In the year In 2020, when the pandemic halted our travel, my family bought a four-bedroom, 3,600-square-foot home in Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida.
My parents had wanted to buy a vacation home for a while. I have a five-year-old daughter now, and my brother is about to become a father, so we were looking for a place where we could spend quality time together.
My wife and I have lived for about three and a half years. Hours left in Miami, but Golden Oak is our home away from home. Since we both work remotely, we can visit with our son at least twice a month.
As a travel and parenting blogger, I get a lot of questions from my followers about what it’s like to live in one of Disney’s most coveted residential communities.
What is Disney’s Golden Oak?
Disney’s Golden Oak is a gated community of luxury, single-family homes located four miles from Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park.
There are about 300 homes ranging from 1,800 square feet to 12,000 square feet. One home sold this year for $12 million and the other home is currently listed for $9.5 million.
The houses, divided into eight neighborhoods, were designed by Walt Disney Imaging, the division of The Walt Disney Company that oversees the design and construction of the theme parks.
Residents have access to the pools, fitness center, restaurants and other Disney resorts. They also have exclusive Golden Oak Club memberships, which offer “concierge-style services” including private VIP park tours and tickets to special events.
Buying a home in Disney’s Golden Oaks
Golden Oak first began listing homes in 2010.
During their visit, he visited one of the new houses. They made me and my brother Fasciset to show us the house. We all fell in love with the place and entered into a contract at our asking price.
Homes in Golden Oak sell quickly, but we got lucky with the timing. The first floor came fully furnished so we were all able to enjoy Thanksgiving weekend a few days after closing that year.
A look inside our ‘princess cabin’
We live in The Cottages in the Symphony Grove neighborhood. Each house has its own unique charm. Ours was inspired by Belle’s cabin in “Beauty and the Beast”.
One thing all Golden Oak homes have in common are subtle Disney-themed details. Our property, for example, has over 50 hidden Mickey Mouses. The kids love trying to find them every time they come.
Our house is like a French cottage, especially on the first floor.
The kitchen and dining room are filled with wooden beams and other rustic accents.
Upstairs, the house will be more distinctly Disney-themed. Above the bed in my second floor bedroom is a “Beauty and the Beast” quote.
My brother’s room has hand painted “Winnie the Pooh” characters on the wall.
The enclosed room (called the “Bambi” room) is small but full of beautiful details with wood paneled walls and a small night light for each bed.
My favorite feature in the entire house is the spiral staircase on the second floor, which leads to the third floor “Belle’s Reading Room” which is now the girls’ playroom.
It has wooden beams on the ceilings, hand-painted paintings on the walls, a built-in bookcase and a railing similar to the staircase on the window.
Finally, there is a guest suite that connects to the house through an outdoor patio. That whole area feels like you’ve stepped into a princess suite with a few Disney touches like an “Alice in Wonderland” doorknob.
We also have a small pool and jacuzzi. It is completely surrounded by the house, making the place more private. In the courtyard there is a dining table for six, a sofa and chairs, a fireplace and an outdoor kitchen.
In the Golden Oak neighborhood
We don’t visit theme parks very often when we are in Golden Oak. Most of the time, we mostly enjoy the environment and spend time together at home.
We have golf carts that we use to tour Golden Oak’s playground, parks and residents-only clubhouse.
The kids will love watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the dock at Disney’s Fort Wilderness. We also take my daughter there for pony rides. In the summer, we use a splash pad and pool with an awesome slide.
For us, this is truly the happiest place on earth.
Cristie Anne Cabrera, aka The Traveling Red, is a Miami-based mom, social media influencer and travel blogger. Keep an eye on her. Instagram, Tiktok, Pinterest And she Blog To see her on her school bus conversion to Disney’s Golden Oak and her road trips.
Don’t miss it.