Wishes And Pixie Dust

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


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Getting To Know – Winter Park

WinterGarden

For this entry in our ‘Getting to Know’ series on the places you can look at moving to in Florida, we have information on Winter Park from Beatrice Feeney.  We are very happy to have Bea’s information on this area of Central Florida.

We live in Winter Park. I believe it is the PERFECT neighborhood for us, but not for everyone. For us, we needed a nice neighborhood close to work. My hubby & I have had good experiences finding jobs in the Altamonte Springs area, north Orlando area – and that has been very convenient to home. Our area on the Lynx Bus System that services the Orlando area – I don’t know the schedules or how things are done, but for someone who needs transportation, that could be very useful.

I must warn people who move here to be closer to Disney that if you live on the north side of Orlando, you either have to deal with TRAFFIC on I-4 or Toll Roads. We have tried both. I can get from home to EPCOT (22 miles) in 45 minutes or sometimes it takes an hour and a half to get into the parks because you go 16 mph on the highway for 15 miles.

If you want to move to a great community with a lot of FUN activities around your HOME then Winter Park truly is a GREAT place! There are always activities for holidays in Central Park – free music, free outdoor movie to relax in the park with neighbors and friends. We’ve been to free events for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, Christmas Parade…it truly is a wonderful town to call home.

I also want to share that we don’t have kids, but have heard that around our area in Winter Park and Maitland there are good schools – I’m sorry that I can’t help too much more in that area. (Mark’s note: School info has been added below.)

Our Realtor has been amazing with questions as we were new to the area and he was one of the FIRST non-Disney Florida friends. He continues to keep in touch and helps us anytime we ask, as he has lived here all his life. That sort of trust in a Realtor is something that I have never found with anyone else. He helped us find both the house & neighborhood that was perfect for us.  Just remember, if you want to be able to go to Disney every day after work, this may be a bit too far but it’s not too far to go weekly.

I hope some of this information is helpful to you – but if I can give you other information or help in any way, just let me know & I will be happy to help!

You can reach out to Bea via Facebook: www.facebook.com/beatrice.feeney.  Bea also authors a great blog you should all check out at adisneygirlinorlando.blogspot.com.


Some Places of Interest in Winter Park

Full Sail University

Rollins College

Crealde School of Art

Amtrak Station

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which houses the largest collection of Tiffany glass.


For more information on Winter Park, please visit the links below.

http://cityofwinterpark.org/Pages/Government.aspx (City of Winter Park)

http://www.wppl.org/ (Winter Park Library)

http://www.communityexplore.com/winterparkfl/ (Explore Winter Park)

http://www.wphistory.org/ (Winter Park Historical Association)

http://www.winterpark.org/ (Chamber of Commerce)


Winter Park Area School Info

2012 Public School Grades
School Types: 1 = elementary; 2 = middle; 3 = high; 4 = combination

School Name 2012 Points Scale Grade – 2012 School Type
LAKEMONT ELEMENTARY 593 800 A 01
GLENRIDGE MIDDLE 641 900 A 02
BROOKSHIRE ELEMENTARY 641 800 A 01
ALOMA ELEMENTARY 559 800 A 01
WINTER PARK HIGH 1244 1600 A 03
LAKE HOWELL HIGH SCHOOL 1120 1600 A 03

https://www.ocps.net (Orange County Schools)

https://www.ocps.net/Students/Pages/SchoolDirectory.aspx (Orange County School Directory)

https://www.ocps.net/Parents/Pages/FindaSchool.aspx (Orange County Schools – Find a School)

Winter Park Private Schools:

St. Margaret Mary Catholic School

The Geneva School

The Parke House Academy

Trinity Preparatory School


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Getting To Know – The Orlando Area

Welcome_Orlando_Sign
For this installment of ‘Getting To Know’, we have information from our friend Cheryl Perlmutter.  We are thrilled to have Cheryl’s thoughts on the Orlando areas that she and Todd have lived in.  You can learn more about Cheryl at
http://about.me/cherylp3.

2007 – Waterford Lakes in East Orlando
While the shopping and dining is great in this area because you are close to the college.  The area has had theft issues, breaking into cars.

2009 – Winter Springs – Rented a house
Lesson learned.  Make sure you see your security into a bank or use a management company.  After 1 year – one day the landlord came and said stop paying me rent and I haven’t been paying my mortgage for the past few months.  I never saw my money back.
I had realtors knocking on my door.
I had some great neighbors though, we lived on a road lined with trees and my neighbor would blow the leaves on the street all the time. 

2010-2012 Winter Springs – Apartment
I picked the place I lived because it accepted my breed of dog I had at the time.  Apartment was growing mold and had large AC bills. 

