Disney’s relationship with the National Basketball Association (NBA) has been a strong one which was demonstrated during the height of the pandemic when Disney hosted the “NBA Bubble” within their resorts to keep the sport alive in a safe way while holding NBA games at ESPN Wide World of Sports. We can remember back to special NBA merchandise released by Disney and even one of the NBA players leaving an $8,000 tip for housekeeping (AKA “Mousekeeping”). Prior to the pandemic, Disney closed the former DisneyQuest on the west side of Disney Springs and reopened the space as the NBA Experience. The grand opening was held on August 12, 2019, and we were there for the excitement.
Sad news is being reported today however as it seem the NBA Experience has not survived the pandemic and will be closing permanently. As shared by reporter Scott Gustin via Twitter on August 16: ” BREAKING: The NBA Experience at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World will not reopen and is permanently closed.”
Gustin continues with: “Disney says this will not impact their other partnerships with the NBA or their business relationship with the Orlando Magic. Disney will share an update about the future of the NBA Experience location at a later date.”
Currently, The NBA Experience webpage is still available through the Walt Disney World website. Most all of the experiences are high-touch which means it likely didn’t make the cut because of the COVID precautions that would need to be in place to reopen the experience. Even though The NBA Experience actually had its doors open for less than a year before they closed due to COVID in March 2020, it never seemed to be a majorly popular Disney experience outside of its initial reopening.
Did you ever visit The NBA Experience? What do you think would work well in its excellent location in the continuously growing and popular Disney Springs?