REAL ESTATE: Florida's Sunshine State

ONCE upon a time, a band of grownup boys set out to build the world's happiest place in the fantasy realm of Florida. So they went to their moneylenders and their architects and they created a warm-weather wonderland of spaceships and riverboats, of wilderness campgrounds, turreted castles and lagoons. People came from far and wide —Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio—to visit this playland. And the builders, who came from the Walt Disney World Co., made millions happily ever after.

That modern fable is being enacted in central Florida, where the new Disney World is exceeding the most optimistic expectations of its promoters. Its...

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