Theme Park Insider

DisneyQuest to Close at Walt Disney World

June 30, 2015, 8:03 AM · Another day, another attraction closing at the Walt Disney World Resort.

One day after confirming the closure of the Magic of Disney Animation pavilion at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney World today confirmed that DisneyQuest in Downtown Disney's West Side will close by next year.

DisneyQuest

The last of a planned chain of Disney-themed interactive virtual reality arcades, Orlando's DisneyQuest will close to make way for the previously announced NBA Experience restaurant and attraction that will open in the refurbished and rebranded Disney Springs shopping and dining area at the resort. The NBA City restaurant at Universal Orlando's CityWalk will close in August.

Replies (41)

June 30, 2015 at 8:09 AM · The pace and scope of Disney construction is just amazing!
June 30, 2015 at 8:13 AM · Yeah, Pleasure island closed in 2008. It's pretty amazing alright.
June 30, 2015 at 8:31 AM · So, I am more than happy to have done it with my son this Easter. Although not a landmark attraction, there's always that strange feeling when something linked to personal memories close at WDW...
June 30, 2015 at 8:34 AM · One less reason to visit WDW.
June 30, 2015 at 8:35 AM · I have never been inside Disney Quest because I thought the price to get in was crazy. Last time I looked at the price to enter was 30 dollars I think.
June 30, 2015 at 8:40 AM · Amazing yes indeed. I'm saddened that they let Disney Quest rot away without the TLC it needed. I remember going first year it opened, was blown away! And every other visit afterwards it felt like they slowly removed things and let other attractions fall apart. The only improvement was replacing Hercules screen-in-a-closet arcade adventure into pirates. The rest quickly aged unfortunately, pixels out in the visors, screen burn-in on others, the removal of the cybrolators with genie launch, all signs that scream they didn't care too much about the attraction. Oh, and don't get me started on the removal of the jeep floor maze thing! So DisneyQuest closing comes off as bittersweet to me. Hopefully this NBA thing will bring some new life in this venue, although I can't seem to figure out how could they fill up all 5 floors of shooting a ball in a hoop?
June 30, 2015 at 9:08 AM · Good. I went a couple of months ago and it took me about 10 minutes walking around to find a dozen games that had controllers broken or obviously didn't work.

It was really a disappointment, and to think I paid extra for my annual pass just for this because I don't use the water parks.

Hate to see it go, but it was just abandoned in place anyway,

June 30, 2015 at 9:29 AM · Was that sarcasm, TH?
June 30, 2015 at 9:42 AM · Nope. Not at all.
June 30, 2015 at 9:44 AM · Good. I only went once and I was very disappointed. Not worth the money at all - I look forward to seeing what Disney Springs will bring (and hope they keep it up like they do the parks).
June 30, 2015 at 9:44 AM · It's great that Disney is closing their version of Chuckie Cheese that place was so sad and total rip off at $48.

They should have made it an ESPN zone a long time ago. They could have made the boardwalk location the ESPN classic bar or the Ocho taco bar.

If NBA city can't work at Universal I really don't see it working at Disney because just having NBA in its name will turn off some families and the NBA's market seems more in line with the Universal crowd. Plus at least with ESPN they could easily change what sports they focus on with the sports in season.

June 30, 2015 at 9:46 AM · I can't say that I'm surprised, but it is a shame. I always loved those retro arcade machines. Actually, thinking about it, A Disney themed 80's club/restaurant/arcade venue would be great!!
June 30, 2015 at 9:52 AM · A new Disney era. How many attractions from the Eisner era will close down? Seems like a lot.
June 30, 2015 at 11:32 AM · I actually enjoyed Disney Quest. My kids went there several times when they were younger and always had a good time. The place just needed to be fixed up a little, maybe a couple of new attractions. I'm not excited about an NBA themed experience. It does nothing for me.
June 30, 2015 at 12:56 PM · Are you kidding me?! They let go of DisneyQuest, an attraction with so much potential, for basketball? (Facepalm)
June 30, 2015 at 1:05 PM · Ooooh, thank GOODNESS. Nothing says "Disney" like a temple dedicated to ill-mannered millionaires. Maybe my five-year-old can enjoy the wonder of being singed in the 16th round??

As with ESPN Zone in Downtown Disney in Anaheim, this is a terrible idea. If I wanted to stop for NBA crap, I'd just go to the mall.

