I know a woman – who I met through an online Disney World forum (gotta love technology, right?) – who I originally connected with because our sons are very close in age (within days of each other), and it has been fun to see them sort of “grow up” alongside each other. They both LOVE Disney of course – but the big difference between them is that he is lucky enough to get to go to Walt Disney World all the time – as his parents moved to central Florida about a year ago.
They aren’t alone – plenty of people are purposely making the trek to the promised lane (ie – Disney) – picking up their lives and families, packing up and selling their houses, leaving jobs and friends behind – all for the chance to be nearer to Walt Disney World. And it really got me thinking – what about us – should we move to Florida in pursuit of a more Disney-fied life? So I decided, as is my nature, to weigh out the pros and cons of it all:
-The sheer closeness of the Magic: I mean – obviously the main/most influential perk would be having Walt Disney World as close to you as your local Walmart or dry cleaner – to be able to just hop in the car, drive for a few minutes, and then be at WDW – that is literally a dream come true – and a MAJOR driving force for many people’s decision to move there
-Money Saver: Sure, we would have to purchase annual passholder tickets, which are NOT cheap – but – overall, they would be cheaper than a trip to Disney World is for us right now when you factor in plane tickets, hotel, park tickets, food, etc – not to mention the cost of our time that it takes to pack/prep/travel
-No More SNOW: Florida is in the South – therefore – no blizzards! Upstate NY sees it’s fair share of snow every year – and right about this time of year – mid January – is when it starts to get REAL old – the shoveling, plowing, salt everywhere, the below freezing temps…Florida might see colder days, and may even see a snowflake or two on occasion, but overall it is worlds warmer than what we are used to, that’s for sure!
-My Son Would LOVE It: What parent wouldn’t want to give their kids the chance to experience Disney World on a semi-regular basis? Kids love it there, and parents scrape and save to be able to go there – so if I could live near it, I would be giving him some of the best childhood memories ever – ones that he would cherish for years to come
-Florida Ain’t Cheap: The cost of living in Florida would be higher for us than where we currently are in Upstate New York – which doesn’t necessarily take Disney living completely off the table for us, but it’s just something to consider – the fact that we would want to save up some money beforehand, as well as ensure we are diligent with our job search so that we find positions that will help us shoulder those higher costs
-The Heat: Sure, it’s nice to get to wear shorts 80% of the time – but – Florida can get oppressively hot – especially during the summer months when it feels like you could literally cut the humidity with a knife. I could probably learn to adapt to it – but I really don’t know if my husband could – he was shocked at the humidity in June when we went for our Honeymoon to WDW, and he doesn’t deal well with the extreme heat
-Weather overall – hurricanes/tropical storms galore, and rain ALL the time during hurricane season, not to mention the lack of snow – and ok I know I cited “no more snow” as a pro – but the snow is pretty (at Christmastime anyway) – and it does allow me to appreciate the Spring thaw, and the other seasons too. The threat of hurricanes and having to deal with that is just a lot to handle especially when you have kids to think about too – and I just don’t know if I could handle that stress (bless those who can, truly some strong and brave folks!)
-It Would Get Lonely: Sure, I would have Mickey Mouse to keep me company (ha ha), but we would be leaving my entire family and my husband’s, and all of our friends and colleagues – it would be hard to be in a place where we didn’t know anyone or have that network of support in place at all
It feels really good to weigh out the good and bad on this – I have been mulling it over for a while and after looking at it on paper I know that we definitely will NOT be moving to Florida anytime soon. While being closer to Disney World is something I have always wanted, I realize that our life here is pretty great, and maybe someday we will have the time/money/means to move or to travel to WDW more – but for now – we will have to settle for visiting once in a while – and that is ok with me – gives me something to look forward to!
What about you – would you ever consider moving to be closer to Disney?