestone Major!

I rarely comment since I read the blog in order and am typically behind (I made an exception today), but do enjoy reading yours and everyone's comments SO MUCH.

The pictures of course are outstanding...and especially today. I put the Viewliner shot as #1, with the nighttime Circarama a very close second.

Agree with Dave Z---Gorilla's is first bookmark on any new PC, and also the only blog I give time to following.

Thanks for the memories Major, both old and new!

Major Pepperidge said...

Thank you to EVERYBODY for your very nice comments!

Dean Finder said...

Thanks for running a great view into a Disneyland I never got to see.
That nighttime view of the CirCARama theater can't be beat, though the others in this post come close.

dennis said...

Thanks, and keep up the great work. I look forward to your 64-65 World's Fair pictures, and the Disneyland pictures aren't too bad either! Happy Anniversary Major!
Dennis, Levittown, NY

K. Martinez said...

Major, congrats on your 11 years. You deserve every bit of praise you receive and then some. Coming here has been a big plus the best way to start the day. Thanks gain, for all you do.

Okie said...

Congratulations and well done! :)

Mark H. Besotted said...

I'm​ a bit late to this one, but Happy Elevensary! (Just as valid a word as Tencennial, methinks.)

Everybody else has said all the nice things I wanted to say, so I can only say thanks again for the hard work and the unique perspective.


nick said...