Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day 2008

Two weeks off from school for Christmas; that in and of itself was a gift. I do seem remember though a certain tinge of excitement about the first day back in class after the holidays. This was the day that you got to find out what your friends got from Santa and tell them what you got.

I recall a Christmas during the late 60’s when my parents got me a 1/48 scale model of the Saturn V rocket. This was during the Apollo era and our race to the Moon. I was so proud to have that model and worked very methodically putting the model together, pretending that the table in my bedroom was the Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Kennedy. If memory serves it was also a white Christmas that year.

A lot of years have passed and I can’t recall whatever happened to that rocket. It now lives in my memory and on a mental list that I call, “Things I Had Then That I Wish I Had Now.” It is a very long list.

That was then and this is now. Though I have grown older I have tried hard not to grow up. Fortunately for me my family knows and accepts this. So in addition to books and music, my Christmas usually includes a few gifts that are labeled “Suitable for Ages 3 and up.” Oh, and being something of a Disney geek, the over arching theme of most everything is definitely Disney.

So, in honor of this 2008 Boxing Day, and since I don't have a first day back at school to look forward to, I thought I would share just a bit of what found its way under Doc’s tree. And I know my family reads these blog every now and then, so to them, thank you. Thank you for how you bless me and for allowing me to share your lives. Thank you for making this a very Merry Christmas!

Happy Boxing Day!

Postscript: George, you'll notice a few of your recommended titles made it under the tree. I feel that The Alchemy of Animation, Walt Disney's Imagineering Legends, The Illusion of Life and Walt Disney's Nine Old Men will keep me busy for a few days at least.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 25, 2008

The gifts have been opened and I am watching the 25th Anniversary Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade while enjoying yet another cup of coffee. Then it occurred to me, I wanted to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas. It is my hope that this day is filled with more magic than you can possibliy imagine, with just hint of all the hope and promise of the coming New Year.
"For we need a little music,
Need a little laughter,
Need a little singing
Ringing through the rafter,
And we need a little snappy
"Happy ever after,"
Need a little Christmas now.
Need a little Christmas now."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

We've Gathered Here Tonight...

This will, I am sure, be the first of many posts that will in some way or another allude to my MouseFest experience. And it has taken me to this point to write the first word due to two reasons. First, the trip was filled with so much activity, occasions to be with friends and make new friends that it is hard to know exactly where to start. Second, and more to the point, is how quickly real life takes over once you leave home. All this and catching a severe cold this past Wednesday hasn’t helped matters.

Plus. Well, the list of reasons could go on and on.

I do want to write something though just to begin the process of telling my MouseFest adventure. For this first retelling I wish to highlight the friendships celebrated. Yes, I know, I sound like a broken record, but it is true. And while MouseFest can mean many things to many people, it has come to mean friendship for me. In truth, that is a lot of what Disney has come to mean to me. So, this past weekend was an opportunity to be with friends; to laugh, to eat, to sing, to share, and on some occasions to experience.

For me a measure of true friendship can be found when you can spend time with a person without saying a word and feel that it is time well spent. I have known this depth of friendship on a few occasions in my life. I like to think that the friendships I have made and will continue to make will be of this caliber. While time and distance separate each of us physically, it does not separate our hearts from each other. In truth, I think the distance enhances the friendship as it causes us to work hard for something that is worth having.

Let’s be honest, it is easy to be friends at the happiest place on earth. The real test comes when we’re away from home, working at our jobs, raising our families, dreaming our dreams, and pulling together the money we need for the next trip. It is in these times that our posts, our emails, our text messages, our “writings on the wall”, and our phone calls move our friendships to a more appreciative level.

Though our times together increase the depth of our relationships, there are not many moments of silence when friends gather in The World. But, there are moments approaching silence, such as when a group of friends gathered “around the fire” on Saturday night in Epcot. We gathered to watch a show that many of us have seen more times than we can count. Yet, for me, this night was special. In those few moments It was enough to be present, to be silent and to experience the moment with your best friends.

That moment was my MouseFest. While I came away with many wonderful memories, none will compare to that.

“Good evening and welcome. We’ve gathered here tonight around the fire as people of all lands have gathered for thousands and thousands of years before us to share the light and to share the story; an amazing story as old as time itself but still being written. And though each of us has our own individual story to tell a true adventure emerges when we bring them all together as one. I hope you enjoy our story tonight, Reflections of Earth.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Obligatory...

...well, you know this rest. It is 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday and I have just experienced one of those "I'm too excited to sleep!" nights. Maybe I'll sleep some on the plane.

But this post is to say, I'm out of here. I am in Walt Disney World for MouseFest 2008 and we'll catch up later. For those of you not able to make, trust, that you are in our thoughts. For those I am meeting or about to meet, well, here's to good times.

More to follow...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Obligatory Pre-MouseFest Post - Part Three

There are very few things that I enjoy doing on a Saturday than what I call puttering. I usually wake up when I wish, have a full breakfast (something I don't have time to do on weekdays) with Mrs. Doc, then spend most of the day just puttering. I am sure we all do this; we may just have different names for it. This Saturday I am partaking in what I call, puttering with purpose. It is Disney prep day!

So, I have clothes washing and drying, camera lenses being cleaned, packing lists being checked and rechecked, and so on. I almost feel like Santa Claus. I am also stopping now and then to do a little house work. Some of the local NFFC are coming over tomorrow evening to compare are MouseFest meet reschedules. Oh, and we'll have a few Dole Whips while we're sharing.

I am also taking one last stab at trying to secure the illusive Le Cellier ADR.

Tonight I'll perform the role of Willie Wainwright for my last time before leaving for the 'Fest, leaving him in the capable hands of an understudy. Once I am back in town here I'll have another weekend of shows, but really, this year, nothing was going to stand between MouseFest and Doc.

This Saturday is a busy day but one filled with all the hopes I have for a memorable week that lies ahead. So, I suppose I should get back to my puttering.

More to follow...

Doc as Willie Wainwright performing "Wine into Water" from A Scattered Smothered and Covered Christmas

Where In The World

The past Where In The World was far easier than that I thought it would be. Right from the start Animal Kingdom was identified as the park and Elizabeth Caran took it a step further with, "I'm thinking this might be in Dinoland USA at one of the midway games inside Chester and Hester's. In fact, is it the Fossil Fuel one, where you shoot water at a target?" And that would be right. Congratulations Elizabeth and I am looking forward to meeting you in a few days.

