Thoughts on the “No Smoking” Ban and Stroller Restrictions starting Tomorrow

rsz_1img_0715When Disney announced a couple of weeks ago that they would be banning all smoking from it’s Parks and restricting it to the outside of the Park entrances only, I was THRILLED.   I am one of many that gets sick from the smell, and yes, I try to avoid the Cancer corners as much as possible. Going into effect tomorrow, this should be interesting since I have yet to meet a smoker who was happy to be asked to move or smoke elsewhere.  No, really. I have seen them, like all of you have, randomly lighting up anywhere in the Parks. Now I understand that many of our friends are from other Countries where they may be permitted to smoke anywhere they want. But that being said, I have never understood why someone’s bad habit needs to be in my lungs and affect my health. Not ok.  I bite my nails on occasion, it’s my bad habit, it doesn’t affect you. Now if I ran up and started to bite YOUR nails, you may not be to happy either.  Besides with all of the children around, we can do better and give them a healthier environment.  (Cue everything else unhealthy in the Parks comments now).

Speaking of kids…the strollers. This one I know is touchy with many tourists and I GET IT. I had babies brought to Disney World, helped friends with theirs, I KNOW that the stroller is LIFE in those Parks in which everything you need lives in.  BUT as the other side of that coin, the traveler who is by herself and is minding her own business, I have watched the strollers get bigger and bigger and bigger.  I can’t even begin to tell you what my brain tries to process when I see these large wagons getting onto a packed monorail…I actually feel bad for the parents.  They are trying to contain their little humans in an occupied and comfortable space, but when they practically take up the floor space of one Monorail cab…me thinks it may be time to downsize the limo.  I think the one that actually took me off guard was the mini Cinderella Coach model in MK one night.  All I kept thinking was “HOW IN THE WORLD DID THEY TRANSPORT THIS BACK AND FORTH TO THE HOTEL??” I know that these companies move some of them, but I am sure that Disney has wrestled with this gator for awhile.  I hear all the time “Disney was made for families” – well yes and no. It’s made for everyone, family or not.  And I know that EVERYONE should be able to enjoy it, but I feel like at the end of the day it’s more work for those parents to be pushing or pulling a larger model.  I guess we are going to find out.

I feel that I can predict a lot of “I smoked here yesterday” or “I did last trip here” conversations or even possibly angry shouting. I mean are they seriously going to make them walk from let’s say from near Norway to the front or the back entrance of Epcot? Who are these BRAVE Cast Members? Can we give them a hug or medal tomorrow? I can’t even imagine Guest Relations tomorrow…it’s going to be like the “Upside-Down” in “Stranger Things.”

Strollers? I am curious how they are going to police this one. Maybe at Security? Someone has a measuring tape? That won’t hold up the lines AT ALL…… Maybe they will get smart and have a large strollers line so that they can check them, kind of like luggage at the airport.  Resorts would be smart to stop them there first, save the parents the “What do we do now” when they are denied the stroller they brought with them.  I could see them comping people with a nice hard plastic Disney stroller- complimentary love bugs included. (Yep, they’re heeeeeeeere). Between the Studios Anniversary tomorrow and all these rules starting, should make for some interesting daytime fireworks.

Stay tuned and let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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So This Happened on Spaceship Earth Today…

rsz_1img_8441I am blessed to be able to frequent the Parks when I want to during the week. I enjoy going alone as it gives me time to really enjoy the small stuff and share, like I did today. (I share LIVE from the Parks on Facebook if you want to follow along.) But there have been times, that albeit Disney comes off as a safe environment, I didn’t feel that today.

On most rides, they want to fill them as full as possible because the more on, the merrier the line is. I get it. Being alone many times, I am a “single rider” and for the most part, I wind up sitting either alone or I am paired up by MY choosing (like Test Track). But there are some rides, as I discovered today, that should NEVER be ridden alone with a stranger because of the close proximity you are and also your surroundings.

