October 31, 2018
Apologies for the delay between posts. I usually try to update the site during the last week of the month. Unfortunately I was ill the end of September and by the time I was better I was busy with a big project for another of my websites. (The 15th anniversary of Animated Views — check us out Disney fans!)
In my very first post here I listed some of my inspirations for creating this site. I then put those links in my sidebar. But there was another link there at the top that I hadn’t mentioned yet. 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 probably my favorite podcast of all time! After getting extra excited about one of their recent shows (you should have no trouble guessing the topic!), what better time than now.
I starting listening to the Lou Mongello helmed podcast in the mid-to-late 2000s. We’d play our favorites on the drive down to Orlando for my parents to listen to and to get us excited for what was coming! But my affection for the show was cemented after a major medical issue I had in 2011. I attended rehab for several months afterwards and listening to back episodes of WDW Radio helped get me through.
It was in following Mongello I discovered that the dream of moving to Disney was a reality for many people rather than just a nutty notion. He had actually done it! Quit his job, uprooted his family, and headed to Florida! Specifically because of Disney World! And he wasn’t crazy!
While he never shied away from the topic when it would come up organically, in over 500 episodes Mongello never had a show dedicated to moving to Disney — until now!
In a two-part, almost four hour show titled “Moving to Disney” (great title!), Mongello and a group of friends discuss many of the things one might want to know before following their lead. If you’re in the same boat as me and are considering making the move, make some time to listen to this podcast. There’s no way I could comment on everything they discuss, and I’m not going to try! Instead, here’s his description of the episode:
“This week’s show is an episode that is literally 10 years in the making, as moving my family, my business, and my entire life to Walt Disney World was one of the most important decisions of my life. This week, I gather members of the WDW Radio Nation who are not only friends, but neighbors, as we share our experiences about moving our families to Walt Disney World. In the first part of our two-part conversation about Moving to Disney World, we will cover topics including making the decision to move, timing, logistics, sequence, location, buying vs. renting, neighborhoods, schools, kids, pets, cost of living, and even the weather. We share not only our personal experiences, but real-world, practical advice… just in case you’ve been thinking about making the move to Disney as well.
“In part 2 of our roundtable discussion about Moving to Disney World, I am joined by members of the WDW Radio Nation who are now also neighbors. We will continue our conversation, starting with employment, including finding or creating a job, and the timing of finding work vs. finding a place to live. We also address the very important topic of relationships, in terms of leaving friends and family, as well as finding new friends, and yes, new family as well. We’ll also talk about the actual realities of making the move, including what we would do differently, what we miss, lessons we leaned, and practical advice to share. Of course, we’ll also talk about how our Disney experience has changed, including advantages of living so close to the parks, and whether the Disney magic is still there. We’ll punctuate the entire discussion about our move to Disney with a quick Top Ten Reasons (other than Disney) to move to Disney.”
I do have a few minor quibbles with this episode. Most of Mongello’s shows are slickly produced and professional. This roundtable discussion felt more like a free-for-all. It could have used a little more editing, but I can see how that would have been a huge hassle in a show of this length. There also wasn’t a lot of diversity: they’re all around the same age it seems, they all came from the northeast United States, and they all moved to the same area of Orlando. So you won’t get much info on moving to Disney for college or retirement. Talk of other neighborhoods was a little limited. And some of their experiences probably don’t apply to people from other parts of the country. (During discussions about housing and the cost of living they expressed shock about how inexpensive it was in Orlando. They also spent time talking about how friendly the people are. Both of those things are just the south in general y’all!)
Ignore that last paragraph though! This is an easy to recommend episode! If you’re a newbie to WDW Radio, it’s a must-subscribe podcast: be sure to listen to his other shows. The best thing about each episode is this isn’t just a job for Mongello; you can hear the love he has for Disney. And that love is something those of us considering the move — and those who have already done it — all obviously share!
— WDW RADIO: Moving to Disney, Part 1
— WDW RADIO: Moving to Disney, Part 2