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Disney ends ESPN: The Weekend

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Published: July 23, 2011 at 7:40 AM
First Walt Disney World scraps Grad Nights, now ESPN The Weekend.

Here's the release:

"Moving forward, our focus will be on creating events like the new ESPN RISE Girls Showcase and the ESPN RISE Games, which provide a stage for tens of thousands of athletes from around the country, and providing opportunities for guests to be part of events they’ve only before watched on television, such as the Home Depot College Football Awards and the Old Spice Classic.

We have just scratched the surface of what Walt Disney World and ESPN can do together and look forward to sharing information about new projects as they progress."

Have you ever attended ESPN The Weekend? What would you like to see Disney do with ESPN at the Walt Disney World Resort?

Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on July 23, 2011 at 8:12 AM
I did go once. It was ok, but with Disney at the helm, it could have been alot better.

Perhaps Disney should step back and take a look at when there are no other events going on at Disney World and make it a bigger deal (perhaps at DHS?).

I wonder if they have hard data on which of their special events are busts or not. I mean there is Flower and Garden, Food and Wine, Disney Marathon Star Wars Weekend, Holidays Around the World, Mickey's Holiday Parties, etc. ESPN probably got lost in the mix.

Still, I think ESPN is Disney's ticket to younger men and adult males in the parks. I think ESPN's potental is underrated.

From Robert Niles on July 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM
The trouble with ESPN The Weekend is that ESPN itself is no longer a beloved brand. People love the sports on ESPN, but the channel long ago ceased being a collection of lovable personalities (if it ever was). ESPN's more mocked and criticized than it is beloved.

So while Disney might be able to promote ESPN as part of a sports-themed event at the WDW Resort, Disney can't use ESPN itself as the primary attraction.

There is a difference, I think, between "ESPN The Weekend at the WDW Resort" and "ESPN presents Sports Weekend at the WDW Resort." The focus needs to be on the athletes people would be coming to see, not on the network brand.

Imagine if the Food and Wine Festival became the Food Network Festival or if Flower and Garden became the HGTV Festival. Would people love them as much? Or would they begin to feel like corporate tools for attending?

From Brandon Mendoza on July 23, 2011 at 10:33 AM
Personally, I stopped respecting ESPN when they started showing the most unathletic thing on TV, Poker. Yes, I get that ESPN's initials don't mean it's only a sports channel, but Sports are what everyone thinks of when you hear ESPN.
From Rob Viala on July 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM
I was at ESPN the weekend twice most recently this year and in 2007 when I went it was much better. They put more thought into it and there was a lot more to see especially official NASCAR stock cars which a guy from Long Island does not get to see. In 2011 they did not put as much into it and ESPN barely promoted it. If they actually do anythign with it in the future they should definatly focus athletes maybe having meet and greets with a lot of them since during espn the weekend you only got to see them get interviewed and then whisked away before you can get near them.
From Andrew Carrieri on July 23, 2011 at 1:46 PM
Robert brings up a good point. I still watch ESPN out of habit but the channel is now more about the personalities than the sports they cover. Each of the four major sports have their own channels and cover their sports better than ESPN. This is especially true with baseball--the MLB Network is widely distributed and offers twenty four hours of excellent programming covering ALL teams (ESPN contains a bunch of Red Sox homers).
From Mike N on July 23, 2011 at 2:14 PM
Ever since ESPN became the spokesman for LeBron James have I stopped watching them. They are a disgrace to TV and sports.
From Tony Duda on July 23, 2011 at 3:44 PM
I have been to it about 4 years starting in 2004 when it was designed as a 25th year of ESPN event. The first year was new and fun but the later years less so. As everything else, it turned into a fanboy event over time. I'm not sorry to see it go. Also, there has always been a big lack of baseball stars even though it occurred just before spring training started.
From travis traymoore on July 25, 2011 at 12:29 PM
The california screamin one sounds slightly newsworthy for a local newsource but ET is more or less a glorified kiddy ride so idek why it made the news

The worst story i ever heard of an evac, oh sorry for using the "e" word, was on another blog in the early days of Animal Kingdom when a guest got stuck on Dinosaur and the inshow exit require the work lights to be on. The rider wrote an elaborate story about how she realized the AAs on the ride where only half figures and how she "discovered" that disney was a "fraud" and demanded a full refund for her entire vacation. I guess that turned out well for her...

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