Opening date set for The NBA Experience at Disney Springs

Mar 26, 2019 in "The NBA Experience"

The NBA Experience concept art
Posted: Tuesday March 26, 2019 7:22am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

During last night's Orlando Magic – Philadelphia 76ers game, Mickey Mouse made a surprise on-court appearance to announce that The NBA Experience at Disney Springs will open August 12 2019.

In collaboration with the NBA, Disney is developing NBA Experience as a one-of-a-kind environment packed with 13 interactive elements and hands-on activities across 44,000 square feet and two floors. NBA Experience will give guests the chance to feel like a basketball superstar.

“When we were young, we played basketball in our driveways or in the park, creating those imaginary moments of making the game-winning shot for a championship,” said Stan Dodd, executive producer, Walt Disney Imagineering. “We want to take that energy and help you feel what it’s like to be an actual NBA or WNBA player.”

Upon entry to NBA Experience, guests will feel as if they’re walking through the players’ tunnel at an NBA or WNBA arena. A ticket to NBA Experience grants access to every activity, in any order guests choose, with the ability to return to stations to improve performances or learn even more about the game, players and teams they love. In addition to the competitions and games, the experience will also include a retail store featuring NBA-themed merchandise.

Additional elements of the destination include:

  • A slam dunk challenge, where guests can change the height of a standard 10-foot hoop to as low as seven feet to perform their own superstar moves – captured by burst photography.
  • An activity that tests shooting skills with spots on a court that light up as guests move from one location to another attempting to sink as many shots as possible in 15 seconds.
  • A way for guests to see how they stack up to some of the world’s best basketball players by measuring their vertical leap, wingspan, shooting and dribbling.
  • Personalization for various activities with guests’ names and associating the activity with their favorite NBA or WNBA teams.
  • Real-time technology to aggregate statistics of NBA and WNBA games and players for continuous updates, while leaderboards will track top NBA Experience performers throughout each day.
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DisneySongbird5 days ago

"ESPN Zone" is definitely a big positive step compared to what's there now, although I'd honestly rather see them build up attractions in/at Wide World of Sports. WWoS feels very underutilized and also very isolated from the rest of the property - going all in on the 'you experience the pro game' concept down there, and diversifying out to basketball/baseball/football/soccer/hockey experiences, certainly can't hurt it and the relative isolation is easily solved by running busses down there after the grab bag of upcharge experiences turns it into "ESPN Springs." And then this building can revert to the glorious DisneyQuest 2.0 of my dreams!

TikibirdLand5 days ago

How successful was the restaurant? I honestly don't remember it. But, it's not something I would have gone to, frankly.

lazyboy97o5 days ago

NBA City was just a restaurant and Universal wanted the space for themselves. It was entirely Universal’s decision for that venue to close.

John park hopper5 days ago

Resurrect Mr Toads Wild Ride, Snow White, AE and anything else that will fit in the building. IMO it would be a huge success. Call it Nostalgia Disney

LSLS5 days ago

As a die hard hockey fan, totally agree. Honestly the place is too large for a single sport in general. I still think the easy fix is this becomes an espn area. Put a good sports bar in (don't recycle the boardwalk menu/service), and then instead of a bunch of things dedicated to one sport, you have sections for basketball, baseball, football, etc. I mean, can't fault disney for not doing it in that the nba wanted to pay for this, but it failed like 15 miles away.

DisneySongbird13 days ago

Tampa is absolutely a great NHL franchise, but almost all the problems with an NBA experience are going to be there for an NHL experience plus hockey is a less popular sport and far less accessible to newcomers outside of Canada and Canada-adjacent locations. And I'm not just saying that as someone who will (full bias disclosure) spend the next 20 years mad at anything and everything that goes into that building over DisneyQuest being murdered. It was a solid concept that just needed a refresh with modern arcade and VR tech!!

The_Jobu15 days ago

Tampa really is a great franchise.

GimpYancIent15 days ago

Agreed, start by reutilizing the NBA experience space for something that is interesting and entertaining. PS; How much is the NBA paying Disney to utilize the space and to spread the propaganda, I mean advertising, that the NBA is actually really popular outside of China,

SoFloMagic15 days ago

It was fun, but it was only fun when empty. When busy it's difficult to do the more fun attractions. Which isn't great.

vikescaper15 days ago

I wonder how an NHL experience would do considering there is a successful NHL franchise right down the road.

Nickels516 days ago

No idea how to judge it with the pandemic, I don’t ever think it’s going to be a huge draw and that’s ok. Not everything needs a line to get in.

John park hopper16 days ago

Said from the start it would be a flop--must be Clairvoyant

The Great Gonzo16 days ago

If I lived in Florida I'd much rather have a Disneyquest annual than an NBA experience one. It seems like they just have the same game over and over again. A ghost wouldn't even haunt this place.

Bocabear19 days ago

It feels like that entire end of Disney Springs needs a shot in the arm... House Of Blues is tired...it needs something... Cirque has been shuttered for 2 years, and the NBA crap was about the worst idea ever... Seems like they are removing theme from Splitsville... I would think that a Cirque based attraction/Restaurant/Bar would give people someplace exciting to go that would be more fabulous than Gideon's Bakehouse. It is pretty sad when the premiere shopping destination owned by the world leader in themed entertainment's best themed shop is a cookie place. They can do better...they should do better. And if anyone needs convincing look at the lines for Gideon's Bakehouse... Cookies are goo, sure, but it's that bit of extra magic that drives attendance....Something old Disney used to understand....