Disney World Earmarks 80 Acres for Affordable Housing

Rena Langley

by , Senior Vice President, Walt Disney World Communications and Public Affairs

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.  

Today, we’re taking a big step forward in these efforts: Walt Disney World 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 as we’ve been focused on finding solutions to this challenge for quite some time. I am thrilled that we can finally share this news with our cast members and neighbors.  

“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.” 

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. 

Many of you know us for our incredible theme parks and resort hotels around the world, and we will engage the developer to bring that same innovation, expertise and attention to detail to this initiative. 

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. 

We’ve 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

Comments

  • Would like to placed on a waiting list please email me , Thanks

  • Hi I would love to put my name on the waiting list for the apartment complex

  • My Name is Nannette Diaz Medero and i will like my name stay in the waiting list. Please and thank you.
    Walt always thinking in all of us.

  • Is there a waitlist for this? If so please put me on it!!

  • Hello my name is Nancy and I’m so happy to hear that Disney plays an amazing role to help for the community. Disney has help many families and has left a trace in all of our hearts. Once a kid always a kid. With Mickey and friends. I’m a single mother and my son loves all of Disney’s loving characters. I would love more information about the housing . Thankyou ,love Mickey’s fans.

  • Would like more information about this project with the Affordable Housing. Who will qualify if only for the workers and if anyone can apply to purchase a unit there.

  • Please add my name to your future contact Disney Affordable Housing list which will certainly continue to grow! “Minnie” thanks.

  • I am interested. Please advise us when new info is available.

  • I am also interested in getting on a waitlist.

  • Christine Would like to put on the waitlist Or more information Thank you

  • Hello, my name is Karina lira, Cast Member, I am interested in the house project, I would like to receive more information about it. My son is also interested in buying a house. We have excellent credit. Let me know so I can send you my email. Thanks!

  • Hello, my name is Karina lira, member of the cast, I am interested in the house project, I would like to receive more information about it. My son is also interested in buying a house. We have excellent credit.

  • My Name is Michael Mowers i am a Retired from Walt Disney World and looking for affordable housing just courius what i have to do to get info on the houses or Apartments thank You.
    Michael Mowers

  • Hi: I would absolutely love to be considered if this community goes forward. Have desperately wanted to live near Disney, and have recently applied for a position. I currently live too far to commute, living north of Lake Mary, FL. Thank you.

  • Can I get on a waiting list for affordable housing is there anyway I can get an application or name out on

  • How do I get on Disney affordable housing list can you put my me on the list or send me application when it’s ready

  • Please add my family to the waiting list

  • Please send me information on your affordable housing program I already live in Orlando with my husband and 2 kids a will need a 3 bedroom we are in a 2 bedroom now but can’t afford to move to a 3 bedroom because its to expensive we both work good jobs .

  • Hi
    I am interested in buying a home for my husband and myself to retire
    How can I get more information about this

  • Please place me on the waiting list too. Thanks!

  • Hi , This is a great initiative also for the cast members who are relocating to FL. Given the opportunity to be included in the waiting list and potential opportunity to find a home from the initiative would be of great help. I am looking for a house for the last 4-5 months in FL as we are relocating and it is almost impossible to find a decent home.

    Please let me know what are the next steps and how can we find a home with this great initiate to help cast members and neighbors.

  • My sister and I are planning on selling a house we inherited from our grandfather in the next year and I at least would be interested in this community to possibly purchase a home in. I am also a former Disney cast member and I understand the struggle for cast members to be able to afford a home, especially if you’re single and just want a house of your own. My BAs are in Political Science and International Affairs and I would be interested in helping with this project. If there are any career opportunities available I hope they will be posted on LinkedIn. I would want to make sure that cast members can actually afford some of the homes. Disney will always hold a special place in my heart because of my time there.

  • hmm, without sounding skeptical on this as I do feel it is a truly magnanimous undertaking for the Orlando area, I question whether we really want corporatsim so involved and so entrenched in home ownership.
    I can see WDW donating their land fully, selling it to a developer at a cut rate or massive funding to enable the public sector to work with the private sector for the funding on other land, but it seems there’s a combining of goverment and corporations that is just too intertwined.
    No disrespect as I LOVE WDW, but I’d prefer you stay an entertainment company and venue.

  • Hi there,
    Please put my name on your waiting list- in hopes I’m approved to move forward with your new journey.

  • I just read about your awesome and exciting venture.
    I lived in Florida for 28 yr before going through a divorce which affected my financial future. I lived in Vero Beach Florida for 13 years and loved every minute.

    Please put my name on your waiting list- in hopes I’m approved to move forward with your venture.

    In kind, susan

  • I am serious about my interest. And I am sure you will receive a lot of questions pertaining to a possible wait list. How is DISNEY going to prevent those that are truly not in need of affordable housing in applying for these homes?

  • I would also like to be placed on the waiting list. I am posting my comment on April 6. The day that the article came out. I would like to be placed 2nd on the list.

  • If Disney World keep their Reedy Creek government, will citizens be able to vote in elections and how the rest of the Reedy Creek Improvement District uses funds and enacts rules?

  • Is there a waiting list we can get on for these homes? Where can I get more information on pricing?