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Oh What a Night

Normally on a Sunday afternoon in WI, we would nap, watch tv, and maybe take a walk or have a cookout during the summer.  Here in Kissimmee, FL… things are a bit different.  Yes, we can do those things here as well, but when Mickey is in your backyard, it seems almost wrong not to head to the Parks.

We decided to clean all morning, and listened to Epcot music while doing it.  It is a bit weird to be listening to the Nemo Ride music, knowing the actual ride is 5 minutes from your doorstep.  We hung pictures, cleaned rooms, put our Disney stuff up in our kitchen, and enjoyed having the problem of “too much space.”

We enjoyed pizza while hanging out before heading to Epcot for the afternoon into evening. Before we did anything, we found our pal “Stitch” with no line, so Em got a hug and a pic to start off her Disney Day! Then Em and I headed to Fastpass “Soarin” right away, while Craig and Kyra went to wait in line for “Test Track.”  It was so awesome walking in, no worries of where to go or what to do… if there were fastpasses left, great, and if not, oh well.  We got lucky and there were, so Em and I grabbed them and then rode “Living with the Land” boat ride all by ourselves- front row too.  I really love that ride- it’s incredibly relaxing, cool, and peaceful.  If you are looking to kill time, the entire “Land” pavilion is relaxing for a sit in a booth, a cold soda, or a boat ride through a green house.  Take your pick.

We headed out to ride “Nemo and Friends” and I have to tell you all that I really love the queue of this ride.  It’s nice and cold, and I love the feel of being under the water while the waves are above you.  Make sure you take the time to see all the neat stuff the Imagineers put into not only the attraction, but the outside, the line, and even the exit.  Maybe it’s because we are able to enjoy at a different pace now, but I truly appreciate every nook and cranny that WDW has to offer.

I took Emily upstairs to the “Observation Deck” where I showed her the two large sea turtles and the endless amounts of fish, sting rays, and sharks.  We really enjoyed the Manatee area as well, and it was neat to see them roll while swimming- they looked happy, which is like I what to see when I see animals like this.   We also got a treat of seeing the diver in his tube, which always makes me think of “Willy Wonka” and that Augustus kid getting sucks up in that chocolate tube.  So remember that kids, too much chocolate will get you sucked up life’s tube!

Craig and Kyra met up with us, after some time of watching the sea horses and crabs.  Again, take the time to look at all of the aquariums- someone took the time to make those, and they are there for your enjoyment- not to run by to get to the next thing.  We really enjoyed exploring, and the left the pavilion happy and paying homage to our beloved WI. When you exit “The Nemo and Friends” pavilion, look down after the doors and you will see a little silver manhole cover- it says “Neenah WI” on it.  We giggle and smile every time we walk over it, kind of a nice way to know WI is with us in WDW.

I decided it was time to introduce the family to Mr. Michael Jackson as THE Captain EO.  Now, I had seen the show for the first time this past November, but Craig and the girls had not yet, so I was excited to see their reactions to it.   We got in right away, and even though the 80’s pre-show is worth it for the hair and clothes, I really miss the “True Colors” pre-show (always made me cry).   I actually forgot it was 3D, so we grabbed our glasses and went ALLLLLLL the way down our row.  (Getting on Soap Box) Now, folks, you have heard it once, and you have heard it a thousand times if you live or frequent WDW. But, if you are new, let me give you a word of advice.  When you are attending ANY show on WDW property, most of the time, they will be at full capacity.  If you HAVE to be in the center of a row, let others go ahead of you in your desired row, thus placing you right in the middle.  Yes, I know you may not like sitting next to a stranger, but that is what the shows are like here in WDW. Staying first in line at one of the doors to the Theater will NOT get you the dream seat of your choice, because, you need to move ALL THE WAY DOWN.  I realize there are language barriers, but it is common courtesy when there are several hundred people behind you, to move as far as you can in your row. Please put your children between you and your spouse, so my family isn’t kicked, touched, or annoyed throughout the entire performance.  Yes, kids will be kids, but you have the responsibility as the parent to make sure they are supervised at all times.  (Off Soapbox)

So, where were we? Ah, Captain EO.  Well, I listened to the Emily giggle at it, and Kyra and Craig enjoyed the show for what it was – gotta love the 80’s!  I really do like the music, but how it just randomly starts in the ship, with no real plot line leading up to it- just odd to me.  I will say its always nice to see Michael’s smile- he was so cute then. Rest in peace Michael.

