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A New Adventure Awaits….

Good Morning! And May The Fourth Be With You!  Today I am going to talk about what it’s like to love Disney so much that you dream of living in Orlando!  I will eventually get back to my trip report, but so many amazing things are happening right now, that have kept me so busy, that I must share!

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But First….

Daily Disney Forecast: Partly Cloudy & 81 degrees! Awesome!

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Daily Disney Dish: Disney World, as part of their Limited Time Magic, is kicking off their “Monstrous Summer” by projecting images of Mike & Sulley on Spaceship Earth at night! And they will be having another 24 hour park opening on May 24th! The “Monstrous” lineup includes entertainment enhancements celebrating the June 21 release of the Disney-Pixar animated feature, “Monsters University.” Mike and Sulley are dropping in from MU to scare up monstrous surprises all summer long. Guests will find all-new collegiate settings for meeting their favorite aspiring scarers. On the Backlot at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, guests will find the Monsters University Student Union, complete with a view of the campus. Over at Magic Kingdom, the gang at the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor have been studying new jokes and are ready to graduate to new comedy bits in honor of their alma mater.

 

I wish we could be down there on May 24th! But Matthew doesn’t get out of school until June 18th, so it will have to wait. Sigh. HOWEVER… we will be there to celebrate his 12th birthday on June 27th! We are crazy excited, since it will be the first time that any of us have celebrated our birthdays at Disney World! I am just hoping Mike and Sulley will still be making their nightly appearances on Spaceship Earth when we get there! Matthew can’t decide yet which park we will go to that day, or where he’d like to have his birthday dinner. So I booked Via Napoli at Epcot, Sci-Fi Diner at Hollywood Studios, and Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort. I am planning to cancel two of them the night before, so that we can throw those reservations back in the queue for someone else to enjoy.

That brings me to one of my tips: make sure you cancel any reservations you don’t plan to use during your visit. Especially those that require a deposit, full payment, or a credit card number to secure them. If you don’t, you will be out some money! And, especially during peak times, it can be very hard to get reservations for the popular restaurants around The World. So, give them up and let someone else enjoy the experience.

OK, so how does someone decide that it’s time to make Orlando their home? One big factor for many people is their love of Disney, and the many employment opportunities down there. For some, it’s because they live up north, and are just plain tired of dealing with the cold and snow. And for others there may be their dream to work for Disney, or take care of their intern programs. My son’s dream is to become a Disney Imagineer, or an animation artist for Pixar. And while their headquarters for both are in California, namingly the Burbank area, the cost of living is something we don’t want to deal with at this time. Florida State University is a great option, as well as Central Florida University, to get him started on his journey down that road, so that’s another factor one may consider in whether or not to move to Orlando. And for others, it’s the desire to be on a “permanent vacation”, or retire in their happy place.

Which leads me to my newest Amazing Disney Adventure…

On June 21st, we will become Florida residents!!!  We have talked and talked about it for many years, and every time our last day of our trip arrives, we think about it more and more. That thought we express every single time…I don’t ever want to go home…maybe if we miss our plane we can just stay, even for a little longer, or forever!

Well, the opportunity has presented itself, and the timing couldn’t be better for us right now! We just made this decision two weeks ago, and everything is happening so fast! There are a number of things we had to consider to take this leap of faith, and get a fresh start in a new place, and some I believe all “transplanted princesses” and the princes in their lives have to consider …

1. Do you have children? Are they at or close to an age where such a big move could work in their favor, or will it be a very difficult transition? For us, it was the fact that Matthew is turning 12, and heading for 7th grade. We had always planned to make the move to Orlando when he moved on to college. But if we were going to do it sooner than that, it had to be while he was in middle school, so that he wouldn’t be at that age where he has a real attachment to his friends. For my older son, he really made his lifelong friends in high school, and I know that It would have wrecked him to make the move at that age.

2. Do you have family that you will miss too much, or really need or depend on you so much that moving across country is not the best idea? For us, it was considering Michael’s needs. We had a long talk with him about the move. And he has chosen to stay here, in our hometown because of all of his close friends, our family, and because he goes to college here, loves his school, and doesn’t want to leave. The other family member we really had to consider was my mother in law. She is 88 years old, and in a nursing home. We don’t know how much longer she will be with us, but she has lived longer than anyone expected, is in relatively good health too. She could live to be 100, we just don’t know. And I know she won’t want us to put our lives and dreams on hold for that long. While we will miss her, she lives 1 hour away from us, and with our busy schedules, we only have time to see her every other weekend for about an hour. And, with all the technology we have today, we will keep in touch. We will still call her to say goodnight every day, as we already do that now. Send her pictures. And, my sister in law can set up Skype so we can “visit” with her once a week. So, essentially we will see her more that we do now.

3. Moving is expensive. You have to be ready for it. And I will touch on some things you have to anticipate for such a big move.

