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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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.

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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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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The Reality of Living Near the Fantasy…Part Four

The Over-development Syndrome.

When we moved here in 2011, the suburb we had found was already built, really no room to add on too. Large front lawns and long driveways, it was a nice lot size you had to yourself. But as we found out, you can find a nice suburb already built, but that doesn’t mean the surrounding area can’t be.  In our first area, a large water park, vacation home mega-plex was born…and it made a two lane road a living nightmare.

It seems to be a sickness here that they can’t build more enough, fast enough, high enough, and you can forget about leaving a tree here or there to actually enjoy. No they bulldoze them all and then bring back different ones to plant….I mean, what??? Condos, townhomes, and vacation homes seem to find their way to every nook and cranny of space that we had left in our area.  I don’t care if they want to build, kudos to knowing the market. Why it’s annoying is that we don’t have the infrastructure to support it not only here in my area, but most of Central Florida.  For every new occupied unit and home, you are looking at an average of 2 or more cars to each of them. When I see a development going up, I get incredibly triggered because I know there are probably 300 or more new cars that will be coming on the already congested highways and toll roads. Commuting here is already a living nightmare…it will only get worse.

It seems a lot of the problem is that these developers come in from other Countries, buy up a piece of land, choose their house, hotel, whatever to land on it (Kind of like Monopoly) and then collect the checks without ever living here. Why that is a problem is that they aren’t seeing the stress of the roads that surround their new structures, or the traffic flow problems…they don’t have to deal with it so why would they bother caring.

More housing brings more people, which brings more traffic, which brings more road rage and accidents, which brings everyone stress, which then inevitably creates a hostile and overpopulated daily life. Not “magical” at all.

Let me end with this, I KNOW there are some of you who have dreamed of living here, currently moving here, etc.. and I am here just telling you my side of things, my story.  I think it is critically important to hear the good with the bad so that you can have a clear perspective… no one likes a blindside, unless you are on “Survivor.”

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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The Reality of Living Near the Fantasy…Part Three

The Theme Parks

One of the first reasons we wanted to move to sunny Florida was to enjoy the Parks anytime we wanted too. The thought of having that freedom of going on a whim after dinner or on a Sunday afternoon seemed to good to be true. What people don’t tell you is that EVERYONE else has the same idea.  What I thought would be an easy drive over, maybe have a snack or meal, ride a ride and head home was a lot more complicated than I thought.

First lets talk about how much the Parks have changed. It is no mystery that the local doesn’t get a whole lot of love from Disney.  Yes you get your discount from the Annual Pass, flex payments are a plus, but our hours seem to be shrinking more and more for us to enjoy. With the addition of “Not So Scary” parties starting as early as AUGUST 16th (because you know, everyone is carving pumpkins and wearing costumes in August…. I mean, COME ON I am still in my swim suit!!) it has made it nearly impossible to enjoy an evening at Magic Kingdom from August until January. Why? The parties take up a good number of nights during the week, so clearly unless the local wants to buy a ticket, you aren’t getting in. And of course they aren’t every night, but the nights that there ISN’T a party, everyone on vacation goes those nights, leaving not a whole lot of “wiggle room” for the local to enjoy a decent evening at Magic Kingdom.  Yes, I know someone is thinking “We go anyways”- great, enjoy, but I don’t find anything relaxing or magical about fighting the crowds, in the heat, and standing in the long lines to just get out of that Park at the end of night.

Epcot’s endless Festivals. So at first we started with “Food and Wine”, and “Flower and Garden.”  It was nice, it was spaced out enough to give a fresh feel to everyone enjoying it, Spring and Fall had an excitement to it. Now personally, I think someone got sick of moving those food booths back and forth out of World Showcase, so they were like “Hey. let’s think of more Festivals to keep them out all year long.”  Now we have Festival of the Arts and Festival of the Holidays sandwiched in between the longer running two. I do love the Arts one, it’s different and I love to see Artists shine in the spotlight, but unfortunately they have saturated that Park now with them. What was special in the past is becoming just the norm there now.  Every Festival has their signature, overpriced drinks and some can be delicious, but with that abundance of varieties bring the drunks out. I have read some never see these large groups of people with their nasty shirts, falling all over guests as they drink way to much, but having lived here many years now, I can tell you I have seen a lot of them. I don’t care if you want to drink, I drink, just balance it out and REALIZE you are at Disney World and not Universal. Have some class while there are families making special memories around you- no one wants to remember your ugly behavior as their trip to Disney.

