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Get to know Disney’s Golden Oak

The subtitle of the Golden Oak community is “at Walt Disney World Resort” — and that phrase is offering up a lot more than locational data. This city-in-a-resort couldn't be any more "at" Disney World since it lies almost directly between EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom (and yes, that means two fireworks displays per evening, one over your front yard and one over the back), but it is also very much OF Disney World, with the design of the streets and public spaces created through the accumulated happiness knowledge of the company’s famed Imagineers. This is not to say that the neighborhood is a theme park itself — Disney references are ubiquitous but unobtrusive — but that it is storybook idyllic. The quiet streets are lined with multimillion-dollar single-family homes, a large portion of which are primary residences. Every dollar that the Walt Disney Corporation puts into making its guests happy benefits the residents of Golden Oak — which means every fantasy short of a ski resort is just around the corner.
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History & Culture

This history of Golden Oak is the history of Disney; the very streets are named after places that were important to Walt himself. While it’s clear that many of the homes have interior design that’s heavy on the mouse, there are strict rules about the outside of the homes — meaning no one is going to put up a Cinderella’s castle knockoff down the street. Residents enjoy deals at WDW golf courses (including miniature golf), a fee concierge service with some heavy-duty access, a private clubhouse with restaurant and pool, complimentary transportation on Disney property, and members-only special events and park access. The hospitality for which Disney is justifiably famous infuses every brick of Golden Oak, making it the perfect choice for those who want to own a piece of the happiest place on earth, whether in trademarked marketing speech or not.

Schools and Transportation

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Dine & Shop

The theme parks are the big amenity here — residents of Golden Oak have access to tickets and events that even the most premium of annual pass holders do not — but the restaurants and shopping built to service the millions of visitors are also close at hand both on-property and off. And if that’s not enough, the closest neighbor is a Four Seasons resort, whose amenities are open to Golden Oakers. Some of Florida’s best restaurants are on Disney property, and nearby Disney Springs adds a few dozen more if you don’t mind the highly merchandized atmosphere. Slightly farther afield are Orlando’s Restaurant Row along Sand Lake Road and wonderful Caribbean and Puerto Rican food in Kissimmee. Shopping is tourist-oriented, but that means that there are outlets for international brands that wouldn’t normally be seen outside of major metropolitan areas.