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 more...to 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...