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Celebration, U.S.A.: Living in Disney's Brave New Town

3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  160 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
A prize-winning reporter, his wife, and their two kids describe life in Disney's vision of the future.

In 1997, six months after the first residents had moved into Celebration, Florida-Disney's town of the future with its distinctly retro link to a longed-for past-Doug and Cathy and their two kids closed on their new home and settled down to participate in (and observe) thi
ebook, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published September 1st 1999)
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Jan 26, 2008 Lynda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book at a bookstore in Downtown Disney, CA in 2006. My family and I had come across this storybook looking town with picket fences in Florida near Orlando years ago during a summer vacation. It was really odd. I thought "what a weird place. It's just like in the movies." Anyway, it was the town that Disney built.

This book recounts one family's experiences in a new town built from scratch. The hitch being it was Disney-flavored. You'll get the inside scoop from the journalist autho

This falls into my little obsession with planned communities, urban design with an added Disney bonus - sweet. I feel like I knew a fair amount about the town, and I had even toured the town as a tourist - so...some of this was review. But some of it - the initial process of design and home buying and building was interesting. Obviously the author's front row seat adds a lot here, but there were topics I was less interested - we get it - the school was over-reaching and under-delivering in a lot
Aug 05, 2012 Arlian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a native Floridian born in Brevard County, which touches Osceola Country on the east side. Osceola County is the country Celebration is in, so I've been through Celebration many a-time. I am personally disgusted by many things about Celebration: everything from the founding philosophy, to the elitist and racist nature of it (one could argue whether that racism is inherent or accidental, but you can't claim it's not racist), to the economic and ecological effects the town and its construction ...more
Let's get the not-so-great stuff out of the way first.

1. This book is LONG. And more than just being long, it's repetitive. Some points, such as the appalling but not surprising truth that Celebration has no low-income housing, are mentioned so often that it's annoying. Yes, this is sad news, but nothing new is happening in regards to this issue (at least not at the time of printing, who knows what's going on now), so why bring it up again and again?

2. While this book would have been amazing 15
Jul 30, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
This book is about the town of Celebration, FL, which is the town that Disney started. I actually started reading this book in a book store back in Boston in 2002 when I was waiting for my friend to finish classes and I just sort of forgot about it. I don't know what prompted me to remember. Anyway, I finally finished it!

I'll start off with what I hated the most. Which person was this book in? It was a husband and wife team that wrote it and they never referred to themselves as "I". Always by na
Carye Bye
Another free library box find --- The quote on the front says "admirable candid and readable" -- maybe for 1999 but it was kind of long-winded, too detailed, and didn't flow super fast for me -- but still interesting and worth the time. I learned to skim when the book bog-downed on the nitty gritty in some areas about laws in buildings or details on why the progressive schools were not great for all. I guess I wanted to learn more about about the people who lived there, but the family who moved ...more
Oct 02, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Looking for an acceptable book to read about Celebration, Florida, the town Disney created and manages? Look no further than this book, Celebration U.S.A : Living In Disney's Brave New Town
Very informative and is written from the vantage point of a reader outside the town, while the author is a former resident of Celebration, FL.

I may not recommend all that many Celebration FL books, but this one, is by far the best book I've read to date.

The author goes over some of the good things about the t
Apr 28, 2014 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mildly interesting, somewhat self-serving. Had this been a simple first person account, not coming from professional journalists, it would have been a more acceptable read. The authors (and I say authors because it appears that Ms. Frantz was a significant contributor) treated the narratives of their neighbors with unquestioning ears and without much critical analysis. On the plus side, it is not a Disney puff piece, nor a philippic, and appears to treat the company fairly. All in all, no enough ...more
Amber Creed
This one was a tough book to slog through. The subject matter fascinated me. I anticipated some tell-all about building a new town owned by Disney. I thought we'd get eccentric neighbors, tales of tourists, etc. but a lot of the book was dull. Seriously boring.

All the POV switching was obnoxious and there was a lot of repetitive language - and repetitive ideas. I had to skip full chapters at times because I just could not make myself care.

This book was alright but could've been significantly p
Jan 29, 2009 Erika rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Near the end of this book, I tried to explain to my husband what made Celebration unique and different (i.e. worthy of this experiment/book)...and I could not. Maybe because this book is a little old, maybe because we live near many places that could be considered "post-neotraditional".
Lynne Adams
Interesting, but way too long. I actually just stopped reading at around page 150, because I felt like I'd learned about all I needed to or wanted to about the town. This would have been a great long article, but there just wasn't enough interesting material for an average length book.
Jul 28, 2011 Estelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bit slow in the beginning, and most enjoyable when talking about the different people who decided to move to the "Disney town". Fascinating, and at times, disheartening. But all together, a hopeful story about the birth of a new town.
For a while there, I was fascinated with the town of Celebration, FL. Could Disney build the perfect town? Could it be replicated? I do not have the answers, by Mr. Frantz does not think so. No replication yet, and even less work from the town called Celebration!
Jul 16, 2007 Bryn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book's biggest draw is the "insider" information it offers about one of the most inane and disturbing (in my admittedly biased view) "cultural experiments" of our time. The writing style is engaging, but don't expect any deep political analysis.
Colin Summers

Repetitive like a term paper they were trying to pad. Not enough research outside the small purview of the town they moved to. Light mentions of other neo-traditionalist towns, but nothing further.
Dec 24, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read that provided good insight about some of the problems that come about when starting a whole new town from scratch, and at such a rapid pace. I would love to read an update to see how the town is doing now as compared to when this was written almost 15 years ago.
Sep 13, 2008 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little slow and dry in points. I feel like it hedged a little too much and could be better with an editorial point of view.
Didn't finish....subject matter not interesting to my life.
Feb 01, 2013 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-issues
This is a totally cool look at the creation of a planned community by Disney. It is not fiction, it is real and it is fascinating.
May 10, 2011 erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this book half a star, I would...
Aug 04, 2010 Barbara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
The story of Disney's planned residential community in Florida, complete with Disney-manipulated social interaction. Scary.
I had to read it for a class and I actually found the book to be quite interesting. I thought it gave a pretty balanced view of living in a new urbanist community.
Mar 20, 2015 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
14 yrs after publ it is an interesting read of Disneys influence and control of all things in Developement of Their city.
Taunya rated it liked it
Jan 13, 2011
Steven rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2009
Nicole Berns
Nicole Berns rated it it was ok
Sep 30, 2016
Julia rated it it was ok
Jul 14, 2010
Isaac rated it really liked it
Jun 28, 2010
David rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2009
Kelly rated it liked it
Aug 29, 2011
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