After making movies and building theme parks, Walt Disney had another lifelong dream: to build a model town. Nearly 30 years after his death in 1995 his dream was realized in the town of Celebration, Florida, just a few miles south of Walt Disney World's main gate. Visiting the town today, you'll see some of the Disney-esque touches with picket fences, manicured lawns, bike paths, public spaces, ping-pong tables and rocking chairs. The downtown area is home to a post office designed by architect Michael Graves and about a dozen shops and restaurants centered around a lake. A walking and biking trail invites locals and visitors to explore scenic boardwalks and neighborhoods. The town of Celebration is worth a day exploring and admiring for its charm and new-urbanism ideals.
- From Walt Disney World, take World Drive south to Celebration. The town can also be accessed from exits 62 and 64 from I-4.
- Celebration is dog-friendly with parks, a dog bakery and pet-friendly dining options.
- While it's a planned neighborhood, Celebration is not gated and most areas are open to visitors.
- A community farmers market is held at Lakeside Park every Sunday until 3 pm.
- Food Truck Friday events are held the second Friday of the month at Town Hall.
- Special events are held frequently, from nightly snowfalls at Christmas to exotic car shows.
- Halloween and Christmas are especially fun times to visit as residents pull out all the stops with elaborate decorations.