A Golden Opportunity
If you love traveling to Walt Disney World but want to keep the magic going for a little longer, here’s your chance to own a slice of it. For the first time in its history, Disney is selling luxury homes within the resort. Called Golden Oak, this master-planned resort community was developed by Walt Disney Imagineering (the brains who help design everything from the parks and rides to ABC’s Times Square Studios) and is just three miles from the Magic Kingdom.
Owners can choose to live there full-time or use the homes as a vacation retreat for friends and family, although they cannot rent the properties.
And if you think that these homes are plastered with Mickey and Goofy imagery, think again.
iTraveliShop recently toured some of the homes, and we were impressed with what we saw. The best way to think about a Golden Oak property is that it is a luxury home set within Disney, rather than a Disney home – as there is nothing theme park-esque about the properties.
The homes range in price from $1.4 to $8 million dollars, with nary a mouse ear in sight. And once completed, the 450 homes will be spread over 980 acres, set in a conservation area, so even though you’re just a few miles from the theme parks, residents won’t have any crowds or bustle within earshot.
At the center of the community will be a Four Seasons hotel –slated to open in 2014- and Golden Oak owners will have access to the hotel’s amenities, including the full-service spa, restaurants, 18-hole golf course and event space. There are also plans for Summerhouse, a residential clubhouse offering concierge services, ranging from dinner reservations to ticket access. Residents will also enjoy VIP transport to the park (door to door service) as well as early or after-hours parks access.
The homes come in three categories: Village, Estate and Grand Estate, with Village homes being the smallest and Grand Estate the largest, both in terms of square footage of the homes and the lot sizes. Grand Estate homes can cost $8 million or more depending on the level of customization.
The styles of the home draw from Spanish, Tuscan and island colonial architecture. Although each house has a distinct style, the neighborhoods all have a cohesive look, so nothing is jarring. Potential buyers can choose a particular style of home, or buy a plot of land to build a custom-designed house, following strict guidelines (so there’s no fear of a minimalist style box next to a Caribbean style home).
What all of the houses have in common are large, light-filled open place spaces which are ideal for hosting large groups of people, as well as high-end materials and finish. Many of the homes we toured had enormous great rooms, a mix of hardwood and stone floors, and vast kitchens with every luxury amenity, from huge islands (sometimes two), to stainless steel appliances, butler pantries and wine refrigerators. In most houses, nearly every bedroom has an en-suite bathroom, usually with a frameless open shower and high ceilings. Many of the homes were also clustered around a private central courtyard, which often have an outdoor bbq/bar area, as well as a plunge pool and lounge chairs.
Currently, about a dozen homes are under construction and the first resident moved in last week. As an added incentive, families who close on the purchase of a home by Dec 31, 2011 will receive a complimentary five-year VIP pass, providing admission to the passholder and up to four guests.
So go on- let the magic happen, all year round, from the privacy of your own home.
For more information, visit disneygoldenoak.com.