The Next Phase of Welcome Home

The phrase, “Welcome home,” takes on an entirely new meaning this week, as The Walt Disney Company announces its next big project.

Coming Soon: Storyliving by Disney

The pandemic caused any number of surprising disruptions in society and corporate America.

Perhaps the oddest one involves the lucrative real estate market. When the pandemic started, real estate friends worried that they’d never make a sale again.

Instead, the reverse happened. With so many people working from home, they discovered the freedom to live wherever they wanted.

Many workers moved, leading to explosive growth in the real estate industry. I swear that it’s worth nearly half a trillion dollars now!

Disney noticed this upward trajectory and wanted a slice. In fact, the company had already dipped its toes in the industry several times before.

The most recent example is Golden Oak, the luxurious neighborhood on the Walt Disney World campus.

Courtesy of Disney Tourist Blog

For a cost of a few million dollars, some fortunate souls get to live at Disney all the time!

Now, executives are ready to expand on this premise. They just announced Storyliving by Disney, a series of neighborhoods coming to various cities.

Details remain scarce for now. Disney has primarily focused on the first development, Cotino, near Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley.

This development fits closer with the Golden Oak prototype, as the homes here will cost a fortune.

However, the underlying strategy isn’t an appeal to Disney’s richest customers. Instead, Disney is targeting another subset of fans.

What Is Storyliving?

In a way, Storyliving by Disney will expand on the Disney Vacation Club premise, as people can “live at Disney,” so to speak.

You will purchase a home in a Disney community, one that celebrates the magic daily. Disney envisions it as appealing to like-minded Mickey Mouse fans.

That’s a lucrative way to herd hundreds of Disney fans into the same space.

Meanwhile, cast members will work in these neighborhoods as permanent extensions of the Disney Bubble.

No, you won’t live close to a theme park, but you’ll feel like you’re at Disney thanks to the amenities and experienced cast members.

Disney has promised the following:

“Disney will also provide access to curated experiences, such as wellness programming; entertainment ranging from live performances to cooking classes; philanthropic endeavors; seminars and much more…”

In addition, each community will include a private club that you can join for an annual membership fee.

I’d argue this should be a default part of a Storyliving by Disney purchase, but I know Bob Chapek won’t agree with me.

Anyway, the idea here is akin to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Cottages in Orlando.

In calendar 2019, this builder sold more than $454 million in homes at an average cost of more than $400,000.

Disney recognizes an opportunity to get a slice of that pie. Plus, if it can sell club memberships, it will milk fans out of even more money…while they’re in their homes!

Of course, none of us will care because we get to say we live at Disney, which is all many of us want anyway, right?

Then again, buying Disney Vacation Club points is smarter. These resorts are close to Disney theme parks, something Storyliving communities cannot claim.

I’m not gonna lie, though. If Disney sells a Storyliving neighborhood in my area, I’ll probably buy there.

Access all DVC resale listings and learn more about buying and selling with DVC Resale Market.


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