Two giant gorillas, occupying a region of the Jungle Cruise's rivers of Africa in the early half of the 20th century, were presumably hostile and described as being roughly 600 pounds with an arm-spread of 8 feet. The gorillas used to appear right before the, "Return to Civilization", in the part of the ride now representing the Amazon Rainforest. The gorillas were removed after 1968 with the rough space it occupied.
The gorilla animatronics were repurposed in 1978 to represent the Yeti, "Harold" in the rollercoaster Matterhorn Bobsleds with new fur and a face mould by Blaine Gibson.
In 2015, this audio-animatronic was removed and replaced with a more updated model. One of the gorilla audio-animatronic was moved to Disney's California Adventure theme-park to the attraction Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT!, still appearing as the yeti.
Reemploying animation figures is common at Walt Disney imagineering; some of the audio-animatronics from Nature’s Wonderland are now part of Big Thunder, and almost all America Sings audio-animatronics are in Splash Mountain.
The 1977-78 major refurbishment of the Jungle Cruise had legendary imagineer Mark Davis working on its upgrade. Part of Mark’s new show for Disneyland included the Gorilla Camp with the tents, overturned jeep, and the family of gorillas unpacking and turning the camp inside out.
1978, the imagineers were also working on another major refurbishment: the Matterhorn. New Bobsleds were being added along with new track, and better brakes for the splash down. It was also decided to put some show in the interior, mostly for the Skyway buckets passing through the Matterhorn. The Bobsleds could see the new icy interiors and crystals as well the very famous Disneyland abominable snowman.
Riders can see remnants of the Wells Expedition, a tribute to Frank Wells, the one time president of the Walt Disney Company.
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Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".