Que Spaceship Earth. We all love this ride, the new and the old, we have a relationship with it. It’s that familiar one that just makes us feel “home.” I was in line today, end of my adventure, and there was a guy behind me that was just too close. Several times bumping me, and like a good person, I ignored him.  We get to the top to load the ride and the CM is shouting “2 to a row” which I freaked out on (in my head).  I didn’t know who is behind me, I just knew I saw some random guy when I turned the first time in line to see who kept bumping me.  Normally I make Craig stand behind me in those situations, but I was on my own with this one.  So I panic, and just decide that the only thing I can do is sit in the left seat, or first seat, the minute I climbed in, thus making it near impossible for the guy to sit next to me unless he wanted to crawl over the top of me. Trust me, I had thought maybe they would make me move over, but I timed it enough that I knew we would hit the climb soon so he had to take what he could.  So he sat…alone…behind me on the other side.

People, I don’t normally get “creeped out” on the attractions, but I was definitely uncomfortable.  I am literally answering the questions on the map in front of me giving this guy what State I live in, then when I am answering all of the questions on the way down, he can see them clear as day and all I can think is he could use them to talk to me after the ride.  I know some of you may think this is a stretch, and I WISH we didn’t live in a world that this could happen, but all I could think about was WHAT IF he was sitting right next to me the entire ride? It’s dark, there isn’t anywhere for me to “jump out” (safely) and run from him. It’s actually a scary thought that I never even thought of until today.

I got off the ride and quickly walked out of the building and took a couple detours before exiting the Park in case I was being followed. I watched my back to my car and obviously I am safe and sound. My point is that in today’s world, we just HAVE to think about these things now to keep each other safe.  He could have been just some random passholder like me riding alone, but my spidey senses told me otherwise. Stay sharp my friends.

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Dealing with Sense of Purpose

rsz_fmrm0238I have been wracking my brain, trying to figure out why I have been so “unsettled” the last few years of my life. There is the obvious marriage stuff and the move from WI to FL, but there was something else that had been bothering me.  What people may not realize, is that Craig and I are young parents. We got married right out of High School and had an instant family.  My entire life has been raising my kids and being a part of this cohesive family unit.  I don’t have the high paying career, or the fancy job- I stayed at home and tried to grow responsible human beings.  I think it worked…I hope it worked..who knows?!

So when we moved to Fl the first time, I had kids that were Junior High and Middle School age…well on their way to becoming young adults.  My focus was holding us all together and keeping the smile on my face at the end of the day, no matter how hard the road got here.  Kyra, then Emily, graduated and became their own persons, that purpose I had for the last 25 years of my life seemed to just vanish.  So not only did I have these moves, and a marriage under construction, but also I was becoming unemployed from the best job ever. And you know what I mean.  This concept of being “settled” is so foreign to me.  I mean, I have a home that’s a place to call so, but I feel like I am always lining up for something else.

I think I have had just so much change in the past 3 years that my mind hasn’t processed it all.  I walk into a Park thinking “How is this my life?” still to this day.  I know I am blessed to be able to have this blog and The Relocated Tourist as a point of purpose to share magic and joy with the World. But without it, I truly felt like I was just floating here.  They don’t give you a handbook after raising your kids that says “Here is what you do next.” (Although I would buy it).  People who have had careers all of their lives have raises and promotions.  After you raise a couple of humans, you get a great feeling, but the “What now” is scary.  It’s just something I am still processing and working on, maybe other Moms out there will get where I am coming from.

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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Keep the Memories, Ditch the Rest

Back in 2011, those who followed us from the beginning know we had an “Epic Garage Sale” which you can read and see here.  https://relocatedtourist.com/2011/05/21/our-epic-garage-sale/

First move, we had decided to get rid of a good 85% of our belongings so we didn’t have to move it all to Florida. Now in hindsight, I will say taking everything we had in just two vehicles was definitely a sense of freedom I had never felt before.  Things tie you down more than you realize, so having little to move was awesome. So that was the good part. The bad part was that when we arrived to our new sunny state home, we had nothing to start with out the gate.  I think we unpacked in under an hour, it was a wall full of bins.  We had to start from scratch, which we had saved for, but the downside was that it was a pain to spend so much time traveling and shopping.  We didn’t know the area at all, so it was a lot of trial and error with different stores. We found a furniture place near the FL Mall that we bought our couches from that TO THIS DAY we think was a con, scam, something shady since they were literally gone the Monday after we had shopped there. So yeah, beware of the “too good to be true” deals. My sofa probably “fell of a truck.”

