/ Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Today Disney unveiled Golden Oak, a one-of-a-kind luxury residential resort offering the unprecedented opportunity to purchase a home at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Named after Walt Disney’s “Golden Oak Ranch” in California, Golden Oak will offer single-family custom homes priced between approximately $1.5 and $8 million on the 980-acre site.

This artist’s rendering depicts a Tuscan village courtyard home, one of several architectural styles featured in the unique community. Fewer than 30 home sites will be available for purchase this year, and residents will have access to the full service spa, restaurants, golf course and event space. More information is available at DisneyGoldenOak.com. The official Disney Parks blog post can be found here

What are your thoughts on Golden Oak? Share them in the Comments below:



33 thoughts on “Disney Unveils Golden Oak Residential Community in Walt Disney World”

  1. Daniel says:

    “if i had 8 million dollars, i would buy me a house on Disney”

  2. Joshua Olive says:

    I hate that WDW land is being used for developments like this and the now mostly defunct low cost shopping center on the Western Way edge of the property. Walt went to an awful lot of trouble, going so far as to use shell corporations, to buy up all that land, and it’s just not being to the best possible use. The “blessing of size” is being diminished, and I hate to see it.

    I’d love to live there – how incredible would it be to literally have WDW in your backyard?! – but, on the whole, I think this parsing out of the land at WDW is not the best idea.

  3. Steven Acevedo says:

    All I can say is WOW!!!

    The designs look very posh.

  4. Laurel says:

    Just one more way for Disney to make themselves unaccessable to the average man/woman. I don’t think Walt would have liked this.

  5. Vanessa Schomberg says:

    It looks wonderful and what for a great idea to build something like that. If I would have so much money I would buy a house there and come to live in Florida. This is one of my oldest and longest dreams :)I can imagine too, it´ll be a great place for retired persons. Well, nobody knows what will happen in my life. Maybe in many years, when I am retired, I´m so rich I can live in the WDW area at that beautiful place. Really love that idea. Thank you for sharing with us Lou 🙂

  6. Mark Vitek says:

    If I were to hit the Powerball or MegaMillions, I’d be first in line to buy. But I think there’s few that can afford this that truly appreciate the WDW magic.


  7. Kari says:

    It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. A Disney vacation is already expensive, maybe a once in a lifetime for many families. These houses are aimed at the very wealthy. It makes me feel like the company is spending time and money to profit from something that won’t improve my visit at all. It doesn’t fit with my image of the resort I love so much. I hope this is a single venture and not a preview of the target audience of the future.

  8. Ryan Verrier (DisFanRyan) says:

    I do not like this idea at all. Disneyland and Walt Disney World is a place where adults and their children can go and enjoy a day together. I am pretty sure Walt would look at this and feel that the company is again taking advantage of his name to make a buck. Hopefully they spend the money they make on this deal to build more rides in the new fantasy land instead of just a bunch of meet and greets.

  9. Emma (disneybarbie) says:

    wow.. if I win the lottery – I’ll buy one! 😉

    I think the design is lovely – and I sort of understand the high price tag, they’re exclusive homes/vacation homes in an amazing location; not a new town like Celebration is.

    The Four Seasons resort is going to be in this area too isn’t it?

    Hopefully the revenue from these homes will be invested into new attractions in the parks.. and maybe a fifth park, one day! there are still thousands of acres for Disney to build on in WDW 🙂

  10. wdwprince says:

    I think this is very exciting. The luxury end of Walt Disney World has barely been tapped. With the addition of the Four Seasons, WDW is now going to be more well rounded. Families can still enjoy the parks, nothing will change. There is still plenty of land available to expand for future parks or developments, so land isn’t really an issue.
    The only issue is-how soon can I save enough money to buy a house at Golden Oaks!

  11. Don says:

    I can’t wait. Bring it on!

  12. wdwprince says:

    The only issue is-how long will it take for me to save up to buy one?!

  13. Jim says:

    I think it’s interesting that Disney is focusing on the wealthy when I don’t think the majority of their guests and fans are. I’m not saying there are not wealthy people who are fans but you just have to read the many web sites out there about trip planning. A lot of people need to save money just to go on a Disney trip ever two years or so.

  14. BigTex71 says:

    For all the people complaining about the prices: what if they were ‘affordable’? You most likely wouldn’t be able to buy them anyway, because the demand would be so great. They would have to run a lottery just to allow people to bid on the houses.

    I’m sure these will sell. Heck, I bet they could charge twice as much and still sell them. These are houses located on the property of the most visited family destination on the face of the planet. If they don’t sell I would be shocked.

  15. Bonnie in FL says:

    I gotta admit, if I had the money, I would LOVE to live there!

  16. JThadeusToad says:

    Does anyone know exactly where Golden Oaks will be located? On the Golden Oaks Website there’s a map on the gallery page that seems to place it right where Fort Wilderness is. I hope that’s not the case. I assume that the development will be on the Osprey Ridge Gold Course but hopefully on the opposite side of Fort Wilderness.

  17. JThadeusToad says:

    In reference to my above post, I looked on Google Earth and there’s some space between Fort Wilderness and Osprey Ridge where Golden Oaks might be going but there’s not too much room and it seems like access would be a problem.

  18. DisneysFolly says:

    This is actually a bit insulting to the spirit of the park. I’m not going to pretend that Walt wasn’t a businessman but he clearly wasn’t buying all the land in Florida for this type of wealthy exclusivity. And in this economy when people are getting foreclosed on homes a mere fraction of this cost and struggling to keep their morsel of an American dream alive, to watch the wealthy get this nice new prize…it’s just sickening. Disney has the money to make this happen but can’t fix a Yeti audio-animatronic, or extend a monorail line?

