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That’s It – I’m Moving to Disney! A Magical Retirement Plan

We’ve probably all had those days that make us throw up our hands in defeat and announce that we are going to move to Walt Disney World. Living near the Disney property would be a dream come true for die-hard fans. Being able to stroll down Main Street U.S.A. on a whim instead of having to buy a plane ticket to the Most Magical Place on Earth would truly be a dream come true.

But all hope is not lost. Remember retirement holds wonderful things, including the flexibility to move closer to the magical experience that is Walt Disney World Resort. Watch those investment accounts, up your Roth IRA, and check in on your stocks and bonds, so you are ready to head south to central Florida when retirement comes. Here is why moving to Disney World in retirement is a great idea!

Weather

Disney's Riviera Resort View

Credit: paleodisney.net

If you are craving sunshine, Florida is the place to be. Not only will you enjoy plenty of vitamin D, stunning pool days, and long warm summer days, you’ll enjoy similar temperatures all year round. True, if you are a fan of seasons, the Florida weather will take some getting used to — but truthfully it’s convenient never having to drive in snow or shovel a driveway in the frigid cold. Florida residents enjoy mild winters and warm days most of the year. 

Park Patterns

Obviously, moving to Florida as a Disney World fan is awesome because you are located so close to the Parks. Proximity, plus a clear schedule, means you can enjoy the Parks when they are at their quietest and wait times are low. No need for a 40-minute wait for a ride on Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom on a weekend. You can visit any Disney Park, any day, so you never have to wait in a long line. Big bonus points for the fact that you can enjoy Disney festivals and special events at their least busy times. You’ll also be able to strategically avoid visiting during the hottest or busiest months of the year.

Florida Annual Passholder Perks

EPCOT Passholder Entrance

Credit: Disney Dining

Florida residents get some pretty sweet perks in the Disney ticket department. You can purchase an Annual Pass at a discounted price, so you can truly spend retirement enjoying all that Disney World has to offer. Passes have Park Hopper capability, so you can play in as many Parks each day as you choose. You’ll also enjoy discounts on shopping and dining as a special Passholder perk. More fun at less expense? Yes, please!

Disney Dining in a Snap

Le Cellier Filet Mignon

Credit: Disney

When I say I would go to Disney World just to eat, I’m telling the truth. As a retiree that lives near the Parks, this would be even more true. Imagine being able to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for a drink at Oga’s Cantina anytime you want. Or being able to walk past Cinderella Castle to dine at Be Our Guest in Magic Kingdom on a random weekday. Retirees can enjoy all the best parts of dining on the Disney property anytime they want.

Dining Room

Credit: Disney

Better yet, many restaurants at Walt Disney World have peak season pricing that drives up prices during the busiest times of the year. If you are traveling across the United States on a holiday break for a Disney vacation during a busy time like the Christmas season, you will pay more to dine at spots like ‘Ohana. As a retiree, you can strategically enjoy these spots when the costs are lower and hit quick service spots or restaurants not affected by seasonal price increases during the busier seasons.

Part-Time Work

Cast Member at Old Key West

Credit: Disney

Not quite ready to retire entirely? The great news is that there are plenty of part-time work options you could use to fill your days and make some extra money. Better yet, why not apply for a job as a Cast Member at Walt Disney World? Come on, the Parks can’t be staffed entirely by Disney College Program Cast Members. Your expertise and Disney fandom could be put to good use working in a Disney Park, at Disney Springs, or at a Disney Resort.

Cast Members at Restaurant

Credit: WDW Cast & Community Facebook

My husband dreams of driving a Disney World bus in retirement, while I would love to work at a Christmas shop personalizing ornaments. What part-time Disney job would be perfect for you?

Pool Time and Golf

Disney's Magnolia Golf Course

Credit: Forbes

If lounging by the pool or hitting the green is your definition of relaxation, you are in luck. Because of the excellent weather, you can lounge poolside and enjoy golfing almost year-round. Heck, some golf communities are built to make transport from the green, to the pool, to the clubhouse a snap — via golf cart! The Villages Florida, a retirement community explored on TikTok by @gaileyenterprises shows off the convenience of this laid-back lifestyle.

@gaileyenterprises

Florida’s friendliest hometown! The best and most entertaining place to retire 😎 #florida #villagesflorida #retirementcommunity #retirementlife #thevillagesflorida

♬ hotel r a s p u t i n service – veggibeats

When you are not headed to a theme park, you can enjoy a community pool or a local golf course to get out and enjoy that sunshine. Honestly, the thought of endless days of poolside cocktails in the Florida sun is enough to make me start investing with fervor now. Retirement cannot come soon enough!

International Airport Access

Mco reopening

Credit: Orlando International Airport

So, let’s say despite the fact that you’ve retired to paradise, you decide you want a change of scenery. Good news, you have easy access to several international airports nearby. In fact, Florida has 24 international airports. If you retire to central Florida, hop a flight to Montego Bay, Jamaica, Paris, France, or anywhere else you want to go by flying out of the Orlando International Airport. This easy air access will also be helpful when you plan your Adventures By Disney trip abroad!

Driving Distance of Beaches

Vero Beach Resort

Credit: Disney

If retiring near the water is a dream, Florida is a great choice. Even if you choose not to live in a beach town, you can easily drive to the beach for a day trip. Cape Canaveral, Daytona Beach, and even Disney’s Vero Beach Resort are great drivable options from central Florida. Imagine splitting your days between the ocean and the Disney Property. Does it get any better? 

You’ll Have Lots of Visitors

Family Walking

Credit: Disney

Want to ensure your kids and grandkids visit you? Retire to Florida; we bet you’ll see them quite a bit. They’ll come to visit and enjoy a Disney vacation with their grandparents. What could be better than attraction hopping a favorite ride, admiring the view of Cinderella Castle, or snacking on Main Street, U.S.A. with family?

Have we convinced you to make your retirement planning process a bit more magical? What could be better than retiring to Disney World?

About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.