“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”!

Keep in mind the question has never been “do we want to move to Disney?” The answer to that has always been a resounding “yes!” The real question was “are we going to do it or not?” The five-year plan mentioned in that previous post was all about trying to make the decision on whether to stay or move easier. We thought using our brains and doing smart things like getting our house in shape and saving money would give us clarity as to whether this dream was something we should pursue.

But as the song says, “a dream is a wish your heart makes”. And after nine months of discussions, reading blogs by people who made the move, watching videos from locals at the parks, looking at houses in the area, and generally just imagining our lives there, we’ve come to an unmistakable conclusion.

We really want to live close to the magic for the rest of our lives — and we’re going to make it happen!

While our brains may be able to help get us there, it was our hearts that had to make the decision.

So where do we go from here? Well for starters, this blog is now about our journey to get to Orlando! Our deadline of trying to make a decision by 2022 has become when we want to be there by! And we now have a lot of work to do!

Using that date as a goal we only have three years to get there. That may seem like forever — and it does feel that way when we’re watching our favorite Disney vloggers spending a warm evening at Disney Springs while we’re freezing up here in Tennessee! But in terms of doing those smart things mentioned above we need to pick up our pace. We have three fairly big projects we want to get done to prepare the house for sale. And they aren’t going to be cheap! That means we may only be able to do one of them each year. If you’re doing the math, that gives us no wiggle room at all!

We’re also going to be making our very first research trip next month! We’re obviously not going to be looking at houses at this point — or even specific neighborhoods yet. Our goal for this trip is to get a feel for the different areas around the parks: what they’re like, how the typical houses in our price range compare, traffic conditions, what’s nearby, etc. Looking at individual houses on Trulia is fun and somewhat useful, but seeing the area around the house is something we can’t really do online. Another thing difficult to judge from here is commute times to the parks. Online map estimates are very inconsistent, so getting to drive the actual roads to see for ourselves will be so helpful. And just getting a general sense of the layout of everything will make our later online searches that much more meaningful.

Something else we need to look into that we haven’t really considered much is what else is out there besides Disney that might be of interest to future locals? In the limited amount of time available during vacations, we immerse ourselves in the magic. Which means not leaving the property unless necessary. So beginning to figure out what other options the Orlando area has to offer is also on the agenda. While Disney may be the reason we’re coming, our entire life won’t revolve around the mouse, will it…!?

We made the (painful!) decision not to visit a park while there. It would just be too distracting and we need to work. That doesn’t mean there will be no time for fun. We’ll definitely be hitting Disney Springs. We have to at least take a monorail ride. And reservations at Whispering Canyon Cafe have already been made! But not spending any of the few days we’ll be in town at a park will help us keep focused on the research we need to do.

If you can’t tell, we’re very excited! Making this decision ended up being easy, but now comes the really hard parts: the work to make it a reality… and the wait!