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Celebration, USA: Living in Disney's Brave New Town (Marian Wood Book) Hardcover – 31 Dec 1998

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company Inc; First Edition edition (31 Dec. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805055606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805055603
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,530,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"The authors report engagingly and objectively on what they saw and heard at Celebration...a highly valuable case study on one of the most important movements in community building in decades." --"Cleveland Plain Dealer "
"Insightful and thought-provoking.... Offers good humor, excellent research, compelling anecdotes."--"BookPage"
"[An] eminently readable account."--"USA Today"
A prize winning reporter describes life in Disney's vision of the future in a book that is "admirably candid and readable"=--"Los Angeles Times"


The authors report engagingly and objectively on what they saw and heard at Celebration...a highly valuable case study on one of the most important movements in community building in decades. "Cleveland Plain Dealer"

Insightful and thought-provoking.... Offers good humor, excellent research, compelling anecdotes. "BookPage"

[An] eminently readable account. "USA Today"

A prize winning reporter describes life in Disney's vision of the future in a book that is 'admirably candid and readable'. "Los Angeles Times"" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

In 1997, Doug Frantz and Cathy Collins moved with their two children, Nick and Becky, to Celebration, Florida, to report on the growth of Disney's model community. Doug is on the national staff of "The New York Times"; he and Cathy are the co-authors of "Teachers: Talking Out of School." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Celebration USA is a frank and detailed account of one family's experience of living in Disney's utopian town 'Celebration' located a few miles from Walt Disney World in Flordia. Like early American pioneers Frantz and Collins soon learn that Celebration is not all that Disney promised it would be. Their tale explores all aspects of this 'brave new town' from problems with the quant yet unfinished houses to the controversial teaching methods at the new school. This is a humourous, touching and uplifting story that would be a must-read for anyone contemplating moving to Celebration. Filled with deatiled interviews of the town's new residents it proved delightful reading and insightful detail.
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Format: Hardcover
Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins did their homework. They moved to Celebration, joined the organizations, interviewed the principals, sent their kids to school, hung out with the locals.
However, their quest for objectivity strips the book of any life it could have had. I know these smart and well-travelled reporters had opinions about the neighbors, the lack of intellectual discussions, the maddening pastels, but there is only the barest hint of this. They try so hard to like Celebration you can see their jaws clenched through the smile. I wished I could shake them have them really confide in me.
Although they joined every organization and supposedly made many friends, it was a difficult decision for them to choose to stay more than a year. In carefully worded phrases, they admit it is not for them.
On a technical note, since the two of them wrote the book together, they would say "we did this" and then refer to "Doug and Cathy" in the same paragraph. It was disconcerting and confusing.
Read it if you want to know about Celebration.
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Format: Hardcover
A smart idea! Instead of visiting as reporters for a few weeks, the authors moved themselves and their children to Disney's planned community of Celebration, Florida -- then stayed for a year! Here's a real inside viewpoint of Disney's "perfect small town", brought to life by two people who are smart, literate and have a broader view of the meaning, trends and consequences of planned living. As investigative reporters, they cast a wide net -- interviewing executives and residents; getting the back story; examining other planned communities across America (both recent and past). As residents and parents, they also deliver a more realistic, intimate portrait of scraped knees and bruised egos. The lesson is made clear by good, crisp reporting and insider experience: while people can move their families, their possessions and their lives to a new community, ultimately, one thing never changes -- who they are. A delicious read.
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Format: Hardcover
Written by left leaning, sniveling reporters. They are critical of Disney's handling of the wetlands, yet the authors bought a house in middle of the wetlands. They snipe about Disney not giving away part of their profit margin to accommodate low income people, yet didn't rent out their "granny flat" to an under privileged person.
As true liberals, the authors see corporations as responsible for everyone's welfare. Most of the actions of the authors in Celebration were to try to force Disney to do something. Their position seems to be that Disney should be more regulated and contribute more. It would be nice at least once to hear them thank Disney. Thank you Disney for your vision. Thank you Disney for risking your capital. Thank you for fighting the political battles to make Celebration possible.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not that easy to build utopia - even when you're Disney 25 May 2008
By J. Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On a trip to Disney World my mother and I stumbled upon Celebration when she felt like driving around the neighborhood we were in. We had no idea it was a Disney community - no large signs broadcast it. We only knew that we felt we'd stumbled into a lovely, retro neighborhood straight from a 50's TV show (that should have been a clue, I guess). None the less, we celebrated her 50th birthday at a Cuban restaurant there and were enchanted.

When I saw this book about a couple who had lived there and had the inside scoop on the community inspired by Disney's original vision of having people live in Disney world type utopia atmosphere - I had to read it. I wasn't dissappointed. I didn't find like others that the writers bashed Diseny. In fact, I thought it was a pretty realistic picture of how communities develop and that even in one created to be more of a utopia - well, life is life, people are people and the real world still has to be dealt with. Some people have made celebration their utopia - and work to continually improve it, others expected it utopia to be given them from Disney (and well, good luck on that). I thoroughly enjoyed this couples recount of their experiment of living there.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was a great read. 27 July 2016
By Robert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished the book and it was a great read into the life of living in the town. Definitely made me have second thoughts about moving there but ultimately we will be moving to Florida so I have to keep this one as a candidate because of the proximity to Disney.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit "bubble-gum" (but I like bubblegum!) 4 Dec. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting account on life in Disney's startup town, Celebration, Florida. The authors do a good job of chronicling the pros and cons of the town...and staying unbiased in their approach (after all, they too were Celebration residents looking to increase their property investment). I enjoyed the emperical accounts of life in the town, and life with the towns-people. It gets you thinking about where modern-day suburbia has gone wrong and what can be done to bring back "Mayberry."Overall, I was sorry to put the book down because it seemed to be a nice escape each time I would read it. My only critcism is that the chapter titles are misleading - often the titles are covered in the first few pages in the chapter, and the authors get on another interesting tanget that has nothing to do with the rest of the chapter in the remaining pages.
5.0 out of 5 stars Taming the Mouse 9 Mar. 2015
By C. Clopton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very interesting story by a man who move to Celebration with his family. What he expected and how the Disney people had to keep it looking the right way. How do you please everyone? Impossible but very good observations of their attempts. I think I'll give this book five stars.
5.0 out of 5 stars Celebrating a Good Move 2 Nov. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just moved to Celebration last month, and wanted to read more about this beautiful community I live in.
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