Fortunately, I'll be back in Walt Disney World looking for photo opportunities next week. I suppose I need to get back to photographing and submitting obscure objects in shop windows.

Now for something completely different.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Mr. Disney!

Today marks the 107th birthday of Walter Elias Disney. All over the Disney online community people are commorating this day with posts, messages on boards and mentions during podcasts. Instead of posting my own tribute, may I direct your attention to Ryan Wilson's Main Street Gazette. He offers his insight, along with those of others, on words that best describe this American Original.

Happy Birthday Mr. Disney and, thank you!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Obligatory Pre-MouseFest Post – Part Two

Oh good, you’re back. In yesterday’s post we considered a number of different things I’ll be doing, “this time next week.” But rather than continuing to outline my whole “planned” MouseFest 2008 experience with paragraphs beginning with “This time next week…” I thought I would spend a few paragraphs exploring what it is that I most look forward to.

My purpose for making this third trip to Walt Disney World this year is friendship; pure and simple. My good friend Ryan mentioned this in his Thanksgiving post and I can echo many of his sentiments. Since becoming a part of this extended Disney family I have made friendships that I hope to carry with me as long as this old soul continues to draw breath.
These friendships I speak of have grown into areas beyond an unusually fervent love for things Disney. We share concerns for each others families and have discovered that we share many other common interests. Honestly, if I have not received a few texts from my fellow Doc, or a handful of emails from my friends in North Carolina, I become concerned. I feel certain that this is true for many of us.

And I must add here that I now show more than a passing interest in the New York Giants, due completely to a growing friendship with Lou. Okay, that is the main reason, but I also have an interest in the team the Titans could very well face in the Super Bowl.

But that is another story for another time. Let’s get back to the subject at hand.

“This time next week” my circle of friends will begin to widen and by the time I fly home on Monday, I will do so knowing there are so many more people that I care about now. There will be more friendships to nurture and grow along with a host of new memories to celebrate. This is important to me.

Like many of you, I have felt isolated in my obsession for Disney and started this blog as a way of sharing some of what Disney means to me. In the course of doing so I discovered you; the other ones who have also, at some point, felt like I have. Now, without ever going to a MouseFest or a Magic Meets, I have found that I was never as isolated as I thought. In fact, it is much to the contrary.

“It’s a big blue world” and this time next week I am diving into a sea of like minded Disney enthusiast. If I can back to shore with a few hundred new, really good friends, then I suppose I could think of it as a good time.

So let’s see, there are 943 people registered for MouseFest. Doable? I think so.

“Just keep swimming.”

More to follow…

P.s. The Nemo references are a sub-luminal encouragement for those of you attending MouseFest to check out the Those Darn Cats “Fish Are Friends” meet on Friday and All About the Mouse’s “Eating Nemo” event on Saturday. I’ll be there. You see, and I didn’t even shamelessly plug “The Unofficial Rocking Chair Meet” on Thursday, December 11th beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Exhibition Hall on Town Square. Oops!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Obligatory Pre-MouseFest Post - Part One

Today is a special day! It is the day that I can start using that all to familiar phrase; a phrase cherished and celebrated by many a Disney geek. Today, I, and perhaps you too, can utter the phrase, “This time next week…”

This time next week I will be in Walt Disney World for MouseFest 2008. Well, actually, MouseFest 2008 (the Land portion) will begin one week from tomorrow. But I am arriving on Wednesday so that I can enjoy the evening Extra Magic Hours in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It will be my first opportunity to experience the park at night and I am looking forward to some night photography. And I understand riding Expedition Everest at night is an experience not to be missed.

This time next week I will enjoy a late lunch at the Yak & Yeti. I have eaten at the Yak & Yeti counter service on a few occasions in the past but have yet to visit the table service restaurant. I have heard differing opinions; some saying they enjoy the counter service more than the table service. I suppose I will find out for myself. One thing I do know, or perhaps I should say, one opinion that I have, is that the egg rolls at the counter service are the best egg rolls on property. I have long been a fan of the eggs rolls at the Lotus Blossom CafĂ© in Epcot (and will still visit there every trip to The World), but the offering at Yak & Yeti is far better; in Doc’s humble opinion of course.

This time next week I will cruise Downtown Disney Marketplace for my shopping overview. That’s right. Doc likes to drop a few hard earned dollars on a few pins and other assorted goodies. The goal this trip is to replace my fuzzy Mickey Dice for my rearview mirror and some clothing, including a new addition to Mrs. Doc’s and my deluxe resort jacket collection. Wilderness Lodge I think.

This time next week I will be spending my first night at the Pop Century. I am kind of looking forward to it. I will, no doubt, have some trouble sleeping as I try to calm my anticipation of what is yet to take place over the next few days.

And, lest I forget, this time next week I will be able to determine if there have been any further changes made to the Top Seven Must Sees in Walt Disney World. I thought I recognized a new voice over during the TSMM segment during my trip in September. But I feel that this merits further investigation.

Editors Note: There are two types of people in this world; those who like Stacey and those who don’t. Me? I like her. I am not a morning person but after 10 to 15 minutes of Stacey in the morning, I am wide-eyed and ready for a day in the parks.

“Look at all the lazy people on the lazy river.

More to follow…

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Quiet Moment and a Parting Glance

There are those of us who are in Walt Disney World often enough that we have developed our little traditions. They are traditions such as what park we must visit first, what we have to ride first, and yes, what food we have to eat sometime during our stays. These are our traditions and they vary from one person to another, but still, they are our traditions.

For me, the “exiting” traditions are of equal importance. They play as big a role in our Disney experience as the “entering” and “during” traditions.

In time we may share the “entering” and “during” traditions. But for now I want to share how I prepare myself for the journey home.

My tradition is that I will spend my last evening in the parks in Epcot. The park holds a special place for me. It was in Epcot that my passion for Disney was reignited. The World Showcase at night takes on a somewhat mystical quality to me. Illuminations, both the current version and the pre-millennial versions are sensory masterpieces. Then there is Spaceship Earth standing there as an icon to tomorrow. It is these images, and the emotions they conjure up, that cause me to be in this place at that time.

As I walk under the geosphere and make my way through the entrance plaza I begin to recall the wonder of the visit that I am just finishing and at the same time allow my thoughts to race ahead to the next. But just before I push through the turnstile and enter the “real” world, I pause, look back, and spend a moment soaking in this last image. I whisper to myself, “I will be back.” Then I turn and walk away.

