Disney just announced a new project called Storyliving by Disney, “vibrant new neighborhoods that are infused with the Company’s special brand of magic.” It aims to replicate the experience of going to a Disney resort, but instead of visiting, you’d be living there permanently. “These master-planned communities are intended to inspire residents to foster new friendships, pursue their interests and write the next exciting chapter in their lives—all while enjoying the attention to detail, unique amenities and special touches that are Disney hallmarks,” the official Disney announcement reads.
The first Storyliving location is called Cotino and will be in Rancho Mirage, California, located near Palm Springs. It’ll include almost 2,000 housing units in a broad range of options—full estates, single family homes, and condos—and will be open homeowners of all ages, in addition to “at least one section” dedicated to residents over the age of 55. There will be a shopping center, restaurants, a beach community, and even places for non-residents to visit, like a hotel. Prices have yet to be announced but the endeavor is being handled by the same division of Disney that handles its theme parks and cruise lines.
The PR line makes it seem like people who choose to live in a Storyliving location will be getting a 24/7/365 permanent Disney experience. And that’s certainly the vibe you get from all of the official channels, such as this extensive YouTube video.
As someone who considers themselves a Disney fan, I will admit, letting the company handle your life for a few days can be very fun and relaxing. A few rides, good food, live entertainment, it’s great. But... all the time, every day? I don’t care how big of a Disney fan you are, that just seems hugely overwhelming. An all-the-time PG-rated life when it’s nice to get a little PG-13 or R on occasion.
The idea has both worth worked, and not, in the past. Disney attempted a similar but less compact idea in 1996 with the town of Celebration, Florida. It still exists but the company no longer owns it. It also still owns a very high-end community called Golden Oak in Florida, though from what we can tell it’s not as all-immersive as these Storyliving communities aim to be. And all of those are inspired by Walt Disney’s original idea for EPCOT which stands for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.” The idea became the basis for the theme park of the same name and, with the news of Storyliving, seems to still be part of the company’s aspirations today.
You can read much, much more about Storyliving on Disney’s official site and even sign up for potential updates if this sounds like your cup of tea. And if it is, but don’t want to move to California, Disney is looking at other areas to put Storyliving facilities. We recommend Tatooine.
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