Come on let’s all be honest, who wouldn’t want to live on Disney property? Somewhere within that magical 43 square miles of central Florida real estate (save the little Bonnet creek bit)?? We all know about Celebration and that now Disney owns no part of that development but there is something new; something exciting and something, well very very expensive.
I am talking about Golden Oak…. A wondrous piece of Disney property just behind Wilderness Lodge and forming part of the Osprey Ridge golf course. Home to 450 homes (some will be attached) and a massive Four Seasons hotel and Spa. We had the pleasure of seeing the sales centre, chatting with the sales manager and being taking on a tour of the development and the houses currently being constructed. The kids were also given free Mickey Ears hats which was nice and someone will be paying for those in the price of their home so thanks Dr Moneybags!
There are six neighbourhoods within Golden Oak. Three are set out and lots marked out and three are for future development. Karen the sales manager said it will take up to 10 years to complete the development. The three neighbourhoods currently being sold are:
Natural preserves surrounding this lovely neighbourhood offer a scenic and private setting for the finest of family getaways. At up to three-quarters acre in size, each of Carolwood’s seventeen custom-home sites can amply accommodate your family estate. Should you choose an address in the secluded, northernmost enclave of Carolwood Reserve, you’ll be well rewarded with serene natural, golf course or water views. The Reserve is a limited offering of eight premium custom-home sites, all generously sized at approximately three-quarters acre.
Enjoy the best of both worlds at Silverbrook, where the natural and the social come together beautifully on nineteen homesites of approximately one-half acre each. Here, your family can savor a life of quiet repose alongside conservation areas or water features — yet stroll to community amenities and activities at Summerhouse.
A charming Tuscan-inspired village with courtyard homes, Kimball Trace caters to those with an enthusiasm for resort living. This intimate collection of creatively designed homes is sited to emphasize privacy, while centrally placing you within neighborly reach of Summerhouse, new friends and engaging diversions.
The way Disney are selling these properties is somewhat unique. You first must purchase the Lot that your house will sit on directly from Disney… this can cost upwards of $500,000 just for the land! You then enter into a building contract with one of the four approved house builders and whilst each lot has a suggested house on all sites other than Kimball Trace you can design whatever you want!! These houses will cost anything from $3m to around $8m. The Kimball Trace houses are slightly less expensive at around $1.8m including lot!
This is a LOT of money for anyone, even someone with alot of money! So in today society what do you get? The address and location is the main draw. Also you are on Disney property although the area for Golden Oak has been rezoned into Orange County from Reedy Creek so that avoids many of the problems the rumour mill was discussing.
You have Disney transport for all the parks included. Not a blooming great bus but a luxury SUV taking you from the Clubhouse (which by the way serves three meals a day from award winning EPCOT chefs) to any park of your choice and brining you home again. When you are shopping in the park you can have your purchases sent directly to your home at no extra charge!!!
Free Disney passes? Well yes and no. This is such a shame really as Disney is only giving those that “close” by the end of this year 5 premium APs per house. Cost of about $2,500 a year. Really for a $500,000 lot price (remember just the land!) surely Disney could have thrown in a lifetime pass?
Kimball Trace is designed as a hidden Mickey though, that has to be worth something? You get a security guard on the entrance keeping the riff raff out and you get some of the most wonderful designed homes I have even seen.
As you can see from the photos and videos the homes are breathtaking. Nothing like you have even seen before. When you look at some of the floor plans and see that these homes are anything from 4,000 to 12,000 square foot you see the size and grandeur of them! (Our old three bed house was 960 sq foot!!). Media rooms, summer kitchens, pantrys and powder rooms. You name it you can have it. Some even have elevators!! The landscaping is also amazing… one home we saw had the most beautiful palm tree, when I mentioned it to Karen she told me that the builder imported it from the Canaries!!! And that’s not all. All of the trees have been imported and re planted to give the correct effect. It really is a paradise island within Disney World… that is until…..
And this is the one thing that made me keep my cheque book at bay (apart from the fact she would have laughed at my payment plan or a dollar a week for 1.8m weeks!) – this hotel!
500 rooms so 1000 plus people coming and going into your exclusive private community? The noise, the comings and goings. The deliveries the laundry vans etc etc. There was no “trades” entrance, no utilidors, no separate hotel entrance. I am not sure it’s right for that site nor would I be too happy sharing my $8m house with a load of sales reps on a salesmen of year winning reward trip to WDW. I am sure those people at Disney will sort this little problem out but they have enough land to move the hotel somewhere else and leave Golden Oak to me.
Also you will recall that Disney no longer own Celebration. As more people came into the community then more of them were given seats on the Home Owners Association – or HOA so eventually Disney left. This will never happen to Golden Oak and Disney confirmed that they will never do that with Golden Oak. Thank goodness.
The houses, the development, the execution is a masterstroke. Would I have one – oh yes I would!! Seriously who wouldn’t? But what was funny was you are looking at the plans saying, nah I don’t want a ¼ of an acre plot, or the ½ and acre plot I want the big ¾ of an acre $8m home but as soon as you drive round and see the small ¼ acre mere $1.8m house you will be looking up how much your kidneys are worth and seeing how you can afford one. The Tuscan villa designs are astonishing.
Want to take a more indepth look at the Golden Oaks site? Take a look at the brochure here.