JeniLynn Knopp (234 Posts)

JeniLynn was born and raised in South Florida. Being so close to Walt Disney World, she grew up regularly visiting the Mouse and developed a fascination with the creativity of Disney Parks. Noticing that her happiest moments seemed to always take place in Walt Disney World, JeniLynn began trying to recreate the magic of Disney in her everyday life beginning in her pre-teen years. Adulthood, sixteen years of marriage, and three children later, JeniLynn continues to lead a Disney Driven Life and diligently works to pass her love for Disney on to her husband and children. She has blogged for Touring Plans and been a contributing writer for The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and she currently co-hosts Orlando Attractions Magazine: The Show; however, her primary focus has always been with the community that has grown around her own site, The Disney Driven Life. Through these venues JeniLynn strives to help other Disney fans stay connected to the brand that has served as a keystone in her family’s life.


The last few days have been spent gathering my thoughts. I have acquired three WDW vacation packages that meet our needs, but it is yet to be decided whether they meet our budget. Joel will be the one to deliver the verdict on that. Since his lack-lustre mentality in regard to Disney does not incline him to favor “border-line” budget breakers, I am a bit fretful.

So, much like a lawyer preparing a case for court, I organize myself. NDMs don’t excel in rational behavior once Disney enters the scene. However, I do my best to develop a reasonable opening argument, various supportive points that exude logic, and a climatic closing speech that would appeal to my sensible accountant spouse. My presentation is solid. But not being one to leave any Disney stone unturned, I run to my mirror and practice giving irresistible glances with my big Bambi eyes. It’s just got to work.

In the evening, Joel is in a jovial mood. I quickly collect my papers from Bill, briefly review my prepared case, freshen my lipstick and put on my best push-up bra. The retired tune from Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is my fight song in this crusade. So as I approach the room where DH is reviewing ESPN news, I softly sing, “Now is the time. Now is the best time” to psych myself up.

In an attempt to get on Joel’s good side, I inquire, “Oh! Good! ESPN!” Joel turns to me with a suspicious look. He is no fool. I am a NDM who never shows any interest in sports, so Joel’s expression communicates that he thinks I’m up to something. Catching his doubtful glance, I realize I may have betrayed my manipulative motive. Quickly backtracking to save the amiable atmosphere I remark, “Well, you know they are affiliated with Disney. There is even the ESPN Club on The Boardwalk. It’s a sports bar and grill. You’d love it.” With this Joel is able to make the connection to my supposed interest, and he relaxes once more as he resumes his review of sports.

“Speaking of Disney,” I gently breach the subject, “I think I may have found a way for us to go.” Joel looks at me curiously. I have his full attention. It is here that I segue into my eloquent presentation with the passion of an Orlando lovebug in June.

Joel is impressed. He takes my prized papers and pulls up our budget analysis on the computer. As his eyes run across the numbers on the screen, his fingers begin a flurry of activity on his adding machine. He is brilliant when it comes to manipulating accounts to accommodate certain expenses, but there is a fine line of irresponsibility that Joel never crosses. “This one won’t work,” Joel matter-of-factly remarks as he hands me back the papers for the first vacation package.

I feel my spirit deflate slightly, but my hope is not lost. There are still two more packages to consider. The tension builds as I stand in silence. Only the clicking of the adding machine and the loud beating of my heart can be heard. “Nope,” Joel states and hands me the second set of papers.

I am holding my breath now. This is my last option. Tears begin to well up in my eyes as I prepare myself for the reality of a Disney-less anniversary. If he says “no,” I fear my heart will stop beating. I glance at the phone base to see if the cordless is nearby in the event that Joel has to call 911.

“Now wait a minute,” he says. My eyes widen, and I bite my lip as I wait on pins and needles for Joel’s next words. “This one is a possibility,” he reveals with a clever smile. In an inquisitive tone I squeal, “It is?” “Yes,” he replies, “but not exactly in the way you suppose.”

From there he explains that the 2-bedroom villa in Disney’s Old Key West Resort can host eight people and a child under three. Since our youngest is two, our villa has room for four more people. Joel’s calculations are accurate, and I anticipate where he is going with this. “So we have room for another family,” I conclude. Joel nods in agreement. “And we can afford the 2-bedroom villa for the week if we split the cost with another family,” I state with slight uncertainty. Joel nods again, this time with a twinkle in his eye. “Therefore if I find another family to go with us and split the cost, you are giving me approval to secure the reservation,” I ask with all the hope I can muster. Joel meets my question with a definitive, “Yep.”

Overpowering my desire to remain composed, a shrill scream escapes my throat. I begin running around the room like the manic muppet, Animal, blubbering unintelligible nonsense and wildly flailing my arms. Margeaux, Miller, and Elle come running from the playroom where they have been occupied all this time. As they view their NDM in her moment of lunancy, they look to Joel for an explanation. But I cease my frantic behavior, run up to my concerned young ones and announce, “We are going to Walt Disney World!”

Just as I am about to lead my excited troop in our own private victory parade around the room, the voice of reason interrupts. “Hold on,” Joel interjects, “We can only go there if we find another family to split the cost.” Oh! I had forgotten that minor detail. In the excitement of having a package pass budgetary limitations, this last hurdle had temporarily slipped from notice.

The children look to me for a response. Now that they have been informed of a potential WDW vacation, their expressions display angst. Suddenly, I feel my body temperature rise. There is a new sense of pressure. As I tweak the nose of each budding Disneyphile, I reassure them. “Don’t you worry. Your NDM is going to get you there.” They breathe a collective sigh of relief and return to the toys that previously held their attention.

My thoughts begin to compile a list of vacation partners. This situation is brimming with possibilities. I acknowledge our invitation will have to be extended with care since we will be sharing accommodations. The right partners give chance for an enhanced vacation like we’ve never had before. However, the wrong partners could destroy this dream escapade that I’m in the process of realizing. It is something that needs heavy consideration, but I reason that it is a consideration for tomorrow. Right now I intend to pop in a good Disney movie and revel in the accomplishments of the evening.

*for information about renting Disney Vacation Club points, contact NDM#1 at


  1. I love it! Another great post! This scenario sounds so familiar to me!!! Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait for the next one!

  2. I love it! Another great post! This scenario sounds so familiar to me!!! Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait for the next one!

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.