In the Shadow of the Mouse

Secrets of a theme park obsessed local who lives next door to Mickey, with annual passes to every Central Florida park


b54Barb Nefer was born in the wrong city and state, which she quickly realized after one too many bitter cold Chicago winters. She cut her teeth on “The Wonderful World of Disney” and various Disney toys and books, so it was only natural that she fell in love with Walt Disney World. The balmy Florida winters sealed the deal, and now she lives in the shadow of the Mouse.

Barb’s loyalty isn’t limited to Walt Disney World. She has annual passes to all the central Florida theme parks and visits them regularly. As a tourist turned local, she enjoys using her insider knowledge to enjoy the parks to their fullest extent. She shares her observations, tips, and even some occasional secrets in her blog, “In the Shadow of the Mouse.” She also covers the smaller attractions and fun things to do a little farther afield than Orlando.

When she’s not out playing in the theme parks or writing for HypeOrlando, she works on her theme parks and attractions column at and her Pet Supplies & Product Reviews column at She also teaches psychology at an online college (yep, she’s actually Dr. Barb), books Disney cruises for travel clients, writes self-help and theme park related ebooks, and tends to her menagerie of dogs, cats, birds, horses, guinea pigs, and bettas (and tries to avoid the “Animal Hoarders” TV crew).