/ Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

by Daniel Vickers

042Greetings! My name is Daniel Vickers (you may know me by my box name, dvickers79). I am originally from a very small town in rural Mississippi. I have been happily married for almost 14 years to my wife Morgan, and I have twin boys, Garrett and Gavin, who will be 13 this year! I hope to offer some unique perspectives for not only the Disney dads out there, but also anyone who may be considering a relocation to sunny Florida!  I have also been known to ramble on about movies that have anything to do with Disney.

Growing up on a farm in an extremely small town, there wasn’t much time for being a dreamer, what with tending to the cows and mending fences. As a child, I recall visiting our local video store, and looking at all of the Disney Movies, and imagining that I was a character in one of those stories. I grew up a child of the 80′s, and so I remember sitting around the television on Sunday night watching the Disney Sunday Movie (http://www.youtube.compic111/watch?v=S8DF17Tqxow). I always root for the underdog, and in that same spirit, some of the more campy Disney movies happen to be my favorites, such as Flight of the Navigator, Blue Yonder, and anything to do with Davy Crockett. My favorite Disney character is Donald, and yes, I do have a favorite Princess – Ariel.

My exposure to the Parks didn’t happen until I was a teen. My best friend E.B. phoned me the day after Christmas and invited me to tag along on a trip to Disney. I can recall walking around the Magic Kingdom with my friend and feeling as if I had finally found where I was meant to be. We ran around the park eating pretzels and riding Splash Mountain over and over. It was at this moment that I knew – one day, I will live here so that I can have this magic all of the time.

I didn’t visit Disney again until 2004. It was my sincere hope that I could pass on a bit of the magic to my 2011-12-05_11-06-24_355wife and children. My wife didn’t grow up with Disney as I had, and so I sat out on a mission to convert her, and bring her into the fold. Unfortunately, my children were so small that they have very little recollection of this visit.

In 2005, I uprooted my family for a career opportunity in Kentucky. We moved, and I went to work for a defense contractor on Ft. Knox. This was another wonderful point in my life as I was working in the field that I loved, while also helping people find their paths in life.

Our next trip didn’t materialize until December 2010, and I have to say, along with Disney, Christmas is one of my favorite things! Disney absolutely doesn’t disappoint when it comes to Christmas! The lights and sounds were amazing! My children were a bit older and enjoyed a bit more of the magic on this trip. My children and I also discovered Pin Trading on this trip, and are hoping to explore this even more in the near future!

I lost my contract at Ft. Knox in 2011, and after several months of job searching, in early 2012 we decided that the best thing for our children would be moving back to Mississippi, so we sold what we could, packed what we couldn’t, and moved home.

Over the years, my wife and I had mildly entertained the possibility of moving to Florida; however, this was never a realistic option. After moving back to Mississippi and searching for a new career opportunity, it IMG_3174became readily apparent that in order to move forward in my career, I would need to further my education. After months of searching, I found the perfect opportunity, but it was in Orlando, Florida of all places. My wife and I again tossed around the idea of moving, and we determined that if we didn’t do it now before I locked into another job, it would most likely never happen, and so, our next adventure began! My wife teaches as a substitute, and so our move also involves her and our children staying in Mississippi until the current school year is over. This situation also provides unique perspectives to being married and away from family in a new place.

In future posts I hope to delve a little deeper into what it actually takes to pack up your family and move to Florida. One of the statistics that stuck with me the most is that 50% of all people who move into Florida move back out within the first year. In order to make this move, you must have a level of resolve the likes of which have never been seen before. It can be an extremely costly move, and you wouldn’t want to get down here and have to move back out. Do your research! Also, make sure that you are in a versatile career field which can move with you, and can also morph into the market that you are moving into.

Also, it isn’t easy to be away from your family for an extended period, so if this happens to be a part of your move, know what awaits for you. Ensure that you keep yourself occupied with something productive!

I have also been known to jump headfirst into discussions about Disney movies (especially older movies), Star Wars or the Muppets!

I currently am in the Parks on a weekly basis, and so if you have a question that I could possibly assist you with, please feel free to contact me via Twitter or Facebook (@dvickers7982) and/or Facebook (facebook.com/daniel.vickers2)

Finally, I would like to remind each and every one of our readers that you are are a Firework, ignite the light!

See ya real soon  :)

-Daniel V.

5 Responses to "Never Grow Up—Thoughts from a Disney Dad"

  1. Dan V. says:

    Thanks Christie! I am thrilled beyond words to be a part of this amazing team, and yes, that IS a power glove :)

    -Daniel V.

  2. Richie says:

    Wow! I can TOTALLY relate to your fond memories of Disney Sunday movies and dreaming at the video store…being an 80′s child myself, I did the same thing! I also used to freak out on free Disney Channel weekend previews. Did you also get psyched whenever an old “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color”would be re-broadcast on a weekend morning?
    With respect to your column’s’s focus, I am a new dad as of three months ago, so I look forward to your ideas!
    -Richie

  3. Steamboat Eddie says:

    Love your story. Best of luck with everything. I hope to relocate to the sunshine state one day as well.

    Catcha later on.

  4. Dan V. says:

    Richie,

    Loved World of Color! We had 3 channels, so the Disney Channel wasn’t available :)

    Congrats on becoming a dad! It’s an incredible experience…please enjoy it, they don’t stay young for long.

    Steamboat Eddie,

    It is indeed an amazing place to live so far! It only took me 18 or so years to see my dream turn to reality!

  5. Kendall Foreman (MoretotheWorld) says:

    Dan: It was great having the chance to meet you at the Meet of the Month last Saturday. I am looking forward to reading your posts!

Leave a Reply