There is reportedly a lot of pushback to the new Disney housing project planned for the Orlando area. This historic affordable housing project, which will become the first of its kind from Disney, has apparently upset a lot of people due to the prospective school crowding and traffic congestion.

Disney Housing Project Would Add Over 1,400 Apartments To Orlando Area

Multiple reports confirm that this housing project would add more than 1,400 apartments to the Orlando area. More importantly, these apartments would be located not very far away from the Disney theme parks.

Source: Flickr/Rebekah Hessinger

Based on current measurements, the entire site will cover nearly 80 acres of land. It is located near a shopping center that is placed to the west of Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Housing Opportunities Would Be Offered To Disney Cast Members, Families

The plan is to extend the housing opportunities to the cast members and their respective families that work at the Disney theme parks. Further reports have clarified that the housing project will focus on the families within the 80% Area Median Income (AMI) range.

Source: Flickr/Super Silly Fun Land

This income range reportedly extends from $49,150 to $90,000. Only 1,000 of the 1,410 apartments planned for this housing project will be used as affordable housing.

Cast Members Will Not Be Given Preference Over Other Qualifying Families

Disney made it clear that offering the housing to cast members will not interfere with serving the community. Apparently, the cast members will be allowed to apply for housing within the new apartments.

Source: Pixabay/smpratt90

However, these cast members and their respective families will reportedly not be given preference over other families that qualify for the affordable housing opportunity.

Amenities Included In Disney Apartments Will Be ‘Bare Bones’, Not Luxury

Those who may be expecting luxury from the Disney housing project should change their expectations as soon as possible. Multiple reports confirm that the amenities would be much more bare bone.

Source: Flickr/conradofleury

This is especially when compared with the housing options featured in the luxury residential community known as Golden Oak.

Golden Oak Boasts Private Clubhouse, Other Luxury Amenities

Unlike the apartments featured in the Disney housing project, the Golden Oak luxury community includes a private clubhouse and luxury apartments. There is also a wide array of first-class amenities available – including golfing.

Source: Flickr/Issa Homes

The sold-out development requires homeowners to pay millions. In addition to the standard costs, they must also pay a $6,600 annual assessment fee. In addition, there is a mandatory $19,000 membership fee for Golden Oak Private Club members.

Initial Project Announcement Was Received Well During Housing Crisis

The Disney housing project apparently did not always get such an overwhelmingly negative response from the general public. When it was first announced back in 2022, it generated a much warmer reception.

Source: Pixabay/Gino Crescoli

The initial announcement was reportedly welcomed since the U.S. was experiencing a nationwide housing crisis at the time. However, that has apparently changed in recent months as many of the residents are outraged by the construction plans.

Local Resident ‘Never Thought’ Disney Would Be ‘Bad Neighbors’

One local resident that lives close to the construction site opened up about his reaction to the Disney housing project in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel. The resident, Alex Cabrera, stated that his family knew when they moved there that Disney would be their “neighbor.”

Source: Pixabay/Stinne24

He further explained that his family have done “exhaustive research” before moving two miles away from the construction site. He stated that they “never thought they’d be bad neighbors.”

Horizon West Resident Complained About ‘Enormous Amount Of Density’

A Horizon West resident opened up about his concerns regarding the Disney housing project during a planning and zoning board meeting last month. He basically complained about the projected density level.

Source: Flickr/Open Grid Scheduler

According to the resident, Disney is essentially “trying to pack an enormous amount of density into what is essentially the size of a Costco parking lot.” He further stated that it is “just way too much” when you consider the 50,000 residents affected by it.

Local Resident Referenced ‘A Lot Of Care’ Put Into Making The Area ‘A Great Community’

Resident Kathy Hattaway referenced that “there is a lot of care being put into making this a great community for the people who will live here.” A staff report from Orange County described the overall tone of the meeting as “mixed.”

Source: Pixabay/Bob Dmyt

That report was primarily due to the concerns and objections expressed by the attendees. Over 100 people reportedly attended that meeting.

Orange County ‘Has Already Allowed’ Too Many ‘High-Density Housing Complexes’

Another Horizon West resident named Mike Finnan stated that “Orange County has already allowed far too many high-density housing complexes in this area.” He also focused on how the construction project has also affected local schools.

Source: Pixabay/Brian Merrill

Finnan wrote that “current students are [already] being under-served as local schools are overcrowded and understaffed.” He further added that “future schools are already projected to be over capacity.”

Disney Housing Project Passed By Narrow Vote in February

Even with all the doubts and concerns expressed, the affordable housing project from Disney was narrowly passed back in February by a vote with a margin of 4-3. The vote was made from the Orange County Planning and Zoning Commission.

Source: Pixabay/Gerd Altmann

At the time, Walt Disney World Director of External Affairs Tajiana Ancora-Brown did her best to quell the concerns that were expressed by the local residents.

Disney Is ‘Working Very Thoughtfully’ With Prominent Developer For Housing Project

Ancora-Brown expressed that Disney is “working very thoughtfully alongside a prominent developer to create a place that strengthens the surrounding area.” She also stated that they are also “making a real difference in people’s lives for years to come.”

Source: Pixabay/Pexels

The Planning Board reportedly acknowledged the concerns and doubts that the neighbors expressed. Even though they initially wanted the developers to scale the project back a bit, they proceeded to pass the ordinance despite their concerns.

The Voting Decision Has Paved The Way For Another Upcoming Vote

The decision has apparently paved the path over a month later for a new vote that will occur on Tuesday. Commissioners will likely decide whether to appeal the project during this particular vote.

Source: Pixabay/WokandaPix

Multiple reports have confirmed that the appeal would then go to the First District Court of Appeals located in Tallahassee, Florida.

The Proposal Could Go Back To Planning Stages Depending On Outcome

If the appeal process does not work, further reports have shown that the proposal could also just go back to the planning stages. Apparently, this idea got a positive response from several officials and executives.

Source: Pixabay/WokandaPix

For instance, West Orange Chamber of Commerce President Stephen Lewis reportedly praised that potential outcome. He told the Orlando Sentinel that quite of few businesses “are struggling to recruit and retain workers due to the limited supply of affordable and attainable housing in Orange County.”