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Living Near Disney

Discussion in 'Vacation Homes and Villas' started by riogirl, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. riogirl

    riogirl Active Member

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    I will preface this by saying I am not sure if this is the exact thread for my questions but here goes-
    I am planning to spend next summer in the Disney/ Universal area . I am a teacher and dream of one day living in the area, so I am planning to spend a month or so living in the area to get a "feel" of actually being a future resident. I would love to know neighborhoods that rent monthly where I can "live" that will give me a taste without feeling like I am living at a hotel. We plan to explore the area attractions and head over to both coasts and just live while possibly running over to a park when we feel like it! I also would like to know what kind of passes are the most economical for Universal and Disney. We won't be visiting every single day but a lot. Any and all advice and guidance will be appreciated!!! Thanks!
     
  2. landauh

    landauh Active Member

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    Since you are only planning on a month or so look into Vacation Rentals. There are many of them (some are manufactured home that the owners are only Snowbirds). Use Google to help you.
     
  3. Chernaboggles

    Chernaboggles Well-Known Member

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    We've done this a couple times (though the last trip got cut short) and have two more scheduled. Our theme for the first month-long trip was just like yours ("Let's Pretend We Live Here!") and it was tons of fun. Here's the trip report for the first trip, I think I have some stats in there somewhere about how many times we went to the parks, for how long, all that stuff.

    Housing:
    Try VRBO or HomeAway (same company, but often different listings), and check rates. Many places have monthly rentals, sometimes at a pretty decent discount versus what you'd pay for 4 individual weeks.Often the monthly price won't be listed, so you'd have to ask. Start looking ASAP because summer books up very fast. Pay attention to things like kitchen amenities (is there decent cooking equipment, etc.), stuff that doesn't matter during a week's vacation can become pretty important during a month-long trip. Location is very important, it helps a lot to be within 10 minutes drive of whichever park you think you'll go to most.

    Park Passes:
    We get annual passes for Disney and I highly recommend it. The free parking is a great perk, and if you decide to do it again the next year, you can always time your second trip fall under the same annual pass for even more value. We've found that Disney World by itself is more than enough to keep us busy for a month, and thus far haven't bought any additional attraction passes (Universal), but it's something we may consider in the future. Universal APs are cheaper, though, so if you don't want to spring for both you'd just have to decide which you'd visit more. Bear in mind that since you'll be doing this in summer, the crowds will be much higher, which may make it harder to just pop in and ride a bunch of stuff in a short time.

    Crazy Tolls:
    If you're going to be doing a lot of driving around, consider getting a SunPass, which is the Florida version of an EZ pass (because, at least as of our last trip, EZ pass wasn't accepted down there). There are a crazy amount of toll roads and often the tolls have no attendants and only take coins.

    The Crash
    Be ready for it. When you go home (unless you've learned that you don't enjoy Florida as much as you though you would), there may be a crash. It's like post-vacation depression, but much more intense and it can be very disorienting. Living in a rental house for a month may make the idea of living there full time very attractive, but the life you live for that month isn't exactly "real". It feels real at the time, but it's not the same as a full move. The house feels clean and uncluttered because nobody actually lives there. You'll have set things up ahead of time at your regular home, so you're not worried about the work-a-day world, your bills, and so on. Minor inconveniences like traffic don't really get to you when it's just for a month, because you know in the back of your mind that you're leaving. The whole thing is a kind of ideal version of what actually living in the area would be like, which can be dangerous if you're using this as a test case for a possible move. If you're prone to post-vacation blues, consider preparing some things in advance to help you ease back into your regular home life. Stash a couple gift cards to local restaurants or a home store, so you have something to look forward to when you get back.

    If you've got any specific questions or need any more info, just let me know!
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
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  4. riogirl

    riogirl Active Member Original Poster

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  5. riogirl

    riogirl Active Member Original Poster

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    thank you very much for your extensive response. do you mind telling me where you lived? I could appreciate the way you explained that it isn't actually "real" life, but in reality I know I will not be able to easily move down there without jobs, etc. It would just be nice to live nearby all the attractions for a while. The one thing that does deter me is the crowds. summer is the worst for that...so that would be the only thing that keeps me from actually doing this! If I do this I would love to contact you again and pick your brain. Thanks again
     
  6. Chernaboggles

    Chernaboggles Well-Known Member

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    .
    Even with the crowds, you'd probably still have a great time. The parks are open later in summer, and if you're not working during the day, you'd have a lot of flexibility. We usually stay in Kissimmee, off RT. 192 near the entrance to the parks. So far we've been renting townhouses in gated communities that are a mix of vacation homes and full-time residents. The Crestwynd Bay community is our favorite, but we also liked Encantada, which is a couple more miles down the road. There's also the Westgate resort, which is in the same area but we haven't tried it. I had no clue where to start when I began looking - I just plugged my search criteria into VRBO and HomeAway and narrowed it down from there. We travel with our big dog, though, which narrowed our rental choices considerably.

    Hit me up anytime if you think of more questions. Happy to help if I can.
     

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