After a ride on “Journey into Imagination,” we actually played afterwards.  We made our own Figment and then made our own music.  The place was empty, so it’s always a great area to catch your breath, get cooled off, and peruse the small gift shop.  If you are a “Figment” fan, this is the place to buy your merchandise for him! We even saw a shirt with “Dreamfinder” on it- I miss him.  Back on my 21st Birthday, Craig and I went to this attraction as our first of the day.  We got caught in the rain, and I was SOAKED.  So we rode this VERY cold ride, wet, and then… it broke down.  We sat and listened to “Dreamfinder” for about 10 minutes before they walked us off the ride. Because the ride was down, they didn’t have many coming into the area, so we were upstairs playing in “Imageworks” all by ourselves. Does anyone remember running through the rainbow tunnel? Or playing with the tables where you could make hand prints with the pins?  I miss that so much.

We decided to eat dinner at 4:30 p.m. to beat the crowds, as you will find that the prime eating times are usually 5-7p.m. and 12-2 for lunch.  If you can do it earlier or later, you will almost always find a table without problems.  We ate at our favorite “Sunshine Seasons” in the “The Land” where we enjoyed Cashew Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and Emily’s favorite Mac n Cheese.  Eating dinner near the “Soarin” sign with the music playing is just WAY TO COOL.  It is one of our FAVORTIE things to do in WDW, and one of the main things we wanted to enjoy anytime we wanted.

We then walked to Club Cool for some free cola and sticky floors, then off to “Ellen’s Energy Adventure” which I hadn’t seen yet since moving here.  I love the attraction- Ellen plus Dinosaurs- who knew? If you ever needed a nap while being in the Park on a long day, this show is 37 minutes long, so nap away.  A ride on “Spaceship Earth” and then we enjoyed the free time to play in “Project Tomorrow” which was pretty dead.  The kids built a body, which was in 3D and very cool and creepy all at the same time.

It was FINALLY time to use our “Soarin” fastpasses, and Emily skipped with joy because she was so happy we were going to ride it again.  The line went fast, and we got 2nd row. I had my ‘Soarin’ T-Shirt on, so I got a lot of smiles from people looking at it.  Yes, I wore it while riding the ride- just blows your mind doesn’t it? Nah, I am just a geek, that is all.  So anyways, as we were boarding, there is always ONE family who can’t follow the line of people and runs for any row they can find with any empty seat. Before I realized it I was saying “No, no, you go in the 2nd row” – the Cast Member thanked me and laughed.  I was like “Sorry, just came out.”  It got me thinking how much I would like working at “Soarin…”

After a wonderful afternoon and evening, we walked out as the Tronorail came over head.  It is those moments of time that I smile, and Craig is holding my hand, and my kids are happy, and I feel so lucky to be alive.

Before leaving you today, I wanted to address a comment I received from someone that hit a cord in me.  It was along the lines of “Must be nice to live a life as a vacation.”  We have worked VERY hard to get to this point in our lives, lived through Cancer, job loss, and many heartaches along the way. This is OUR time to enjoy what we have worked for, and I am blessed that I do not HAVE to work right now. Eventually I will, but enjoying the dream, getting our kids ready for their new schools, and trying to settle in is the goal right now.  I normally won’t address any type of snarky comments left because I don’t want to acknowledge them at all, I have learned being positive and forgiving will get you much farther in life. But it struck a cord because until you have walked a MILE in any of our shoes, don’t hate on us for following our dreams.  We made a plan, we stuck to it, we are here to stay, and did what we said we were going to do.  We appreciate all the love, support, and positivity we have received, and we thank those of you who want to read because you like us, the blog, and Disney.  Have a great day!


  1. Awesome! ‘Living With the Land’ is one of my favorite rides in all of WDW. If you get a chance, ride it during one of those Florida downpours. It sounds so awesome in the greenhouses!


  2. I have only been reading your blog for about 4 months, but I have enjoyed every single post. Actually, your blog is the only one I read. I have a love for Disney beyond what even my own family can quite comprehend. They know I love Disney, and they do too, but to me it’s a feeling I get deep down inside just when I think of it. Thanks for making your blog so personal, so fun and keeping it real. We haven’t been to Disney World since 2007, so I sure am needing a trip……BADLY, but when we do make it down that way, I would love to meet you and yours. I may have never met you, but “I SURE DO LIKE Y’ALL A WHOLE BUNCH”. God bless your family for working so, so hard and living your dreams.


  3. I’m not sure how anyone can hate on you guys for living your dream. You have so much courage to set off into the unknown. I have been so impressed by your hard work, research, and willingness to make some tough choices and sacrifices to make this dream come true. I know that I cannot do what you are doing, so I am thrilled to be experiencing it vicariously through your blog and Facebook posts. Don’t worry about the haters – the rest of us love hearing about how you are making your dreams come true!


