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.



With all the necessary preparations complete, the week before a Disney trip can be rather torturous.  A NDM finds she has already done everything that can be done beforehand to ensure vacation perfection, and there is nothing left except waiting for the remaining time to pass.  This psychotic crawling of time can make a NDM madder than a hatter.

Such is the predicament of which I currently find myself.  Most NDMs don’t naturally possess the virtue of patience since patience is generally not compatible with neurosis.  But when the issue is Disney related . . . . well, patience becomes an absolute impossibility for the NDM.  What do I do with myself for the next few days to keep the tick-tock of my biological mouse clock from sending me to the Toontown Funny Farm?

My first thought is to clean my house.  But as I ponder sanitizing my bathrooms for the fourth time in three days, I realize that there must be other things to consider in killing the time.  Snow White’s suggestion to “Whistle While You Work” served me well the first half of this week.  In fact, DH and my spawn have been overjoyed with my incessant tidying.  But I fear the cheerful pastime has run its course.  After all, the grout in between shower tiles can only be cleaned so much before the mildew remover (which removed the mildew two scrubbings ago) begins to erode the hearty, bonding material.

As an alternative I consider listening to Disney music.  It is almost always a relaxing activity for me.  Throughout the year I regularly enlist this as a way of mentally transporting me to my “Laughing Place” when I can’t be there.  For this reason, I rationalize that it is logical to seek sanctuary amongst my collection of Disney CDs.  I put my favorite box set of theme park sounds in the stereo and prepare to watch my anxiety take a trip to Tomorrowland.  Shockingly, though, I discover an unexpected difficulty.  The magical tunes that normally soothe my Neurotic Disney soul have become a source of torment.  Rather than easing the emotional pain a NDM might carry when outside the boundaries of Lake Buena Vista, it taunts me with the vivid reminder that other families are enjoying magical bliss in our country’s top vacation destination whilst I am sitting here trying to keep the March Hare at bay.

I think it is time to phone a friend as a form of distraction.  Seeing as DH is my very best friend, I dial him up at his office.  Tax season recently ended, so his work as an accountant is temporarily slow.  I am certain that a loving call from his doting wife will be just the thing he needs to brighten his boring day.

“Hello,” he answers.  “Hi sweetie.  How are you,” I inquire.  He replies, “Fine.  What is going on at home today?”  “NOTHING,” I explode.  “That is the problem!”  DH’s innocent question somehow becomes a springboard for suppressed irritation, and I find myself in a tirade about the insanity and cruelty of waiting on the passage of four more uneventful days.  DH calmly absorbs every bit of seething fury I expel through our fiber optic connection.  Finally he interjects during a rare moment when I pause for breath, “Love?”  “Yes,” I answer.  He calmly presents, “Do you realize that you’ve called me at work and kept me on the phone for at least ten minutes so that you could yell at me about your early preparation for our trip?  I didn’t want you to do all this so far ahead of time in the first place.  Remember?  It seems a little unfair that I’m the recipient of your frustration.  Also, yelling at me while I’m at work seems like a particularly poor choice of timing.  Do you think we could proceed with your venting episode after business hours?”  Embarrassed by my lack of composure, I meekly agree to his reasonable request.

As I hang up the phone, I acknowledge my accidental slip of rationale and realize the nutty Cheshire Cat must be dangerously close.  The time has come to sit and analyze the value of a NDM’s thorough and advanced planning measures.  On the one hand, I am happy because I know that everything is ready to go and our departure can now happen at the earliest possible moment.  However, the very fact that we are able to leave at any time, pushes me to the brink of insanity because that time is still days away.  It is a conundrum that could produce tears in a NDM much like the Tulgey Wood did for Alice in her Wonderland.

The alternative would be to postpone shopping, packing and list-checking until a day or two before departure.  This way I would certainly be kept busy and avoid the hum-drum that normally tortures me the last days before vacation.  I try to imagine this scenario and shudder at the thought.  Putting a NDM in those shoes creates stress and anxiety of an entirely different nature.  I easily envision my quest for Disney vacation perfection being put under the gun and throwing me into the circle of Disney villains.  Malificent could not hold a candle to what I would become.  My children would hate me, and my Prince Charming would try to escape me.  This option is certainly not the preferable way for a NDM to lead her family to the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Since I seem condemned to some extreme condition as the day of departure draws near, I reason that surely “Goofy” madness is more desirable than cranky evilness.  So with the inevitable outcome of neurosis-induced insanity, I resign myself to the state of a raving lunatic with a silly nature. 


I go to my kitchen to see if I have the ingredients of a digestively safe cake and inform the children that we must prepare.  There is an unbirthday party to throw, and I comment that we should expect some very lively company.  As I gather my favorite spinning teacup and practice my best English accent, I reckon I’m as ready as ever for a Mad Tea Party.  “Now what was that riddle about a raven and a writing desk,” I say to myself as I imagine a white rabbit with a waistcoat rushing across my backyard.  Unlike Alice who didn’t want to “go among mad people,” I finally embrace the idea.  After all, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

*for creative ideas on how to pass the time while waiting for your Disney vacation, contact NDM#1 at

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