Pack your bags, Fanatics! We’re taking a trip, and not to Walt Disney World! Recent news that Disney is moving 2,000 employees from California to Florida had me wondering, what’s unique about the Lake Nona community in Orlando? I’ve done some digging, and I’m hoping you’ll find this unique community as interesting as I have! Here are 10 reasons that you may want to pack up and relocate to Lake Nona.
1. This place is so Walt.
Lake Nona is a planned community that prides itself on its forward-thinking focus, sustainability, convenience, and design. It’s a tech-savvy place, and yet it’s also grounded in well-being and community. Sound familiar? I can’t help but think that Walt Disney’s original idea for EPCOT- the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow”- wouldn’t be so different from what is being cultivated in Lake Nona. From the innovations in technology to the stunningly unique use of materials in its design to its driverless vehicles- it all sounds very “Walt.”
2. Work, live, eat, and play- all in one place
So much of what we love about Walt Disney World is that you can enjoy everything in one “bubble.” Great shopping, dining, accommodations, entertainment, and attractions all “live” at one magical Resort. Lake Nona isn’t all that different- you can get all of your entertainment, dining, shopping, and even your career in one thriving community.
3. Eco-conscious Infrastructure
Lake Nona has an eco-conscious solid core. We love the idea of their driverless “Beep” shuttles! Lake Nona is working toward reducing the need for automobiles, with plans in place for a mobility hub that will make it easier to connect the city and green spaces with expanded bike paths and the infrastructure for autonomous vehicle transportation.
4. Proximity to Florida Attractions
Lake Nona is part of Orlando, so it’s definitely right in the heart of the Central Florida attractions. Located Southeast of Orlando’s metro area, the community is only 10 minutes from Orlando International Airport and about 25 minutes from Walt Disney World. If you’re craving some sun and sea, a drive to one of the many Atlantic beaches is only 45 minutes away.
5. Cutting-edge Technology & Design
Lake Nona has cutting-edge fiber optic technology and the fastest internet speeds around. Lake Nona also marries tech and art in its town center, where “The Beacon” and “Code Wall” stand as community icons. Each evening, the Beacon transforms into a visual delight of music and video, and Code Wall displays the community values written in binary code. If you’re not up for following the clues to figure out the 1’s and 0’s, here’s a spoiler: a few of the community value buzz words are “inspire” and “connect,” which gives you a sense of what Lake Nona is all about.
6. Sports, Recreation, & Healthy Living
Lake Nona is fantastic for any lover of the outdoors. The community has 44 miles of trails for walking and hiking and 40% dedicated green space. If you spent the work week working with Lake Nona’s ultra-fast internet in the office, you’d be happy to unplug and have a picnic in one of Lake Nona’s many public parks. If you’re looking for a more active day outdoors, check out the Nona Adventure Park, where you’ll enjoy water slides, a ropes course, and a water obstacle course. Lake Nona is also home to the United States Tennis Association National Campus, where you’ll find 98 fully-lit tennis courts, many of which are set up for live streaming.
In addition to being a beautiful place to get a workout and some fresh air, Lake Nona is home to Lake Nona Medical City. The “city” comprises medical facilities, educational institutions, and housing, commercial, and retail spaces. Medical City is home to the University of Central Florida’s health sciences campus, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Valencia College, and University of Florida’s Academic and Research campus, Orlando Veterans Administration Medical Center, and Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute.
7. Great Schools
No worries about whether your future neighborhood has good schools; Lake Nona’s are well regarded. Lake Nona’s sizeable high school is ranked #1,782 out of 18,000 in the country according to the widely known US News & World Report rankings for 2021. You’ll also find educational variety with a mix of public, private, charter, and magnet schools.
8. Autonomous Shuttles
Need a ride? You can forget worrying about having an awkward Uber or Lyft driver in this community! Enter “Beep,” a Lake Nona-born company that has introduced driverless shuttles in the community. Can we get these at Walt Disney World?
9. Job Opportunities
Lake Nona is getting lots of attention right now because Disney is relocating 2,000 employees to the community, but the professional life there goes beyond just Disney Imagineering. Lake Nona wants to attract employers who share the community vision, so you’re bound to find some exciting job opportunities there.
10. Dining & Entertainment
Every Disney fanatic loves some good family-friend entertainment, and you can get some of that at Lake Nona Nights. This weekly cultural event features art, live music, food trucks, and family-friendly movies.
Lake Nona also has lots of culinary choices, perfect for anything from date night to family dinner. If you’re looking for something truly unique, make your way to Boxi Park. There, you’ll find popular restaurants and bars housed inside repurposed storage containers! Boxi park is also home to an open-air performance stage, dog park, and beach volleyball court.
I’m ready to pack my bags and visit Lake Nona for a day on my next trip to Florida! Is your interest in Lake Nona piqued, too?