Monday, December 31, 2007

One Last Moment

The sun is slowly setting on 2007 and will rise tomorrow on 2008 and all of its promises. But before the ball drops and the champagne corks pop take a moment for quiet reflection on the year that is passing. To help you on this nostalgic journey, I offer you the sun setting behind the Fountain of Nations with a memory of a little Future World background music playing on the air.

Now, we've had our moment. Party on Geeks!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Where In The World

Hello, and welcome back to another exciting edition of Where In The World. To bring you up-to-date, we did not have a guess to last weeks photo. So we'll leave it there and let you continue to stew on it. Here is a hint: the photo comes from inside a park that begins with the letter "E".

Now, for this weeks photo. It too comes from a park and I hope I made this one a bit easier. It may be too easy in fact. Have fun, take a guess, and leave a comment. As the DGs say, "We love comments". And so do I.

Disney World After Dark: Italy

We've finished our Becks and it is time to continue our journey around the World Showcase. We stop for a moment to watch the miniature trains and try to find that Hidden Mickey in the village. Then it is on to Italy.

"A re-creation of the Venetian campanile of St. Mark's proclaims the presence of the Italy pavilion. A love to letter to Venice, the Italy pavilion also features an exacting replica of the Doge's Palace, and its waterfront along the World Showcase Lagoon is dressed with playful gondolas and their festive, barber-striped moorings."

from Since the World Began by Jeff Kurtti, pg. 109

I took my grandmother to Walt Disney World in the early 90s and she loved EPCOT Center, and Italy in particular. I am not sure what her reason was, but she did. It may have something to do with the dinner she had at L'Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante. She enjoyed the food and the decor. Her visit is another story for another time.

For now, spend a few moments to take in the splendor and history of Italy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

With Childlike Wonder

“Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.”

- Walt Disney, Disneyland Dedication, July 17, 1955

We have arrived at the last days of 2007. It is in these days that some of us will pause to think of what we’ve accomplished during the year and set our sights on what lies ahead. It is in these days that we become young again, allowing the excitement of the holidays to transform us. We can now look forward with childlike wonder to the “promise of the future.”

Before I take up my youthfulness once again, age relives fond memories and I wish to recall a few of my fond Disney memories from 2007.

Perhaps my fondest memory is that of celebrating my 50th Birthday in Disney World with my family! We spent a week there in mid April. On April 20th, after a wonderful dinner at the Yachtsman Steakhouse, we boarded a pontoon boat for an evening fireworks cruise. I have long been a fan of Illuminations stretching back to its earlier incarnations, but watching it from the water with my family and friends was truly magical. Also being able to share in my mother’s Year of Million Dreams private audience with Cinderella was very special.

I took a solo trip in October primarily as a photo expedition. To help make it through the parks with my cameras, I purchased a safari-like vest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It has loads of pockets and I highly recommend it. But be forewarned, save for not having the logo on the back, it looks very much like a PhotoPass Photographer vest. This is true especially at night. The memory I took from this trip is in knowing that I was very nearly a Disney Cast Member. One night in Disney-MGM Studios I was repeatedly asked to photograph people in front of the Sorcerers Hat. After a while it simply became too funny not to be a great memory.

I will also remember 2007 as being the year of the on-going debate with my grandchildren and my four year old nephew as to who is “really” The Pan. I contend that in order for one to be considered as The Pan, they must first have the opportunity to grow up, and then refuse to do so. It holds with my long standing belief that a person must grow old, but they do not have to grow up. This debate continues.

Now looking towards the promise of the future, I dream of what is yet to come. My hope in 2008 is to eventually “find my voice” in this experiment I call The Disney Obsession. I hope that by either finding this voice, or by continuing to do what I am currently doing, that my readership will grow. I know this takes time, as I am only one voice in an expansive choir known as the Disney blogging community.

I hope to end the coming year having my very own MouseFest 2008 lanyard, not to mention the DAK bottle strap that continues to elude me. A nice logo would be nice too (I need to get to work on that). I hope to make serious headway on some Disney related pen and ink drawings as well as this little travel book idea that I have been thinking about and storyboarding.

But for now, I’ll blog. I look forward to being enlightened by many of you and to the possibility of enlightening some of you along the way.