One of the beauties of Disney is how it can affect each of us differently. That is part of the magic and this is an example of that. My exit tradition places me in Epcot, but it may be that Magic Kingdom, the Studios or Animal Kingdom holds that special place for you. If you feel compelled, please leave a comment and share your tradition. Whatever it is, it’s yours and it cements your memories until you walk through those turnstiles again.

More to follow…

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Where In The World

Alright then. I feel that enough time has gone by and most of you are as tired of the “scary monkey” as I am. You’re ready to move on and so am I. So, where do we find the elusive little primate? Our friend Doc Terminus (the other doc, or is that me, I can’t remember) wrote in with “Studio backlot? City street?” And yes, this is correct!

The photograph was taken on New York Street. In fact, if you’ll browse the shop windows on the left side of the street as you’re walking towards Lights, Motors, Action, you may just spot the little guy. If you do, say hello.

Now, onto other challenges, and perhaps, this will be a little easier. Then again…
One hint – you’ll not find these furry friends on New York Street.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The WDW Radio Show

Mrs. Doc can attest that it wasn't long after I started The Disney Obsession and began making friendships (wonderful friendships I might add) that podcasts entered my life. My daughter sold me on the benefits of owning an iPod and prior to my trip to Disney this past April, I became familiar with a variety of podcasts. Mostly Disney podcast mind you.

In April, during the Disney's Animal Kingdom 10th Anniversary weekend I had the privilege of meeting a few podcasters. From then on I was hooked. I began listening as often as possible and began playing catch up with my more favorite casts. These little technological wonders are one way I stay connnected to the parks during these long breaks here in Tennessee.

Then, I thought, "You know, I would really like to be on a podcast." I dreamed about this, wondering what it is I could talk about. I thought there were a few conversations I could take part in, and in truth, I have already done so at times during my drives to and from work. Just me talking to my iPod going down Interstate 40.

Yesterday my dream came true. Well, one of my dreams anyway. I joined my friend Glenn Whelan on Lou Mongello's WDW Radio Show. With MouseFest 2008 less than 3 weeks away, we discussed the event from a veteran and rookie perspective. I am the rookie. How was it? I had a blast! Thanks Lou, I appreciate it buddy.

So, be sure to check out this week's episode of the award winning WDW Radio Show. I hope we share a little insight into MouseFest.

Oh, and as for other dreams, I dream of staying one night in the Walter Elias Disney Suite at the Grand Floridian. Okay, okay, one week. And, I dream of walking down Main Street U.S.A. with my grandchildren.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Un-official MouseFest Rocking Chair Meet

Here is the scenario...

You're going to MouseFest. You're in the Magic Kingdom on Thursday the 11th and you have your ticket for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. You have attended MouseFest 101 and the Kick-off Reception. The taste of your last Dole Whip is still lingering on your palette. You may also be just a little tired.

But wait, there is help.

Your friends at the Main Street Gazette and The Disney Obsession "invite you to relax...pull up a chair" as we proudly present, your rest. Yes, we invite you to be our guest at our Un-official MouseFest Rocking Chair Meet.

We'll meet at 6:00 p.m. on the porch of the Town Square Exhibition Hall where we'll hopefully find rocking chairs waiting. While we're there we will celebrate friendships by making new friends, creating new memories, and yes, having a bit of a rest just before the Christmas Party.

If you are looking for that little something extra to add to your already packed MouseFest schedule, then this meet is for you. We hope to meet you there.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Catching Up on Where In The World

It has been a while since we last checked in on our little fellow here. There have been some guesses as to where you might find this. But alas, there has not been a correct answer.


Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel on this particular edition of Where In The World. There will be a clue given later this week. For the clue, be sure to check out the Main Street Gazette over the next few days. My good friend Ryan will provide you a little inspiration. He may also show you a photograph he took of the ol' Doc here.

Afterwards, we'll get back to business.

Friday, October 31, 2008

For The Few...

For the few; you, the proud readers of The Disney Obsession, this is a quick update to let you know that I am still here. That’s right, the Doc hasn’t hung up the “Gone Fishin” sign just yet, but life has kept me slightly out of practice lately.

There are a lot of reasons that I could share with you but then, you wouldn’t want me to bore you. Most of you know how important my friends and family are to me, and suffice it to say, this past month has given me several opportunities to be a good friend and a good member of the family.

Work has also contributed to my absence. In fact, after my return from Walt Disney World last month, I celebrated my first day back in my office by working 12 hours. And that was so much fun I did it again later that week, and the next and the next. I have not had time to finish downloading and organizing my photographs from that trip. My Facebook is crying out for the addition of a few photos. .

This morning, over breakfast, I was sharing with Mrs. Doc my hopes that things will slow down next month. I miss not posting on a more or less regular basis. I miss not keeping up my friends on Facebook or the “new” DisFriends. All I ask is that you bear with me. Although I am not posting much, adding the odd photograph, writing on your Wall, know that I still care what is going on in your life. And for a lot of you, I am looking forward to hanging out in “the laughing place” in what, 40 days!

Who is going to the MVMCP on the 11th?

You see, I do try to keep up.

So, that it is for now. A lot of words to say “I’m Still Here.” Insert the Treasure Planet soundtrack and queue up Track 1.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One Hundred + 1

Whew, I just made it. I thought that the combination of my work schedule, celebrating my mother's birthday, and simply the general level of tiredness that I have just now would prevent me from settling down to write. Honestly, I would much rather be in bed allowing the background music loop from Innoventions lull me to sleep. But, that I can not do just yet.

Today has a small degree of significance. It is the 100th post on The Disney Obsession. It is also the one year anniversary of this experiment. It was a little over one year ago that Mrs. Doc recommended that I start blogging about my passion for Disney. And after having read a few blogs I felt that I may be able to add something to the general dialogue that takes place within the Disney online community. I fear though, that I may have been wrong in my thinking.

For you see, I have discovered that there are many in our circle of friends who know much more about the parks than I (not that I ever proclaimed a vast knowledge). Within the world of Disney there are many subject matters and these are discussed via a number of excellent blogs and podcasts. I appreciate each blog that I read and each podcast that I listen too. I feel both humbled and honored that I can count many of these writers and podcasters as my friends; both the ones I've met and those I have yet to meet.

