Hey everybody. Jared Jones today, we're on location in celebration, Florida. I'm going to give you some things you didn't know about its history, some dirty little secrets of the underbelly of celebration and some factoids that I'm sure you didn't know about. Let's get started in October 1966, just days before being diagnosed with lung cancer in a few weeks before his death, Walt Disney made a film, touting what he called Epcot, the experimental prototype community of tomorrow. Part of the 43,000 acres of land that Walt Disney company I purchased was the introduction of this community for people who wanted to live, work and play the Disney experience. Alas, Walt died in December of 1966. And unfortunately, much of the dreams that he had of Epcot went with him. But in the early 1990s, the Disney development company began working on a town where people could live, work and play that promise to have a state-of-the-art, everything in this area was located on roughly 4,900 acres in the Northwest corner of Osceola County.
This property is below one 92, but it still was part of Disney. And it's literally today, one mile from the rest of Disney's properties celebration also has a road leading right to the magic kingdom park. The community that Disney built underwent a lot of names during research like horizons, new Vista dimensions, and even AmeriTowne before it will be settled that the town will be called celebration Florida in the mid-1990s information about celebration began to be let out to the public. And it sounds so perfect. So many people wanted to live there and as much happens like this, when there's high demand, a lottery was held and the first lucky residents would arrive to call celebration home and 1996 celebration, just like any town had its problems in the late nineties, the school system in the celebration was wrought with controversy. Many folks on the PTA would come and go.
And folks even left celebration due to the progressive nature of the education. There, there were times where there were no textbooks and no grading systems. And this was obviously much too much for the folks that lived in celebration for this reason. And many others. The Walt Disney company just decided that managing a community was a little out of their scope. And in 2004, the rights to celebration Florida were sold to a private equity firm. Now in 2010, the celebration would see its first murder. And this murder was surrounded by crazy events over the Thanksgiving weekend. That year transient David Israel, Morello VIN 28, allegedly attacked 58-year-old retired school teacher, Mateo, Giovanditto with an ax, and then strangled him with one of Giovanditto shoelaces and a celebration condo. Now, the reason for this Morello said was at the time the victim got what he deserved, claiming that while he was at Giovanditto home to wash his car, that Giovanditto drugged Murillo's beer and try to sexually assault him after the incident, many folks came out to claim that Giovanditto had molested them or has sexually assaulted them over time.
In fact, you have indeed being a school teacher in the mid-eighties had claimed that he had molested several folks taking young male students on trips often to Disney theme parks for this act Marillo having murdered Giovanditto was sentenced in 2013 to life in prison. Clearly, the celebration is an idealistic town with a Truman ESC set of streets. And it's just an amazing place to call home. Obviously, any town is without its issues on any given Sunday morning residents of celebration, Florida makes their way to church along with lush, beautifully kept streets as joggers loop around the man-made Lake and local vegetable and fruit growers set up for the day's farmer's market. It's an overwhelmingly pleasant scene and nothing is out of place. Celebration has a population of 8,000. The picture-perfect town color-coded homes are symmetrically arranged across four main neighborhoods that fan out from the shopping and dining streets of a compact town center.
There are six churches an elementary school and a golf course that wraps around the town. Even though Walt Disney pulled out of the day-to-day running of celebration in 2004, the company still tightly regulates the town. The company, for example, holds indefinite veto power over the homeowner association, which makes sure residents follow the rules that are laid down in a thick binder that buyers receive. When they're purchasing a property, homeowners are fine for hanging brightly colored curtains in their windows for using the wrong type of materials in their yards, and for parking in RV in front of their house. John Newsome, a local resident here said that when he moved into town, people used to drive by and ask him if he wears costumes, when he's outside, just for that nuisance says he started wearing Mickey mouse ears. When he was mowing the lawn just for the heck of it to build a celebration Disney drain the water, moved out of the alligators, and raise the ground in the Osceola County, a swamp where the town now sits.
When celebration hit the press releases, there were 5,000 people who entered the lottery to buy one of the first 474 homes that would be built here. It's only during holidays, that rules and celebration can be bent. And the outside world comes knocking during Halloween. Some 2000 costume children come trick or treating around the neighborhood. A neighbor here goes all out, calling in construction workers to build a pirate ship with life-sized fake cannons in their front yard. But that's, as far as allowances go, a resident here says, they'll let you know when it's time to take your Christmas lights down from the start property prices in celebration have stayed well above the average for the region. As I record this video, a single-family home here starts in the four twenties and that's going to be a 14 to 1800 square foot home luxury home buyers can buy a mansion here.
There are properties over 14,000 square feet of heated living space. And there are multiple multimillion-dollar-dollar properties on the market at this time. But residents often say that there's more than meets the eye to living in celebration. One of the residents said it's like living on wisteria lane and desperate Housewives. I used to be into Disney, but you get bored of it here pointing to a neighbor's house a porch covered in Mickey mouse. Memorabilia says you can tell those people moved in recently. Clearly, it's natural. A place like celebration would have its detractors and it's a project that's easy to mock, but what it lacks is grit and perhaps a sense of irony. It makes up for its people-centered approach to town planning and community building. It's a lovely place where the neighbors chat in their porches and say, hello on their streets. Many celebration residents are drawn to the promise of community here.
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