In August of 2021 I wrote here that The Walt Disney Company was in talks with Tavistock Development Company to partner on an age-restricted community in Tavistock's Sunbridge development near Orlando.
The odds of a Disney 55+ community in Florida improved significantly in February 2022 when Disney announced “Storyliving”, communities envisioned as enriching enclaves where “The Disney Touch” is at the heart of it all.
Here's their first promo video about Storyliving:
O.k., now I'm REALLY excited!
The first Storyliving community, named Cotino, will be in Rancho Mirage, California. While it does not sound like it will be completely 55+, Disney has said that at least one neighborhood within the community will be designed for adults 55+.
Is a Central Florida Location Next?
I don't see why not, especially when you consider how close it would put residents to Walt Disney World Resort.
And Storyliving Communities will be managed by Disney Cast Members well-versed in the company's brand of world-class service, so where better to draw that talent from than the parks themselves?
Now, Del Webb is already building a 55+ community in Sunbridge, but the idea of having multiple 55+ communities within the same master-planned development is not a new one.
After hearing just how big their Storyliving initiative will be, it's hard to say if Disney would be o.k. with installing a Storyliving community within an existing master-plan development, or if they'd prefer to do something on their own.
Time will tell, but either way, I'll be shocked if Central Florida isn't the second or third Storyliving community location.
Disney World for Adults
As the world's most popular retirement community, The Villages (also in Central Florida) has long been referred to (unofficially) as “Disney World for Adults”, but it sounds maybe like Disney wants to take a shot at creating “The Real Disney World for Adults”.
I know there are a lot of Disney fans in The Villages and I'm sure that even those who aren't big Disney fans have to make the occasional obligatory trip when the grandkids/family come to town, so this new community might be a more convenient option for them and others like them.
The Villages is a little more than an hour away from Walt Disney World and the Orlando International Airport.
But the Sunbridge location is only about 25 minutes away from Disney and 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport.
While no community will ever match the breadth and depth of the amenities that The Villages offers residents, a Disney community such as this would only need to offer the right amenities to the right group of people to be a hit.
Not the First Disney Community in Florida
It would not be Disney's first try at a community here in Florida. They had a hand in the early stages of development of Celebration, and they are currently developing Golden Oak, a community of luxury single-family homes adjacent to Walt Disney World.
Golden Oak residents get access to a nice list of Disney benefits like park and special event tickets, VIP tours, shuttle service between the parks and the community, Disney-themed holiday decorations throughout the community, and more.
Similar perks would be attractive to retirees considering a Disney-themed age-restricted community.
The idea of a well-loved brand partnering on a 55+ development is not new. Just look at Jimmy Buffett and Minto Development's success with Latitude Margaritaville.
The “Disney Del Webb”
One community that is being developed right now is actually closer to Disney than any potential Disney 55+ will ever be. So close in fact that I've taken to calling it “The Disney Del Webb”.
Del Webb Oasis in Winter Garden, located just minutes from Disney and other attractions, is a highly anticipated new Del Webb community in the Orlando area.
Like most Del Webb communities, Del Webb Oasis will have a long list of amenities for 55+ residents to enjoy, including a 12,000 sq. ft. resort-style amenity center.
Again, I can't say 100% for sure if this Disney 55+ community is happening, but if it does come to fruition it could be very interesting.
I believe there are certainly enough 55+ Disney fans out there that this community could be a massive success should they decide to move forward.
So, would YOU live in a Disney-themed 55+ community? Let me know in the comments down below!