But I must be honest here. I have struggled to find a voice for this experiment. I struggle with the notion of posting something that would be considered interesting to those few who visit this blog. I struggle with the idea that if I don't post daily or every other day, then somehow, what I have to say is not relevant. Perhaps I am not too far from the truth with these thoughts.

Then a friend of mine said to me recently that mine is one of most emotional Disney blogs that he has read. With that comment he confirmed something that I have been thinking of for sometime (while I struggle with content). And that is, for me, that Disney is an emotion! Yes, it is a place, a film, a passage of music, a book, a character and more. But most importantly (for me anyway), it is an emotion. It is the emotion that swells up inside of me whenever I set foot on Main Street U.S.A. or fly over the City of London. It is a memory of my grandmother whenever I emerge from clouds at the opening of Soarin'. It is knowing that no matter how difficult life gets, there is a happy thought just a second away whenever I think of Tinkerbell flying through the air as Wishes! begins or as my heart pounds during the finale of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. It is the dream of someday walking down Main Street U.S.A. with my grandchildren. Whatever it is, there is something there and it impacts my life in ways that can, at times, be difficult to explain and even harder to understand.

That is it! Disney is an emotion! It is what it does to each one of us that makes it special. And I feel that this will become the voice of The Disney Obsession. Yes, I want to continue to share my attempts at nighttime photography. And there will still be those challenges that some of you have come to enjoy in Where In The World. Who knows, I may even share the odd piece of riveting information about some subject or another (there are still a few ideas of this nature scribbled on paper in my office here). But moving forward I think I would like to share more about how Disney impacts our (my) emotions.

Is this okay?

So, let's recap. One hundred posts in 366 days. That is what, one post every 3.66 days. Is Doc going to posts more frequently? Probably not. Hey, I have five grandchildren and a four year old nephew that need their time with Papa. But I will continue to press on with this experiment, meeting and making new friends, taking pictures, visiting the parks (as often as possible), creating new memories, and sharing what Disney means to me.

Oh, and if Disney makes you emotional, that's okay. I know I am not alone in this; or at least I hope i'm not. It is okay to share. To me that is what makes it all real.

More to follow...

P.s. No pictures tonight. I am tired.

Monday, September 22, 2008


No, it's not a new land. I'm just setting here, listening to Bruce Springsteen's Jungleland and thinking about how on Wednesday night at this time, Mrs. Doc and I will be enjoying a late dinner at Jiko.

Yes, we're going to Disney World on Wednesday morning for few days. The bags are packed, the tour plans have been made and loaded into the PDA, and the cameras are primed. We'll participate in a few of the World Wide Weekend festivities and be in the Adventurers Club for the Final Hoopla. And we'll be meeting old friends and making new friends.

The Disney online community has very quickly become something that I cherish. It is like a good Springsteen tune; it grows on you. They fit. They are comfortable like an old worn pair of shoes. You appreciate them and hold on to them because they make you feel good. They become your friends.

I have several friendships that have forrmed while exchanging comments on blogs; Geek Love I have heard it called. In recent months I have had the pleasure of meeting some of these new friends in person. This past April I met Glenn Whelan and felt that I had found a brother that I didn't know I had. What can I say about Ryan Wilson of the Main Street Gazette? He has become one of my dearest friends, Disney or otherwise. We hang out at Disney and have even managed a few meals in Ashville whenever business finds my wife and I in Western North Carolina. Jessica continues to amaze with her eye for smallest of details. And then there was meeting Lou. It is not often that you get meet a living salutation. I've also learned that Eric Hollister enjoys the Indiana Jones ride in Disneyland. I got to meet others that week too, Bryan, Amy, Marissa and others.

Now in a few days I will have the honor meeting other new "old" friends. Which reminds me, be sure to check out Lori's new blog, We Wants the Redhead. In anticipation of celebrating these new moments with old friends, I have set up a new album on my FB page to handle the influx of new photos. If you are in The World this weekend, let me know and let's visit. I'll be the one wearing sunglasses and comfortable shoes.

For the "old" friends that i have met strictly online, I look forward to the day we can meet in person. We need to have a meal together. I am thinking, let's see, perhaps MouseFest? Maybe a table for 30 at Le Cellier?

Let's plan on it. Maybe Those Darn Cats can make the ADR?


Up next week: The 100th post and the one year anniversary.

More to follow...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Remember

Today is one of those days that you look back on and know what you were doing when. It is like remembering where you were or what you were doing when you learned that Kennedy had been assasinated, or that the Challenger exploded, or that John Lennon has been killed. Today, most all of us can recall that Tuesday in September 2001 and all the emotions that went with it.

Today we will bring up those memories once again and we will pause in the hurried pace of our lives and think about the tragedy of that morning. For some it is a very personal tragedy whle for others we are a part of the national tragedy. But we all think back to that time if only for a moment.

For my wife and I, we were celebrating our 10th anniversary by giving ourselves a Caribbean cruise followed by a few days in the parks. That morning the ship's alarm bell sounded and the Captain came over the cabin speakers telling us what was happening. For us, and for most everyone else on that ship, the cruise was over. Yes, we were still at sea, but the things one associates with a cruise were over. Instead, a numbness settled on the ship as we all gathered around televisions, emailed loved ones for information and supported each through memorial services held on board.

The next day we were at sea headed back to Port Canaveral and by Thursday morning we were making our way, through the rain, to Walt Disney World.

There was a tropical storm parked just off the coast and it rained hard that night. The next morning we were going to Epcot, but not before being evacuated from Fort Wilderness Campground. The amount of rain brought the possibility of flooding. So after moving into Port Orleans Riverside, we made it into a nearly deserted park. We were in the World Showcase near the American Adventure when the entire park paused to remember those who were lost on Tuesday. That day, even the park was sad.

It is hard to quantify how much someone loses in events of this magnitude. Some people suffered the most profound forms of tragedy. Me, I was blessed in that I did not loose a family member or a friend that day. But I do feel that I lost a bit of my innocense, as I believe many of us did. We faced a harsh reality that morning and left a little of ourselves behind in the process.

The events of that week were some of the saddest I had ever experienced or wish to experience. All the magic in the world could not bring a smile or replace a compelling need to be with family and friends. So, my wife and I walked out of the park, got in our car and drove home to Tennessee.

I write these things simply to say, I remember.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Let's Go To The Movies: Part Two

So which of the Star Chores films is your favorite? One, two, three? Well moving on, let's visit a few other movie posters starring some of our favorite muppets.

