We Are Moving to Disney World

“Let’s pop into the Magic Kingdom and watch the fireworks tonight. It’s been a long week,” I said, in my dreams. 

If you’re a Disney fan, you’ve probably fantasized at one point or another about being neighbors with the Mouse. My family and I certainly have. And now we are going to make that dream our reality.

We’re going to Disney! That’s my favorite thing to hear.

But this time… we’re not coming back.

That’s right, we’re moving to Disney World!

We are going to move across the country this summer, from Colorado to Florida. We are heading to the Orlando area. And yes, it is because we want to be close to Disney.

That means we’re going to pack up 5 people, 3 cats, and everything we own, and get in a car and drive for 3 days to a brand new place.

It’s scary and overwhelming and glorious and exciting and it’s so strange to think that in six months we will be blissfully drowning in a central Florida summer as we unpack our lives into a new home.

Deciding to Move

We didn’t make this decision lightly or impulsively, but as with all big life changes, we reached a point where we had to decide to take the leap and hope we land on our feet. 

How did we get from “we love Disney” to “we’re moving to Florida?” How does one decide to actually move to Disney?

Well, we took a little inspiration from ol’ Walt himself, who said, 

First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare.

Walt Disney said, "First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare."

First, Think

You know that feeling when you are at Disney and you have a perfect moment? The one where time slows down and you step back for a second and your heart is overflowing and the world is hugging you and you’re hugging the world and everything is beautiful….

And then you think, “Wow I wish we could stay here forever!

Or maybe…

I wish we could live here!

or…

Can you imagine how wonderful it must be to live close by and be able to come whenever you want!

Yeah, I had many of those moments. But they were just passing thoughts. 

After all, would it be so special if it was an everyday thing?

Second, Dream

And then came the daydreams. The Disney daydreams. And I sighed to my husband, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we lived by Disney?

Dreaming of living by Disney

“Maybe one day we’ll move down there.”

How cool would it be to live right next to one of our favorite places in the world, this place that brings us so much joy and makes us indescribably, stupidly happy?

What a lovely way to spend some time, living close to something that brings you joy.

After all, joy is boundless.

It’s not as if we are each allotted a limited bucket of happy moments for our lifetime. “Use them sparingly lest you run out too soon,” said no one, ever.

Third, Believe

So it started as one of those “wouldn’t it be nice??” thoughts.  Long sigh…

But then I started to think more. 

Why couldn’t we move to Disney? Why can’t we live close to our favorite place in the whole world? We don’t have the money to take frequent vacations. But if we lived close by, we could get resident annual passes… and go WHENEVER we wanted!

So I started doing research online.  I knew that making a move like that would require a lot of planning and a lot of work, but it would be doable.

 When I first brought it up to my husband, he thought I was out of my mind. But then he began to come around until at last, he was as excited about the idea as I was.

After all, why the hell not?

And Finally, Dare

Dare to make your dream your reality.

We decided that it was finally time. The stars are aligning and circumstances in our lives are such that it makes sense for us to move. We are dealing with all of the messy practicalities and nightmare logistics involved in moving a family cross country.  And come summer 2020 we will call central Florida home.

After all, life is too short to not have fun.

Life is too short not to have fun.

Can You Move to Disney World?

Is it even possible to move to Disney World? 

Actually, yes it is! There is a luxury community of single-family homes on Disney property called Golden Oak and it is SWANK.

Add that to my dream list.

But… you can also live NEAR Disney World. So close that you can see the fireworks from your backyard if you’re lucky. 

We probably won’t be that close. We are looking at the surrounding areas in the Orlando suburbs. There are many very lovely neighborhoods within 30 min of the park, and plenty of them are family-friendly and affordable.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Orlando

We’re moving to Disney World!

It sounds ridiculous, I know. Trust me. People have made it very clear how stupid they think we are. 

When people ask me why we are moving to Florida I’ve just started saying, “Because we want to.” And really, isn’t that a good enough reason? 

There are lots of reasons though. I’m just tired of explaining them to people who are not really listening and only seem determined to make us see reason.

Moving across the country is a big undertaking, especially when you are bringing along three kids. Organization, planning, and thinking ahead are key. It was important to me that we thought through the potential implications and downsides of such a big decision.

Though lord knows it’s much more fun to think about the upsides.

What’s the Downside?

  • Leaving friends and family: Probably the biggest downside is that we will be moving away from friends and family. There’s no support system waiting for us in Florida. I know that this will be a hard adjustment for all of us.
  • Weather: Although we are excited about it, we will have to adjust to living in the heat and humidity year-round.
  • Too much Disney: I expect that our experience of Disney will change with familiarity. There’s a chance that it will lose its lustrous sheen. But I’m looking forward to the chance to slow down and deep dive into all of the little magical details.
  • Unforeseen stumbling blocks: There’s always a chance that we will hate our new home. But there’s always that risk when doing something new. Odds are, not everything is going to work out the way we want it to. But that’s ok. Whatever happens, we’ll figure it out.

Moving to the Magic

  • Living close to Disney: The biggest upside, obviously, is being so close to Disney! That is, after all,  what started the whole thing. Being able to go to Disney all the time will be amazing.

