Disney is one of the most recognizable brands in the world when it comes to media. In the minds of most consumers, they stand for high-quality, family-friendly entertainment. Now they want to take the same approach of worldbuilding that they have used for their theme parks and movie franchises to residential community development. They have already announced their plans to design, build, and manage a master-planned community in Rancho Mirage, California, under their Storyliving by Disney brand.
The Rancho Mirage development (named Cotino) is a nod to the company’s founder, Walt Disney, who lived in the area. Disney had initially planned on developing communities. Originally, the Epcot Center plans included a utopian city with full-time residents, but those plans were scrapped after Disney’s death.
The communities are designed to be more than just rows of houses; they will be more like golf communities that have proliferated where residents will have the opportunity to join an onsite club, giving them access to amenities like a clubhouse and club-only beach area. They also plan to have shopping, dining, a beachfront hotel, and of course Disney-themed activities.
Cotino is the first of what Disney hopes to be many of these communities (some of which will be focused on residents 55 and older). Disney Parks are known for their hospitality, a feat achieved by both staff training and technology. Now that they are pursuing real estate is stands to reason that they will bring the same mentality and tech stack to their developments, something that could set a new standard of expectation when it comes to community management.