When it comes to Disney, it is never too late to take up the banner of “fanatic” and run with it. That is how Marc Acosta feels. He got a late start in life as a Disney freak.
Marc was never taken to Disney World as a child. His first trip was in 1994 when he was 24 years old, but the intoxicating effect of walking into a place that seemed protected from the harsh realities of life took hold of him immediately. He hasn’t looked back since, making almost annual trips to Disney and eventually joining the Disney Vacation Club.
Because of his insatiable appetite for all things Disney, Marc leads a Disney Driven Life. As we all know, such a lifestyle often includes searching out other Disney fans online so that one can sustain the magical flame that exists in Mickey-loving hearts. And this is exactly what motivated Marc when he came across @NDM_1 in a #FollowFriday on twitter and pulled up her profile.
Following the rabbit trail to The Disney Driven Life site and the Neurotic Disney People community, Marc discovered the Be Counted!, page in the sidebar. It was then that a Neurotic Disney Uncle was born.
Marc knew that the title of NDU was a perfect fit. After returning from a Disney trip in 2003, he promised his 15 year old niece that he would take her the following year for her 16th birthday. For the sake of fairness, uncle-hosted trips to Disney followed for all of Marc’s nieces and nephews on their 16th birthdays until recently when Marc decided that he couldn’t wait for his nephew, Tony, to turn sixteen. As a result, Tony, was treated to Disney for his 10th birthday. To date Marc has made five trips to Disney with a niece or nephew at his side, and he is planning his sixth this year with his two nieces who are mildly autistic.
Recently Marc contacted The Disney Driven Life about taking The NDU Challenge, a challenge to recruit other uncles who are Disney aficionados to be counted as NDUs. Being competitive in nature, he was greatly bothered that the Neurotic Disney Uncle numbers were so low in comparison to the other categories and wanted to do what he could to help. So (as with all NDP Challenges) we designed a challenge specifically for him. Marc set a goal for finding enough NDUs to put their numbers in the double digits, and we sent him off.
He knew that his mission would be difficult. NDMs and NDDs come in abundance, but NDUs are more of a rarity. Men without children of their own are not commonly known for doting on kids nor admitting to Disney neurosis, but Marc’s determination pushed him on in seeking out the hidden NDUs that he knew were out there.
He found them on Facebook. Digging through his list of Disney friends, he contacted all the males and began calling out for uncles. After passing on links to The Disney Driven Life as well as its Facebook fan page and Facebook group not only did uncles answer the call but dads, husbands, and individuals did as well.
After a few short weeks, Marc reached his goal. The Neurotic Disney Uncles finally numbered in the double digits, and thanks to Marc the Neurotic Disney Community gained a great number of males in husbands, dads, and individuals too. Marc felt it was the least he could do to give back to the community that–in his opinion–is made up of the friendliest and most helpful people the world holds.
Marc, we are so appreciative of your contribution to the Disney community. Your efforts to instill a love for Disney in the hearts of your family has not been overlooked. You have taken great strides and been successful in cementing life-long Disney memories into the minds of the kids and teens that adore you, and it is likely that you will be whom they acknowledge as the person that ignited their own Disney passion.
In addition to this, it is evident through your relationships with other Disney fans that you do much to bring a little “magic” to people everyday. This is a critical action within The Disney Driven Life so that we can carry a little bit of that safe haven we love into the harsh reality of life. For these reasons, you stand out, and we are happy to give you the honor of Neurotic Disney Person of the Month for April.
*If you are interested in taking a NDP challenge of your own, contact NDM#1 at firstname.lastname@example.org (putting NDP Challenge in the subject line) to have a challenge personally designed for you. Or if you or someone you know does something noteworthy within the (putting NDP Challenge in the subject line) to have a challenge personally designed for you. Or if you or someone you know does something noteworthy within the Disney fan community, we hope you will take time to nominate him or her by contacting NDM#1 (putting NDP of the Month in the subject line) for consideration.
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.