But there are other good things about moving to Florida. 

  • Weather: I am tired of the winters in Colorado. I’m tired of sub-zero temperatures and blizzards and people driving like maniacs on ice-covered roads. I’m tired of my skin getting so dry that it cracks and bleeds.
  • Recreation: The mountains are nice, but we don’t ski or snowboard or snowshoe. My husband hates hiking. 

Do you know what we love? The beach. Swimming. Palm trees. Hot weather. Humidity.

We can't wait to live by the beach

And Disney. We really love Disney.

  • Making memories: I want to have fun with my kids. As much fun as possible. They are growing up. SO fast! So yes, I want to play with my kids as much as I possibly can while they are little. And I want to do that in the place that brings us all so so much joy.

I can’t imagine a future in which I look back and say, “Man I wish I didn’t spend so much time with my kids in our favorite place when they were younger.”  

We’re Taking the Plunge

We have thought and analyzed and planned but ultimately this decision was sealed by intuition. My husband and I know this will be a positive step for our family. We know it deep down in our bones. It just feels right.

And who knows what amazing opportunities will open up for us because of this move? We’re going to find out. 

And in the meantime, we’re going to go to Disney World every chance we get.

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22 thoughts on “We Are Moving to Disney World”

  1. My sister in law and family made this move several years ago; it was dream to work as a graphic artist for Disney, which happened. They still love it and live in Davenport. Lots of kid friendly activities. Good luck!

  2. Hi! I live an hour north of the Mouse currently. 😉 Clermont is a great place to live but there are other small towns around it that are cheaper and not much further away from Disney. Groveland and Mascotte are 2. I used to live in Mascotte and it took me tops 45mins to get to the parks. If you have any questions about the areas, let me know. My ex is Clermont PD so he knows all the good and bad areas….
    and Minneola has the best little hole in the wall donut shop. 😁

    1. Read this on the day we found out that the company we both work for is packing up and moving. Every time we go to Disney we say we’re moving here. Don’t want to be so close, as we’re DVC members and want to be far enough away to still enjoy that investment. We’d be moving 2 dogs and 4 cats and a 4 BR house, and I hate the moving process. Add that to having to find new jobs…scared!

  3. We did this! We moved from rural MD. My husband got a job offer to work in Orlando, so we packed up the house, and kids and now we live 15 minutes away from Disney. Away from friends and family, away from everything that the kids have ever known. And its fantastic. We homeschool the kids so we can go to Disney during the week + there is so much for kids and families to do in Orlando. We don’t regret this decision at all.

    1. How was the adjustment for the kids? I feel like they are going to have the hardest time adjusting, just because we are moving away from friends and family.
      That sounds amazing… Ahhhh I’m so excited!!

      1. The kids adjusted amazingly well, they are 6, 8 and 10. Now we video chat with family and are penpals with their friends. And we went from living somewhere they could run around at all hours to living in an apartment -That has been the biggest adjustment. And the amount of people here was the biggest adjustment i had to make, there are more people in our apartment complex than were in the little town we came from. Saying that we love it here and have no plans on moving back.

        1. I have a 4-year-old and 10-year-old twins. I’m definitely more worried about the older two, but we are planning on video chatting frequently! We re living in an apartment now, but we are hoping to eventually get someplace with a yard. We definitely get cooped up!

  4. This is so exciting! I love hearing about families that decide to do this. I hope one day I’ll be able to be down there long term (maybe for retirement, which is a long ways away). Can’t wait to hear more about your experience!

  5. My husband and I have also made the decision to move to ‘Disney’! We are so thrilled at the idea of hitting up a restaurant at the world showcase, just because! We are nervous because we know no one, but are ready for a new adventure! Hope to see you there!

    1. Yesssss I love world showcase!!! And being able to pop in to all of the festivals?? I’m so excited!!!
      We don’t know anyone either! We will be desperate for friends haha

  6. We are totally thinking about taking this plunge and moving from Maine to Florida just for Disney. And we can make so much more money out of state sadly. What is your best advice for people considering this move? We have been researching different places that have good school districts and areas that are good for raising a family.

    1. Research research research! I have been regularly poking around on https://www.zillow.com/ and https://www.realtor.com/ to get a feel for the real estate and rental markets and the different suburbs in the area.
      I also strongly recommend joining Facebook groups for people who are also looking to move down there or just general groups for people who live in the area you are considering. I have learned so so much just from other people’s questions! Two I have found super valuable are Moving to the Magic (https://www.facebook.com/groups/Movingtothemagic/) and Moving to Florida (https://www.facebook.com/groups/788718474528434/?ref=group_browse).
      I also wrote a post about what to consider when you are thinking about moving that you can find here: https://foolsandfairies.com/what-to-consider-when-you-are-thinking-about-moving/
      What areas are you thinking about? We are looking at Clermont and Winter Garden.
      Good luck!

      1. My husband retired and we moved 30 minutes from Disney he got a job there too. We hear the fireworks every night at our house, can see them too if I walk up the street. I love living here, so much to do and just far enough from the parks we don’t deal with tourist traffic.

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