June 30, 2015 at 1:41 PM · Curious to see how this affects Disney passholders that have Water-Parks Fun and More tickets. I have over 20 WPFNM days remaining on my No-epiration tickets, but this going away is taking away a lot of their value. They used to be good for entrance to Pleasure Island at night - and that is gone too.
June 30, 2015 at 1:56 PM · Sorry , TH, I thought you were being funny. Construction generally involves contractors, cranes and heavy equipment... Closing an attraction with no mention of a replacement qualifies as amazing, apparently.

June 30, 2015 at 2:05 PM · I actually remember the DisneyQuest in Chicago, went there a lot, really enjoyed it. A shame as an old-school video game fan like me adored it as a living arcade and such.
June 30, 2015 at 3:14 PM · I was referring to construction going on across the entire WDW property. Currently the quantity of "contractors, cranes and heavy equipment" active on WDW property is amazing.
June 30, 2015 at 4:47 PM · Dang it. Although I've visited WDW 3 times in my life, I've never gotten the chance to experience CyberSpace Mountain, which looks pretty epic. I was really looking foward to coming back to WDW and riding it.
June 30, 2015 at 8:20 PM · While a fan of Disney Quest the admission price vs the experience didn't make it worth while. If DQ would of had, sneak peaks of major games or gaming systems, I would of felt more value. But, playing classic games, not worth it!

While I would prefer an ESPN Zone replace DQ, the NBA experience will do. And trust me, not every television will be on the NBA. Remember, they have an off season.

June 30, 2015 at 10:18 PM · I wish they had fixed and invested in Disney Quest rather than shut it down.
The NBA Experience will fail miserably in Downtown Disney.
July 1, 2015 at 5:27 AM · I love DisneyQuest and have visited it several times since its opening year (1998)! I went there 4-5 times in my last visit to WDW in 2013! Sometimes only for some classic arcades and the awesome Pirates of the Caribbean game (a must in each and every visit!), other times to enjoy all of its attractions including CyberSpaceMountain, Animation Academy and Buzz’s Astroblasters!

I second the motion to relocate those classic arcades to a place inspired either by Tron, as mentioned, or Wreck-It Ralph. I believe it would be a great hit. This arcade should keep the idea of charging a single fee to enter and play. It should remain a part of the Water Park Fun & More options (last time I only got WPF&M because of DisneyQuest as it was winter and we wouldn’t go to any water parks!)

And PotC: Battle for Buccaneer Gold should also be relocated to this arcade or even to Magic Kingdom beside the major Adventureland attraction!

I wish I could go to WDW before DQ closes, but I won’t be able to visit in the next year at least!

RIP DisneyQuest! You’ll be missed!

July 1, 2015 at 7:17 AM · Mr. Perkins writes: "The NBA Experience will fail miserably in Downtown Disney."

I Respond: What makes you draw that conclusion? There is certainly a strong symbiotic relationship between Disney and the NBA brand. Broadcast rights for the NBA are held by Disney ABC. Disney's ownership of ESPN further strengthens the relationship and the potential of a themed restaurant/attraction in Downtown Disney.

Of course when it's complete, the Disney Springs development will draw substantial crowds and -- as far as I can recall -- there are no sports themed restaurants in that complex.

Toss into the mix that the NBA as a franchise is experiencing an extraordinary level of success. From deadline Hollywood: "The 2015 NBA Finals have turned into a slam dunk for ABC. With the final numbers for last night’s clincher Game 6 win by the Golden State Warriors now in, the 9 PM – Midnight ET court battle has pulled in an 8.9/26 among adults 18-49 with a massive 23.3 million total viewers."

Some may consider these circumstances to be a promising sign for the new addition to Disney Springs.

Perhaps you could explain how you came to the conclusion that the NBA concept for Disney Springs would not merely fall short of expectations, but rather (using your words) "will fail miserably?"

July 1, 2015 at 7:25 AM · That's really sad, I have visited DisneyQuest many times and really enjoyed the arcade atmosphere along with clever themed attractions like the Buzz Lightyear dodgems. So it will be all restaurants and shops, pretty much what you can get in so many malls in and around Orlando. Personally I think it's short-sighted and screams of management looking at skewed survey results, but we shall see what happens.
July 1, 2015 at 8:02 AM · I liked the original idea of having a virtual reality indoor park in every big city in the world. I have been to Chicago's Disney Quest a couple of times and really enjoyed it.