Who can forget some of the immortal lines spoken in To Have and Have More?And if you're like me, you were on the edge of your seat during The Pigseidon Adventure.And let's be honest, you left the theater humming tunes from Beach Blanket Beaker didn't you? Come on, admit it. You know you did. I did.But wait, there's follow...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Let's Go To The Movies: Part One

I can't recall a time when I had to wait in a queue for MuppetVision 3D. Usually I have gone straight into the pre-show area without much delay. But had I been caught up in a rather lengthy queue I would have been treated to these posters of Muppet feature length films.

But wait, there is more to follow...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Disney World After Dark: A Fountain

I mentioned in a recent post that I did not spend a great deal of time in the Italy Pavilion. But I also noted how I am willing to change that. I believe that there is more to take in than meets the eye. It just takes time.

When I approach Italy on the promenade it is the campanile that immediately catches my eye, as I assume it does for most everyone. But what draws me into the pavilion is the fountain.

It could be said that the fountain serves as the court of Neptune, the Roman god of water and the sea. He is the Roman equivalent to the Greek god Poseidon and brother to Jupiter and Pluto.

My visits to the fountain remind me of a visit Mrs. Doc and I made with friends to the Trevi Fountain in Rome. It is a stunning fountain, especially at night. The fountain has been made famous by such films as Roman Holiday, Three Coins in the Fountain, and more recently, The Lizzie McGuire Move.

There have been several variations on the legend of the Trevi; meaning what happens when you toss a coin into the fountain. The current version says that it is lucky to throw three coins with your right hand over your left shoulder. I am not sure if it is lucky or not. I don’t recall anything particularly lucky happening to me when I did it.

As for the Neptune Fountain, I don’t know of any traditions or such that are meant to bring luck, though it appears that many have wished for something while visiting the fountain. For me, a visit to the fountain, especially at night, represents a quiet moment away from all the busyness of the day. It is a moment to stand still, be at peace and think of how good life is and how fortunate I have been to have been able to spend the day in Epcot.

My hope is the same for you. Take a moment to be still and simply enjoy this brief window in time.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Two, Two, Two Post In One

Is it me or has life gotten busier? It has been over two weeks since I shared the "Life Is A Highway" post. And by the way, Mrs. Doc was completely surprised. She had no idea of our destination until we turned from Broadway onto 4th Avenue in Louisville and she saw the entrance of The Brown Hotel. Nice surprise and nice weekend for a wonderful lady.

But back to busy; it has been incredible. There have been a few nights that I didn't get back to Doc's Place until after 9 o'clock. Mind you, I am not complaining. These types of days help pay for the types of days I'll be enjoying in a little over three weeks. I'll be in The World enjoying great times with great friends and saying good-bye to an old favorite. Hoopla!

Now, let's do a little Obsession business. The last Where In The World has turned out to be quite the challenge. China and Morocco have been offered, as has the Adventurers Club. Even Lou Mongello's house was mentioned and while it seems he all but lives in Disney, this monkey is not among his collection. So, here is a hint. We'll take away two parks. The parks still in play are Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom. Happy hunting!

Awhile back I asked that if anyone had photographs of a "Reflective SSE" to send along and I would be happy to post it. My good friend Ryan from the Main Street Gazette sent over a shot from his "research" trip earlier this year. Thanks Ryan.

If you have a photograph of Spaceship Earth reflected on another surface in Epcot please send it to me. True, it isn't in the same league as crates or bathrooms, but others already do a great job of documenting these. TDO is tryin to blaze a new trail here. Help me out.

Tomorrow? Probably nothing, but I'll try.

More to follow...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Life Is A Highway

In keeping with yesterday's "take it slow" theme, I thought I would share just a bit about this coming weekend for Mrs. Doc and myself. It's road trip weekend!

Every so often we like to take drives (even with gas prices as they are). We haven't really come up with a really good name for these little adventures. I call them Two-Lane Tennessee. But that isn't always fitting because we sometimes find ourselves on four-lane roads and, as is the case this weekend, it isn't always in Tennessee. The point is, we do not get on an interstate. The entire journey must begin and end without driving even one foot on an interstate.

That is the "take it slow" potion of the idea, to get off the impersonal interstates and take the more personal backroads. I recommend William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways for a broad idea of what can be experienced when you drive the backroads. I also recommend Road Trip USA by Jamie Jensen for inspiration. I know I want to try a few of his recommended routes. Incidentally, for you North Carolinians, he has a route that takes you through Ashville and Maggie Valley.

This weekend we're off on an Elizabethtown pilgramage. We're driving up Highway 31 W, the Dixie Highway, from Nashville to Louisville and experiencing some of the scenary that served as a backdrop in the Orlando Bloom film Elizabethtown. Then in honor of Mrs. Doc's birthday we'll be staying the evening on the Club Level of The Brown Hotel. Dinner? I hear there is a nice French Onion Soup at The English Grill Restaurant. Next day, back home to Tennessee, but not before we enjoy more of whatever it is we can find.

Now, to keep it Disney, let me share a little something we found on a prior back road adventure.

Ryan, all of the E-town soundtracks are loaded and queued up on the iPod. Along with a little Disney. Oh, and everyone, don't tell Mrs. Doc. It is all a surprise.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Disney World After Dark: A Bridge

I would be one of the first to admit that I do not spend a lot of time in the Italy Pavilion. Though beautiful and striking in its architecture, there is simply not a great deal that draws me into the area. But I am trying to change that.

The more and more that I go to Walt Disney World (I don't go as much as some, but quite a bit more than others) I discover that there is so much more to be seen and enjoyed. One only needs to slow down. So, I am trying to do that. I have known for quite some time that there is more to The World than "E" Ticket attractions or familiar haunts. Face it, we all have our lists of "must do" attractions, rides, shows, restaurants, and so forth. And I am no different; I am a creature of habit. But habits can change.

For example, when Mrs. Doc and I travel to Walt Disney World in September, we will be staying at a resort that we've not stayed in before. And in looking at our ADR's, our only repeat dining destination will be lunch at Les Chefs de France (I have a weakness for Soupe a l' oignon gratinee and Assiette de fromages de France accompanied by a nice Cabernet Sauvignon). All of our other reservations are at restaurants we have yet to enjoy.

