Disney World Announces Plans To Create Affordable Housing For Thousands

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Disney housing initiative in Central Florida

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Walt Disney World Resort is known as a place where dreams come true, and the company is working to make this a reality even outside of the Disney Parks.

Walt Disney World Resort announced today that it is earmarking nearly 80 acres of our land for a new affordable housing development – right here in Central Florida. This initiative has been in the works for a while, Disney shared, and the focus has been on finding solutions to this challenge for quite some time.

“For more than 50 years, our Central Florida family has played an important role in the story of Walt Disney World. As Disney cast members, it is our home, it’s where we work, it’s where we play and it’s where we grow. And at Disney, we’re always looking for innovative ways to make our community stronger.”

The development, which is expected to include more than 1,300 units, will be constructed by a third-party affordable housing developer and will be located on Disney’s land in southwest Orange County, Florida. It will offer Central Florida residents a variety of home choices that are affordable and attainable, in a great part of town near schools and the new and expanding Flamingo Crossings Town Center retail and dining complex. The development will be available for qualifying applicants in our region, including Disney cast members.

“We are invested in working together with our community to solve complex issues,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “The lack of affordable housing is affecting many people across our country, including right here in Central Florida. With this initiative, we’re lending a hand to make a real and meaningful impact in our community by tapping into the best of our company’s strengths. This is the right opportunity and the right time to take action.” 

cinderella castle 50th anniversary
Credit: Disney

In the release, Disney promised to “engage the developer to bring that same innovation, expertise, and attention to detail to this initiative” as it does to its incredible theme parks and Resorts.

Related: Disney Launches NEW Division to Develop “Residential Communities”

And the work doesn’t stop here: several years ago, Disneyland Resort led an effort to revitalize the Orange County Housing Trust that provides “last mile” funding for affordable housing projects in Anaheim. This made the Buena Esperanza project — a converted studio apartment community for veterans and homeless individuals with mental illness — a reality. In addition to providing them a place to live, the community offers job placement and mental health and wellness support to residents. As a result of Disney’s investment a second project, Finamore Place, in Anaheim is under construction with an expected completion date of early summer 2022. It will provide over 100 additional housing units. Disneyland Resort will continue to show support for these and other such worthy endeavors.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

Disney has also spent years investing in local nonprofits on the front lines of important causes in our community like affordable housing – through hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, the Disney VoluntEARS program, contributions to local food banks and more. Just a few months ago, Walt Disney World donated $3 million to some of these very same organizations. I can’t share much more than that right now, but keep an eye out for more details as we work together with community leaders and a prominent developer in affordable housing to bring this initiative to life in the months and years ahead. For more on our efforts in the community, be sure to visit DisneyWorldGivesBack.com.

What do you think of this new development being earmarked by Disney World? Let us know in the comments.

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disney World’s water parks, four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district! Or, how about a trip to Disneyland Resort to experience Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, as well as the Downtown Disney shopping and dining district!

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