By Steve Moran

Disney just announced the creation of a new brand, “Storyliving by Disney,” that will build Disney-themed residential communities that will include sections set aside for people who are age 55+.

This sounds like senior living to me!

What We Know …

  • The first Storyliving community will be named Cotino and built in Rancho Mirage, where Walt Disney once owned a home.
  • Cast members trained in the Disney way will operate the community association.
  • They will make available, through club membership, “curated experiences,” wellness programs, and entertainment.

What Does It Mean to Senior Living?

It is far from clear what it means to senior living. It’s possible that it will mean nothing, though I am guessing it is more likely to mean something than nothing. Some thoughts:

  • It will not appeal to everyone. There will be lots of people who will be turned off by “theme park” living in their older years.
  • Disney may only want to do the 55+ part of the older population, which will mean less than if they venture into assisted living, memory care, and nursing homes. I confess the idea of a Disney-themed nursing home kind of boggles my mind, but at the same time makes me smile. The same is true when it comes to memory care.
  • There is one thing that Disney excels at beyond all other things, and that is creating experiences for their customers. This is an area that, for the most part, senior living struggles with. It could either teach us and inspire us to do better, or crush us.
  • The other thing it could do would be to give senior living the facelift we have dreamed of—making senior living cool to prospects, cool to family members, and most of all cool to prospective team members. 

I would love to hear your thoughts!