Hi! My name is Joanne Ernest and the first thing I should explain is how I came to choose the user name Cruella. When I was about 8 years old I went to the movies one afternoon with my brothers to see 101 Dalmatians. It was the best movie I had ever seen! I was fascinated by Cruella, undoubtedly the most evil character I had come across in my short life. I ended up staying in the theatre through 3 showings of the film, until my aunt arrived at the theatre to drag me home!
Well, many years went by and I didnít have much exposure to Disney, except for the Mouseketeer Club and the Wide World of Disney on TV, two of my favorite shows. I dreamt of going to Disneyland, but living in NY I knew the chances were slim. When I was in high school, my mother had two children (as if my 3 brothers and I were not enough!) a boy, Keith, when I was a sophomore and a girl, Joyce, when I was a senior. She then proceeded to have 10 operations in the next nine years leaving me, the only girl in the earlier group of kids, a lot of time to explore my maternal side. Needless to say, Joyce, Keith and I became very close during their growing up years, so much so that they (and I) felt they had two mothers. During their early years, Disney had a film festival every Saturday in the summer. They showed all the old classics, one or two a week, and we went to every one. We grew to love these old films and enjoyed seeing them over and over. The magic of Disney took hold and set our imaginations soaring! It inspired us to exercise our imaginations beyond anything we had done before. For example, on warm summer nights, at bedtime, I would tape lollipops on the willow tree in our front yard. Then I would tell the kids to close their eyes, twirl around and I would whisk them outside to ĎCandylandí and they just loved it.
I had heard about a magical place called Walt Disney World. I knew that I had to take them to this place to experience the magic in a way they had only dreamed of before. It took me a few years to save up enough money, but finally, in 1978 I had enough. Iíll never forget the first day we approached WDW! From the moment we parked the car we all knew we were in another world. Taking the monorail, entering the MK, seeing the castle, flying with Peter PanÖit was all so wonderful! We had a magical vacation that made a lasting impression on all of us.
Today I am a 52 year old woman who has 2 boys of her own (David , 19, and Andrew, 16) and a wonderful husband, Tim, whom some of you might know as WildForWD. We all embrace the magic as much, if not more, than I did back then. Joyce and Keith, now all grown up and married, still join us in our WDW obsession and we all travel there as often as time and finances will allow. Soon my new niece, Zooey, will follow us, since she holds on to her Minnie doll most of the day! We dream of joining the DVC or, better yet, moving to Celebration and becoming CMís ourselves!
I work in Information Technology for a financial services company in NYC. We used to be located in the World Trade Center, but 9/11/01 put an end to that. I now work from home due to a disease that makes it hard for me to get around and I am currently out on disability. I survived the attacks on the WTC (I was on the 50th floor of WTC 2 when the attacks took place) and many health problems in the last few years. WDW has helped me to heal from all of it. Iíve been there several times since the attacks and wish I could stay there forever! Passporter has been a huge part of our lives since I discovered it in early 2000. I became the first moderator for the website and I consider myself lucky to know Jennifer & Dave, all the wonderful guides and all my friends. We now look forward to seeing our PassPorter friends in the parks now and again, especially when we can make plans to enjoy MouseFest! We last travelled to Disneyland in 2005, a dream I was glad to finally fulfill!
To date I have been to WDW more than twenty times, and, as with most of you, it will never be enough! Though my illness keeps me away from the boards more than Iíd like, I enjoy corresponding with my many friends from the boards and sharing the excitement of memories and expectations for the future.If you want to discuss my favorite topic, email me! I'm always glad to hear from an enthusiast!