Monday, February 17, 2014

Hello again, my friends...

Seems I keep forgetting that you are here...and that is not kind to you at all. I have been a bad JoeZer with letting this blog languish in the dusty shadows. For that, I apologize.

It seems Fate, in the guide of my pal Kevin of Expeditions Keverest, has conspired against my (extremely) lackadaisical blogging patterns. Over this past weekend he had made a proclamation unto me that has brought forward plans I had been mildly thinking on for 2015: my first ever (yes, really, FIRST TIME EVAH) excursion to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim.

Based on bonuses I theorize myself to be receiving this time next year, I was going to take my first trip to the "place where Walt walked" as a treat to myself. Also, if I had timed it right, it could coincide with DLR's 60th Anniversary.

Well, Kevin's decree has forced my hand. This happenstance - with a liberal application of Kevin's pixie dust - definitely had humbled me.

To my friend, Kevin. Thank you...as deeply as I could ever express.

To California, Anaheim, Disneyland, DCA, and Downtown Disney...I'mma comin' for ya!!


~JoeZer ºOº

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Trailer for Saving Mr. Banks

Today we're able to take our first look at the trailer for Saving Mr. Banks, the movie about how Walt Disney approached and P.L. Travers allowed her book to be used for the film, Mary Poppins.

Personally, the filmed version of Mary Poppins holds a special place in my heart. The trailer for the new "how it came to be" between Walt and P.L. has whet my apetite officially to see Saving Mr. Banks. Yes, it is a dramatization (one of the tag lines is "Based on the untold story") of known events. But, to gleen some aspect of what all went in to Disney's process to work with and, ultimately, convince Travers well enough to allow the filming rights, has intrigued me since I learned a while ago that she was not all that keen when first approached by Walt and the studio.

I've got this marked on my calendars now. How about you?

View trailer for Saving Mr. Banks at this link: http://t.co/QO2GsZ9uaK

*Link courtesy of tweet posted by @DisneyD23 at 12:41pm ET 7/11/2013


~JoeZer

- Posted live & onsite via mobile device

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Timeless Tuesday: May 17, 2011

[Editor's Note: Apologies for skipping a week. Evidently there was some stability issue kerfuffle with Blogger...but I didn't even notice as I had forgot. Please don't spank me...too hard...]



KUNGALOOSH!

(photo taken by JoeZer - click on image to enlarge)



Never to be forgotten by those who visited within her spirited environs... I'm sure we all know the following by heart...


The Club Creed

We climb the highest mountains,
just to get a better view.

We plumb the deepest oceans,
cause we're daring through and through.

We cross the scorching deserts,
martini in our hands.

We ski the polar ice caps,
in tuxedo looking grand.

We are reckless, brave, and loyal,
and valiant to the end.

If you come in here a stranger,
you will exit as a friend.

~Merriweather Adam Pleasure
Club Founder 1927


* * * * * * * * *

Marching along we're adventurers

Singing the song of adventurers

Up or down

North, south, east, or west,

An Adventurer's life is best.

KUNGALOOSH!!



~JoeZer

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Timeless Tuesday: May 3, 2011

photo taken by JoeZer, June 3, 2005 at 7:30pm




Yes...this is the picture that the blog banner for WEDwayJoe was inspired by. Like many of the pictures I have taken, this one is one of those where the timing was just right and the image demanded to be captured for posterity.

A thunderstorm had recently moved through the Disney Hollywood Studios area (then, Disney-MGM Studios) and the day had been nearing sunset. The mix of clouds and setting sun at evening twilight made for this image in the skies as I was waiting for the tram to whisk me back towards where I had parked that day.

Nature has her way to remind you she can still amaze...


~JoeZer

New Post Category for WEDway Joe: Timeless Tuesday

Got the idea, thanks to following @floridamingo on the twitters, to do a weekly scheduled photo post. Her's, and a couple of others, are called "Wordless Wednesdays". With me, there's always a tidbit of a story behind the pictures I take and there may come times I'll opt to share that with you, the readers. Other times I may not as the proverbial saying can be true..."A picture is worth a thousand words."


Enjoy...


~JoeZer

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WDW Trips from 2010: Did I Really Go Four Times?

Yeah...I really need to scrape the dust, rust and corrosion off of this blog. I think it has gone beyond just taking a damp cloth to remove the e-dust. Been long enough where I may have to rely on an e-sandblaster or some such.

Two-thousand ten, I think, has been a year where I’ve been to the WDW parks in Orlando more in one year since I moved up to the Atlanta area from my hometown of Bradenton, Florida. At least if you count the raw number of days spent in "the World" as my trips this year lasted anywhere from three to five or six days each for park time.

