Wishes And Pixie Dust

Follow the journey of a Wisconsin family of 4 who relocated to the Walt Disney World area in July 2011

3 Weeks & Counting…


Today marks the three-week anniversary of our family arriving in Clermont, and we thought we would take the time to just make some observations about what we’ve experienced so far, the good and the not-so-good.

We had certain expectations before we moved here regarding the size of the city.  We knew the population to be roughly 28,000, we knew the area to be hilly, and we knew Clermont was located 22 miles west of Orlando.  In our home in Wisconsin, we lived in a city of approximately 48,000; we were able to travel from one end of the city to the other in ten minutes–everything was very centrally located.  We assumed Clermont would be similar, only smaller.  (Our friends who live in Clermont or know the area–you can stop laughing now.  LOL)

We didn’t realize how encompassing Clermont is!  Wow.  We will say the views are absolutely amazing:

When we were looking at apartments, we knew that Cagans Crossing was further away and not as centrally located.  What we didn’t realize was that Cagans Crossing was thirteen miles and twenty three minutes away!  For our Wisconsin friends, it takes us just as long to drive from our apartment to Cagans Crossing, as it does to travel from Fond du Lac to Oshkosh.  It amazes us that we can travel from our apartment, past houses, businesses, and even a state park, arrive at Cagans Crossing, and STILL be in Clermont!

When we were going to the Disney Parks the first couple of days we were here, we always seemed to lose track of time, and couldn’t understand it, as we estimated our travel time would be around 35 minutes.  When we finally tracked our time last week, we realized that it actually takes us a lot longer:  23 minutes to Cagans Crossing, 28 minutes from CC to the Magic Kingdom parking lot, and for that particular day we took the ferry over, and it was an hour later that we were finally on Main Street USA.   It was an unusually busy day, however, and we’re sure the monorail would have been a lot faster.  But it’s still almost an hour drive to the parking lot, which is a lot more than we estimated.

One observation we’ve noticed is that we use a lot of gas here, because everything is so spread out, and because the traffic lights take absolutely forever to change.    It’s going to be an adjustment in getting used to that.   We are starting to get acclimated to where everything is, but we still use the GPS on occasion.

We picked up a membership at BJs, not so much because the club prices are spectacular, but for the discounted gas.  The gas at BJs is five cents cheaper than anywhere else, and we estimate that we should at least get our money’s worth on the membership fee over the course of the year in gas savings.  And, it’s really not fair for us to comment on the club prices, because everything here in terms of grocery and Walmart type items is more expensive than in Wisconsin, and right now we’re fairly bad judges at what is a good or not-so-good price.  To us it’s all bad….LOL!    One feature that attracted us to BJs is that they send out their store coupons, and you can also apply a manufacturer’s coupon to it as well.

Our apartment is slowly coming together.  We only have a handful of boxes to unpack, and most of those are boxes that contain books, and are just waiting on a bookcase to put them into.  The living room is a lot smaller than we’d like, but we’ll make the best of it.   It really is an exercise in making the best use of what available space there is.  Right now the storage closet is totally unorganized–we’re thinking some shelving units in there will help, so that we don’t need to pull everything out to get to an item in back, but it’s not a priority at the moment.

Would we change anything, if we could go back in time?  We really wished we lived closer to Disney, but we would still choose Clermont as our home city and would still choose not to live at Cagans Crossing.  The only three bedroom apartments in that complex are on the third floor, and we really like the convenience of first floor living.  We love the area we are in, and we love the management team with the apartment complex.  Even though Cagans Crossing is closer to Disney, we would probably use just as much gas (or more) coming back into the main area of Clermont to do shopping or run errands.  We feel the trade-off of having to travel farther to Disney is worth it in exchange for the area we live in.

4 thoughts on “3 Weeks & Counting…

  1. Very helpful as this is a topic Lou and I discuss. Our friend lives in Clermont (to the West of Lake Louisa) and works at WDW. It takes her an hour to get to work. We hear great things about the countryside of Clermont, but want to be cautious not to be an hour drive away from WDW if we can help it. One reasonf or our desire to be in Central Florida is to be able to randomly visit WDW for a meal, a quick magic-fix or a couple of cocktails to take in the energy of seeing families on vacation. At the same time, we want to stay out of the chaos of being just out the gates of the park. We hope to make a scouting trip within the next year.

    • There are wonderful areas on the southern end of Clermont, both apartments and HOA subdivisions, as well; and these areas are all within 20-30 minutes of the Main Gate. And there are other very nice towns and cities in that same general area as well. Kissimmee is a great place, and has areas both near to and far from the tourist swell.


  2. When we first started coming to Florida (1977), the area where you live was nothing but beautiful orange groves – you drove for miles and miles along 27 and all you saw were beautiful, green citrus groves. I remember our stop at the Citrus Tower and looking out at rolling hills just filled with green trees as far as the eye could see. When we last drove 27 (from I-4), we were amazed at the amount of development – shopping centers, apartment complexes, and houses – that has taken the place of those beautiful groves (those groves were abandoned after the severe freezes of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s).

  3. Glad you wouldn’t change too many things after making the move 🙂

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