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.

Yesterday was our first day back home from our Walt Disney World vacation, but I am already calling Disney Vacation Club’s Member Services to plan the next trip.  Most years our family only makes one trip to our mecca in Orlando, but this year is different.  DD9 is wrapping up her first decade of life and is approaching an age where she will need to hear “the talk.” 

I heard “the talk” when I was ten years old.  In fact, being from a broken home, I had to endure it two times.  My parents were unable to maintain an amicable relationship after they split; therefore, neither one trusted the other to give an appropriate explanation of womanhood nor the delicate matter of potential motherhood.  The result was that each parent cornered me and subjected me to this uncomfortable pubescent milestone on separate occasions. 

The first time I was cornered, it was by Grammy (my mother).  Grammy and I did not share a loving bond due to difficult family dynamics; therefore, the last thing I wanted to do was discuss intimate topics with her.  The entire time our talk (which more closely resembled a women’s health seminar) lasted, I was disturbed by it and prayed for a quick exit.

The second time I was cornered, it was by Pop-Pop (my father).  While Pop-Pop and I got along famously, he was still a male.  This fact made conversation about a decidedly female topic a mortifying thought.  Anticipating my reluctance to engage him in this subject, Pop-Pop was clever enough to pick a time and location for his attack that would render me incapable of escape—a car ride while in transit to my friend’s sleepover party.  I was completely embarrassed by the escapade, and it ended with me screaming, “LEAVE ME ALONE” as I slammed the car door and ran to the safety of my friend’s home.

These horrible memories still replay in my mind and send shivers down my spine.  I do not want to relive such tragedies with my own precious blossom, so I am determined to approach this necessary event from a different angle.  I do not really know what that angle is due to my lack of a good example; however, I do know that in the family of a NDM every momentous occasion should take place at Walt Disney World.  Certainly the explanation of puberty and its purposes qualify as a momentous occasion, so DD9 and I are planning a trip for just the two of us at the end of the year. 

DD9 doesn’t know why she has been singled out from her brother and sister for this momentous event.  All that she knows is that we will have lots of “girl time” and that she gets to pick our resort, our restaurants and one park to visit during our stay.  So while I am very unclear about pulling off a successful “talk,” I am dead certain that attaining a reservation at the selected resort is the first and most important step.  I’ll figure everything else out later.

A confident and friendly voice answers my call, “Disney Vacation Club Member Services.  This is Tim.  How may I help you?”  “Hi, Tim.  I need to make a reservation for a one-bedroom unit with a boardwalk view at Disney’s Boardwalk Villas during the second week of December.”  After confirming my identification Tim reports, “I’m so sorry.  There are no units available during that time at that resort.”  Panic hits me.  “What,” I question, “Are you sure?  It’s very important that I get a room at this resort.  I’m taking my daughter to Walt Disney World to tell her about ‘The Birds and The Bees’ in the homeland of Pooh’s Playful Spot.  This trip is going to be one that is cemented in her mind for her entire life, and she wanted to stay at that resort.  What if we were to just have a standard view?  Are any of those available?”

Tim is uncomfortably quiet for a brief moment, and I sense that he does not know how to respond to my descriptive monologue.  “Ummm,” he stumbles in a Bashful manner, “Err, let me check.  No, I don’t see any standard views available either.  Can I check on another week for you?”  I fuss, “No, it has to be that week due to the lower DVC point usage and my husband’s work schedule.” I continue to ramble, “This is dreadful!  It can be quite a shock for a little girl to learn that Mr. Stork didn’t actually deliver Dumbo but that Mrs. Jumbo did all the hard work herself.  I was hoping to avoid traumatizing my daughter during this impartation of knowledge, and the only way I know how to do that is by giving her the vacation of her dreams while I ‘impart.’  She says her dream vacation involves staying at Disney’s Boardwalk Villas.  Can nothing be done to save this situation?”

Once again there is an awkward silence, and I fear that I have given poor Tim too much information.  He fumbles for a response. “Uh . . . well . . . do you mind holding for a minute,” he asks in a squeamish voice.

While I wait, I wring my hands.  If I’m not capable of nailing down the desired resort, how will I be able to nail down a successful “talk”?    The dilemma has me on edge.

Tim timidly joins me once again, “I checked the availability of all the resorts for your . . . umm . . . your . . . uh . . . event.  The only one-bedroom units available are in Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.  Could I book your stay in one of those?  I can also put you on the waitlist for Disney’s Boardwalk Villas.  There is a slight possibility that something will open up there at the last minute.  In the case that nothing opens up, though, at least you know you will have a room somewhere.”  I consider this option and respond, “It looks like there is no alternative.  We’ll have to go with your suggestion.  Please waitlist us for Disney’s Boardwalk Villas and secure us a unit in Disney’s Saratoga Springs.

Tim speedily carries out my request and expedites the routine review of my current standing as a Disney Vacation Club Member.  Whereas he stuttered and stammered earlier in our conversation, now he rushes through the little bits of required material that is always given after making a reservation.  His pace is unusually fast, and I wonder if he is trying to exit our connection as quickly as possible.

Once we hang up, I cannot deny the trepidation that I now feel.  Can a trip of such magnitude go to “Plan Bee” and still be successful?  Is Disney’s Saratoga Springs able to live up to the expectations for this trip?  Can a girl remain unaffected while transitioning from the naivety of childhood into the knowledge of womanhood if she is not in her ideal surroundings?  I fear that I will learn the answers within a few short months.

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