Advertisement

I left NYC after 20 years so I could live near Disney World. Florida's been great despite some big drawbacks.

The writer wears a purple shirt and mouse ears and eats a Mickey Mouse ice-cream sandwich
I moved from NYC to Florida in 2023.Jenna Clark
  • I moved from New York City to Florida to be closer to one of my favorite places, Disney World.

  • I love frequently visiting the characters and going to the parks at least three times a week.

  • However, I'm still adjusting to the severe storms and not living as close to my family.

As someone who lived in New York City for over 20 years, moving to Florida was a significant change.

I live about 15 minutes away from Disney World, and though I love visiting the parks, I definitely miss some things about NYC.

Here are a few of the best and worst parts of moving from NYC to Florida.

I can visit the Disney parks multiple times a week.

The writer wears a shirt with Minnie Mouse on it, a black skirt, and mouse ears next to a cutout of a Muppet with a sign that says "Muppet 3D Vision"
I'm happy whenever I'm at Disney World. Jenna Clark

One great thing about living so close to Disney World is that I can go to the parks whenever I want, as long as reservations are available for annual passholders.

I usually visit three or four times a week because the parks bring me so much happiness.

I enjoy meeting the characters, so if I'm having a hard day and want to see Mickey Mouse or a princess, I don't have to commute very far.

I frequently get to spend time with my friends at the parks.

Three girls, including the writer, wear mouse ears and smile for the camera. The girl on the left wears a pink and blue sweatshirt with a castle on it, the girl in the middle wears a green jacket and red sweatshirt, and the writer, on the right, wears a pink fleece hoodie with Chip and Dale on it
I can finally hang out with my Florida friends regularly.Jenna Clark

Most of the friends I made during my time in the Disney College Program in 2018 now live in Florida.

Since moving, I've met with them to watch the parades, visit characters, and eat snacks in the parks.

It's nice to go to the parks, enjoy each other's company, and not feel rushed during every experience.

I can easily try the new, creative snacks Disney rolls out.

The writer wears purple mouse ears and a purple shirt and holds a purple-and-orange cupcake for Halloween
I love the cute, themed snacks at Disney World.Jenna Clark

The creative snacks are one of my favorite parts of visiting Disney World.

I love trying the different cupcakes, brownies, and Mickey crisped-rice treats that celebrate holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and Father's Day.

I often enjoy the Mickey ice-cream sandwiches and bars, especially when the heat is unbearable.

Most of the people I've met in Florida have been friendly.

A girl wearing a blue dress with tea cups on it, Peter Pan character at Disney World, and the writer wearing a purple shirt and mouse ears
Disney's staff members always brighten my day.Jenna Clark

I was born and raised in New York City, so I was taught not to make eye contact or say hello to most people when walking on the street.

One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Florida was how friendly many people were, especially the staff at Disney World.

Whenever I pass by people at my apartment complex or in the parks, a wave or a "hello" is often involved.

Though this initially felt strange, I've become more comfortable interacting with strangers.

I can see glimpses of Magic Kingdom's fireworks from my apartment.

Purple and yellow fireworks at Disney World
* I'm lucky that I can see Disney's fireworks from my apartment. Jenna Clark

I never thought I'd be able to see Magic Kingdom's fireworks from my apartment, but now I can.

Though I don't have a complete view of the shows, I see at least a couple of magical fireworks each night.

On the other hand, Florida has more intense storms than New York.

Wilderness lodge, with several balconies and log details, at Disney World. Trees and bushes a side walk with fallen branches and leaves are in the foreground
I stayed in the Wilderness Lodge at Disney World during Hurricane Ian.Jenna Clark

I thought I knew what heavy rain was like living in New York, but I didn't realize how extreme tropical storms and hurricanes could be until I moved to Florida.

Although New York has been hit directly by a handful of hurricanes in the past few years, Florida is the most hurricane-prone state in the US.

The storms in Florida can get pretty extreme. When I had to evacuate my apartment complex and ride out Hurricane Ian, my first big Florida storm, I chose to stay at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.

It was a frightening experience, but I thought the park employees did a great job ensuring guests were as comfortable as possible.

Still, I try to stay on top of extreme weather warnings and upcoming storms more than ever now that I'm in Florida.

The heat can be brutal, especially when waiting for outdoor attractions.

The writer stands in front of a ride at Disney World with tea cups. The writer wears a white skirt, purple shirt, mouse ears, and a purple backpack
Now that I live in Florida, I use a lot more sunscreen.Jenna Clark

Florida is known for its high temperatures and strong sun rays, so I apply sunscreen much more often than I did in New York.

Many of the attractions and shows at the theme parks are outdoors, so if I forget my sunscreen, I get a harsh sunburn that lasts for several days.

The tap water doesn't taste as good as it did in NYC.

A hand with pink nails holds a red Coca-Cola cup in front of a wooden door
In my opinion, the Florida tap water isn't as good as the water in NYC.Jenna Clark

After living in New York for about 20 years, I grew accustomed to the taste of tap water.

Since I made drinking tap water a habit, I usually bring my reusable water bottles with me when I visit the theme parks.

However, I find that Florida's tap water doesn't taste as great.

I miss my family and often experience homesickness.

Selfie of the writer and family in front of a sign that says "Disney's Yacht Club Resort Welcome Clark Family." The writer wears a headband with Mickey Mouse hands, another girl with pink hair wears pink mouse ears, and the mother wears green mouse ears
I love it when my parents visit us in Florida.Jenna Clark

I moved to Florida with my sister but often miss my parents and family back in New York.

It's hard knowing I can't take a 40-minute train ride to see my parents on the weekends like I did in college.

It's nice when my parents do come to visit, though.

Read the original article on Business Insider