Disney breaks ground on California Storyliving neighborhood community, 1st of its kind in US

The Rancho Mirage location was once a retreat for Walt Disney and his wife, Lillian.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- The Walt Disney Co. broke ground Tuesday on its first U.S.-based Storyliving, a new community for Disney fans that incorporates the company's brand of magic.

It's not a theme park and it's not in Disney World -- it's a new housing community in Southern California's Coachella Valley.

More than 600 acres of open land in Rancho Mirage are about to be transformed into Cotino, a location that was once a retreat for Walt Disney and his wife, Lillian.

"The story is really about the residents of the community," said Thomas Mazloum, president of Disney Signature Experiences. "This is what makes this so very, very different. Because it isn't just about our program -- which will be spectacular -- but it is really where our residents and the community can write and live their own story."

The development will offer single-family homes and condominiums, plus a hotel, shopping, dining and entertainment -- even a beach in the middle of the desert.

"This is a full community," said Michael Hundgen, a Walt Disney Imagineering executive producer. "And what we're hoping is that folks here can treat this like their creative oasis."

MORE: Disney launches new neighborhood community, Storyliving
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Disney announced the launch of Storyliving, a new community for fans to live in that incorporates the company's brand of magic.



"We're very lucky that Walt has roots here, to the Coachella Valley," Hundgen said. "He used to come and he brought his Imagineers, his animators, and they would come to be inspired. They would come to use it as a creative outlet. We're bringing forward that same legacy as we think about what we hope for the residents here."

The company has yet to list the prices of the homes. They are set to go on sale in early 2023, and the first residents are expected to move in early 2024.

Additional locations in the U.S. are under exploration for future development.

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