Thursday, July 30, 2009

IllumiNations - The Introduction

“Good evening, and welcome to World Showcase. Tonight we are pleased to present a visual journey, an international fantasy of music and light. We're about to embark on a sparkling abstract expedition around World Showcase. With the music as your passport, we'll discover sights and sounds from colorful ports of call. And to celebrate our journey, the countries will be united by the festive elements of water, fire, and light. And now, let your imagination be your guide, as EPCOT Center proudly presents IllumiNations.”

Thus began, IllumiNations. IllumiNations, as I remember it when I first saw the nighttime spectacular in late 1988. As much as I enjoy, appreciate, and love IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth*, this version is a sentimental favorite and I will often dust off one of my VHS copies of the show and recall those nights setting on the patio of the Cantina de San Angel enjoying sights and sounds.

The nighttime extravaganza at Epcot has a history stretching back to October 23, 1982. What began as the Carnival de Lumiere and has assumed many forms prior to its present incarnation as Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. This sentimental journey opened on Saturday, January 30, 1988 and played through Friday, September 20, 1996. It was presented in three acts: The Opening, World Showcase, and the Finale.

Over these next few weeks I would like to explore each of the three acts. We’ll take a look at the music and the composers who created it. From the opening measures of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, through the lone clarinet strains of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, to the Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Festival Overture, IllumiNations (1988-1996) presented a soaring kaleidoscope of sound.

Let’s begin to explore, shall we?

More to follow…

* The crescendo and fanfare at the 8:02 mark in the music is nothing short of thrilling to the ears and inspiring to the spirit.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Man Has Dreams...

“A man has dreams of walking with giants,
to carve his niche in the edifice of time.”

These have long been some of my favorite lines from the film, Mary Poppins. In the film, George Banks is reflecting on what he thought his life would be and what his life has become. Like George Banks, I think all men and women grow up having grand dreams of what our futures would be and then live in the reality of what our lives are.

Yet, the words, a man has dreams are not restricted to a certain place and specific time. No, these words are timeless, and each morning we are greeted with a new opportunity to dream and to reach.

I have had several dreams in my life; some have come true and others continue to elude me. One dream that I have had, had its beginning on Monday, June 5, 2000. On that day my first grandchild, Devon, was born! Shortly after he drew his first breath, a dream began to breathe in me. That dream – to walk down Main Street U.S.A. with my grandson. Over time, that dream has grown to include, not just Devon, but Shelby, Luke, Emmery, and Jackson (our as I like to call him, Jack-Jack). My song has been, “This man has dreams of walking with grandkids, to share the parks with the little ones he loves.”

On Saturday, September 5, 2009, the dream will become a reality! On, what I hope will be a cool, crisp, September morn, Mrs. Doc and I, along with my son, daughter-in-law, and their children, Devon, Shelby and Jack-Jack, will gather before the Walt Disney World Railroad Station and watch the Magic Kingdom Welcoming Ceremony. We’ll all pass through the tunnel and out into Town Square, there we’ll be greeted by the sounds of “Goodbye, My Coney Island Baby” and the aroma of freshly popped corn. Then, one of my grandest dreams will come true as my grandchildren and I join hands and walk down Main Street U.S.A.

I don’t know, and I am not ashamed to say it, but there may be a tear or two in my eyes.

I sure hope so.
More to follow…

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

In Doc's World - Chapter One

I am a member of the Music City NFFC; the local chapter of the National Fantasy Fan Club. At this time our group is small enough that we can meet in various members’ homes – which is good since Mr. & Mrs. Doc occupy a rather small home. I enjoy offering our address as a meeting place as it gives me an opportunity to share my Disney collection with others who either collect or have an appreciation of things Disney.

The majority of my collection occupies my office upstairs. This is due mostly to a promise I made to my wife to try and contain the majority of what I have in one room. This is hard to do since every trip brings new additions and friends and family help add to the assortment of treasures from time to time. Consequently, some things have found other areas of the house to be displayed. It is part of the A.L.D.I.E.R. Initiative that is under way In Doc’s World. The A.L.D.I.E.R. Initiative proposes to place A Little Disney In Every Room.

Chapter One has is roots in a 1992 (or was it 1994) trip to Walt Disney World. Tucked away in a small corner, just off of our living room, is homage to one of our favorite cities, Paris. There you’ll find a paper model of the Eiffel Tower that I found in Galerie Des Halles. For a time there were several models you could choose from. I purchased the Eiffel Tower and Mont St. Michel. To date, only the Eiffel Tower has been constructed. The Mont St. Michel model resides on a shelf along with models of the Opera and Notre Dame that I picked up while on a visit to Paris. The small resin buildings could be found in La Signature. The sculptor is J. Carlton working in association with Dominique Gault.

Over the next few weeks I hope to share more chapters from Doc’s World. I hope, too, that some may provide an interesting anecdote here and there.

More to follow…

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Some hats...

Walt Disney World is a world filled with hats - plenty of hats. Plenty of hats present plenty of photo opportunities. Over the years I have had the opportunity to take many photos in Walt Disney World and from time to time I try to find a theme, or commonality in the photos. I have taken photos of all the windows on Main Street U.S.A., and you know the significance of Main Street U.S.A. windows. I look for interesting trivia shots and try my hand from time to time with nighttime photograhpy with differing results. And from time to time I like to have a little fun with hats. Who doesn't. Right?

Next time you find yourself in the parks and need something to do, find some hats and have some fun.

More to follow...

Postscript: thank you to everyone who has taken the time to share your thoughts and recommendations about Disneyland. The have been insightful. Please continue to share.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Poll: Round One

Okay, first things first. I have a confession to make. Here goes,

I have never been to Disneyland.

Okay, there, I said it. Yeah sure, I have been to Walt Disney World many many times and I have been Disneyland Paris twice; once while it was actually called EuroDisney. I have the sweat shirt and guidemap and a few other items to prove it. But to Disneyland, to Walt's park, I have never been. And I call myself a Disney Geek. Yeah, right.

I am planning to correct that oversight sometime in the next 365 days. So, apart from all the advice I am looking forward to receiving from my pals, I thought I would start with a little poll. For this, I need your help.

Help Mrs. Doc and I plan our trip by answering this question. If you only have one day to spend in Disneyland, what are the Top 5 things (in order) that you must do? If you wish to elaborate with why it is on your list, or with other useful tips, please feel free to do so. Once I have a nice selection of replies I'll compile the information and share it here.

Thank you for helping us out. I know it will be helpful, not only in our planning (as we don't really know how long we may have in the area) but with other readers who may be considering a trip to the park that Walt built.

More to follow...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Where In The World

The Disney Obsession would like to congratulate our good friend Doc Terminus of Passamaquoddy fame for correctly identifying the .25 of our last photo. His answer, somewhat creatively, spelled out Midway Mania with "My ironic dissertation will allow you many a nod! its Adventureland!" Hmmmm.

So, let's try another 1/4th of a picture. How about this?

On a slightly different note...things appear to be settling down a little in Doc's World. I hope to post a bit more regularly; at least for the next few weeks.