We moved to the central Florida area this time last summer and let me tell you, it has been the best decision of our lives. As a family of four with two elementary school-aged kids, central Florida has been a dream come true.
But while living in the world’s top family vacation destination has its perks, it’s also completely spoiled us rotten. It’s so bad that we can’t decide on where to travel to out of state because, let’s face it, everything in Orlando is bigger, better, and faster.
Here are 15 things only people who live in Orlando will understand …
1. Every day is like the 4th of July
If you live in the Windermere or Dr. Phillips area, there’s a good chance that you can see fireworks blasting off from either Disney World or Universal Studios every single night. And it’s completely free.
2. Gators are a real fear
Yes, they exist and most Orlando parents have chaperoned their children’s school field trip to Gatorland. Leave it to Central Florida to take something creepy and make an attraction out of it.
3. Snakes are, too
A few months after we moved here, I opened up my garage door to find a large black snake hibernating by my children’s bikes. Needless to say, I FLIPPED OUT. This summer I accidentally killed one with our lawn mower, as they love to hide out in our front lawn. Please don’t call PETA.
4. We have our own rating system for hurricanes
Category 1: that’s just a light drizzle.
Category 2: we get a little more than a sprinkle, big whoop.
Category 3: we might want to park the cars in the garage.
Category 4: time to go to Home Depot and buy extra window shutters JIC.
Category 5: Fine, we’ll pack the van and head outta town.
5. Our kids are future pro-golfers
That’s because we’ve got some of the best mini-golf attractions in the world for them to practice on.
6. Vacationing in other parts of the country sucks
Impressing Orlando kids is HARD WORK. Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel and see what our beautiful country has to offer, but when your kids grow up going to state-of-the-art water and amusement parks, seeing similar attractions in other states can look like a bore in comparison. Our standards are high, and I mean REALLY high. Sesame Street Place and Six Flags are great, but nothing compares to the Mouse’s House.
7. Choosing a birthday party spot is tough
There are just too many options. Orlando is more than just Disney World and Universal Studios — we’ve got the Crayola Experience, a chocolate museum, the Blue Springs State Park, Wekiwa Springs, Discovery Cove, Legoland, Wonder Works, and so much more.
8. We’re seriously lacking in local parks
One of the few downfalls of living near so many incredible amusement parks is that we don’t have many local parks we can call our own. While I’ve seen many great parks in cities such as Atlanta, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, Orlando has next to none, meaning we have to have our playdates at places like Shamu’s Happy Harbor at Sea World. I know, #FirstWorldParentingProblems.
9. We hibernate in the summer, not the winter
Even if we’re a year-round pass holder for one of the many theme parks here, we know better than to leave our homes during the summer months. I mean, this is the season where you shower three times a day. It’s hibernation time.
10. Buying a car with a black interior isn’t an option
No matter how tinted our windows are, getting into a car that’s been sitting in a parking lot all day is equivalent to roasting in a sauna. Black interiors aren’t doing us any favors.