Postgrad life has taught many of us that despite what our parents said, dreams don’t always come true. This was confirmed when Prince William got married, and I didn’t become a princess. Luckily, my dreams of becoming a Disney princess are still very much alive and well. Walt Disney Co. has a gated community called Golden Oak, and it’s the only place you can own a home within Disney-resort boundaries.
Figuring out where to live as an adult can be hard, so why not live somewhere where you don’t actually have to become an adult? After all, even though it is in Central Florida, Disney World is the most magical place on earth. You just have to ignore all of the ridiculous headlines from across the state (and bath salts), which is easy enough if you’re hidden away in a private castle.
The community is currently preparing for as many as 450 homes to be built on the Lake Buena Vista site, all close enough to the park that you can watch the fireworks from the properties. While I love Disney fireworks as much as the next girl, I can’t help but think that nightly noise wouldn’t exactly be relaxing. My next door neighbor’s in a band, and while I like music, once you hear enough of something it starts to lose its luster (I hope he’s reading this as he drums).
If you’re interested in spending your well earned paycheck on a home in Neverland, get ready to throw down some serious coinage. These dream homes start at $1.7 million, which is a bargain price, as some homes have sold for more than $7 million. Real talk: for that price, I’d rather live somewhere that wasn’t on the outskirts of Orlando. If you’ve ever enjoyed the nightlife of downtown O-town or driven on the highways, you’ll know for certain that better cities exist, even if they aren’t full of adults role playing as cartoon characters, but hey, you can always find a plushie community.
After you toss down a couple mil, prepare to pay property taxes and annual fees as high as $12,000. While you may think that’s an exorbitant amount because it’s roughly half or your yearly salary (don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone), there are lots of bennies included (unlike at your job). The perks of living in Disney include park passes, direct transportation to the parks, extended hours, and a private clubhouse with a restaurant and concierge. Residents will also have access to the spa and dining rooms at the $370 million, 444-room Four Seasons resort opening in the neighborhood. That’s cool, growing up I had access to a little community store called Mr. Grocers that sold specialty items like Four Lokos and Horny Goat Weed, so I understand how important amenities are.
The community is made up of Disney obsessed folks from across the globe. I’m picturing a live-action version of “It’s a Small World,” and instead of the earworm of a song, nightly fireworks are the entertainment. Some are even permanent residents, which sounds odd to me, because doesn’t that ruin just a little bit of the magic? But hey, I’d love to be on a permanent vacation, Peter Pan style. Unlike Celebration, the creepy Pleasantville/Truman Show-esque town Disney originally created, this is a neighborhood that they intend to have almost full control over. If you think your hood is strict about what you can have, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I grew up in South Florida, home of the gated communities, where each house looked like a little cookie cutter situation. This Disney community is way more intense. There are only seven handpicked custom builders that are allowed to design your home.
Then, there are restrictions on literally everything, from front doors (solid wood), to shutters (they have to actually work, how quaint), to the gutters. That’s right, your gutters have to be rounded, and either copper or another high-end material. Personally, I’d go with gold. Possibly even diamond encrusted, with little Mickey mice heads hidden throughout. After all, most of the houses have hidden Mickey’s all over. Some are so hard to find that the homes come with Mickey maps. The homes that already exist are all pretty snazzy, with special touches like a fireworks tower. Personally, I would love a turret, where I could wait patiently for my prince to come, because until then, it doesn’t look like a Disney home is in my future.
[via Yahoo! Finance]