There is one thing about going to the parks that still proves true for myself: I have a better time there when I have friends/loved ones there with me to share in the experience. If I am there alone I am more apt to "get lost in my own head" while wandering around.

For some, this is not a bad thing...roaming the parks alone. I fully understand the concept of being able to follow your own path/choices on what to do when and using the "single rider" queue whenever possible. However, for me, I’ve been plenty enough times where I’ll just begin people watching, hearing the cheerful cries and laughter of young children, and taking pictures. This feeling of "sharing is caring" really came to play during my first two trips this year: June and August.

June I was in "the World" around the first weekend during an "unofficial" event known as GayDays as well as it being during Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios. I had friends to hang with from the Atlanta area, Dallas, Texas as well as from right within Central Florida. Things conspired, as they do, where we would often be following our own agendas from time to time which left me in that wandering alone state. Boredom set in (I know? I’m in WDW and I’m bored?? WTF??) and I began feeling a bit let down.

A kind and sweet highlight was being in the Magic Kingdom the same day that park management decided to use as a "sneak preview" of not only the return engagement of the Main Street Electrical Parade but also the "Summer Nightastic" fireworks display. Getting to see the Electrical Parade again after nine years since the previous time was still bittersweet for me...and possibly not for the reason(s) you think...or maybe possibly. (Trust me...I have an entire blog post burbling about that. Just need to work through and make it cohesive.)


ToT
The Tower of Terror under gloomy skies

Rose Garden
Rose Garden at Magic Kingdom (aka: former queue for the Swan Boats)


August happened as almost a last-minute kind of trip for me. This one was the shortest of all four trips I took. It came about as two of my cousins from New Jersey were headed down to Orlando with their immediate families and I wanted to catch some time with them. Was able to save some travel costs thanks to a friend who let me crash at his place during my stay; however, I think that was a wash on the expenses as it turned out my cousins were there for Universal Studios this time and weren’t planning on doing any of the WDW parks.

I don’t have anything against Universal. Not in the least. I enjoy their parks quite well. Was just the unplanned expense of getting a pass to enter Islands of Adventure on the day we all planned to hang out as their kids were anxious to do the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction (before they began modifying the Kuka arm ride vehicles for those of us with girthier bodies). I can say that I was nicely surprised by how well the theme, detail and immersion is once you are in the Hogsmeade section of the park.


signpost
One of the many views within the Harry Potter area of US-IOA


This trip, aside from the jump over to Universal, I was basically all by myself at the WDW parks. So, I just idly wandered and began snapping photos of the architecture in the parks. Ehh...what can I say?

October was the next time I ventured down to WDW. This time, my friend and WDW-padawan Kevbot was going to be along for the excursion. We were there for the first week as it encompassed my birthday. I enjoy sharing experiences with him as he is still rather "new" to the WDW parks. Having him around allows me the chance to play the "old sage" and usually say silly things starting with "I remember when..." while we roam the parks together.

Through him and his enthusiasm I have found myself peeking in on things happening in the "Disney Parks Fan Community" as it were. Kevbot is not so much as an "enabler" as he is the one to jump in with both feet which finds me in the splash zone from time to time. One portion of the DizComm he has been following is the TouringPlans.com group and their mobile app known as "Lines" (an app that helps the user determine how best to make their way around the WDW parks by providing them estimated wait times, crowd levels, etc). During our time in WDW this trip, some of the staffers of TouringPlans.com were also in "the World" and had announced a meet-up they were hosting.

Kevbot attended their meet-up while I opted to take a break and rest a bit. Lo and behold, he made a few new friends right then and there (and he claims he was scared to go to it thinking he’d not know anyone and would feel out of place...sillyKevbotissilly). I got to meet a good few of these people, this Crew, later that evening during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: Kristen H, Kimber K, Stevie B, Scarlett L, Megan A and a few others whom I’m not really sure from then but believe we’ve all swapped Twitter handles by now.

We, Kevbot and I, even garnered an invite the next day to spend time later in the evening for drinks at Bay Lake Tower. Evidently, they took to me well enough where I was made part of the Crew family that evening while we all christened the Canoodle Hole at the Top of the World lounge atop Bay Lake Tower.

Color me flattered...here I am, just someone who would normally just amble about along his way at the parks not worried about being "part of" any particular set of fans or groups of like mind and I am thought of as "one of us". The evening at the Canoodle Hole was something I needed. A chance to make some new friends...collapse in fits of laughter...and just being in the moment.


cupcake
A birthday cupcake after breakfast at Kona Kafe

Tiki
Kevbot being silly in the BouTiki at the Polynesian Resort


One thing I got to do for the first time this October trip was the evening Extra Magic Hours for Animal Kingdom. My, the park is beautiful during onset of twilight and evening. Also, riding Expedition Everest after dark makes it easier to see the Yeti animatronic; believe it or not.

