Best Theme Park City to Move To
My husband and I are currently researching new cities to move to. Having lived in Memphis my entire life, this is both exciting and daunting. Concerning our boys, we would love to move to a city either near or with a theme park and many family friendly attractions. We are looking to move in the next couple of years. We both love the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area and know that we would have Dollywood and be even closer to Bush Garden Williamsburg. I would like to hear though from those outside of these two areas. What do you love and hate about living in a tourist town? Is it worth moving within an area for a theme park or is it better to live a city or so away? Any input would be greatly appreciated!
For some reason I am unable to get the edit button to work. As I read what I had written, I realized that it may sound like I only want information concerning Williamsburg and Gatlinburg. I want to know of other cities across the U.S. that offer theme parks and family friendly events. Thanks again
In my last position with the government, Amanda, I used to travel all over the United States and the world and I can tell you that outside of Orlando, the best place to be to see theme parks and family friendly attractions is.... Washington, DC.
Thanks Tim. Before my father-in-law passed away, he lived in Charles Town, WV. He had a beautiful place overlooking the Shenandoah Valley and was about an hour outside of D.C. You truly can't beat the beauty, history, and such of this area. The only problem with that is the memories for my husband. He went to so many of the attractions and such with his father that I don't think he could stand living there again.
My family and I loved Williamsburg, Va. -- it was among the small handful of the many, many cities that we've visited on our cross-country roadtrips that we considered, if just for a moment, as a new place to live. Obviously, Busch Gardens is right there, and Kings Dominion is nearby, plus all the colonial and historic attractions.
I'll echo Robert's response that Orlando itself grows old after a while, but I'll put in a plug that not all of Florida is brain melting :-). Up near Tallahassee, where I am, we're only 4 hours from Orlando and all it offers, about 5 hours from Tampa and Busch Gardens, 5 hours from Atlanta and SFGA, only an hour from some of the nicest beaches around, and, as a bonus, only 5 hours from New Orleans -- yes, not technically a theme park destination, but still an awesome place to visit and it's got a great zoo and aquarium :-). Oh, and we have seasons, sort of...some years more than others, of course, but this year we had an ice storm in January!
My husband can easily get a lateral transfer to cities in East Tennessee. So, it is likely that you, Robert, will have someone to cover Dollywood :). We have even done some house hunting over there. Right now, he has some career opportunities in Austin and Aurora. In a few months, he will have finished some extra schooling with his degree that will open up even more job possibilities. Our sons want to desperately move to Florida. I would like to still have seasons, so Tallahassee does sound better.
To me, Orlando is the only theme park city. Theme parks are its main industry. It is no different than Las Vegas as a Casino town since it is the main industry. Despite the fact that many people say Disney World is stagnant, I beg to differ. Disney World has much more to enjoy and experience. The theme park fan is in their own mecca, a paradise.
Somewhere along I-90 in the Midwest. Six Flags Great America, Cedar Point, and Holiday World all within a half days drive. That puts me where, right about South Bend?
I live in Orange County, CA and am fortunate to have seven major parks within 2 hours of my house: The Disneyland Resort and Knott's Berry Farm are both about 30 minutes away, LEGOLAND California is about 45 minutes, Universal Studios Hollywood is around an hour, SeaWorld San Diego is somewhere around 1 hr, 15 minutes, and Six Flags Magic Mountain is a 90 minute drive without traffic. There is a lot of other stuff to do here as well. I do think Southern California is a pretty good place for a theme park enthusiast to live, but I have to admit that if you visit the parks frequently you will get tired of them, and you pretty much have to fly or make a multi day drive to get to any other major parks.
Thanks everyone for the responses. One thing I wonder also about is crime rate. Here in Memphis, our tourists areas are in or are surrounded by the most dangerous and crime ridden areas. No true Memphian travels these streets even in daylight. Graceland is in the heart of the worst and at the end of Beale Street begins another dangerous part. Our Pyramid is three blocks from a never-ending turf war for rival gang.
While I would love for you to move to I-90 (my area), Great America, Cedar Point, and Holiday World are still pretty far from each other (more than a half day drive)
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