So Doc, what does this have to do with Italy? Italy is my way of demonstating a need to slow down a bit and enjoy things. It is my "Poster Pavilion." It is my reminder that too often I pass hidden treasures in my rush from one "must do" to another. I am the only that does this right? And the bridge? The bridge is a destination for September 27th. I plan to slow down, walk to the middle of this bridge and kiss the one person who helps me to slow down; my wife, the love of my life.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where In The World

The last time we took our photographic quest in doors and Craig Wheeler of Earning My Ears and Running to Disney was the first to chime in. Craig determined that the upstairs window can be found in Mexico. As many of you know the interior of the pyramid plays host to quaint little market, the Plaza De Los Amigos. A few trinkets once found there can now be found in the humble home of Doc and Mrs. Doc. Me, I like to stop across the promenade and pick up something to cool down my inside then stroll around the Plaza cooling down my outside.

Congratulations Craig.

Now, to a new picture and a new challenge. Where In The World would you find this little fella'?

Oh and while you're online, stop by Imaginerding and wish our good friend George Taylor a Happy Birthday! You'll be a little late, but that is okay. I am sure he'll still appreciate the wish.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Reflections of Earth

We know that our heroes, the Imagineers, delight in placing hidden treasures around the world. It’s a game. They hide them, we find them. The most popular is the Hidden Mickey. But there are others. The Hidden Baloo or the Hidden Jafar are just a few examples.

Now, how about a Hidden Spaceship Earth? How would you hide something that large? I don’t know. Is there such a thing as a Hidden SSE that I have missed? It is possible I suppose.

This isn’t a Hidden SSE, but it is a photo of the reflection of Spaceship Earth.

Um. It sounds as though I may have a project for my September trip; take reflective photos of Spaceship Earth. The things we can come up with to help us justify going to Walt Disney World. As if joining friends for dinner or celebrating the Final Hoopla are not enough.
If you have a photograph of a “Reflective SSE” or another reflective photo that you would like to share, send it along and become a part of The Obsession.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Where In The World

It has been a few weeks since we updated the last Where In The World with the same photograph with flash added. And that seemed to be what was needed, as your friend and mine, George from Imaginerding opined that "this land is your land." It is subtle way of saying the photograph comes from The American Adventure. In fact, once you walk in the door, but before entering the domed entry all, the fixture is on your right. So, congratulations to Mr. Taylor.


Let's play again? I thought you'd never ask. So, here you are.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Disney World After Dark: Main Street U.S.A.

"I'm walking right down the middle of Main Street, U.S.A.
It's the heart of America, the heartbeat of a holiday
The place was made with a magical plan
And just around the corner is a fantasyland
I'm walking right down the middle of Main Street, U.S.A."

Do you ever have those mornings when you wake up singing a song? Well, it happened to me this morning. I have been puttering around Doc's Place humming this feel good classic. But there can be too much of a good thing (like, there is only so much of It's A Small World one can hum in a single setting), so I had to run get my iPod and grab a little One Little Spark.

But now back to Main Street U.S.A., it inspired me to add another photo to the DWAD night time collection.

Alight, now, everyone, you know the words, help me out!

"I'm walking right down the middle of Main Street, U.S.A."

Photo by Doc, October, 2007

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Road Trip: Pennsylvania and North Carolina

This coming weekend there will be a lot of people traveling. Mrs. Doc and I will be among them. Unlike the Disney faithful who will be gathering in Camp Hill, we'll be in western North Carolina celebrating the release of her new book. But let's consider the Disney faithful for a moment; those in Camp Hill, those reading this post and the one who writes it.

The Disney community specializes in having fun, but we also specialize in caring. We care for each other and for others. The smiles that we have we want to share; we want to give them away. And who better to give a smile to than a child; especially a critically ill child who dreams of going to a magical place. Please read this from a friend.

"The Dream Team Project is spreading the word about a special part of Fred Block's MagicMeets Disney Fan Gathering event and their Charity auction happening on July 19th. The best part is that it is for people who can't be at MagicMeets. "The Dream Team Project ( raises money to help send seriously ill children and their families to Walt Disney World through The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America. Their annual silent auction at MagicMeets raised $9000 last year, and this year they hope to do even more to bring smiles to the faces of children who need it most.

"WDW Today podcast will be broadcasting live during MagicMeets. Co-host Mike Newell (Mouse World Radio) came up with a great idea to include a tie in to the Dream Team Charity Auction during the MagicMeets Live Show.

"Any donations made to the FirstGiving web page for the DWT Dream Team between 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on July 19th will be announced on the WDW Today live show podcast. The FirstGiving website, allows guests to make donations securely using a credit card.

"All donations made during the time period will be included in the Auction total announced at MagicMeets. When you fill in your donation, please include your internet community affiliation in the comment field, so that you can be thanked properly on the air.

"Check out the WDW Today podcast website, for details on how to join them for this and all their live shows. They will have a chat room going during the broadcast, which is always lots of fun, and sometimes have a live video feed direct from MagicMeets.

"For people attending MagicMeets, or those who want to see what they will be missing, check out the DWT Dream Team Blog, for some previews and behind-the-scenes peeks. Starting on July 1st, previews of all the auction lots will be available on the forums. Once again, you must be present to bid on the auction items. There are no phone or online bids.

"The Dream Team Project is really looking forward to this event and would like to thank Mike Newell for the great idea and WDW Today's help implementing it. Together we can spread some Disney magic and make a difference in the lives of seriously ill children. "If you have any questions, please email"

We may not be able to join in the fun at Camp Hill, but we can join in making a child's dream come true. I'll be phoning in my contribution while in route to meet a friend in Ashville. Join me by making a donation on Saturday. You'll feel "really swell!"

Best wishes.

More to follow...

Monday, July 14, 2008

All In The Family: Part Two

I sat down this evening thinking I would update the running Where In The World photo series. But I don’t know, I am feeling a little nostalgic this evening and when I get nostalgic I think mostly about friends and family.

So, the photo can wait. Although, I do have a photograph of a hidden Spaceship Earth I want to share. I have more about that at a later date.

Now for nostalgia.

As many of you know I was in Passamaquoddy for the 4th of July Cookout. Had I not been there, I would have either been with some of family on a lake in Michigan, or in my mother’s backyard with other family. Notice the trend? Wherever Doc is, family and friends are there also.

But about my mom. Every year she has company during the 4th of July, and the 5th, 6th, 7th, and so on and so on. There are brothers, sisters, aunts, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and every now and then a niece or nephew will show up. I house is packed. I know; her house is right behind mine. And food? You could feed the whole neighborhood with what comes out of Mama Doc’s kitchen.

