Disney “Storyliving” Residents Endorse New Neighborhood
PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA— The Walt Disney Company has entered the housing market and has begun building neighborhoods in California while also having its sights set on development in Miami and Orlando. With this newest venture, dubbed “Storyliving”, Disney hopes to create the first retirement communities meant entirely for working families. This bold and expensive foray into real-estate comes at a time when the Walt Disney Company has been facing major losses and investors are evidently skeptical over whether now is the right time to colonize the entire state of Florida. In hopes of quelling his investors’ fears, CEO Bob Iger had this to say: “You have to spend exorbitant amounts of money while sticking to a failing business model to make money.”
The company’s first neighborhood, Cotino, is tucked away in a secluded, mountainous area of California and completely gated off. Homes in these neighborhoods cost upwards of five million dollars, leaving some Disney fans wondering if it would just be cheaper to visit the parks instead. However all residents of these newly built neighborhoods, few as they currently are, had nothing but positive things to say about their experiences as the residents of Cotino. Upon purchasing the necessary Day Pass to enter, I was able to interview some of the residents of the Disney neighborhood; here’s what they had to say.
Patricia Stanton, the matriarch of a family of four, was at first apprehensive about living in a neighborhood run by a media conglomerate. But she eventually acquiesced to her children who wanted to seize the opportunity to live in a Disney-run neighborhood and moved her family into a two-story Spanish style colonial on Snow White Street. “My husband and I hardly even notice the security cameras anymore,” said Stanton. “My children love to wave into them, say ‘hello’ to whoever’s watching them.”
Collin Verrone, meanwhile, is a divorced father who lives on Deadpool Street with his thirteen year-old son. Getting used to the commute was a challenge for him as someone who works in- person at a law firm: “The traffic is so backed up along the most roads that you’re better off getting the Fast Pass. Especially during rush hour,” spoke Verrone. “And thanks to the Fast Pass, I can take Main Street and finally get to work on time. Of course, having to exit through the Gift Shop can still take a while; you end up buying shirts and mugs you probably don’t need, but what can you do?”
Disney neighborhoods each come with a performance hall where plays and musicals are staged at night that residents can 2 attend. These performances are usually sold out as landlords and Neighborhood Board members will often take attendance at the concert halls. Residents are unaware of the purpose behind the frequent taking of attendance, but it is better not to chance anything.
CEO Bob Iger wanted to create as deep and believable an impression of living in a magical world of Disney branded characters as possible, and so the cast members who embody the characters on stage day-in and day-out never break character, even when they are not before an audience. Evidently, neighbors of Snow White are awoken every morning by sounds of singing and subsequent flapping birds, while neighbors of Winnie-the-Pooh are asked daily whether they have honey he can borrow. “I think we both know that you can’t borrow honey,” opined one resident anonymously. “I mean, Pooh’s going to give the honey back to me, when?”
At press time, many outspoken residents had been issued by the Neighborhood Board to relocate into a separate section of Cotino called Neverland for reasons unknown.