Second move, back to WI, we tried out “PODS.” Again we cleaned out our home, purged about 50% of our stuff this time so that everything fit into their largest model.  Going back we knew where the furniture stores were and what was available- it wasn’t this question like it was coming to Florida.  I knew I could hit up the garage sales and thrift stores for the smaller stuff and pay much less than to move it. Besides, I like change.

Third move, back to Florida, we purged my apartment and a house full of stuff about 50%. We used “PODS” again (Which I would NEVER USE AGAIN) and packed it full to the point we couldn’t fit our sectional- BUT we got the recliner in.  Mattresses, dining set, bins, clothes, scrapbooks, electronics, kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, these were things that went back and forth with us every time.

What I learned is that you have to be reasonable with yourself on what you will NEED the minute you land in your new pad.  You should have a bin filled with toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, cleaning wipes, paper plates, silverware, cups, your coffee maker, one frying pan and sauce pan, garbage bags, scissors, tablecloth, snacks, a plug-in (in case it smells off), and any other essential you can think of. With every move, we were exhausted from the drive.  It is so much easier to open the ONE bin that has the necessary stuff right away so you can take a breath before you unpack than digging into the nightmare that is the car, truck, or POD.

Of course it cost us money to move every time, but I think we broke even with move two and three. If we had rented another unit, it would have cost us more than the price of the sectional. We took our chances and got an affordable couch here which has worked out fine. Trust me, we have gotten really good at moving. We see a move as a chance to clean out our home, get rid of the clutter and noise that we don’t use and just move on.  We may buy it back down the road, we may never again- that’s the beauty of it.

Keep the memories, ditch the rest.

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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After that First “Wow” is Gone

When you are on vacation here, everything has the “wow” factor. From the moment you step off the plane and onto Magical Express, you are taken into the land of dreams where you are nothing but entertained for the week.  But when you live here, that “wow” is oh so different. My “wows” usually are “Wow, that’s how much a soda is now?” or “Wow, are the Parks ever going to not be crowded anymore” kind of thing.

I remember hanging out with a large group of friends at Studios around my first week here…and I was just in awe. Everything felt good, I just absorbed every little drop of magic, but the rest of them were bored. I was perplexed- how could this be? Had they not moved here as well for the opportunities the magic brought? It wasn’t until we had lunch at Backlot Express that they asked me why I kept smiling. I said “Look where I am. I am getting to play, I am getting to enjoy Disney, and I can do it any time I want.”  And I will never forget my friend Shane looking at me with the most glummest of faces and saying “Just wait, it’ll wear off. It will get old, it will get boring. You are just new to it right now.” Of course the Amy of 2011 took great offense to this, HOW could he just let the air right of my happy bubble??? But now all I can do is nod at that and I hate that he was right.

Once that “wow” wears off, or whatever you want to call it, reality begins to knock at your door. The butterflies tended to flit a bit less in my tummy on Main Street and I just assumed it’s a part of living here. Friends on vacation who would invite me out for drinks, dinner, or to hang out, were in that “mode” where I had just been dealing with school problems or an hour’s worth of traffic.  Life merging with my magic was just annoying. You can spend so much time building up the fantasy in your head of how it will be when you move to Florida, that you can actually forget the “life” part. Kind of like putting all thought and energy into the wedding but not looking past that day into the life you will now have with the other person.

My advice to the new kids coming here is to take it all in small bites- don’t do everything at once. Think of it as your favorite buffet and you want to try everything at a slow and decent pace so that the overindulgence literally doesn’t get you sick.  My problem is that when I stop doing so much at any given time, I feel like I am missing out or that the quiet is to much. Trust me, I am a work in process on that. The good news is that there were many “wow’s” we have had, and I hope that we still have more to come. Time will tell.

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Growing up in WI, getting married and raising my kids for most of our lives there, it was all I ever knew. There wasn’t anything to compare too…until 2011.  When the Petermann family hit the Florida border, a switch was flipped for everything going forward.