So, what does this have with Disney? Well, nothing really, I just want to honor my mother. It doesn’t have to be Mother’s Day for us to honor our moms.

I will say about a little about mom and Disney though. In a post some time ago I mentioned how my mom calls herself “my enabler.” And she is. She’ll call the house and ask, “Are you doing anything?” “Well, not right now mom.” “Well, walk over here a minute. I got something for you.” Nine times out of ten it will be something related to my Obsession. It may be a little figurine, or a magazine with a article or perhaps a recipe from Disneyland or Walt Disney World. But then sometimes there will be larger items, like once she had Buzz & Friends Pixar Characters Train.

Mama Doc is also my defender. Not everyone can appreciate the true magic of Disney like we geeks. My grandmother didn’t understand. Likewise for some friends of the family and so forth. I know you can relate to this. My mother (who by the way, doesn’t “get it”) will always defend my love for Disney. Her answer, “It is something he loves and there are a whole lot of other things he could be doing that you may wish he wouldn’t be doing.” That usually ends the conversation.

I could go on and on, but I read somewhere that posts should not be over-long.

But let me close by encouraging you in two areas. First, seek out the “enablers” and “defenders” in your life and give them a big hug and say “Thank you.” We, the B.P.O.M., are free to be who we are because of these wonderful people. Second, if you still have mom with you, call her up, say “Thanks, and I love you mom.” She doesn’t need to know why. You do, and that it all that matters for now.

More to follow…

Arrival for the Doc "Fifty In Disney" Celebration - April 2007

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Where In The World: Part Two

Mrs. Doc and I arrived back in town late this past Sunday after a wonderful Fourth of July weekend in Passamaquoddy! Anytime that you can spend with good friends, enjoying the hospitality of Doc Terminus (The Other Doc) and all the good people of P-quoddy, is time well spent. Some of the stories that were told around the table at Sanddollar Ella's. Well, let's just say, good stories and good times.

And The Voice of Liberty! Wow, what can you say? Great concert. But I was sad to learn that we missed the evening events over at the Passamaquoddy Music Hall.

But looking back, it seems that the last installment of Where In The World has some people stumped. In fact, not many people are venturering a guess. And that is not hard to understand. After all, we're looking at a light fixture found somewhere in a rather large expanse of land. So, here are a few hints.

1. The photograph previously published was taken with natural light. The one found below is of the same fixture, but taken with a flash.

2. If you were to turn 180 degrees, you would see another identical fixture.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Road Trip: Passamaquoddy

I do enjoy the drives that Mrs. Doc and I take. They allow us to slow down the usual hectic pace of life and share in some wonderful conversations. They are worth the high price of gas to have these hours to reconnect. Because, let’s face it, life can be busy, making these “little wonders” so important.

We recently had one of these occasions during our drive up to Passamaquoddy for the 4th of July Cookout. Mrs. Doc asked, “What is your favorite Fourth of July memory?”

Wow! What a question. As I thought about it, I began to realize that I don’t have that quintessential 4th of July memory. So after agreeing that I have lived a sheltered life, at least where the 4th of July is concerned, I began to think about what memories I do have of the Fourth. There aren’t many that stand out.

Yes, I remember running around as a child with the different colored sparklers and watching “snakes” grow on the pavement. I thought smoke bombs were neat. It always seemed that my friends in my hometown in southeast Missouri had a supply of these on hand (Fourth of July or not), whenever I would go there to visit as a child. We would come home from the Saturday matinees and re-enact the latest James Bond film or pretend we were The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Yes, I know, I am dating myself with that one. And I digress. The point is that smoke bombs were neat.

As a teenager I remember having bottle rocket battles. That was kind of cool because as every one knows, when you are a teenager you’re “20 feet tall and bullet-proof!” No firecracker on a stick could possibly hurt you.

Once during a Fourth of July break in production of a play I was in, we all convened to a fellow cast member’s house to an afternoon pool party. It turned out that no one wanted to brave the enormous crowds that gather on the riverfront in Nashville for the city’s annual celebration. So, we held our own improvised celebration, firing roman candles across the pool, while humming Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

The Overture! Viola! That is my memory. I remember the 1812 Overture!

My mom tells the story of how as a child I could hum the entire 1812 Overture! I suppose there were nursery rhymes and children’s songs sprinkled in here and there. But I could go practically note-for-note on Tchaikovsky’s commemorative opus. I remember I would lie in front of the family console stereo. It had a blonde wood finish and an amber colored light that indicated the power was on. At the age of four I thought the people who made the sounds lived in the stereo and if I looked close enough through the light I could see them. I would stay there for hours listening to the light phrases of the first section and the celebration as the cannonade fired with every downbeat of the finale.

As the years went by that piece of music stayed with me. I remember watching Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra on television once performing the Overture at the Hatch Shell in Boston.

And then one time in 1989 some friends and I changed our minds about going to Breckenridge for a ski weekend and instead drove to Walt Disney World. It was the first time that I witnessed Illuminations. There at the end of Act III, was the Overture serving as the Finale. All my memories associated with the music came flooding back. It was magic to me.

So, my wife is right. Perhaps my Fourths have been sheltered in terms of creating that one special memory. But I have that piece of symphonic splendor that I have carried since childhood. It is a work that I associate with the annual Independence Day celebrations. I know that on Friday night, down on the banks of the Cumberland River, the Nashville Symphony will be performing this celebratory masterpiece while shells burst overhead and a waterfall of fireworks cascade over the side of the Victory Memorial Bridge.

I won’t be there. Mrs. Doc and I will be found setting on a blanket near the band shell, listening to the Passamaquoddy Philharmonic. I only hope they play the Overture.

Well, there you go. I have a memory now.

As we neared the outskirts of P-quoddy our conversation drifted from the upcoming holiday to herring whips and crab burgers. Oh, and my strategies for increasing my score in Buoy Store Minnow Mania. The key, I think, is to jump start your overall score by doing well in the Frat House room. I don’t know, but am going to test my theory during the long weekend.

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Monday, June 30, 2008

I Write A Blog, But...

...My wife, Mrs. Doc, wrote a book.

In a slight detour from the usual "Obsession" stuff, this evening I celebrate my wife! This afternoon, while at work, a lady from the editorial department stuck her head in the door, and gathered everyone from her office around. Once the group was assembled, the lady exclaimed, "Happy Book Day." With that, my wife, the real writer in our family, was presented the 1st copy of her first published book!