So, let us savor this moment and celebrate the year that is to pass and the year that is yet to come. May it be Magical!

“The Most Unique Gift of the Year – 2007”

When it comes to gift ideas for the old Doc, my family has it easy. If it comes from Disney, is Disney related, or has the name Disney written anywhere on it, it is a safe bet. They can be fairly assured that they are not getting me the proverbial Christmas tie. Consequently, my office, the repository of “my Disney collection” has become quite crowded. In fact, Mrs. Doc is surprised that there has been only a limited amount of overflow into other parts of our home.

But with so much Disney to choose from it can be difficult to find the “special” or “unique” gift for the discriminating Disneyphile. What separates one gift from another and elevates it to the level of “uniqueness”? Well, to be unique is to exist as the only one, to be solitary in type. So, what is unique in that marketing juggernaut that we know and love as the world of Disney? Well, postage stamps, of course.

Postage stamps? Yes. But not of the variety currently being issued by the United States Postal Service. No, I am talking about personalized postage stamps. See the example below:

My mother took this picture of Mrs. Doc and me in Epcot during our April “Fifty in Disney” Birthday Celebration. And, having it turned into a postage stamp, qualifies it as “The Most Unique Gift of the Year – 2007” (in Doc’s world anyway). Only problem, I can’t use them. In my view, their uniqueness makes them a collectible.

So, when dropping your hints next year, be sure to direct your friends and family to The Disney Obsession archive for December 2007, and have them take a look at how someone else discovered that “one of a kind” gift for the geek in their life.


Postscript: My mother calls herself my “enabler” since she constantly fuels my obsession with regular doses of Disney in one form or another. Here is to the enablers in all of our lives

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Holiday traditions vary from one family to the next. In my family we gather on Christmas Eve for dinner and to exchange gifts. It has been this way since I was a child and continued into adulthood. It works well now as the children are grown with children of their own and have other families to visit and traditions to create. For Mrs. Doc and me, Christmas morning is rather quiet and I can watch Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parade in relative peace.

Once we are finished and most everyone goes on their way, my wife and I will settle down with a nice Merlot and watch White Christmas. My daughter and her boyfriend will be joining us for this annual tradition this evening.

In a few hours it will get busy around here and I am sure the same will happen in your homes. So before then, my wish and my prayer is that each of you are safe and happy during this wonderful time of year.

Merry Christmas from Doc and Mrs. Doc!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Where In The World

It is time for another exciting round of Where In The World. But before we look at this weeks photo, let's first extend our congratulations to Ryan over at Main Street Gazette. He correctly identified the photo as the fountains at the entrance of Downtown Disney Marketplace. And I thought Iwas posting a somewhat difficult picture.

Maybe this weeks picture will be a bit more challenging.


Saturday, December 22, 2007


I have joined! Have you?

Disney World After Dark: Germany

They have just lowered the bridge from having moved the "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth" barges into the World Showcase Lagoon, and we move onto Germany.

"South of the China pavilion the stair-stepped roofs, steeple, turrets, and castle walls of the Germany pavilion are visible. An amalgam of architectural design details from various cities all over Germany, the pavilion conveys an overall feeling of a fairy-tale alpinie village of centuries past. The statue in the center of the plate, or town square, is St. George (patron saint of soldiers) slaying the dragon."

from Since the World Began by Jeff Kurtti, pg. 109

The Germany pavilion also boasts several wonderful shops. My personsal favorite; Der Teddybar. It must be my love of toys.

So, grab a beer from Sommerfest, have a seat near the fountain, and enjoy Germany!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Where In The World

Last week's Where In The World picture was indeed a section of the gate leading into Africa. In fact, it was taken from gate on the right hand side. Congratulations to John of The Disney Blog for having the correct answer.

For this week's entry we leave Disney's Animal Kingdom park. There was your hint.

Happy hunting!

Disney World After Dark: China

Continuing on our stroll on the World Showcase Promenade we come to China.

"Only in the World Showcase is China so close to Norway. Beijing's Temple of Heaven is re-created in the China pavilion, and a calming serenity seems to permeate the space. The landscaping and garden add to the overall sense of place, as does the "background score" of traditional Chinese music."

from Since the World Began by Jeff Kurtti, pg. 109

Let's pause, look to our left, and enjoy the Wonders of China.