I was comfortable raising my kids, working a full-time job, going to church, and attending all of the girl’s school events. It was my norm. Like many of you parents, you fall into a similar routine which takes you through the weekdays, just to have you arriving at the hopefully funner part of life on the weekends.  This was all I knew, so coming to Florida, and the timing of it all, just took my routine and my normal, and dropped it at the first rest stop. I don’t think I was honestly ready for it, but I didn’t have much of a choice once the cars were packed and we were driving away.

See you can’t know what you don’t know…near impossible, until you have LIVED it for yourself.  For months on end in the beginning of our story here I dealt with the neverending thoughts of “But that’s not how it’s done” or “Why would they do it that way?”. It is SO EASY to get consumed with your thoughts when everything is scary and unfamiliar that you forget the exciting parts, the fun parts, and the NEW parts.  I knew they had to exist, otherwise what was the point of flipping my life upside down.

But how do you NOT compare? I tried SO hard to live in the moment, to give it everything I had, but my routine was so messy and hard at that point that all I could do was hold on.  Nope, this wasn’t the same school drop off, the same ice cream place, the same quiet roads home.  It took a long time to open that new chapter for the adventures and joy it would bring, and even harder yet was closing the old one. I think that’s why the move back just didn’t feel right…the story had changed so much that we were pages ahead of everything we had left behind in the first place.

Its ok to look back and compare life with what has passed, but I can tell you it is even healthier to build the new now for a better future.  And I don’t know about you, but when I tend to look back too much, my neck really hurts. Don’t be an Amy….look ahead and you can say I saved your neck!

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

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Vacation or Residence?

I have been actually thinking about writing on this for awhile. One, it’s important to compare the two for those thinking about moving here, and two, it’s just a fun topic to talk about.

So when we were planning a vacation here, we would do everything I am sure you all have. First we would watch every Disney movie on the planet, get out the family calendar, pick the dates, ask off for work, and then the real fun and planning began. Back then, sites were just starting up so we would enjoy watching ride videos on YouTube and basically if a site had “Disney” in it, we were hooked. When to go, what to book, where to eat….the planning was the BEST PART!!

Then came the anticipation. The build-up as we plunked down change into the water cooler, took a piece of the countdown chain down every day, and our lingo was always about the trip to come. Outfits to wear, what luggage to bring, how to pack efficiently, and of course, leaving a bag empty for those Disney souvenirs. The day would come, you could hardly contain the excitement!! Whether you were driving or flying, bags were packed, kids had gone to the bathroom, and you were ready for that amazing adventure in Florida.  I bet even now I have someone excited to plan their next trip.

But when you live here, that changes. First, for us, the build-up was gone.  The anticipation was slightly there like “Hey I’m going to Magic Kingdom tomorrow” kind of stuff but not that crazy, fun, excited feeling we used to get.  On vacation, the Parks are fresh. There is always something new, something you didn’t see before, some type of food or drink to try and of course the merch always changes. So with every trip, it was different.  Having gone in multiple times to the Parks in the same week, yes, it can get old. I used to come around the corner on Main Street with tears welled up in my eyes, the magic growing inside me with each step I took, my kids hands in mine, my husband glowing with happiness…  it’s just not the same now. It’s still special, it just changed.

I traded the excitement and newness for date nights, hang outs with friends, and the occasional exclusive popcorn bucket.  Doesn’t sound to bad does it? It really isn’t. I have loved and cherished each moment and experience in the Parks. It as been nice to go to different concerts, get my AP magnet, and enjoy people watching as a sport. But that being said, once you have seen a lot of the concerts, eaten all types of  food, bought tons of the merch, the “what’s next” factor gets kind of fuzzy. I for one am personally in the camp of “Did it once, bonus points if I get to do it again, but I will live if I don’t.”  You learn fast that vacation money and daily life money are two VERY different things.  I have the normal life budget that I can on occasion splurge on a shirt or cup, but who can afford to eat and drink in the Parks on a weekly basis without going broke? I bring in my own waters and soda, granola bars and snacks.  I grab a cup of ice from a counter service and enjoy my drink while i stroll the Park.  Trust me, it actually gets hard sometimes to know you can’t just eat or buy whatever you’d like. It’s a magical world of mouse temptations.

Let’s just say that I look forward to planning my vacations again in the future.

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!

$5.00