Oh, Boy! Mickey Mouse Is Back in the Real Estate Business

Oh, Boy! Mickey Mouse Is Back in the Real Estate Business
(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

Disney is building new Mickey Mouse communities. One might be coming to your neighborhood soon! OH, BOY!, cried Mickey. OHHhhh, Boy!

Disney, 24/7. Disney, all day, all night, might be their worst idea since 2011’s “Mars Needs Moms.” The Mickey Mouse brand tried 24/7 Disney real estate once before. It worked out like a broken “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride. Like fake, dead-eyed animatronics staring back at you.

Disney first put down a planned community survey stake in Florida in the 90s. Walt’s guys imagineered a planned community of robots walking about, blathering the “Truman Show” greeting: “In Case I Don’t See Ya, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, And Goodnight.”

The community was (and still is) called “Celebration.” It was beset with construction defects and a Disney creepiness like “Stepford Wives” on a sugar-high. Initially, there was a lottery for bids to get into Celebration. Over 5,000 Disney weirdos, bidding on 457 homes. But soon, the owners were hit with hypoglycemic-like withdrawals. Grumpy Disney fans with mortgages. Construction problems were fixed. Kinda. Six models, and you had limited choices of curtain colors. An HOA on Disney steroids.

Then the real estate bubble popped. Like busted animatronics, homes were left vacant, but with color coordinated curtains. Disney weirdos couldn’t pay their mortgages, so banks unplugged Disney fanatics from their fantasy home and cast them off the gate, past Walt’s statue, into the real world.

And then there was the Dead Pool. Ok, it’s nickname was the “Death Pond”,” but Disney owns “Dead Pool” so lets call it the Dead Pool. The Dead Pool is a pond close to Celebration. In 1998, police found three decomposed guys in an SUV at the bottom of the murky waters. I couldn’t find anything that told me if they wearing fake, Disney pirate hats, but the rumor is the Dead Pool is haunted.

So now, Disney is back in the real estate business. Kind of like BlackRock, but with Mickey Ears.

The first Mouse Houses are going up in Riverside County, California. Why Riverside? Come on, Dumbo, because Walt had a home in Riverside County. Seriously, that was one of the reasons given by Disney. The first planned community is in Rancho Mirage. For folks outside of California, that’s “Palm Springs” by a different name.

According to the website, it’s a planned, Disney-branded community… but not really. Disney is just lending its name apparently. So it’s fake, really. Very on-brand for Disney.


Website for planned, creepy Disney community. Credit: Storyliving By Disney website

From the website:

Disney is not the developer of Cotino™, a Storyliving by Disney community or the builder or seller of homes within Storyliving by Disney communities; third-parties developing and building are independently owned and operated.”

This time, Disney is trying to attract older Disney weirdoes, like boomer, Disneyland clients who remember Disneyland booklets with E-tickets. Disney is hoping the Disney name is like a bug light attracting older Disney fanatics to a planned community with a Disney “feel” this time.

But, unlike Celebration, it’s not being built by Disney’s scenic carpenters (or seven dwarfs). Disney has handed the building and construction to third-party contractors. No more Celebration debacles this time. Oh, Boy! But, good news, for fan of Disney fakery, “imagineers” will help develop the community’s “richness” of “Storyliving by Disney.”

Per Martin Lewison, a professor at Farmington State College (deemed “Professor Roller Coasters”), he sees it as a perfect fit for Disney branding because the demand for Disney fakery is, apparently, “insatiable and inelastic.” By the way, “inelastic” is defined as nearing a “necessity” of life like food or fuel.

Sorry, Mickey — I’m gonna pass.

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