Disney building ‘Storyliving’ residential communities starting in California town

The development will feature an artificial oasis

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Thursday 17 February 2022 08:23 GMT
Disney announces planned ‘Storyliving’ residential community
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Disney already owns a metaverse or two of media franchises, as well as numerous theme parks around the world. Now it is continuing its journey towards omnipresence with a newly announced goal of building “Storyliving” planned communities for mega-fans of the mouse.

The communities, which the company says will “warmth and charm of a small town and the beauty of a resort”, will include housing, recreation, and business developments.

The first such development, called Cotino, will be built in the desert of Rancho Mirage, California, in the state’s famed Coachella Valley.

“For nearly 100 years, Disney has shared stories that have touched the hearts and minds of people all around the world,” Josh D’Amaro, chairman, Disney parks, experiences and products, told Deadline. “As we prepare to enter our second century, we are developing new and exciting ways to bring the magic of Disney to people wherever they are, expanding storytelling to storyliving. We can’t wait to welcome residents to these beautiful and unique Disney communities where they can live their lives to the fullest.”

The community will feature single family homes, condos, sections for senior living, and an artificial oasis built in the California desert.

The company says it chose the location in part because Walt and Lillian Disney had a home in the area.

Renderings of the Disney town, which will be staffed by its “cast members” and designed by Disney Imagineers, show buildings influenced by the sleek modern aesthetics of nearby Palm Springs.

The development isn’t Disney’s first foray into residential planning. In the mid-1990s, it built a planned community called Celebration in Florida, which was eventually sold off to a private equity firms and fell into disarray, according to residents.

Disney has long had an interest in urban design and futurism, including the EPCOT Center at Disney World in Florida, short of Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.

The company now has a staggering array of different businesses, moving beyond movies and parks into its own line of cruises and guided adventure travel, as well as owning its own streaming platform.

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