Contemplative by Design: Creating Quiet Spaces for Retreats, Workshops, Churches, and Personal Spaces, by Gerrie L. Grimsley and Jane J. Young will be released by Upper Room Books in September 2008. We're still holding out hope that they'll decide to rush advance copies of the book to a conference in North Carolina in mid-July. The project started there and what better place for a release event.

So, yes, this post has nothing to do with Disney, but it has everything to do with family. At this moment, there is no husband who is more proud of, and happy for, his wife.

Congratulations Mrs. Doc! What's next?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Where In The World

It is that time again for yet another installment of the very popular "Where In The World." But before we take a look at this weeks challenge, let's consider last weeks. Was it in Epcot or elsewhere in The World. Um. An intriguing question that had people looking in two parks. But here is the clue, provided by the other Doc, my good friend Doc Terminus from Passamaquoddy. He wrote:

"His blog is great
Its like a movie
or even a ride."

Last weeks photo was taken placing the camera looking upward flush against the interior courtyard wall of the Great Movie Ride.

Now, to this weeks photo. Take a close look and be illuminated.Coming soon...Charles Dickens The Tale of Two Docs. Okay, not really. But I sure like the title!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Where In The World

If you guessed that the last Where In The World was a photograph taken inside Imagination, you would be correct. And Ed South from The Blog Wore Tennis Shoes (clever name by the way) was the first to post a comment saying so. Congrats Ed.

Keeping with the theme of surfaces and textures, here is another. Is it in Epcot or not? I am not saying.

Happy hunting!

P.s. I apologize for the intermittent posts this month. It has been an incredibly busy time at work lately. I do not post daily on good months, let alone busy ones, and this has been an especially difficult month. Thanks for dropping by and sticking with the 'ol Doc.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

For George: An "All It Takes..." Follow-up

Tink is home, and the lights are on!

"All It Takes... a little Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust." Is it any wonder why there is so much magic in Walt Disney World? Why shouldn't there be magic when fairies are present? And in Walt Disney World, they make homes for fairies.

The 2008 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival wrapped up earlier this month. As part of this years festival, a small part of Future World West was given over to Peter Pan's Never Land Garden. In addition to topiaries of Peter Pan, Captain Hook and our favorite fairie, Tinkerbell, there were scattered throughout the garden, these tiny homes for our magical friends.

Is it possilble to create a little more magic in our homes; enough to tie us over until we find ourselves back in The World? I believe so. Maybe a home in our back gardens for a friend of Tinks. I don't know. Just a thought.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Where In The World

Has it really been one month since the last "Where In The World?" Well, nearly. So what do you say my fellow Mouseketeers? How about a new photo challenge?

But first, let's acknowledge the first person to correctly identify the last photograph. That would be our good friend Doc Terminus, the Honorable Mayor of Passamaquoddy, who said, "That looks like the sky above the Voices of Liberty... " That would be the ceiling in the foyer of the American Adventure. Congrats Doc. No, not me, you.

Now, on to this week's challenge. But not before this little preamble.

I am a big fan of the Imagineering Field Guides and keep them handy for reference and just simple browsing. If I were younger, and knew then what I know now, I would have studied harder, applied myself, and tried to become an Imagineer. Talk about one of the world's neatest jobs! So, stay in school kids. Anyway, I have long admired their attention to detail and more recently have been observing surfaces, surfaces, and character paint whenever I am in the parks. For this weeks photo, let's take a look and see where you would find this surface.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

All In The Family: Part One

There are some things that I do just some of the time; such as this blog. Then there are some things that I do all of the time; such as think about Disney. Hey, that is why they call it an obsession. Right? But like you there are other things in life that are important. More important in fact. Family comes to mind.

Every now and then I will allude to someone in my family. Not often, but every now and then. I do mention my wife, Mrs. Doc, on a few occasions. But this evening I was feeling particularly nostalgic and was going through some old photographs. I ran across one that has prompted me to want to share a moment in my Disney history that involves my family and has stayed with me all these years. It may be a little long in the telling so please bear with me. It starts, this evening, with a photograph that lives on a bulletin board just over my shoulder here.

In April 1989 my grandfather passed away after an extended illness. My grandmother had not been alone in over fifty years and like most people would in a similar circumstance was having difficulty dealing with the separation. So early the following year I thought it would be nice to take her, along with my children, on a vacation to Walt Disney World. It was quickly becoming my "Happy Place" and I hoped that it could become that for her too. It was my hope. But...

In the years that followed my passion for Walt Disney World gave way to obsession. I became a collector, visit the parks as often as possible, and spend way too much on souvenirs. This did not turn out to be the case for my Nannie (my name for my grandmother) and she never could understand why I was so fascinated with Disney. She never understood the commitment of so much time and money. In today's vernacular she would be among those who did not "get it." My mother, one of my "enablers" would try to explain it, but it made no difference. She simply didn't understand why I couldn't take up a different, say, more grown up hobby. But, there was this trip in 1990 I could hold to.

It happened when we were walking through the turnstiles into the entrance plaza of EPCOT Center. Once in, we all, my grandmother, my two children and I, stopped and looked at Spaceship Earth. After a moment, Nannie turned to me, and with a little tear in her eye said, "I never thought I would live to see this."

In that moment and for that moment, she got it!

I was in my happy place on November 6, 2006. I had just finished my first ride of Expedition Everest and was walking out of the gift shop when my cell phone rang. It was Mrs. Doc. My grandmother died while I was on the mountain. After I regained my composure I left the Animal Kingdom and went over to Epcot. I walked inside the gate and just stood for awhile looking up at Spaceship Earth and thinking back to that day in 1990. She made it.

(My daughter and Nannie, Tomorrowland, 1990)

I hope you don't mind my sharing this with you. Like I said, I was feeling a little nostalgic tonight and wanted to share a little bit about my family with you, my Disney family.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's Alive!

I thought I would title this post, "The new phone books are here, the new phone books are here." Simply because it is followed by, "I am somebody!" But I'll save that title for when I am invited to do my first podcast guest spot.

But, it is alive! Google Earth 4.3 that is. And with the 4.3 version we get, Walt Disney World in 3D.

I have just been through Epcot, in near record time.

(Screen print from Google Earth, Walt Disney World in 3D)