Common Myths About Celebration
There are many common myths associated with Celebration. Here are some of them, along with the facts (and thanks to my fellow residents for sharing many of the myths with me!):
Myth: Celebration is owned by the Walt Disney Company and/or is a part of Walt Disney World.
Fact: It is true that Celebration is located on land that used to be part of the Walt Disney World Resort. However, it is now a part of Kissimmee and Osceola County. Disney retained ownership of some assets, like the downtown area and the golf course, for a while, but they were both recently sold. Currently, Disney still owns commercial parcels near I-4 on Celebration Blvd. Their development arm, The Celebration Company, is in the process of marketing to potential buyers, most likely for hotels.
Myth: Ownership of homes in Celebration reverts back to the Walt Disney Company after 30 years.
Fact: This rumor most likely started due to a mix-up with the Disney Vacation Club, which has a fixed duration. In Celebration, like any other town, you own your home until you sell it yourself or pass it on to your heirs.
Myth: People who move to Celebration get free lifetime tickets to the Disney World theme parks.
Fact: Like the ownership myth, this rumor most likely began as a mix-up with the Disney Vacation Club. When DVC first started, people who bought in received Disney passes that were good until 2000. Somehow, this fact got twisted into the “lifetime passes for Celebration residents” misnomer. The only discount Celebration residents receive is the same Florida resident discount that can be gotten by anyone else who lives in the state.
Myth: Celebration is the embodiment of Walt Disney’s original concept for Epcot.
Fact: The name “Epcot” stands for “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.” Before his death, Walt Disney had created ambitious plans for a city; however, they bear no resemblance to Celebration. For example, in Walt’s city, there would be no home ownership, just rentals, and there would be no unemployed people. Traffic would zip from place to place on underground roads, and residents wouldn't have to worry about the weather because they would be protected in a climate controlled environment under a dome. In contrast, Celebration is not a futuristic prototype, but rather a modern version of an idealized small town. Sadly, Walt died before he could begin construction of his dream city, and the concept morphed into Epcot, the theme park, which bears no resemblance to his original vision; neither does Celebration.
Myth: When Celebration was first founded, people were hired to walk dogs in the downtown area to make it look more “homey.”
Fact: This information appeared in an early tongue-in-cheek story about Celebration. It was picked up as fact by other writers and turned into the small-town version of an urban legend.
Myth: The covenants in Celebration are so strict that all window treatments must be white and no two homes on the same street can be the same color or style.
Fact: The binder of rules and covenants can look very intimidating to home buyers, but they are no more restrictive than those found in other planned communities. They are aimed at maintaining property value by encouraging proper maintenance and upkeep. Simply driving through town will prove that the myth of white shrouded windows and controlled home styles is not true. The window covenant calls for neutral colors, and the homes are governed by a pattern book.
Myth: Celebration is a gated community.
Fact: The fact that Celebration holds many events that attract tourists easily shows that this myth is not true. There are no gated areas in Celebration. Anyone is welcome to visit any of the neighborhoods, although recreational facilities like pools are restricted for resident use only. Celebration can never be gated in the future because the county controls its roadways.
Myth: There is no crime in Celebration.
Fact: While Celebration has an admirably low crime rate, it is not immune from robberies, vandalism, car theft, and other crimes.
Myth: Potential r esidents of Celebration must pass an interview to move here.
Fact: The only "interview" you need to pass is the mortgage application, and if you're fortunate enough to pay cash, you don't even have to worry about that!
Myth: There is Audioanimatronic wildlife in Celebration.
Fact: I have personally heard tourists asking if the fish and turtles in the lake downtown are real. Rest assured that they are, as are any other critters you spot, including alligators.
Myth: There is a nuclear reaction located under Celebration.
Fact: No, there is nothing beneath us but swampland (thanks to Tom for this related link: click here to open it in a new window).
Myth: The streets in Celebration are named after Disney characters.
Fact: Most of the streets are named after flowers, and many others have directional names. There are also several variations on the word Celebration." For more information, click here to read "The Streets of Celebration," my blog entry on the subject.