Developments to Provide a Disney Lifestyle for Fans

First project will be nearly 2K units in Rancho Mirage
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2022 4:47 PM CST
Developments to Provide a Disney Lifestyle for Fans
Disney built but no longer manages Celebration, Florida.   (Getty/seif187)

(Newser) – The Walt Disney Co. is getting back into developing housing communitites, giving fans a chance to "be part of Disney all of the time," an executive said Wednesday. The first project, Cotino, will be in Rancho Mirage, California, and include about 1,900 housing units, USA Today reports. "There is incredible demand for all things Disney," said the executive, Josh D'Amaro, "Our fans continue to look for new ways to engage with us, to keep Disney as part of their lives." A new branch of the company, Storyliving by Disney, will handle the developments.

The company's research-and-development team, the Imagineers, will be involved in designing the communities. Telling stories will be part of the experience, the company said, especially about the area's culture and history, and the residents will participate. "Every single element of these communities will be steeped in a story," D'Amaro said. Condos, single-family homes, and condominiums will be sold, per the Wall Street Journal, and at least one portion of the project will be for residents 55 and older. Plans call for the centerpiece to be a 24-acre lagoon, designed to use a minimum of energy and water.

Disney has done something like this before, building a 5,000-acre community, Celebration, in Florida in the 1990s. The company no longer manages Celebration. In 2011, it opened a luxury resort home development in Florida, Golden Oak. This time, Disney will brand the communities, working with DMB Development, an Arizona firm. But Disney won't build or sell the homes. Once Cotino opens, Disney employees will take care of day-to-day operations such as customer service. They'll also produce seminars, wellness programs, activities, and live entertainment for residents. (Read more Walt Disney Co. stories.)

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