2012- Present Davenport by the Omni – renting condo using management – http://www.statemanagement.us
Although Todd works in Lake Mary we moved to be closer to our friends and Disney.  I enjoy living here also close to 429.
We have some full time neighbors and some tourists.
It is mostly quiet here.  

There are both small and large synagogues in the Orlando area.

The local Jewish newspaper is the Heritage, http://www.heritagefl.com

For women, we have a few active Hadassah groups in the area.

There is a Kosher hotel by Disney.

Traffic in Orlando stinks.  You never know how I-4 is going to be. 

Shopping is great I enjoy both Winter Garden and Millennia Mall equally.

It’s nice to have Ikea.

Ikea_MaM_Map


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Getting To Know – Clermont

Clermont

To kick off our new ‘Getting To Know’ series on the places you can look at moving to in Florida, today we have information from Greg Pabst.  Greg and his family moved to Clermont in 2012 and I am glad to have his extra take on Clermont to add to what Jen and I can provide.

I thought I would share reasons why we picked Clermont since you already know everything else about the Clermont area. Orlando is very spread out and not compacted. It was important for us to find an area that would be as centrally located to potential work locations as well as Disney. Also our proximity to shopping, dining and area conveniences was important too. We don’t like living in the sticks, but we don’t like to be in the city either. Clermont offered this to us. Initially we were looking at Winter Garden, since it was closer to Disney but the housing cost more there and yards were very small with you practically looking into your neighbor’s window out your own. For the same price as Winter Garden we got a much larger house with nice extras like granite counter tops and large tile floors. Clermont did push my comfort factor regarding how far we were from Downtown etc, as a lot of tech and office jobs are in that vicinity or north of there (Maitland and Altamonte Springs etc). But, in the end it was worth the extra drive for the deal we got in Clermont. Since we are in southern Clermont (proper), near Hammock Ridge and 27, Disney is about 30 mins drive for us. We also heard of the growth that Clermont has recently undergone. We like areas that are growing and new. I was impressed by the road infrastructure improvements. I can’t wait to see new things popping up (ie. Like the new Hobby Lobby). Schools and crime rates were important to us as well. Clermont is much safer than other areas in Orlando. We were a little scared of the schools in Clermont as they aren’t as good as Winter Garden, but we have been happy so far with Pine Ridge Elementary. If you have any specific questions for me, I’d be happy to help out more.

You can reach out to Greg via Facebook: www.facebook.com/gregpabst.  Greg also runs a great website for all of us Disney addicts to help us find each other; www.DISaddicts.com.

For more information on Clermont, please visit the links below.
http://clermont.govoffice.com/

http://www.clermontflorida.com/

http://www.city-data.com/city/Clermont-Florida.html

http://www.clermontdowntownpartnership.com/

http://www.southlakechamber-fl.com/home/

http://www.lakecountyfl.com/


Clermont Area School Info

http://lake.k12.fl.us/lakeschools/site/default.asp (Lake County School District)

http://lake.k12.fl.us/Page/1542 (School Directory)

http://lake.k12.fl.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=272 (School Zone Address Look-up)

2012 School Grades

School Types: 1 = elementary; 2 = middle; 3 = high; 4 = combination

School Name 2012 Points Scale Grade 2012 School Type
CLERMONT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 495 800 B 01
SAWGRASS BAY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 525 800 A 01
EAST RIDGE MIDDLE SCHOOL 635 900 A 02
MINNEOLA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 512 800 B 01
LOST LAKE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 576 800 A 01
CLERMONT MIDDLE SCHOOL 600 900 A 02
WINDY HILL MIDDLE SCHOOL 573 900 B 02
PINE RIDGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 533 800 A 01
CYPRESS RIDGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 634 800 A 01
SOUTH LAKE HIGH SCHOOL 998 1600 B 03
EAST RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL 1075 1600 A 03
LAKE MINNEOLA HIGH SCHOOL 552 800 A 03
IMAGINE SCHOOLS AT SOUTH LAKE 606 900 A 04


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New Feature Coming

We have had many requests for information that is more specific to areas that people can move to; quite a few of recent as many out there look to follow their dreams to move to FL.  Now, Jen and I have been looking to do this for a while but we had a challenge.  Do we just drive through cities and towns and report back what we see?  We felt this would leave you short on actual info as you’d ‘see’ the area but not ‘experience’ it.  So, we’ve reached out to many of our local friends and asked if they’d like to provide a short piece for us based on their personal experiences.  How is the shopping?  How are the schools?  How is the traffic?  How are the people and local conveniences?  We know this is what we’d like to have had and now we’re looking to bring it to you.  Watch for these pieces to be posted over the coming weeks and if you have a personal story you’d like to share, please let us know.

Mark and Jen