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1,000 days to go

Sometime after making it official that we were going to move to be closer to Disney World, we decided to pick a date to use as a placeholder as we started making plans. Obviously we don’t know the exact date we’re going to move. But in starting to consider things like how far in advance we should put our house on the market or how long it will take us to establish residency for tuition purposes, it became handy to have an actual date to use in those calculations. We chose June 15, 2022. We decided on that date because it would be about one month after our son’s high school graduation. That should give us time to celebrate his milestone properly without having to immediately move out. (Don’t misunderstand — I’m sure we’ll be up to our ears in getting ready to move well before then. But the month leeway means we won’t have to be rushing to get in the car and head south as soon as he gets handed his diploma!)

A side benefit to having a provisional date is we can count down to it! And you better believe we’ve been doing that since we chose it. As of today, we only have 1,000 days until we move to Disney! I can’t describe how exciting that sounds! I’ve put a countdown on the sidebar of the blog, and knowing it’s going down to triple digits tomorrow is almost unbelievable.

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One year down…

One year ago today I made my first post here on the site, publically announcing… we were a little crazy! Twelve months later that diagnosis has only been confirmed — with maybe the two biggest proofs being us having made our first official research trip to the area without even visiting a single park, and with our apparent willingness to pay Disney while we exercise!

Writing this blog has helped make the idea we’re moving to Disney seem more real since it’s still so far away. But I have to admit, just a year later the move seems scarily soon! Every time I look around the house and think of the things we need to do prepare it for an eventual sale, three years suddenly feels like no time at all!

Thanks for following along with us so far! I know right now this is mostly just a journal of our thoughts. But hopefully one day it will be more useful to others who are considering following us down to the magic!

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Disney World has so many different entertainment options that it’s hard to imagine anyone couldn’t find something that interests them: thrill rides, calm rides, shows, dining, shopping, horseback riding, boating, archery, scuba diving, camping, fishing, gaming, spas, dancing, golfing, swimming, bowling, movies, behind the scenes tours, animal encounters, biking, photography, good old people watching, and so much more. With all those incredible options available to us, I find it hard to believe that one of the ones I’ve been most excited about lately is exercising!

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Research trip #1

Now that we’ve decided we’re actually going to make the move to Disney, it’s time to stop dreaming about it and start making it a reality. So in mid-March we took our first research trip to the Orlando area. As I mentioned in February, we weren’t looking for a house — we’re much too far away from leaving to do that! And we weren’t looking at specific neighborhoods really. Our goal was to start discovering the pro ands cons of the general areas around Disney World. Once we find an area we’re interested in, then we can start drilling down into it.

We spent five days in town (including our arrival and departure days). Overall it was a successful trip. We learned a lot we didn’t know, found some new things we need to look into, and made some time for fun as well!

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“The Decision” made!

The big question behind this site that we’ve been trying to figure out over the last nine months is “do we stay here in Tennessee for the rest of our lives, or uproot and make the move to live near Disney World?” In a previous post, I mentioned the plan we had come up with gave us five years to answer that question.

Way ahead of schedule… we’ve made “the decision”!

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Virtual house hunting

While the idea that one day soon we hope to pack up and head to Disney World for good is exhilarating, the actual waiting until that day can be downright depressing! We’re just not close enough to leaving to where we can do anything useful yet. But we have found a way to scratch the moving itch that is also of some value in our planning — virtual house hunting.

Of course, we’re not actually looking for a house this far out. But through online searching we are starting to get an idea of what we want and where we want to be.

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2018 is coming to an end in a couple of weeks, and it has been an impactful year for my family. Deciding that living near Disney is something we want to move from dream to reality is going to change our lives, even if in the end we stay put — at least we’ll have made the attempt.

To celebrate, this year we decided to start a Disney Christmas tree tradition in our house. We usually put up two trees every year: a big, real tree with all our sentimental family ornaments that goes in front of the picture window; and a second, smaller, fake tree with generic decorations that we put either downstairs in the den or next to a different window. This year the smaller tree is now home to all the Disney ornaments we’ve collected over the years. Compared to “normal” non-Disney people we have a lot! But there aren’t a ton yet since they’ve always had to share space with all our other ornaments. But we’ll now be able to start collecting more — starting with a “2018” ornament we bought to commemorate the start of our five-year plan.

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In my very first post I listed some of my inspirations for creating a site to document our plans to move to Disney. I then put those links in my sidebar so they’d be on every page of the site within easy reach of readers. But there is another link I put over there at the very top that I hadn’t mentioned yet. That link leads to an inspiration, not for this site, but for the entire idea behind the site. WDW Radio. I wanted to wait to mention them until I could do an entire post about my favorite podcast of all time! After getting even more excited than usual about one of their recent shows (you should have no trouble guessing the topic!), what better time than now.

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Visiting Disney!

For the first time since we decided moving to Disney is something we really want to do, we got to take a quick trip to Orlando! As I mentioned in the previous post, my daughter was going to a hospitality camp at the University of Central Florida. So we decided that on the day after we pick her up we would spend a day at Disney World before heading back to Tennessee. This was not going to be a long, relaxing vacation. It was more of a pitstop. But I knew we would be visiting Disney with a different mindset this time.

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We’ve decided to seriously consider “The Move”. Now we need to come up with “The Plan”. As I mentioned in the previous post, we don’t know how this journey will end. So the plan isn’t explicitly about “how do we move to Disney”? The plan is more about “How can we make the decision on whether to stay in Tennessee or move to Disney easier?”

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Big Disney parks fans probably at some point in their life consider “The Move”. They say, “Disney World is so great, wouldn’t it be cool to live there?” For most, it’s a fun thought but quickly put aside. But for a few adventurous (or maybe just crazy) ones it can become an obsession.

My wife, kids, and parents took our first big family trip to Disney World in 2005, and it was kind of life-changing! Ever since then we’ve toyed with the idea of making The Move but we never really took it too seriously. It was always a maybe-one-day-far-down-the-road idea. Recently, due to some potential changes in our lives we started thinking “why not just do it if we’re going to do it?”

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