Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Little Things

After innumerable holidays in Walt Disney World, searching out and enjoying the little things is what I enjoy now. Yes, I still take photographs of the castle and of Spaceship Earth, but finding those hidden gems of design and decor is what draws me back nowadays.

The Morocco Pavilion is packed with these gems. Over the years, the Morocco Pavilion has grown on me. The depth of the details incorporated into its design and the small vignettes found within its walls are a feast for the senses. This is one my favorite of my favorite vignettes. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Of the many hundred favorite places I have in Walt Disney World, the colonnade beside the Castle Couture shop in Fantasyland is one. I have taken several photos there with the challenge now being to find it empty. There have been times when I have had to wait for guests to finish playing Sorcerers' of the Magic Kingdom to get a photograph. It is worth the wait.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Good morning!

I often dream.

I often dream about the things I would do when the time comes for me to retire.

One dream that I have is to be a Photopass Photographer at Walt Disney World. But it is a specific dream. I would want to work in the Magic Kingdom, along Main Street U.S.A. during the morning and early afternoon shift.

To me, these are the most magical hours in the Magic Kingdom! Families, particularly children seeing Cinderella Castle, some for the very first time. The sense of awe is inspiring.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all go through life with that sense of awe at even the most ordinary and mundane things? If feel the world would be a much better place if we simply tried a little harder to see the magic of each day. It is there you know.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Gate

In a place filled with many wonderful examples of architecture, the Torii Gate in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase is one of my favorites.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Snow White

Wouldn't you have loved to been there on December 31, 1937? The real one, of course.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Fireworks from France

Through the years I have taken numerous photographs of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. I still do. I continue to search for the elusive photograph of fireworks that I can point to and say, "that is pretty good." Some day perhaps.

My last trip was during the closing weekend of Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival, and I decided to try something a bit different. Instead of queuing on the promenade and shooting from there, I decided to shoot from the courtyard inside the France Pavilion. I thought it may provide a different perspective on things having something in the foreground.

I still need to work on this, but here is a first effort at a different vantage point. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

An Evening with Pirates

Anytime is a good time to ride a classic Adventureland attraction like Pirates of the Caribbean. But at night the queue takes on an air of mystery.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

An Art Deco Paradise

I've said it previously, but it bears saying again, I love Disney's Hollywood Studio for two primary reasons. One is the use of neon making evening photography so much fun. The second is the Art Deco design elements. I could spend hours strolling up and down Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards and consider it time very well spent.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

It Is A Marvel

"Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time. And for a brief moment, we have been among its many passengers."

It always has been, and always will be, one of my favorite attractions in Epcot. Though I will say that I prefer the Jeremy Irons version, or the Walter Cronkite version. I can never really decide. What I do know is that, like Soarin', one of my three FastPass+ selections to start the day in park will include Spaceship Earth.

How about you. Walter Cronkite, Jeremy Irons or Judi Dench?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

It Falls from Below the Castle

The New Fantasyland expansion provided the Magic Kingdom with some much needed love and attention. From a hobbyist photographers point-of-view, it offers so much to be explored and photographed. Some of these photographs, like the one below, would give you the impression of being somewhere other than a theme park. Another tribute to the magic of the Imagineers.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

It's In The Details

Most of us have heard the expression "The devil is in the detail." But did you know that this expression derived from an earlier expression which said "God is in the detail?" The idea is that whatever one undertakes, it should be done with attention to the details. The origin of the expression varies though I subscribe to the theory that is comes from French writer Gustave Flaubert who said, "Le bon Dieu set dans le d├ętail."

The Disney parks worldwide are known for the attention to detail. And I feel that the designers, the Imagineers, have only gotten better in providing us with detail as the years have gone by. Disney's Animal Kingdom is ripe with detail. Some of my favorites are found in Asia, such as this bicycle found along the way.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Old Cars

During a recent trip to Walt Disney World I managed to stop by Disney's Hollywood Studios for a few hours before flying home. I am a big fan of the architecture of this park. I should probably clarify that statement. I am a big fan of the architecture of this park apart from a large stage constructed in front of a large hat that obstructs what was once the original "weenie" for the park. Sorry, some of you may like those additions, but in my opinion they detract from the atmosphere that the Imagineers of that day were trying to create. What they created was a nostalgic experience. One that former Disney CEO Michael Eisner described in his dedication as the "Hollywood that never was - and always will be."  

That is the Hollywood Studios that I love. The cars? Well, the old cars simply add to the charm of that by-gone era of Hollywood glitz and glamor.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Something for the Sun

As I make my way around the World Showcase, I am usually struck by the colorful parasols that are on display in the China Pavilion.  To me the bright colors seem so refreshing against a bright sun. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

From the Liberty Square Bridge

I daresay that no one with a camera has resisted to the temptation to take at least one photograph of Cinderella Castle.  Truth be told, there are many of us who have hundreds of photographs of the castle in either print or digital versions.  That is okay.  It is the way Walt would want it. 

The challenge for those who go to the parks often, or anyone with an eye to make good photographs, is to find interesting ways to photography something that has been thousands of times.  Good photographers know that every good photograph should tell a story.  It is what we were taught.  However, not being a good photographer (yet), I struggle to grasp that.  After all, Cinderella Castle is one of the most photographed objects in the world.  Are there any new ways to capture it.  

So, in vain, I search, and sometimes I may find that one shot.  But when that doesn't happen, I am drawn to certain angles that I simply enjoy shooting.  This is one of those angles.  It is one of the quintessential photographs that all photographers must have.  I have more than a few like this.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

An Orchid in the Oasis

Admittedly, Disney's Animal Kingdom is my least favorite of the four parks.  Not that there is anything wrong with it, I simply don't like it nearly as much as I do the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  These were the parks that I fell in love with at an earlier age and I suppose my nostalgia for them will always keep them at the top of my list.

