I’m going to get my bias and skepticism out of the way so you can bypass my stance and get to the nitty gritty. I can’t think of anything worse than a corporation hellbent on global domination developing their own corporate residential communities. It’s like we’ve learned nothing from literally every single historical and fictional depiction of a business owning small towns. I don’t care how magical you still find the Matterhorn. Disney building residential communities is literally the premise of “Resident Evil,” and feels more like a real life Umbrella Corporation than a magical time of living next to Goofy. They already own over 50% of all pop culture-related media consumed by Americans. They last thing we need in this world is Mickey Mouse as landlord.
Ok, so now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into what is actually happening. In an announcement on Wednesday, Disney stated their plans to begin building residential neighborhoods.
“Picture an energetic community with the warmth and charm of a small town and the beauty of a resort,” Helen Pak, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products executive, said in a promotional video. The plan for these communities is to provide single family homes and condos to people wanting to live in a “Storyliving by Disney” type community, described as residential, upscale town with Disney’s “special brand of magic.”
The neighborhoods will include residential homes centered around a range of shopping, dining, entertainment and leisure activities. Disney employees, referred to as “cast members,” will operate the community association and handle day-to-day operations. Imagine DownTown Disney, but instead of Disneyland next door, it’s just your neighbor, Bob. “Each site will have core Disney DNA. Each will also have a very distinct personality drawing inspiration from the local landscape, the history and the culture,” Josh D’Amor, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products chairman said. The communities will be planned and drafted by both their Imagineers as well as third party developers looking to partner with Disney in this new venture.
The first of these communities will be built in the Coachella Valley, specifically Rancho Mirage near where Walt Disney once owned a home. This first community is named Cotino, and will be based around an artificial lagoon, private beaches, hotels, shopping centers and of course, Disney shit everywhere. It will provide single family homes, condos, and estates, as well as areas specifically for residents ages 55 and older.
There is no word on the cost of development or housing prices, nor are reservations available to those who wish to move to a Disney-themed town in the middle of the California desert. It is still in the very early stages of development, so be on the look out for more details and progress as this bizarre but probably lucrative venture takes shape.