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Walt Disney World announces closing date for DisneyQuest

January 30, 2017, 2:44 PM · The Walt Disney World Resort announced today that DisneyQuest will close on July 3. As announced two years ago, The NBA Experience will replace DisneyQuest.

The NBA used to have a themed restaurant at Universal Orlando's CityWalk, but NBA City closed in August 2015, eventually to be replaced by the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium. Meanwhile, Disney's plans for its own NBA-themed restaurant and attraction in Disney Springs seem to have stalled, prompting fans to ask What's Going on With DisneyQuest?

Disney's original plan was for DisneyQuest to close sometime in 2016, but obviously, Disney missed the most expansive reading of that deadline by a month. Still, many fans who heard the initial announcements about DisneyQuest's closing are surprised to see it still open when they arrive at Disney Springs, so I think the public is well prepared for the departure of the last installation of Disney's ill-fated attempt to create a chain of interactive attractions across the country.

For some additional context, when NBA City opened with CityWalk in 1999, the NBA's domestic broadcast partner was NBC, which at the time didn't own Universal... but since Disney owned rival ABC, the NBA wasn't about to license a themed restaurant in Lake Buena Vista. In 2002, the NBA signed a new deal for its games to air on Disney-owned ABC and ESPN, which then made the league's presence at corporate rival Universal a bit, well, awkward.

Last year, the NBA and ESPN re-upped their deal, which ensures that the league and Disney will remain business partners through 2025. The need to close that deal might have been one of the obstacles preventing The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World from moving ahead in late 2015 and early 2016. After all, why would Disney spend money to license an NBA-themed attraction if the league's broadcast rights were going to end up with a rival company?

Whatever the reasons for the delay, the deal now appears to be back on. The NBA Experience will offer "immersive NBA video productions and numerous interactive experiences, as well as a restaurant and a retail store," according to Disney's original announcement. No word yet on when it will open.

Replies (20)

January 30, 2017 at 2:57 PM · As a video game fan, I always loved this place. Even visited the one in Chicago a decade and a half back. Just great all those games and such, loved the "create your coaster" and really pure fun.
January 30, 2017 at 4:29 PM · Robert... bad choice of tag lines with this one. 4 of your 5 paragraphs are all about NBA city and only 1 about Disney Quest. It's not about Disney Quest at all.
January 30, 2017 at 4:35 PM · Gutted, my family love the place and we fly out on July the 8th so will miss it, sad day.
January 30, 2017 at 5:06 PM · Disappointing, I won't miss Disney Quest but I was hoping, now Disney is repeatedly kicking the One Man's Dream movie out of it's theater to show overlong spoilery previews of upcoming movies, a permanent museum in Walt's name would find a respectable home.
Disney Springs only has a small percentage of 'Disney' in it's global brand village, a permanent museum, dedicated to the founder with changing exhibitions, would be worth an admission price.
January 30, 2017 at 7:20 PM · I'd rather them update the technology behind Disney quest than open a NBA thing.
January 30, 2017 at 7:46 PM · I just hope the new NBA Experience retains those delicious Cinnamon Berries on their dessert menu. Sooooo good. Yum.
January 31, 2017 at 1:33 AM · As a non-USA citizen (UK) can I just ask what the hell NBA is? It means nothing to most UK visitors.....
January 31, 2017 at 2:41 AM · The National Basketball Association.
January 31, 2017 at 4:39 AM · DQ has been an embarrassment for a good number of years. My dream is that they'd have turned it into a cutting edge arcade with the likes of VR escape rooms etc. but that would have required investment and imagination.
January 31, 2017 at 6:12 AM · I have no interest in the NBA. Disney should have built a copy of their ESPN Zone like they have in California.

By the way, the Chicago Disney Quest did not close because nobody went to it. It was packed nearly constantly. The problem was that Disney one of the most expensive blocks in the entire city to put this Interactive Theme Park. Disney felt they were not getting enough money after rent.

January 31, 2017 at 6:52 AM · @James, I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure most, if not all, of Universal's original recipes are patented.
January 31, 2017 at 12:14 PM · DisneyQuest began its downfall at the removal of the "Cybrolator". It was the one and only time I could say I genuinely enjoyed riding an elevator.
January 31, 2017 at 11:52 AM · I remember sometime in the 90s, Disney opened 'Club Disney' in Southern California. It was a cut rate Disney experience for young kids, I think it was meant to compete with Chuck E. Cheese, and it didn't last long. I never went to Disney Quest, but if you're going build an interactive center with video games, it seems like a good idea to constantly update the video games, not just let it rot with old technology.
January 31, 2017 at 12:42 PM · Spent many a evening there with my kids after a visit to the parks, but before heading to our hotel
January 31, 2017 at 1:43 PM · Everything at Disney World is being replaced by not so "Disney" things. Boo.
January 31, 2017 at 2:23 PM · So the restaurant might not last beyond 2025 if they don't pull off an extension. Exactly why would this restaurant be a good idea? I imagine the food would be no different than ESPN Zone and Planet Hollywood. More same old same old.
January 31, 2017 at 4:40 PM · @James Tragic!!! How do you patent a recipe??? I guess you could alter it slightly, maybe improve it (Cinnamon SUGAR Berries?) and be okay!!!
January 31, 2017 at 6:15 PM · going to really miss Disney Quest, Sure I didnt got to it more than once a year but I always enjoyed my time there with my kids. I know for a fact I will never step in the door of this NBA thing. I hate professional sports. The only way Id go in , is if my boy was involved with the NBA somehow and asked me to come see him.

The big problem with Disney quest was it was not updated frequently enough.

I was really hoping the whole NBA thing had been cancelled.

February 1, 2017 at 1:21 PM · Personally, I love professional sports and can't wait for the NBA experience to open. With the exception of Splitsville, this will be one of the only places that you can catch a game in all of Disney Springs. In my opinion, this is ten times better than overpaying for an experience that hasn't been updated since its opening day.
February 1, 2017 at 6:41 PM · This place was falling apart for the past decade. Won't be missed.

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