Ever wanted to live in a community of Disney fans? Well, here’s an idea — and it isn’t Disney’s Golden Oak. Disney recently announced a new planned housing community coming soon to California, and we’ve got to talk about it. Storyliving by Disney is a new way to get your fix of Disney magic without leaving home.
Spoiler alert: Storyliving by Disney will become your Disney home. Here’s what to know about Cotino, the new Disney neighborhood coming to Palm Springs.
Storyliving by Disney
Storyliving by Disney is Disney’s brand-new planned housing project that will introduce vibrant new neighborhoods with a magical touch to locations all across the U.S. You may have heard of other Disney neighborhoods — like Celebration, the community that Disney founded in the 1990s, and Golden Oak, the luxury neighborhood on Walt Disney World Resort property near the Four Seasons Resort Orlando — but Storyliving by Disney is completely different, according to Disney.
They explain further on the Disney Parks Blog.
“These master-planned, new home communities are intended to inspire residents to foster new friendships, pursue their interests and write the next exciting chapter in their lives —all while enjoying the attention to detail and special touches that are Disney hallmarks.”
Storyliving by Disney communities will be Disney-branded and designed for Disney fans, offering similar services as the theme parks and resorts. If you’ve ever taken an Aulani vacation or any other Disney trip outside the theme parks, you know that the magic goes beyond rides and fireworks shows. The Disney service and TLC make these experiences unique. So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Disney wants to enhance the company’s brand through communities outside the typical vacation model.
“Picture an energetic community with the warmth and charm of a small town and the beauty of a resort,” described Helen Pak, Senior Vice President of Creative at Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products.
We don’t blame you if you’re drinking the Storyliving by Disney Kool-Aid. It sounds pretty sweet. Disney enthusiasts would likely be super pumped to live in a Disney-built neighborhood, but the Storytelling by Disney communities aren’t exclusively for Disney fans.
From what we can tell, Storyliving by Disney is meant for anyone looking to live in a place purposefully built with Disney’s expert attention to detail.
The heart of Disney truly is the Cast Members — Disney employees make the real Disney magic, and they’re why Disney vacations are pixie-dusted with happiness. So, it makes sense for Disney to want to market their new housing communities as places where people can experience that same type of Disney magic. Only, instead of going on vacation to get your Disney fix, you can just go home.
Where is the First Storyliving Community?
The first Storyliving by Disney location — called Cotino — will be built in Rancho Mirage, CA, near Palm Springs.
This may seem random, but it’s a pretty intentional choice. The mountain-ringed Coachella Valley was once a frequent vacation spot for Walt Disney and his wife, Lillian. Walt and Lillian enjoyed living at their Palm Springs home, Smoke Tree Ranch, for several years before Disneyland was built. Later, with the profits from Disneyland’s success, Walt returned to Smoke Tree Ranch to build a second vacation home there. You can read all about the Disney family’s connection to Palm Springs here, but suffice it to say, Rancho Mirage seems like an ideal location for a Disney neighborhood.
Cotino is described as “a dynamic, creative oasis set within the stunning landscape of Palm Springs — the ultimate destination for curious dreamers and doers seeking exploration, innovation, and inspiration.”
Cotino will feature many neighborhoods and home types, from condos and single-family homes to larger houses and even a community for residents 55 and older. Residents of Cotino can sign up for a voluntary club membership that will offer access to a waterfront clubhouse, a club-only beach area, and recreational water activities. There will also be Disney entertainment and activities throughout the year.
The Storyliving by Disney website promises that these new communities will be staffed with Cast Members who will provide the renowned Disney service that Disney vacation guests have come to know and love. These Cast Members will bring to life experiences and activities for residents, something we’ve come to look forward to every time we visit the theme parks or Disney hotels.
Keep in mind that Cotino, a Storyliving by Disney community, isn’t on Disneyland Resort property. Rancho Mirage is around two hours from the happiest place on Earth, so it’s close enough to make a day trip, especially if you’re a Magic Key holder. It could be an excellent option for anyone who wants to feel Disney magic every day without being completely immersed in the hecticness and commotion of the theme parks. You may want to feel a little enchantment in your day-to-day life without hearing the boom of fireworks every night or experiencing a crowded theme park every afternoon. Or, you may want to invest in your Disney lifestyle in a way that feels more long-term than an Annual Pass. If so, Cotino could be for you.
Can You Visit Cotino if You’re Not a Resident?
If you’re interested in checking out Cotino, you don’t have to be a resident. Disney has confirmed that the community will offer more than just housing. Cotino will also offer a hotel and a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment. There will be a 24-acre “grand oasis” featuring clear turquoise waters and a professionally managed beach park, which the public will be granted access to with the purchase of a day pass.
Only concept art has been released so far. Still, it’s giving Disney Springs-meets-Aulani energy in the middle of the desert — Disney Springs shopping and flair, Aulani resort relaxation and service, and mid-century-modern desert living. Honestly, it’s a whole vibe, and we’re pretty into it.
What’s Next for Storyliving by Disney?
We’re still waiting for more information about Disney’s new master-planned housing communities, so we’ll keep you posted. Currently, it isn’t clear how much these homes will cost — will they be affordable for the average family of Disney fans, or will this be another multi-million-dollar Golden Oak situation? We’re not so sure. From the sounds of it, we can expect a variety of options, including condos, which sounds pretty sweet to us. But for now, it seems like following along on the official website will be your best bet.
Also, note that The Walt Disney Company is not the builder or the developer of the Storyliving by Disney communities, including Cotino. The homes will be developed, built, and sold by third-party independently owned and operated companies. Think of these as Disney-branded neighborhoods, staffed with Disney employees, but not wholly owned by Disney.
We’ll Keep You Up to Date
We’re big Palm Springs fans here at Perfecting the Magic, so we’re stoked for some pixie dust to be coming to the California desert. We’ll share more information over on TikTok as Disney announces it, so follow us there for magical updates.
So Disney plans to build a beach lake in the middle of the desert while Southern California has been in a severe water drought for the past decade and is currently looking at water restrictions for current residents? What are you thinking?