Still, there are some areas of the Animal Kingdom that are inspiring.  It is the one park that continues to grow, in that the foliage is not always kept in check and nature is allowed to flourish.  One area where this is evident is in the Oasis.  So many rush through the Oasis to get to the more exciting areas of the park.  That is a shame.  It is one of the more peaceful spots in all the parks.  If one will simply take the time to walk slowly through the Oasis, or better still, find a quiet out-of-the-way place to sit, you'll find your cares washing away as though you were standing under one of the nearby waterfalls.

It is what it an oasis is; "something that provides a refuge, relief, or pleasant contract."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

At the corner of Hollywood and Sunset

If you have followed this blog for a short time, or a long time, you realize that I love to take photographs in the parks.  This is also true for after the sun has gone down. I still have much to learn with low light photography and believe that practice makes perfect.  So most trips to the parks includes some time to unpack the tripod, get out the remote shutter control, and have some nighttime fun.

One of my favorite parks to explore in the evening is Disney's Hollywood Studios.  I love the art deco design of Hollywood Blvd. and Sunset Blvd.  And the neon adds a design element that I appreciate just as much.  Here is nighttime look at Disney & Co. from the corner of Hollywood and Sunset.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

If Ever...

… you and I get separated while in Epcot, this is where you shall find me. I'll either be on the bridge looking into France or on a bench, absorbing the atmosphere. Perhaps I'll be in Le Petite Rue, sitting at a cafe table with a glass of wine and a baguette, looking up at a window, dreaming.  After all, it is what I do best.  Dreaming. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Take the Last Train to...

There are many behind the scenes tours of Walt Disney World that I would like to take. My trouble is that I seldom wish to give up precious time in the parks (onstage) to go behind the scenes (backstage). Over the course of my many trips to the parks, I have only managed two tours. The first was the Keys to the Kingdom Tour. Great tour and highly recommended. 

My second tour was this past November when two very dear friends and I woke up before dawn to make our way to the Magic Kingdom for the Magic Behind Our Stream Trains Tour. Again, a great tour and highly recommended. 

For me, no trip to Walt Disney World is complete without a grand circle tour of Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom. But I never fully appreciated the story and mechanics behind the trains. This tour fueled my understanding and appreciation of these marvelous engines. 

Our tour ended in the lobby of Main Street Station, having rode aboard the Walter E. Disney to get there. This is where our photo for today was taken.

Note:  During our tour we learned that the steam engines are in danger of being replaced by diesel engines that will have the appearance of steam engines. Trains were a core part of Walt Disney's life and the steam engines are reminder of that. They are part of the nostalgia that some of us love about the parks in general and Main Street in particular. If you care about preserving a part of Walt's heritage and the beauty of these engines, consider signing the petition at Save Disney Steam. And, next time you're in Walt Disney World, wake up early and go take the tour. You too will have a whole new appreciation for steam.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

At An Oasis

One of the most soothing places I know of in all of Walt Disney World can be found in Disney's Animal Kingdom. They call it the Oasis. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Always Let Your Conscious Be Your Guide

When my granddaughter was little, we were at the beach one summer evening, settling in after a day outside. We asked how grandchildren (two of them at the time), what would they like to watch.  My granddaughter chimed in, Tickanoyo.  She hadn't learned how to say Pinocchio yet and Tickanoyo was what came out.  I call it that to this day.

Here is a photo from my oldest granddaughter.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Path to the Temple of Heaven

I am staying in the China Pavilion for another week. Day or night, the garden is a tranquil place to pause, rest and reflect.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Mystery of China

“China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.” This quote is attributed to Napoleon. There is little known as to the circumstances surrounding the quote. There are some who date his statement in 1803; a year prior to his coronation as Emperor. 

I have visited many places in my life. There are many more that I still wish to visit. China is one of those places. It intrigues me. To me it is a land full of mystery. Perhaps some day. 

Until that time, I'll content myself with the occasional visit to the Chinese Pavilion.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Disney World After Dark: The Bab Boujouloud Gate

On 31 December 2012 I decided that it was time to step away from The Disney Obsession. I was struggling with the sporadic nature of the work I was doing here. If it could be called that. Add to that, my writing was going in a different direction. I write daily. It just happens that most of what I write would not make it to this or my other blog. I came to the conclusion that I was tired of posting for the sake of posting.

Yesterday I decided to pay a visit to see what was happening and I was amazed to find that The Disney Obsession was visited 732 times last month. There has been no new content, yet, the blog is visited an average of 26 times a day. Hard to believe. From time to time I'll post a photo on my TDO Facebook page. When I do, a reasonable number of people stop by for a look. But I don't understand what drives traffic and I am not going to try and figure it out.

It then occurred to me. I still love Disney! I still love to take photographs while in am in a Disney park! And occasionally I like to share a photograph. So I thought, why not do that here? 

Here we go. I am not going to knock myself out writing. There are many more blogs for you visit to check out what is happening in Disney, what is new in the parks, what is changing and what most everybody with an opinion thinks about it (I usually keep my opinions to myself and that will not change now). And there are many great Disney photography sites. This will not be one of those.

What you'll find here now is just a guy who loves Disney and likes to share a photograph every now and then. 

So to begin this new journey on an old blog, let's visit one of my favorite subjects - night photography. Let's begin with the Bab Boujouloud Gate in the Morocco Pavilion.