For Some, It’s Not ‘Near the Beach,’ It’s Disney


For prices ranging from a few million to $19M– and yearly fees from $20K to $30K – upscale Disney fans live 5 minutes from Epcot and enjoy a roster of insider amenities.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Disneyphiles have flocked to Golden Oak, the only residential community in the world located on Walt Disney Co. resort property, for the past decade. Since the first homes sold around 2011, the enclave of 299 homes has become a mecca for Disney lovers, with home prices ranging from the low millions to $19 million.

While many Floridians pay a premium to enjoy an ocean view, this group of luxury buyers prefers castles and cartoon mice.

Matt McKee, a local real estate agent with Compass, said Golden Oak real estate is akin to other markets with extremely limited inventory. When he listed a Golden Oak house for $10 million last year, he had 50 showings and sold it for close to asking price, he said.

Developed by Disney in partnership with a selection of local builders, the neighborhood is dotted with statues of Disney characters. The community is so close to Walt Disney World’s four theme parks that residents can be at Epcot in about five minutes. Some can see the nightly fireworks at Magic Kingdom from their homes.

Disney handles Golden Oak’s day-to-day operations, and residents get perks, such as private bus transportation to the parks and early access to new rides. Disney animators, actors and other personalities hold seminars at Golden Oak’s on-site clubhouse, Summerhouse, which includes several restaurants.

Summerhouse membership is mandatory, and combined with homeowners association dues, live in Golden Oak costs residents about $20,000 to $30,000 a year, depending on which part of Golden Oak they live in, according to local agents.

Source: Wall Street Journal (05/11/23) Clarke, Katherine

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