Celebration – Growing problems in the town that Disney built

No grander a publication than the international magazine of the common-sense approach, The Economist, has turned their eye toward the Disney built town of Celebration. A land of hope, ideal living, and a paradise providing Walt Disney World adjacent living. As you might suspect, even a Disney town can’t escape the realities of the world.

The article is an interesting look at Disney’s well-intentioned attempt to change something about America. It had some success encouraging more mixed-use development and communities where walkability and small town living can be found even in large cities, but in the end, I think America won out. Even Disney can’t carve out enough pixie dust to isolate the town from some harsh realities.

As mentioned in the article, there’s a huge problem with some of the original buildings constructed in and around downtown Celebration. Many buildings are seeing their walls and roofs turn to mush and problems with the original construction caused severe damage after years of Central Florida rain and sun.

This is no longer Disney’s town. They sold it to Lexin in the early 90s. Homeowners say that leaves Lexin on the hook for the expensive repairs, Lexin is dragging their feet and pushing back. The fight between homeowners and the current town management company Lexin even made it into the Wall Street Journal. (subscription required) Now lawsuits are in the air.

For one side of the matter, check out longtime Celebration resident Cookie Kelly’s blog. Kelly has been an active force in the fight for justice for Celebration residents. It’s been a long battle, so her latest posts are sometimes a big sarcastic (who can blame her really), but scroll down for signs of the damage and faulty repairs.

That said, I have friends who live in Celebration. Despite its problems they wouldn’t live anywhere else. Have you ever wanted to live in Celebration?

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4 thoughts on “Celebration – Growing problems in the town that Disney built

  1. Mark

    I lived in Celebration from 2005 to 2008 while our home was being built in Harmony. Actually just sold our Celebration townhouse last week. We had a good time there, but yes a lot of the original construction was pretty shoddy.

  2. Tom

    In a sense I do live there since my zip code is the same and my post office is there but I don’t live there because I’m on the west side of I4. I must be honest that I very rarely go to the “Downtown” mainly because parking is such a hassle. I don’t know that I would want to live there either but I do love the golf course

  3. Jones

    The prices for the houses were downright ridiculous. I visited Celebration shortly after it “opened”, and I was horrified when I say the quality of the craftmanship – even a quick glance revealed problems not acceptable in cheap builldings, let alone in houses that were sold for insane prices…

  4. Keith

    We moved here in Celebration in October of 2015 to fulfill a lifetime dream. It still is a dream to be here. The beauty and the people of this town are amazing to be apart of. Lexin only owns the downtown area and what they have done to my fellow neighbors is atrocious. But outside of the downtown area, Celebration still is what it was originally intended to be. Whenever I go downtown for Starbucks or to buy dog food or get caught up in the festivities the town puts on, it is always a little bittersweet knowing what people are going through right above my head. The good thing is that major media outlets are catching wind of what Lexin has been doing to these people who, like myself, wanted to call Celebration home. The more exposure we get for our neighbors the worse Lexin looks and the faster (hopefully) they will fix this mess. Perhaps even Disney will step in? We can only hope. But this has to stop NOW, no one deserves to live like what Lexin is forcing these people to live in. Celebration remains one of the most beautiful places on earth, but knowing my neighbors are suffering downtown takes away some of greatness that attracted us here in the first place.

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