Sunday, June 21, 2009


There are as many first day traditions as there are Disney fans. Whenever it is possible I like to take a stroll down Main Street U.S.A. on that first day. The music, hustle and bustle, the colors, the smells and all that happiness combine to say, "Welcome Home!"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Where In The World: An Update and 0.25

Life can sometimes come at you fast and that has been the case for me during these past few weeks; actually since returning from Alaska. With that in mind, I will spend a few moments this morning bringing the Where In The World series up to date.

First, we placed a photo in the contest on April 25th (wow, that seems like a long time ago) that featured "No. 1 Toys." The sign can be found on a wall in the patio area of the Yak & Yeti Local Foods counter service in Disney's Animal Kingdom. My good from Ryan wrote in with the correct location. And on a personal note, let me recommend the egg rolls at the Yak & Yeti. Probably the best egg rolls on Disney property.

On May 16th the Obsession featured a photograph of an old Coke machine; something I wish I had setting in my "adventurers room". No one wrote in on this one, which leads me to think that the Where In The World series may have run its course. We'll see. Instead of leaving the photo out (Its been there over a month), I will go ahead an say that this particular Coke machine can be found Chester & Hester's Dinosaur Treasures, also in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

In the hope that there may be one or two of you out there that still check The Disney Obsession from time to time, I give you this...I call it, Where In The World 0.25, meaning that it is one-fourth of the total picture.

Have fun and check back in soon. Tomorrow I'll display the first of a new series called "Disney as Art."

More to follow...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Pronunciation: \ri-ˈmis\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French remis, Latin remissus, from past participle of remittere to send back, relax
Date: 15th century

1: negligent in the performance of work or duty: careless
2: showing neglect or inattention: lax

synonyms: see negligent

In writing about "Pals" last week I featured some photographs of the contents of a certain package I received from one of my many pals. But it wasn't long after I hit in the "publish post" button that I realized there was additional art that I could include. You see, I am blessed with a number of wonderful pals; family, friends and co-workers, who from time to time decide that my cluttered upstairs room could use a bit more to see. A few more things that help me to pass the time away from my central Florida home.

So, I was remiss last week in only posting one photo (well, two). This evening, I correct that small oversight, help the stars to realign, contribute to world peace in our generation and hopefully allow for a good nights sleep.You're looking at some park maps from Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea along with a map from a park that I miss nearly as much as I miss Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris. You'll also see a little something with the Fab Four; someone out there knows I love The Beatles. After all, I was a pre-Shea Stadium baby.

Thanks to my pals Lori and Fee for adding a little more sunshine to my days.

This makes me think it may be time to begin something new on The Disney Obsession. I won't go into much about it now, but let me simply share some words scribbled on a nearby Post It note. "Blog idea...'In My World' - photos of Disney around the house" Yeah Doc, that's all we need, photographs of some of your collection.

More to follow...

Thursday, June 4, 2009


You may remember some of the films of the Eighties that starred a group of young actors that became known as the "Brat Pack." This group, collectively, gave us some memorable films including two in 1985, The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire. One actor who starred in both of these films, Emilio Estevez, went on to play William H. Bonney in 1988's Young Guns.

Alongside Emilio, Kiefer Sutherland played Josiah Gordon "Doc" Scurlock. Doc was the poet warrior of this band of outlaws and he narrates the closing scene of the film as he shares the fate of each member of the group. It is the last line of his narration that lends itself to the title of this post. Sutherland says, "The epitaph read only one word...'Pals'."

I want to share with you something that has been said already by many others in this community; this collective of Disney enthusiasts, who proudly wear the badge of "geek". We're a compassionate and caring group! True, we are not the only collection of like minded individuals who celebrate our friendships. There are others can be equally as compassionate and caring. But, we are who we are, so we celebrate the inspiration that we provide and receive from each other. We have each others back in this.

We're a giving group; don't believe me? Have you taken a look at the current Dream Team Project total? We are, in big and small ways, working together to create and share some magic with terminally ill children. Not a bad thing to do.

But we also give each other little bits of magic from time to time; magic beyond our friendships and shared memories. Sometimes these bits of magic arrive in boxes. This was the case for me on yesterday.

I have a friend, a pal, if you will, who knew that I was unable to attend the recent 20th Anniversary celebration at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It is Doc's effort to spread those recession vacation dollars around and experience other parts of the world. (Long story - another post.) So, the post arrives and in it I find:

Thank you Ryan! Pal!

More to follow...

Postscript: you can't tell from the photo, but there are at least four of each park guide map. My pal knows that (for some unknown, idiosyncratic reason) I get four copies of all the ephemera I collect. Strange? Maybe. But its me and my pal(s) look out for me - they have my back.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Disney World After Dark: A Dinosaur

Gertie the Dinosaur is an animated film by Winsor McCay. Gertie debuted at the Palace Theater in Chicago in 1914 as part of McCay’s vaudeville act. The performance involved McCay appearing in front of a projection screen and interacting with the animated Gertie through a series of tricks that included McCay tossing an apple (which he palmed) which the dinosaur caught. The film concluded with McCay moving behind the screen and then reappearing in cartoon form. He then climbed up on Gertie’s back and together they rode off the screen.

To produce his film, McCay drew thousands of frames on 6 ½ by 8 ½ inch rice paper. He hired his neighbor, John Fitzsimmons, an art student, to draw the backgrounds. Several now standard techniques were employed in the creation of the film including registration marks to maintain alignment and cycling of some previously drawn sequences.

While Gertie the Dinosaur is not the first animated film ever made, it is the first using “keyframing”. Keyframing is a technique in which every frame is directly modified or manipulated by the creator. In McCay’s case, he drew the key frames first then went back to draw the in between frames. It differs from traditional hand-drawn animation where a “key” artist would draw a series of key frames that would then be passed to an assistant, or “in-betweener” to complete the scene.

Gertie can be visited on the shore of Echo Lake. She stands as a tribute, not only to the earliest days of animation, but also to the “California Crazy” architectural style. You can also find a nice ice cream of extinction where she resides.

More to follow…

Note: for more on Gertie and on Disney’s Hollywood Studios, be sure to listen to WDW Radio Show episode 117 for May 3, 2009. Jim Korkis joins my friend Lou Mongello for a look at the park and the stories behind the stories.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Off The Road

...well, back from the adventures of last week. Mrs. Doc and I have returned from our journey "North to Alaska". We're busy getting back into the routine of life and trying to shed a few pounds after being forced to enjoy a seemingly endless supply of food. We've unpacked, we've been back at work a few days, and now the downloading of photographs begin.

I am sure that a few references to this recent adventure will find a way into The Disney Obsession. But I will share these two quick tidbits with you:

1) Did you know that Juneau, Alaska is the only state capital that cannot be accessed by road? You get there either by plane or boat.

2) I could live in Alaska if it weren't for the fact that is it 4210.29 miles to Walt Disney World. That is based on Juneau to Lake Buena Vista, in case you were wondering. That is 75 hours and 23 minutes if you drive straight through; providing you don't miss the ferry at Skagway or run into traffic in Fargo.

More to follow...