Fastpasses? Well, we have to wait until 30 days out to book them. Resort guests get a 60 day window, and the rumor is that they will soon be selling the opportunity to buy Fastpasses. What does that mean? It means that as a local, I may never ride the new Star Wars ride unless I wait in line for I am sure hours. And let me debunk this idea of “Locals can go anytime” because it’s horse bunk.  We can’t. Like I said before, Parties and special events, some have blocked out dates, large crowds mean they will close at capacity, Holiday weeks are insane, and so on.  What used to be down time after Labor day, end of January, late February has been replaced with race events and free dining. Even with New Years and Fourth of July, our family did both ONCE. Why? You have to be IN the designated Park of your choice pretty much ALL day to be guaranteed a decent viewing spot and in case they close at capacity. I will tell you- I loved seeing them once, great experience, but imagine your own town’s craziness with the fireworks and your own traffic and then multiply it by ten. It just isn’t what it used to be to just head to the Parks.

Yes, I still enjoy them and I will always love my Disney. But as I said, things have changed and with Star Wars opening in a few months, I fear we will see crowds here like never before. When they can’t see SW these crowds will spill over into the other Parks, onto 192 businesses and restaurants, and it just won’t be fun to try to get anywhere for awhile or ever. I hope I am wrong.

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

Let’s start with this…

Well, its been 5 years since the last time I blogged. 5 years…wow. Saying it out loud in my head is crazy. So much has happened in that span of time that I’m not even sure where to start. So lets start with this…I love writing. It was, and is, my God given talent and I KNEW back in 2009 that I had it in me to reach out and connect to other liked minds.  It WAS my purpose and still feel it is.

And then I stopped. I just stopped. Why? I could give you the sugar coated answer but in the World these days, I really appreciate when I can get a straight answer from someone. So let me be frank, I let people get to me. I let online bullies and haters run my passion right into the ground.  Yes, I am human and not all of us are equipped for the large amounts of negativity. And enough of the “Just ignore them” because every single person KNOWS they should ignore it and move on.  I knew it.  It’s that simple. I knew I had something amazing, and I just had to take a break and make sure that I was ok, my family was ok, and that it was even worth it.  My family isn’t sure what to think of “The Relocated Tourist” anymore because for them it was a trigger for the monthly drama. They didn’t like seeing how it affected me when all I wanted to do was share my love of Disney and FL living. I have grown much thicker skin since then, and I have learned a lot about who is and isn’t my friend. I also decided that I have no interest in competing with anyone in the Community. Haven’t you ever noticed that? When I moved here in 2011, I had been writing for awhile at that point, not a care in the World about what the FL Community would think. I mean come on people….it’s DISNEY!!! The minute I got here, I was thrown into “groups” and who you weren’t supposed to talk to, and that person over there is the first at everything, blah blah blah.  I got caught up in it. It became this “thing” to be invited to this event, or getting in fast enough for another. You didn’t go into the Parks anymore for the magic, you were there for every obsessive follow, like, and comment.  You weren’t somebody if you weren’t on the Press list…and anyone who was on it didn’t seem interested in helping me get there.  Soon I was regurgitating all of the same stuff every other site was, with zero fresh, or interesting, content- just trying to keep up. Why would anyone care I am at the same Disney Anniversary as everyone else? I had truly forgotten what had made me special, what had made my story connect to SO many people. It was MY story….nobody else could take that away from me, and I just needed that break to remember it.

Then there was the issue of me- I used to hate that I had such a soft heart for people. I was once told that my crying was a “sign of weakness” and that I should never do it again.  To those I say, F you. I care. I care about how others are treated,  I care about my relationships, and I care about reaching and helping others any way that I can. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I am done apologizing for it. I am an “Empath” in it’s truest form, which is a fancy word for someone who can pick up quite easily on other’s emotions.  This is truly why I feel I have connected so deeply with many of you.  I knew what it was like to want to live here, or enjoy Disney all the time, or even the FL sun. I hope I can connect with you again on how life TRULY is in Florida and give some real perspective on it…the honeymoon phase is over.

So that’s why I am back…I missed you. I missed me. I missed writing. I missed connecting with friends and building each other up in ways that we only knew how. I love that a kind word or phrase can make someone’s day, and any time I can inspire you to live outside the box, I am happy.

There’s so much to tell you all about what life has been like over the past 5 years, including a move back to WI, then back to FL, and so many ups and downs in between. I am excited to share with you, I am ready for whatever comes, and I thank you for being a part of my journey. Hakuna Matata!

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