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.Tweet
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.
The big problem with Disney quest was it was not updated frequently enough.
I was really hoping the whole NBA thing had been cancelled.
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