4. Can you get a job down there in a time frame that will be realistic for you financially?

5. Will you sell your current home, or are you bound by a lease that may cost you a great deal of money to cancel it early? How good is the housing market in your area? will it take a long time to sell your home, or will you get enough money from the sale where you make a profit, break even, or will you lose money in the deal? Can you afford to pay two mortgages for a while if you can’t sell your current home right away.

 

6. Cost of living. Is it higher than your current location? Thankfully, the cost of living here in Buffalo is very comparable to that in Orlando.

Moving on to MY to do list for the next 8 weeks…and some will be the same or similar that most relocating people  would need to do…

1. Find a place to live and set a date for the move.

2. Decide on how you will move. Will you rent a U-Haul and do it yourself? How much would fuel cost? Do you have help that can come down with you to unload? Will you be transporting your own vehicles down there? What about moving any pets? Will you hire a moving company? What things are included in your contract with them, and what extras do they offer ala carte?

3. Telling your friends and family.

4. Will you fly down to Orlando to check out places to live ahead of time? Or is there someone down there to trust to do it for you? Since we are renting an apartment for the first year, we took the leap of faith and rented without seeing the place first. But we were very careful to check reviews online, and I got photos of the actual unit we will live in so I could address any concerns I have. I even made her give me photos of insides of appliances, storage unit, patio, walls, carpets, bathrooms, etc. Nothing stuck out as a problem. And the apartment will be professionally cleaned and painted prior to our arrival.

5. Stop your utilities at home, and start them in your new home. It’s so important to get your cable up and running especially. You really need to make an appointment as far in advance as possible, or you could go a couple weeks with out tv and internet. Thankfully if there’s a small delay, the club house in our complex has free wi-fi and several tv areas available.

6. Clean out your junk! Go room to room and toss or donate as much as you can! What furniture can go with you? What can be left behind? The rule I use is if it no longer fits you, get rid of it. If things like toys haven’t been touched in two years, get rid of it. Can you get it down there? Is it valuable? Can you sell it before the move? Will you use it again soon, and for what? This is not the time to have emotional attachments to things. They are just things! And the best things in life are NOT things. We have already cleaned out our basement and garage. and may closets and other rooms in the house. All I have left is my bedroom, the closet, and the kitchen. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish even if you just take half an hour every day or two to get this done. So far we have donated 20 garbage bags of clothes, coats, bedding, and things like that. We’ve donated old tv’s and several boxes of toys, and small kitchen appliances as well. Two other clean out factors for us we have to deal with: Will Michael use it when he moves in? And, our moving company charges by weight, so the less we move, the more money we save.

 

7. Change your address with the post office, banks, insurance, etc.

8. Figure out where you want to live. Find a neighborhood that suits your needs. Ultimately ours came down to three things: are there good schools in that area? How long will the commute be for my husband, and how close is it to Disney World?! We found a very central location, in Hunters Creek, which is about 6 miles outside of Disney proper, has highly rated schools, and is close to all the main arteries for hubby’s commute.

So, those are some of many things on my to do list. The sense of urgency can be overwhelming, so the plan we set in place is to take a day or two each week to take a break from it, and just have fun. Do things outdoors, see a movie, etc.

There are many resources out there to help you get prepared, and obviously most of the time you can just google to get all this info.

When you get down there, the to do list gets even longer. You have to establish residency as soon as possible. Get your lease agreement, or home purchase documents. Get proof from utility companies that you’ve got them down there. Find a local bank and open an account. Get car, home,renter’s insurance. Because not all states have the same insurance, and it has to be one that is licensed in Florida. Get to the DMV to get your new license, registration and plates. And, most important on my list: take your new drivers license showing residency to Disney World to get my Premium Annual Pass! There are lots of discounts and perks at all the local attractions for Florida residents, and since it will be our primary source of activities and entertainment, it will be money well spent. As a resident, you can choose to make a deposit equal to the cost of a one day park ticket, and then make monthly payments to make it more affordable, and to ease the sticker shock. So, here are some helpful links to get you started:

First of all, there is a wonderful blog written by Amy Peterman called The Relocated Tourist. She can also be found on Facebook under the same title. She basically has info and links to anything and everything you could possibly need to know, and then some. It’s our go to place for information on all things Disney and Orlando. http://therelocatedtourist.com/

Secondly, ME! I will keep you all updated as my journey unfolds, and share with all the things I learn along the way.

Then there’s Google, and websites you need to look at. Again, The Relocated Tourist will point you in the right direction. I want to mention a few:

http://www.greatschools.org

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/

http://www.golynx.com/riding-lynx/local-bus-service.stml

http://www.mouseplanet.com/9313/How_To_Get_A_Job_At_Walt_Disney_World

http://www.indeed.com/

Thanks for joining me for another Amazing Disney Adventure! Stay tuned for more to come as my journey unfolds! Have a Magical Day!

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