You’ve probably heard of Celebration, Florida, the small town right next to Disney World that the company developed in the 1990s. I lived in Tallahassee while the town was being built and remember how many people regarded the town with suspicion: “Internet? What? Why would I want to talk to my neighbors on the computer or live someplace where they can tell me what color my curtains have to be?” It seems funny now, but back then you could see how some perceived the town as too pre-fabricated, too Disney, and worst of all, too much like a town designed by Big Brother.
Years later the idea of “New Urbanism,” building smaller, compact, walkable cities as an alternative to urban sprawl, has been embraced by many communities and Celebration, no longer owned by the company, stands as a beautiful example of this concept. The benefit of this well-planned community extends to visitors, who can park and walk its immaculate streets and enjoy its eateries, shops and admire the beautiful homes. If you’re looking for a day off from the parks on your next visit, Celebration is worth the quick drive.
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