Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Disney World After Dark: A Tree - Part I

This is the first of two Disney World After Dark installments that will feature the Tree of Life. The photograph featured above was taken at dusk. Next week we'll look at the Animal Kingdom icon at night.

For a little about the Tree of Life, let's read from The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom.

"The Tree of Life is one of the most amazing pieces of art ever created by WDI. It's beautiful and meaningful, and captures the essence of this park at a glance. It's a poetic statement of the majesty of nature, the stunning diversity of animals, and our respect for our place in the world, and underscores the ideal that all of these elements can co-exist harmoniously. In our story, the animals are not carved into the surface - they're grown out from it. As one approaches the Tree and the animal forms begin to reveal themselves, it becomes clear that there is almost no tree at all. That tree is the animal kingdom."

More to follow...

Note: excerpt from The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom, by The Imagineer's, pg. 34.

Monday, April 27, 2009

"Here Today"

I would like to share this one song with you from the Paul McCartney concert. It is a song Paul released in 1982 as a tribute to John Lennon. Of the song, Paul says, "I was one day just sitting quietly in this little room with my guitar and these chords started coming out and I started having these thoughts as if I was talking to myself to John about our relationship and stuff..."

"And if I say I really knew you well
What would your answer be.
If you were here today.
Ooh- ooh- ooh- here today.

"Well knowing you,
You’d probably laugh and say that we were worlds apart.
If you were here today.
Ooh- ooh- ooh- here today.

"But as for me,
I still remember how it was before.
And I am holding back the tears no more.
Ooh- ooh- ooh- I love you, ooh

"What about the time we met,
Well I suppose that you could say that we were playing hard to get.
Didn’t understand a thing.
But we could always sing.

"What about the night we cried,
Because there wasn’t any reason left to keep it all inside.
Never understood a word.
But you were always there with a smile.

"And if I say I really loved you
And was glad you came along.

"If you were here today.
Ooh- ooh- ooh- for you were in my song
Ooh- ooh- ooh- here today.”

Photo: Paul McCartney performing "Here Today", April 19, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today...

Well, actually, it is more like 7 days ago today.

If I had a bucket list, seeing one of the surviving Beatles in concert would have been on it. Moving forward, any list that I make will not include that item.

Last Sunday night Sir Paul McCartney, one half of one of the 20th Centuries most prolific song writing teams played the “The Joint” at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Casino and Resort. When tickets went on sale for the concert, they sold out in 7 seconds, making it that fastest sell-out in history.

I knew the concert would take place while we were in Vegas but held no hope of getting a ticket at something other than an exorbitant price. Yet, on Saturday morning last, a few tickets were released and I, along with my daughter and her boyfriend, were able to get tickets. Wow! Paul McCartney and Cirque du Soleil “Love” both in a little over 24 hours.

I will spare all the details of the show; suffice it to say that it was an emotional rollercoaster for me as I relived so many familiar songs from my childhood.

I must share two thought with you though. First, being able to stand with a crowd of people and sing songs like Drive My Car, Hey Jude, and Sgt. Pepper’s with the man that wrote them is an experience I will not forget. It will also be an experience that will be hard to best with any concert I attend from here on. Second, his tributes to my hero, John Lennon, and George Harrison were quite moving. I am happy, that after all these years, I can still shed a tear for the Eggman.

Thank you Mr. McCartney for the memories!

Another tribute to John, Give Peace A Chance

The set list...

Main Set: Drive My Car, Jet, Only Mama Knows, Flaming Pie, Let Me Roll It, Highway, Baby Face, The Long and Winding Road, My Love, Blackbird, Here Today, Dance Tonight, Calico Skies, Mrs. Vanderbilt, Eleanor Rigby, Sing the Changes, Band on the Run, Back in the USSR, Something, I've Got a Feeling, Paperback Writer, A Day in the Life, Give Peace a Chance, Let It Be, Live and Let Die, Hey Jude. 1st Encore: Can't Buy Me Love, Lady Madonna, I Saw Her Standing There. 2nd Encore: Yesterday, Helter Skelter, Get Back, Sgt. Pepper's (reprise), The End.

Tomorrow, I will share one last tribute to John.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Where In The World

Well, if it's Saturday, then it must be time for another Where In The World update. First, let's take a moment to congratulate April for correctly identifying the neon lights from the April 11th installment as being from The Great Movie Ride. Let me encourage everyone to stop by April's cyber-endeavor at Scrapping the Magic. As for the April 18th photograph of a steering wheel; we've had a few attempts at locating the where the picture was taken, but no correct answer yet. So, we'll leave it out there.

Now, onto today's Where In The World.
Have fun.

Let me also encourage you to stop by my friend Ryan's Main Street Gazette periodically this week. He is in The World and mobile blogging. If you can't be in Walt Disney World this week, then the MSG and Lou's Daily Disney Diaries are the next best thing.

