The NBA Experience will open in summer 2019 on the site of the old DisneyQuest building, which Disney is now tearing down.
Moment of silence for DisneyQuest pic.twitter.com/6NPKOpBkdf— Dewayne Bevil (@ThemeParks) October 19, 2017
The new building will feature "interactive games and competitions, immersive experiences, a retail store and an adjacent restaurant," according to Disney's press release. Disney first announced the project in 2015, then put it on the back burner for more than a year, before announcing DisneyQuest's closure earlier this year. However, Disney's not provided any details on what the building's "experiences" will entail. Today's imagery provides the first look at any concept art for the project.
The NBA project appears to be one of Disney World's largest (to date) forays into creating branded experiences — theme park-like combinations of relatively small-scale attractions, retail, and/or dining designed specifically to promote a particular brand. Rival Universal recently brought a branded experience for NBC's Tonight Show into its Universal Studios Florida park with the Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon attraction.
While branded experiences attempt to connect visitors with the brand being promoted, it's likely that the NBA Experience's restaurant, at least, will fail to recreate the experience of going to an NBA game in one significant way.
One plus. NBA experience will prolly be the only spot at Disney where its prices are less than the real world equivalent they are copying pic.twitter.com/slRkmHO2Ni— ??Drunk@Disney?? (@DrunkAtdisney) October 19, 2017
Smart move, partnering with a entertainment industry that charges even more for food and drinks than theme parks.
The NBA has had a presence in an Orlando-area theme park resort before, with the NBA City restaurant at Universal Orlando's City Walk, which Universal replaced with the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen last year. Back when Universal opened CityWalk, NBC (which is now part of Universal) owned the NBA's television broadcast rights. Today, those are the property of Disney-owned ABC. Which is why the NBA Experience is now coming to Walt Disney World.
Well, in a couple of years, at least.Tweet
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