'The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort' announced for Disney Springs

Jun 03, 2015 in "Disney Springs"

Posted: Wednesday June 3, 2015 1:17pm EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Walt Disney Company and the National Basketball Association have just announced that 'The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort' will be coming to Disney Springs.

According to Disney, the expansive, one-of-a-kind destination will feature hands-on activities that put families and guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. Guests will enjoy immersive NBA video productions and numerous interactive experiences, as well as a restaurant and a retail store.

“We’re thrilled to work with the NBA to take our guests inside the world of professional basketball with an extraordinary entertainment experience,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We’ve had a long and successful partnership with the NBA through ESPN, and we will continue to build on that foundation as we bring the Disney and NBA brands together for the first time in this exciting and innovative way.”

“We look forward to uniting the passionate, global fan bases of the NBA and our longtime partner, Disney,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “Working with the world’s top creator and operator of themed entertainment attractions, we can’t wait to bring the magic of Disney and the excitement of the NBA to guests from around the world.”

“Basketball fans of all ages will be able to experience the game in a whole new way when they visit ‘The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort,’” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We’re excited to join the NBA in offering this unique form of family entertainment. It will be a terrific addition to the world-class lineup of shops and restaurants coming to Disney Springs.”

Disney did not announce an opening date or location for the the new NBA Experience, but the size of the project would appear to be a very good fit for the Disney Quest space on the West Side. Speculation has been building during the last couple of years that Disney Quest will be closing in the near future.

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SirwalterraleighAug 29, 2023

They have moved away from sports in wdw…replacing former venues with Tupperware consignment shops and niche boutique bakeries A very long time ago…they have de-emphasized sports during emperor shorts reign… Except the nba thing…which was probably in the contract and Bob signed a bad deal…which can never be admitted outloud. Down 29% subscribers from its peak and continues to gain momentum downward

MisterPenguinAug 29, 2023

It hasn't stopped being a money-maker.

CompedAug 29, 2023

It, in the words of someone involved in it I knew "was supposed to be the 5th gate". Not quite! Disney has now realized that they need to flipto turn ESPN back into a moneymaker. No longer can they claim being anti-gambling is the smart play - ESPN Bet will result in Disney getting like 10-15% of Penn Entertainment, a major casino operator throughout the US. So they'll make money if they decide to flip out of their de facto alliance with Hard Rock (who wants to preserve their natural monopoly at all costs - despite the Governor taking a ton of money from Vegas casino companies to get reelected) to add a sportsbook on property. (Then again, I hear that Universal may want to go even further, but I have yet to get that substantiated.) Gran Destino looks like the Bellagio after all...

BocabearAug 02, 2023

Years ago there was Boardwalk and Baseball... where you could ride a rollercoaster and watch a baseball game... It was a re-theme of Circus World...they both failed. Sports Fans should go see a game then and not go to Walt Disney World... Sports and sports bars are everywhere... It is nice to go to WDW and be able to eat at a restaurant that doesn't have a sports theme or a game blaring on 25 TV sets in the dining room.... Incidentally, City Pour House is still open as a Sports Bar... and the Sports attraction yet again failed.

LilofanAug 02, 2023

Back in the day it was nice to see a Braves spring training game in March at ESPN.

networkproAug 02, 2023

Kind of ironic after so many years of Disney-paid lobbyist groups like Voters in Charge and No Casinos in Florida ...working together to a gambling amendment on the 2018 ballot that could basically freeze casino gambling. Can they be both at the same time?

UNCgolfAug 02, 2023

When Wide World of Sports was first built, it was intended to function as something like that. It had activities etc. but I think they gave up on that a long time ago.

LSLSAug 02, 2023

Wide world of sports is great for running events at, but it's not a place you can go and just hang out or catch a game. I'm talking about a place to go watch a game, just play around, etc. Like you said, it's the majority of things in the world. I would think having a place sports fans can come together would make sense. If you honestly think a building and sports bar is having it shoved completely down your throat, then I'll just move on. And this from someone who legit only watches 2 sports (neither of which would have any focus here).

BocabearAug 02, 2023

Don't they have a whole World Of Sports campus on property that serves only sports teams and such? Plus All Star Sports for budget hotel accommodations. There are plenty of Sports and sports themed things on property.... I feel like sports eat up the majority of everything in the world, Having a theme park and resorts and not having sports shoved completely down my throat is a plus...

SoFloMagicAug 02, 2023

The more I think of it, the more the WWE idea makes sense. (think of the crossovers with espn and make a wish). But unfortunately their streaming rights are with universal, so there's no synergy to be had with online content. And any hall of fame would want to mention their streaming channel on peacock.

fgmntAug 02, 2023

I speculated that if the ESPN Zone concept gets revived in this building it would need to come with a sportsbook component to make money. That would need state approval. Given how the state and Disney are playing with each other right now, that’s not happening. An executive team that sees this giant unused building and needing a creative win would probably want to look at something like the Vegas Omega Mart as a launching pad. A unique concept that is an interactive indoor experience where people can buy a ticket and merchandise tied directly to the experience.

LSLSAug 02, 2023

Yeah, somewhat, though on a bigger scale. Admittedly I only made it to the Atlanta one, but I remember being underwhelmed by the offerings in the game area (like, it was a bunch of the basketball hoops you see in any arcade, some of those small bowling alleys, etc.). And I didn't think they all closed due to them not making money/having people visit (for example, all I can find on the Downtown Disney closure was it was done to build a hotel). I guess I'm thinking more along the lines of having things like batting cages, those golf walls (whatever they are called), things like that to go along with some video games. Special offerings like DisneyQuest had along with the normal games. I don't know, I feel like sports are kind of underserved at Disney considering all the sports groups that come through there, and appealing to a lot more than one sport would help a ton.

BocabearAug 02, 2023

It used to be 4 pretty big floors of gaming and a restaurant upstairs.... Now it is too small? It looks like a pretty massive building on the outside...it can't be taken up with the sports bar on the 1st floor... It need to be something special and amazing... not another poorly attended sports museum...and something with some Disney magic...

lazyboy97oAug 02, 2023

You’re describing an ESPN Zone, all of which closed before DisneyQuest.