More to follow...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Disney World After Dark: A Mountain II

This past December I attended my first MouseFest. In addition to spending time with old friends and making new friends, I was relishing my first opportunity to photograph Disney's Animal Kingdom after dark. The combination of Daylight Savings Time or lack of evening Extra Magic Hours at DAK, or both, denied me this opportunity in trips past.

As I have written before, the parks take on a different appearance and a new magic after the sun goes down. Disney's Animal Kingdom is no different.

"...the world's tallest mountain - Everest - has risen from the peaceful village of Serka Zong."
Take a walk down the streets of Serka Zong and enjoy the peace.

Note: italized text from Birnbaum Guides 2008 Walt Disney World, Pg. 185

Monday, April 20, 2009


...I turn 52. Last night I saw Paul McCartney in "The Joint" at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Tonight I will be experiencing Cirque du Soleil "Love" at the Mirage, following my birthday dinner at the Eiffel Tower in Paris Las Vegas. Life is good!

But what makes life great is family! Today, I simply want to reflect on and give thanks for the greatest gifts I could ever hope to receive. Their names are Mom, Gregory Jr. and Jennifer, Ali and Ryan, Cindi and Keith, Jeff and Camille, Devon, Shelby, Luke, Emmery, Jackson, Christian, and my very heartbeat, my wife Gerrie. This is my family and they are precious to me. I am also blessed with friends, near and far. There are far too many to name for fear of leaving someone out.

For you, family and friends, and those of you I have not yet met, but who are reading this post, I offer you three things that I have learned (one of which I have mentioned in prior posts).

  1. We all have to grow old, but we do not have to grow up.
  2. With each day that passes, we have fewer "one of these days," so perhaps we should start living our "one of these days" today.
  3. We work to live; not live to work.

More to follow...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Where In The World

Following up on last Saturday's Where In The World, let's review. We've had three suggestions on where these particular pieces of neon could be found. They were The Electric Umbrella, the Space Mountain Tunnel and Mission: Space. Now first, let me say, thank you to each person who has ventured a guess. Secondly, let me suggest that you look in another park.

While you're looking, let's consider another. This next offering is not only an installment of Where In The World, but also a glimpse at a new segment of work that I am working on. I call it "Disney as Art". But more on that later.

Now, consider this.
More to follow...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Another Year Older

It's odd, this year. Not that it has been a long standing tradition, but for the past two years, I have spent my birthday in Walt Disney World. In 2007 I was joined by my wife and other members of my family to celebrate turning,

As with any good trip to Disney, there was plenty of food to be had. We ate dinner at Le Chefs de France, The Yatchsman Steakhouse, Boma's, Mama Melrose's, and The Rose & Crown. My birthday dinner, at the steakhouse, was topped off with a Illuminations Fireworks Cruise.

Now, let Doc give you two tips. One, The Yatchsman Steakhouse is probably one of the top five restaurants on Disney property. Splurge. Have dinner there. Trust me on this. I recommend the rib-eye, medium rare. And two, you have not experienced Illuminations until you have seen it from the water. If you can have my friend from Passamaquoddy along for the ride to narrate the story, yes, there is a story to Reflections of Earth, all the better.

In 2008 I celebrated my birthday with friends in the Magic Kingdom. Among them, Ryan Wilson of the Main Street Gazette, Glenn Whelan of Passamaquoddy, and the godfather of Disney Geeks, Lou Mongello. There was no big deal made of the event, other than it was big deal to me to spend time in my one of my favorite places on Earth with some of my favorite people on Earth.

So, back to the premise of this post. It's odd this year. On the year that I could get into Walt Disney World on my birthday for free, I am not going. Whoa! It has taken a bit of getting used to that fact. And it will be tough missing my friends who will be gathering later in the month for the Studio 20 event. But, I suppose I'll get by. Because...

I'm Going To Vegas Baby!

For this year's anniversary of my entrance into the world (thank you mom), I will celebrating in Las Vegas with my daughter and her boyfriend. Now, as with any trip that involves me, there will be plenty of food. So far we have reservations at Canaletto in the Venetian, the Social House at Treasure Island, Joe's Seafood in the Forum Shops at Caesar's, and for my birthday dinner, we'll be enjoying the fountain show at the Bellagio from our table at the Eiffel Tower in Paris Las Vegas. Oh, we also plan on picking up a burger at BLT Burger at the Mirage, and I am sure we'll discover a few other places where we can enjoy some in-between meal snacks.

Oh, and I need to mention, that while we're there, we'll be seeing Cirque du Soleil "Love." This is the fireworks cruise for 2009! My daughter called me as she was leaving the show last year and said, "Dad, we have got to this." So, we are. And...Paul McCartney is at the Hard Rock Las Vegas our first night there. Yes, we are looking into tickets.