But for me it do not make any sense to have a Disney Quest in Orlando (or LA,Tokio, Paris), since there are already big Disney's parks there.

Disney should re-think the possibility to have small indoors theme parks in other cities.

July 1, 2015 at 8:52 AM · Disney Springs Construction plan seems to have been laid out on a dart board. Disney is aware you can actually build both parking structures at the same time and not finish one before moving to the second. You can actually build the road to said parking structures while you are building the parking decks. When building walking paths over roads you can actually put the elevators in so they can be used.

But the biggest question is this: Why do you do all the construction in Westside and then come back and do Disney Quest, then do Marketplace construction and once that is complete come back and start doing demo on the properties that were actually already closed last and ensure that guest will have to walk through construction for the foreseeable future between to virtually complete areas.

Also why does it take longer it seems to complete The Castle Hub as it takes Universal to build entire rides.

July 1, 2015 at 9:51 AM · Mr. Morris writes: "Also why does it take longer it seems to complete The Castle Hub as it takes Universal to build entire rides(?)"

I Respond: Why does it matter?

July 1, 2015 at 11:20 AM · This makes me sad. I had always hoped to take my son for some of the VR experiences and old school video games, but he's just not old enough and frankly the NBA thing holds nothing for me.
July 1, 2015 at 11:22 AM · I find it awkward that construction on certainly the most photographed aspect of WDW's busiest theme park would leave an eye sore for longer period than needed.

While I understand their are certain logistics issues with doing construction in the MK due to its hours of operations. This projects schedule seems to be more dictated by bookkeeping than immediate guest experience concerns.

July 1, 2015 at 11:31 AM · Personally, I think anything NFL related would be a better fit for a sports themed area to replace DisneyQuest.

As for Disney Quest, I sure will miss it, it was a tremendous amount of fun.

July 1, 2015 at 12:39 PM · because it would only cater to sports fanatics where in a games place you could have mixtures of likes so sad disney
July 1, 2015 at 1:23 PM · The attitude "Why does it Matter" (People come anyway) pretty much explains the state of Disney right now. Particularly Epcot. But really, the biggest single icon in the entire resort (castle) is being drawn out to dampen the impact of the books.
July 1, 2015 at 1:31 PM · Does anyone know what will go in place of NBA City Restaurant at Citywalk?
July 1, 2015 at 1:54 PM · Mr. Morris writes: "This projects schedule seems to be more dictated by bookkeeping than immediate guest experience concerns."

I Respond: I don't remember any specific, credible reported information that has indicated that the construction schedule was dictated by bookkeeping. But regardless, why does the pace of construction matter? What has been the visible detrimental impact to Disney's business model -- brand or bottom line?

July 1, 2015 at 2:14 PM · As much fun as Disneyquest was for an old arcade rat like me, I can understand is closure and what Disney didn't pursue a chain of similar businesses. The business is no longer profitable outside of redemption games to "win" tickets and crummy prizes. Teenagers are content to playing the latest games at home online against others on the latest technologies available, and they can do so much cheaper than buying a Disneyquest pass.
July 1, 2015 at 3:12 PM · DisneyQuest Orlando, Chicago, and Philadelphia were such failures.
July 1, 2015 at 3:59 PM · II liked Disney Quest when it first opened. Each time I went there, I liked it a little less. I was very disappointed when they closed Pleasure Island. Some clubs were excellent, other clubs just didn't appeal to me. But closing the whole Island just hit me as being wrong! Closing the Maelstrom was a great loss. Frozen may be a good ride, but it will be out of style sooner than they think. OK, I don't understand their thinking.
July 6, 2015 at 12:13 PM · "Does anyone know what will go in place of NBA City Restaurant at Citywalk?" ...

Yes, it will be an NBC Sports Network bar & grill.

July 6, 2015 at 12:20 PM · TH, your inability live on the same plane of existence with the rest of us is slightly entertaining... The NBA restaurant was the least visited restaurant, followed by NASCAR Cafe.

The NBA addition at Downtown Disney will do well at first because it is new. But, over time, it will have the same luster as the Universal version. Look at DisneyQuest and their crazy pricing. Is this going to be a museum, restaurant, etc...

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