Disney to develop residential communities so fans can 'make Disney a bigger part of their lives'

Disney has good news for fans who think the company hasn't taken over their lives enough already.

The Walt Disney Company announced Wednesday it's launching a new business to develop its own residential communities. The company said these will be "vibrant new neighborhoods" where Disney cast members "will operate the community association," and Disney's Imagineers, who work on the company's theme parks, will develop the "creative concept for the communities."

The first one of these communities will be built in California's Rancho Mirage, where Walt Disney once owned a home, and it will offer estates, single family homes, and condominiums, Disney said.

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"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," said Josh D'Amaro, the chair of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. "We can't wait to welcome residents to these beautiful and unique Disney communities where they can live their lives to the fullest."

Disney said this new initiative, dubbed "Storyliving by Disney," comes as fans "look for new ways to make Disney a bigger part of their lives," and the Rancho Mirage community will have its own section for those 55 and older. The company is partnering with DMB Development to develop the communities, and according to The Verge, Disney itself won't actually own or sell the homes.

Disney previously developed a residential community in Florida near its Walt Disney World park called Celebration in the 1990s, The Wall Street Journal notes. The company sold it to a private equity firm in 2004, according to The Daily Beast.

The Wednesday announcement only offered details about its plans for the Rancho Mirage community, but it said additional U.S. locations are "are under exploration for future development."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.