On Wednesday, the company revealed its second Storyliving by Disney community will be built in North Carolina
Home buyers looking to experience the magic of the Happiest Place on Earth every day have a growing number of Disney-designed towns to choose from across the country.
On Wednesday, the company announced its second Storyliving by Disney residential development, Asteria, is currently in the works in North Carolina, near Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. The first one, Cotino, was announced in 2022 and will be located in Rancho Mirage in California’s Coachella Valley.
Storyliving by Disney communities are residential neighborhoods meant to "cater to those looking to write [the] next chapter of their lives with Disney," according to a press release, and will be operated by Disney cast members. While there are no theme parks or similar attractions in or around the developments, the staff there are expected to offer a similar customer service experience that guests would receive at a Disney resort.
But Storyliving is just the latest — and widest reaching — of Disney's real estate-related projects. They've previously completed two other master-planned communities that are just a short drive from the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Here’s everything to know about all of the residential communities operated by Disney.
Storyliving by Disney: Cotino (Rancho Mirage, Calif.)
The first Storyliving by Disney community was announced along with the project as a whole, in February 2022. The desert location is less than 30 minutes outside of Palm Springs and will offer some neighborhoods specifically for residents aged 55 and up. The location holds historic significance as Walt Disney himself owned a home in Rancho Mirage.
While the communities aren't overtly Disney themed, they do include nods to characters and elements of the brand's legacy developed in collaboration with Disney Imagineers. One recreational venue at Cotino, for example, is dubbed the Parr House and draws design inspiration from the Parr family's home featured in Incredibles 2. Signature Disney events and performances will also be held there.
Cotino will also offer amenities one might expect from a Disney resort, like restaurants and wellness centers, which can be accessed via a paid membership to its "Artisan Club."
Interested buyers can schedule a pre-sales appointment for early 2024 on the official website. Single-family homes are expected to be priced between the upper $1 millions and the lower $2 millions.
Storyliving by Disney: Asteria (Pittsboro, N.C.)
Asteria, named for the Greek word for starry sky, is the second Storyliving by Disney community that will be built across 1,500 acres near the Raleigh Durham area. According to a press release, future residents there will get to experience “the spirit of discovery” as it's “designed to encourage exploration of the region’s natural beauty and spark life-long learning."
It will be part of a larger community called Chatham Park and offer similar features to Cotino, like sites targeted for residents over 55 and amenities like a wellness and recreation center, restaurant, sport courts, swimming pools, a community garden and outdoor space intended for lawn games, events and fire pits.
While still in the earliest stages of development, over 4,000 units — including single-family and multi-family homes — are expected to be for sale by 2027.
Golden Oak (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.)
A little over a decade ago, Disney began selling homes in a community it developed called Golden Oak. The luxury residential neighborhood located just four miles from Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is about as close as one can come to living inside the parks.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the first batch of Golden Oak homes were sold in 2011 and sale prices for properties can reach up to $19 million. Residents have a number of theme park perks, such as private shuttles to the resort and early access to new rides.
Each of the eight neighborhoods in this community are meant to offer unique ways of living, from the Tuscan-style homes in the Kimball Trace neighborhood to the classic architecture in the Marceline neighborhood, named after Walt’s hometown in Missouri.
Disney Imagineering is reflected in the design of each home, especially in The Cottages at Symphony Grove neighborhood where one property looks like a replica of Belle's cottage from Beauty and the Beast.
Golden Oak Club members also have access to luxe amenities like the private clubhouse dubbed Summerhouse, which features a pool, fitness center, family recreational space and multiple dining options. Holiday events and exclusive food and beverage tastings are also offered to members throughout the year.
Celebration, Fla. (Former)
The original Disney-designed town dubbed Celebration was announced in 1995. It is located just a few miles from the Walt Disney World in Osceola County, Fla. and it is meant to emulate an American small town feel mixed with a Disney flair.
However, it hasn't actually been associated with Disney for some time.
Following its grand opening to residents in 2004, Disney ended up selling the town shortly after to a private equity firm in a $6.5 million sale, the official website states. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the idea for the town was originally thought up by Disney's largest shareholders in the 1980s, the Bass Brothers, who wanted to break into land development.
While the town may seem picture perfect to outsiders, the outlet reports a handful of flaws have plagued it for years. Locals have complained about there being too many tourists and too much traffic, no movie theater, not enough things to do. They also have to rely on Osceola County police instead of a local police force.
A 2019 story by The Daily Beast also exposed a variety of issues in the community, from its schools to its infrastructure. The residents even sued the private firm that ran the business district for negligence, the outlet reported.
In January 2020, the town made headlines again after a resident was charged with murdering his wife and their three young children.
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