  4. I guess some people are just JEALOUS! What a blessing to be able to live your dream in Mickey’s backyard! Good things happen to good people! Congratulations on your accomplishment and don’t give negative people another thought! Having a ball reading your blog entries! So happy for you and your beautiful family! I was in the College Program back in ’91 and took my family to WDW for the first time last month (20 yrs later)! Enjoyed talking to all of the CP Cast Members! Reminded them to enjoy this special time in their lives! You, too! :0)


  5. Amy, seems there’s always gotta be one buzz-kill person in the bunch. Please just know that the rest of us who follow your blog know what you and your family have endured in your lives and the sacrifices you’ve made to realize your dreams. We are so happy for you all! Let’s hope the person is just envious, imagining what it would be like to be able to live in a place where most people just vacation, and they just didn’t articulate it so well.


  6. I have to echo what Sally said – people may leave “snarky” (love that word!) comments out of jealousy or some other emotion. We are so glad you are living your dream as are we. Keep up what you are doing – I thoroughly enjoy reading your adventures during this time of year when we avoid the parks at all costs due to heat and the crowds :-)!!!


  7. I love your blogs, Amy! It always brings a smile to my face. God bless you & your family for living your dream!! It’s very brave of you & I admire you greatly. Take care & have a super Monday!!!


  8. We love following the Petermanns BECAUSE you are living your dream. You should never have to listen to jealous people with that kind of attitude. However, you guys are Disney online celebrities so you will get your share of “snarky” people. Please keep doing what you are doing and know that you are making a difference in other peoples lives. Reading and watching your family on this wonderful journey of achieving and living your dream gives us hope that we will one day do the same. Thank you for having the courage and strength to get through the tough times and actully get to where you are now! Your family is a great example of what is possible!!!!


  9. Love that I am not the only WI native who gets a kick out of the manhole cover outside The Seas. Makes me smile every time! 🙂

    Sorry to hear about the negative comment. Everyone has the right to live their life to the fullest and make the most of every day in a way that makes them happy. Its a joy to follow along with your adventures as we begin a similar journey ourselves.


  10. Amy- Until I read how you interpreted the “vacation” comment, I was thinking the exact same thing — just in a positive, jealous way. As in, “how lucky you are to be living your dream while the rest of us only get to experience something like that while on vacation!”

    In any case, I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog for the past over-a-year and look forward to catching up with the Petermanns every day!


  11. Well I will admit to being jealous that you get to live the dream, but I certainly don’t resent you for it. You’ve worked darn hard, sacrificed, and you’ve EARNED the right to do what you want! I appreciate you sharing the journey, both ups and down, with us. And I enjoy living vicariously through you!


  12. I love your blog and always smile when I see your fb status saying there is a new one! And I think you would make an excellent CM! Good luck following your dreams and don’t let what anyone says bring you down! Have a Magical Day!


  13. Love your posts Amy! Life is all about choices and you made yours. You’ve sacrificed, worked hard, set goals and turned your dreams into your reality… Do not let other people’s jealousy get in the way of all the good you have coming! Enjoy all you can, while you can. I only wish I had the courage to make some of the choices you have. All the best to you and your family Amy!!!


  14. Everyday I can’t wait until I get to check if there is a new blog post…I look forward to them THAT MUCH! 🙂 I make my Mom sit down while I read her every word. Since we are moving to the area after the first of the year, your blog is like a “how-to” guide for us. I love how you cover it all, from buying mattresses to of course Disney World!

    We’ve just recently started telling some of our store neighbors (we own a store here in my town) that we are moving to Florida, close to Disney World, and it’s amazing how many of them have said “Eeww, why?” (or a variation.) I just tell them it’s what WE want, the life we want to live. I guess part of why I love your blog so much is that you GET that, you understand the “why” and you’re actually living it. I am so very happy for your family, and happy to be able to read your blog for pointers. You living YOUR dream is helping my family prepare to move and live OUR dream. Thank you so very much for your blogs!


  15. I’m with jipis. I would have taken that sentence to have been meant in a positive, wistful, happy for you-jealous for me way. Of course, I didn’t read the whole post, just the one sentence. Either way, you are right to ignore what you think are snarky comments. Life is too short to linger over negative thoughts. Enjoy!


  16. Amen to that Sister! NEVER judge another man until you walked a mile in his shoes. You deserve all the blessings that are bestowed upon you and your family, NEVER feel bad about that! It was so funny, I am a memeber of the DIS boards, and I posted not too long ago about wanting to move to Florida to be closer to the mouse. You wouldn’t believe the negative responses, then a nice fellow poster told me about your blog, and I love it! Your family is beautiful, you can truly see how happy you all are, and I wish you continued success in your new Florida home! Like I said in my other post, I will live my dreams through you for now until I can move down there myself someday, lol. Anyway, keep up the great work!!!!


