The Deal Family Took the Florida Plunge
I’m happy to introduce you to the Deal family. Maureen is a wealth of knowledge and she owns the website www.AutismAtTheParks.com. This website is a great guide to all 3 of Orlando’s major theme parks (Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld) for those who have family members with developmental disabilities.
Meet the Deal Family
Scott: Who took the plunge?Maureen: took the plunge? Myself, my husband Phil and our son, Zachary.
Scott: When did you take the plunge? Maureen: We moved to Florida in June 2007.
Scott: Where did you and your family move from? Maureen: We moved from Atlanta, Georgia.
Scott: What area of Florida did you move to? Maureen: We moved to Casselberry our first year and then relocated to Sanford, where we have been ever since.
Scott: Why did you choose that area? Maureen: We chose this area so that we could be in the Seminole County School District, plus it was close Phil’s job.
Scott: Did you choose to purchase your home or rent and why? Maureen: We rented our first year to be certain about where we wanted to live. In 2008, we bough our home in Sanford right before the housing market collapse.
Scott: Why did you relocate to Florida? Maureen: Phil was laid off from his job in Atlanta. While searching for another job, we decided to include the Orlando area in the search due to the fact that Walt Disney World was such an awesome experience for our son with autism the two times we visited and not to mention we are “theme park junkies”. We lived in Tennessee for 10 years and had season passes to Dollywood. While in Atlanta, we had season passes to Six Flags and White Water.
Scott: Did you have any problem finding a job after you took the plunge? Maureen: No, but the economy tanked even worse after we moved here so Phil was laid off again after working at his job for 18 months (2009). Due to the economy, he had a difficult time finding employement, but eventually found a job in his field.
Scott: What was the most difficult thing about your move to Florida? Maureen: Being away from family was difficult. Finding the right school/education path for our son, Zachary, with severe autism was also a challenge.
Scott: Now that you have taken the plunge, what are you 3 favorite things about living in Florida? Maureen: Weather, Disney World/Universal/SeaWorld and Cruise Ports, and the third is opportunities the Seminole County Special Olympics offer Zachary.
Scott: What advice would you offer anyone considering taking the Floria plunge? Maureen: Florida is not a cheap place to live. Decide what your financial and personal priorities are and have a plan to make it work. If you like Four Seasons, it may not be the place for you. Despite the economic issues we’ve experienced, we love living here, but we wouldn’t mind being closer to the parks.
Scott: How far from Walt Disney World do you live? Maureen: We are about 45 minutes form the parks and 45 minutes from the beach. It works for us at this time.
Scott: What’s your families favorite Disney park? Maureen: Phil and I love Magic Kingdom, when you ask Zachary, he will say Disney Hollywood Studios.
Scott: What’s your families favorite Disney attraction: Maureen: We absolutely love Tower of Terror.
Scott: What is your families favorite Disney restaurant? Maureen: We are big fans of Be Our Guest.
Scott: Who is your families favorite Disney character? Maureen: We each have a favorite. Zachary loves Goofy, Phil is a big fan of Captain Jack Sparrow, and I just love Belle!
Scott: Thank you so much for taking the time to share your families story with us. Do you have anything else you’d like to say to our readers? Maureen: I would just offer that we’re the kind of people that looks at the glass as being “half full” and it’s that type of thinking that will get you through the tough times when making a life changing move.
Maureen, thank you once again for sharing your Plunge story with us. I look forward to seeing you, Phil and Zachary in the parks.
Have you taken the Florida Plunge? Do you want to share your story with our readers. If so, please email us at FloridaPlunge2013@gmail.com.