If you plan on being in Vegas, and see me walking down the street, taking pictures of all the lights, stop and say hello.

Okay, I won't look quite like that, but, you get the general idea.

More to follow...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Disney World After Dark: A Mountain

A long time ago when I was a child, I remember a story titled, "The Boy and The Moon." I don't remember much about the story, except that in it a little boy would set and cry at the moon, saying, "The moon, the moon, I want the moon." He would say this over and over, and would plead with his father to give him the moon. At the end of the story the father granted the child's wish and gave it to him and boy went and lived on the moon. The boy was so happy. But, of course, the father was sad. From then on the father would go out each night and look at the moon and visit with his son. Even though he was sad, he was happy too, because he knew that his son was happy.

That is the story as best as I can remember it. I have searched for a copy for years now. I knew it, not from a book, but from a 78 rpm record that played on our family console stereo. The record has long since dissappeared. Knowing that "Google is our friend" I have searched there. Nothing. I had hoped it may have been one of Aesop's Fables, but it is not. Not that I have found at any rate.

So, my search for the story continues.

This photo of the moon over Expedition Everest reminds me of this story and my memory of it. I hope it may inspire some memory from your childhood.

More to follow...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Where In The World

As you may, or may not recall, the last installment of Where In The World was rather difficult. In fact, I received a thank you note from the nice folks at Disney because of its level of difficulty. It seems their reservations office received a spike in their call volume due to people booking reservations for the sole purpose of finding the prior elusive location.

Okay, maybe not, but it could have happened.

Onward, let's try another something somewhere. My personal opinion, this one is not nearly as difficult as the last one.
Have fun and there will be,

More to follow...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Disney World After Dark: The Monorail

I believe that it has been written before that the parks at Walt Disney World have a different atmosphere once the sun goes down. The Imagineering Field Guide teaches us about the WDI disciplines in the Imagineering 101 portion of the book. In it we read, “Lighting Design puts all the hard work the rest of us have done on our shows and attractions into the best night. Lighting designers are also responsible for the specifying all of the themed lighting fixtures found in the parks. As our lighting designers are fond of telling us, ‘without lights, it’s radio!’” At night, the parks can take on an almost dreamlike quality.

Now, a little about the monorails.

There are currently 12 Mark VI monorails trains operating in Walt Disney World. They are distinguished by the color stripe that runs the length of the 203.5 foot train. The colors are black, blue, coral, gold, green, lime, orange, pink, purple, red, silver and yellow.

Did you know that if you alphabetize the colors of the trains, then take the first letter from each color, and place those letters in reverse alphabetical order, it spells absolutely nothing. I am just sayin’…

More to follow…

Editor's Note: I use this particular photograph as the wallpaper on my laptop.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Moving forward, The Disney Obsession will begin to explore other parts of Doc's World. No fear, there will be Disney, but from time to time I'll be writing about other things. As hard as it may be to comprehend, there are other things in life besides Disney. Not many come to mind right off hand, but I know there are some.

Now, that was not true, several things come to mind. But in particular, today I want to share about a new neighbor that is moving in. I was working in the back yard yesterday, trimming shrubs, pulling weeds, and dreaming of my own personal "Storybookland" in a corner of the yard. I can't manage the canal boats mind you, but I do think I could manage a miniature vignette. So, I dream about that while I work in the yard. Belle's village perhaps.

So anyway, I was working in the yard and thinking all that needs to be done over the next few weeks. Mrs. Doc and I will plant some flowers in containers scattered about and we're considering a small recession garden in area once occupied by a framed awning. The awning is no longer but the frame remains and we have a climbing rose bush trained up one of the four legs. I was working on this today and looking up, noticed a birds nest constructed between the leg and the house. I stepped back and stood still for a while to give the bird a chance to return. In about 5 minutes, along came a robin. Soon, it will be plural.

Meet our new neighbor!

P.s. I noticed that things have finally begun to thaw in Passamaquoddy.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Moving On...

I feel that before concluding something, all loose ends must be tied up. With that in mind, I need to revisit a Where In The World photograph that was posted back on first on December 6th and then again on January 17th. You may recall what I am referring to. It was:

The closest we came to an answer on this was on January 18th when my brother Doc Terminus (we were separated at birth) said, "yeah.. a stumpy one... Looks like a train signal or boat thingiemajiggy..." Well, it is a boat thingiemajiggy. If fact, you would see it if you were boarding one of these.

Now, that it concluded. Thanks for playing.

And speaking of conclusions. This period of long waits between posts is now concluded. That is not to say that I'll have something of any real interest posted every week; no, there may still be some gaps for things like vacations, the occasional trip, and the really important things such as periods of occasional laziness. Yes, it happens. Shocking, I know. But, I am going to renew my efforts, even if that effort only consists of photograph.

So, thanks for sticking with me and look forward to something in the next few days for there will certainly be...

More to follow...