    Yeah if i had the money i’d scoop one of these up, but I’m going to be stuck in the middle class for a long time and i’d like to see Disney remember their core audiences.

  19. Jeremy says:

    The Walt Disney Company has made some genius decisions in recent memory and some not so. But from the surface this has to be one of the most moronic things that I have ever heard of. The biggest question is WHY?! WHY?! WHY?! Let the super wealthy purchase a home somewhere else. Why sell homes on Disney property? I don’t care if “you have more land than you can ever develop.” Really? A little short-sighted don’t you think? Even if that were true, which I definitely don’t believe, why not let the millions of visitors each year enjoy the beauty of the property? Instead we get a gated community and 1000 acres gone. Insanity and greed all tied up in one.

  20. Emma Godbold says:

    Hmmmm…I’m not sure of the reasoning behind the mega pricey homes but Disney must have a reason and know that there is a market. There are ‘exclusive’ developments all over the world and many of us dream of one day living like kings (and princesses!) so why shouldn’t there be such a development that we can dream about located in WDW…the place where dreams come true.

  21. anna says:

    I have to agree with most of the other comments, Walt would not have liked it. Walt wanted some space to stay “green”. I hope these homes are well hidden so not everyone has to see them.

  22. JThadeusToad says:

    It was always Walt’s intention to have residential areas at Disney World. And at this point there is really no way to make single-family homes at Disney World without selling them for that much money. These will be highly coveted properties. Even if they decided to sell them for $100k, as soon as they were filled up the owners could probably turn around and sell them for over a million dollars. I think that just by the virtue of the location they are easily worth seven figures. I guess they could develop a town house community, or something along that line, to cater to a lower price bracket but even these would be worth many times more than a community off Disney Property.

    I know that I can’t afford to live at Disney World but that isn’t really Disney’s fault. I think it’s cool that they’re returning to another piece of Walt’s vision for the property even though I think that to make it possible today, it will certainly look different from his original intentions.

  23. Sarah says:

    I think it would be a dream to live near WDW but I also hope that it doesn’t mess with the openess that already exists. When is Lou moving there??? 😉

  24. D.J. says:

    Wasn’t this what Celebration was suppose to be?

    Why in the world would they use up land to build more housing?

    Now granted maybe I’m just jealous because I don’t have 1.5-8 million just sitting around.

    Did they mention the monorail expanding over there? If so, I might have to re-think my position…

  25. Mike Fink says:

    We’ll have to wait and see how Disney deals with the municipal voting rights to which on-property homeowners are entitled. At present there are less than 50 permanent residents on property, most of whom are Disney employees. They will be outnumbered by the residents of Golden Oak, people whose needs and desires may be at odds with those of Disney.

    Walt did in fact want residential areas in WDW — EPCOT was meant to be a real city with neighborhoods and housing, etc. But the inhabitants of EPCOT were never intended to be permanent property owners. Walt was clear he never wanted that. The main reason Disney bought so much property in central Florida was to gain municipal control of the area, thereby gaining control of zoning issues, building codes, etc. Walt was very aware placing permanent residents on site, and thus giving them municipal voting rights, would threaten corporate control.

    The original purpose of having residents in EPCOT was to facilitate the sort of urban experimentation the city was designed to foster. Only by having on-site residents could Disney and their partners experiment with new housing and transportation concepts. Golden Oak is not experimental — it is just another exclusive gated community for the very rich. Nothing new about this. The state of Florida is loaded with these things.

    I am personally disappointed to learn of this project. Its elitist nature is contrary to the egalitarian spirit of Disney World. Don’t be surprised if the residents of Golden Oak are awarded ‘permanent Fastpasses’ and receive other front-of-line special treatment.

    The only good thing about it is they gave Ward Kimball a nod by naming one of the neighborhoods after him. I can’t imagine Ward, however, would think much of this project. He’d probably want to spray paint graffiti on its gates.

  26. Mike Fink says:

    One more thought, a question really. Is Eisner back? Did I miss something?

  27. Andrew Holden says:

    I would rather live in Celebration than here. I don’t think I will ever (even if I became that rich) want to spend 8 million dollars on a house. Come on, I mean that much money could feed all of Africa!

  28. Kaitlin Miller says:

    My future home!!! (:

  29. Carly says:

    I want to see the list of people who have signed up to put their down payments down. Who are these millionaire die-hard Disney fans? Is John Stamos moving in?

  30. Christy says:

    I think we should remember that Disney also just announced their new Value Resort. They are working on expanding on both ends of the spectrum and I can definitely see the demand being there for both. If I had millions I would definitely be on the list for one of these homes. Part of Walt’s dream for his land purchase in Orlando was to build EPCOT as a residential community. As long as they don’t start tapping into the land that he reserved for wildlife conservation, I am happy to see new versions of his ideas being realized.

  31. Queen of Hearts Chauffeur says:

    Hey, at least there won’t be big, ugly fish standing on their heads on top of these houses. Is that ugly fish hotel still at WDW?

  32. Queen of Hearts Chauffeur says:

    I was just thinkin’…for $8 million you could buy your own Tom Sawyer Island and build an Injun Joe’s cave, an Indian Village, a big, log fort condominium and have a keel boat to boot!

  33. Mike Fink says:

    Turns out Disney de-annexed the property where GO will be built. It is now governed by Orange County.

    If no one is allowed to live in the castle, no one should be allowed to live in the kingdom. Re: Golden Oak, I’m A’GIN it!