  17. It never ceases to amazing me how people can be so mean. You and your family DESERVE to live your dream. God’s with you, Amy. Shake off the hater’s comments like Florida sand on your shoes! 🙂


  18. Amy I understand what you mean about what people say. Alot of people hear that I am working for Disney and they say that oh your job must be a cake walk. Most days my job is wonderful but it’s still a job and 10 hours a day in the Florida heat isn’t a cake walk. =)

    I am happy that ya’ll are enjoying your time here. See you soon as a cast member.



  19. I really enjoy your post and think it is amazing how much you and your family has gone through and now to be able to celebrate it by living your dream. Ignore the ones who are envious of where you are, they have to live with themselves!

    I will be down in October and you can be sure I will be looking out for you!


  20. Amy, a long time reader, but haven’t posted until today. I’m so happy that you & your family are happy. I want to be able to move down to Orlando at some point too. I keep thinking it will happen eventually. But until then I’ll live through your blog.

    I love Living with the Land. I got to do the same thing a while ago, sit up front and have the boat to myself. My camera was clicking left and right.

    Not sure when I’ll be down but hopefully in the next couple months with a friend, who also wants to move to Orlando area. Maybe we can get together.



  21. Don’t let one negitive person bother you! Just sounds like they are jealous that you and your family are living the ultimate Disney dream. I was glad to read your response and agree with you regarding walking in someone’s shoes. Even though you share many of your thoughts, your readers will never know the quiet moments that you share with your husband discussing your lives and the things that you want with your family. I remember on several post you speak of the walks that you would take with him and I am sure that is when the “what if’s” would come up! Living in Orlando and vacationing in Orlando are two very different things! You my friend are living all of our dreams and through you we get to enjoy the dreams of living in our Happy Place!


  22. Sounds like you and the family had a wonderful time at Epcot. I’ll have to check out the cashew chicken at Sunshine Seasons, it my favorite. I also remember the orginal Imagination pavillion, loved the giant pin tables too! Cant wait to get down there again! Crossing fingers that we will be there in April.


  23. Love reading your blogs! I have been following them since almost the beginning. This is my first reply. I am so happy for you and your family, leaving the Disney dream. You guys and everything you have been through is an inspiration to others, and shame on the haters who would comment otherwise. I follow you on facebook and twitter, and LOVE the pics you post while in the parks. It gets me so excited for my trip in early December. Maybe I will see you around the parks! Keep up the great updates!


  24. Amy, Your blog is the only one I read and I love following your adventures!!! You have worked so hard to get where you are today, don’t let anyone tell you different. The Lord has blessed you with your dream, take it and run. We talk about going down there at least for winters eventually since both my kids want to work their for college programs and my brother lives 1 1/2 hours away. For me that is too far, but closer than NY and our 22 hour drive!! Hoping to meet up with you when we go down again in Sept.!! Blessing to you and your family!


  25. You’re a Living with the Land girl?! I should’ve known it. I adore that ride. So relaxing. And in addition to buying the t-shirt with all the vintage EPCOT pavilion symbols on it, I must have a Soarin’ t-shirt! Soarin’ to tower. We are ready for take-off!


  26. I’ll admit I’m jealous because of where you are living etc now but know that you did everything you can to get your family to this stage in life & am very happy for you guys. I hope someday to make my dream come true as well. You guys have been through alot & deserve to be happy. Enjoy your life with all the fun perks and dont let others get to you honey..have fun for me too while youre at it..I may know this Fri if it’s still ab possibility of us coming down there in Oct.


  27. You all are so lucky to be living your dreams. It is clear that you have worked really hard to get where you are, and you should get to enjoy all for which you have worked so diligently to achieve. My husband and I are seriously working toward a move to Florida as well because we really love Disney World, and we want to be close to the parks. I would love to become a castmember, and we are not afraid of the hard work that it will take to help us live our dreams. However, not many people really understand why we want to do what we want to do. I have heard so many negative comments about how stupid our goals are or that we are just ridiculous for wanting to live near Disney. I really hate when people make such comments because it is just so hurtful. Oh well, people will always be mean when they are unhappy with their own lives or jealous of someone else’s goals and dreams. Amy, I wish you and your family the best of luck, and I hope that everything is as magical as you have hoped it would be. We will be in Disney next week, and I hope we see you all when we are there. Keep living your dream!


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