I also got to find out that the enhancement that was put in place for the Haunted Mansions’ stretching rooms actually lasted longer than I thought. I enjoy the plussing that has been done to the audio used in that sequence and always hang back to hear it. What I didn’t know is that instead of just the audio playing and going "indistinct" then fading out before being reset for the next batch of guests there is a definitive end to it where one of the ghostly voices grows a bit out of the indistinct "noise" and can be heard whispering "Get out" to anyone still lingering in the stretching room. For that, I thank the castmember who saw me linger and nod my head happily listening to the audio and then asking me if I had ever heard the entire thing. I replied to her that I didn’t know there was more and she motioned for me to stay and hear the rest of it.

This trip was also Kevbot’s first chance to see the Main Street Electrical Parade. Watching him and his ever increasing levels of exuberance and giddiness during it kept the bittersweets at bay for me. Instead of my mind rolling back to when I’d be viewing the parade with my late-mother next to me I got to share a parade that is special to me and my childhood with a friend who became instantly enamored with it.

The truly tender moment of this trip, though, was when during dinner at the 50’s Prime Time Café Kevbot pulled a simple, wrapped gift out of his backpack for me. I unwrapped it to see it was a photobook he had made for me using pictures taken of our previous shared trips to WDW together. On the frontispiece he titled the book he created for me "Joe & Kev Love Disney World". If that little stinker didn’t know I was a sentimental sap before, he found out pretty well at that moment.

Sometimes it isn’t just about "being in the parks" with those you enjoy in your Life. It’s the small, quiet moments where those people and you come together that can be the most special.

December...ah, December. Kevbot and I again, this time we had booked and made plans to partake in an event called Reunion. It is a small gathering of Disney Park community fans where there were some meet-ups and special gatherings. After Kevbot and I mentioned our October trip to friends far and wide, an old acquaintance of mine now in San Diego had his curiosity piqued.

Paul had met Kevbot earlier in 2010 during Kevbot’s first ever trip to Disneyland. Paul, as I’ve come to find out, has been as big a fan of WDW as I am and became intrigued as to possibly returning to WDW one day. Kevbot and I both replied to Paul that he should consider December with us.

Getting Paul added to our booking was easy enough. (Bless the staff with MousefanTravel.com for their assistance with that.) Intermingled with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the events/meet-ups for Reunion and just roaming about the parks I got to enjoy getting to know Paul and the Crew better; plus feeling even more a part of the "inside jokes" and camaraderie. And, can I say, sharing hugs with the likes of Kristen H and Scarlett L can make one feel like family.


castle
Cinderella Castle all lit up for the Christmas holiday

DHS lights
The Osbourne Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney Hollywood Studios


Made a few more Crew friends during December/Reunion: KChristine, Caroline B, Susan C, ErinSpice, Deanna S, Elizabeth & Colin O and probably many others whose names and Twitter handles escape me at the moment. To say that my circle of friends has been broadened in 2010 might be an understatement...and through these people there are others who I am coming to know via Twitter only so far. And it continues...

Four trips, one year, four parks...

What other experiences are waiting for me there? Time only knows what each excursion-yet-to-be will contain.


~JoeZer

(photos taken by JoeZer)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Playing with Pictures...

So...as my friend Kev can attest, I've been in need of a new hobby since I've been dabbling with a couple of image processing apps that I've acquired and uploaded to my iPhone, Ianto.

From the files of "Gone, but not forgotten": this picture is of one of the ride vehicles (subs) from the extinct 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction that was part of Fantasyland in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Florida. I'm not sure if it was photographed by Disney staffers though it looks like a "planned" shot possibly for promotional materials. I snerched the picture from a twitter user I follow (@wdwfacts) recently...



Sub in color


Growing up I quite enjoyed this attraction. Yeah...there was a touch of cheesiness to it...but still I liked it. When I came across the image in the twitter feed mentioned above, it was part of that day's "Wayback Machine" photos that they've started putting up and out on the interwebzzes. A clankity-clank jumbled in my brainpan and I got the notion to filter it to more of a steampunkier feel...or, at least, a sense of something more Verne-ian in vintage...



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Sepia Nautilus

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I'm also noodling with the idea to do an arty crop of thie sepia'd version and adding text to it as the thought upon seeing the "after" I knobbled together could very well work as a banner for the WEDwayJoe entries where I look at experiences about the WDW parks from the far-flung past...


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I'd enjoy seeing the reactions to the "before" and "after"...if you have a mind to spare a moment...


~JoeZer

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Teddy-bearish Atlanta resident from Florida. Enjoys Doctor Who, steampunk aesthetics, Dragon*Con, Disney theme parks, Universal Orlando theme parks, cheesy pizza and lots of other things...