NBA Experience opens at Disney Springs August 12th

rteetz

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I'm amazed they went ahead with this project given the abject failure of a very similar NFL project in Times Square. Both are tourist destinations, both went with massive structures, both tried combinations of in-house games and HOF type exhibits. Both had stupid pricing policies. The difference is the NFL is vastly more popular, Times Square has a much larger non-tourist population to draw from, and the NFL version could have been a day trip for the whole tri-state region with mass transit options. Disney's version is inferior in every way, and the NFL version croaked in about 6 months.

Why anyone thought this would work is completely beyond me. I get they paid a fortune for the NBA on ESPN. I get the NBA is incredibly popular and growing in the U.S. and even more globally. But this idea was way out on a limb and they had a perfectly good example that it wasn't a good limb to be on.
This space is just not great in general. DisneyQuest was ok for a while but then really died off. I never really had an interest in it. NBA Experience I think could be okay but it’s not executed well.

I think maybe an ESPN branded sports experience may have worked a bit better. You could have seasonal exhibits or experiences. Bring in NFL stuff when the Pro Bowl is town.

That said I think Disney is also waiting to see if traffic increases when the new Cirque show opens and the Bongos replacement. West side is rather dead compared to the rest of Disney Springs too.
 

rteetz

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Feb 20, 2013
I wonder why they decided to go exclusively with NBA, is there some kind of deal going on between Disney and the NBA. I would think a multiple sport experience would adhere to a much larger audience. Why not offer NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB?
Disney/ABC/ESPN have a huge NBA TV deal together.
 

jkh36619

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2016
I'm amazed they went ahead with this project given the abject failure of a very similar NFL project in Times Square. Both are tourist destinations, both went with massive structures, both tried combinations of in-house games and HOF type exhibits. Both had stupid pricing policies. The difference is the NFL is vastly more popular, Times Square has a much larger non-tourist population to draw from, and the NFL version could have been a day trip for the whole tri-state region with mass transit options. Disney's version is inferior in every way, and the NFL version croaked in about 6 months.

Why anyone thought this would work is completely beyond me. I get they paid a fortune for the NBA on ESPN. I get the NBA is incredibly popular and growing in the U.S. and even more globally. But this idea was way out on a limb and they had a perfectly good example that it wasn't a good limb to be on.
And you had NBA city at Universal which wasnt't a huge draw either. I don't know, maybe NBA is funding it over at DS. I still believe a revamp of DQ would have been much better.
 
  • jknezek

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 19, 2016
    Me, too. DQ was great when it opened, but they never updated anything and the tech all became outdated.
    I think we can pretty much put anything that requires constant or frequent updates in the garbage as far as concepts Disney wants these days. They just don't have the stomach for it. They want two decade (at least) projects, and the more they spend, the longer the horizon obviously. So things like DQ, Futureworld, the Tomorrow part of Tomorrowland, etc., are just no longer viable. That being said, they took a big swing at this one and I'm pretty sure it's going to be a horrible miss.
     

    Alynw

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 29, 2018
    Me, too. DQ was great when it opened, but they never updated anything and the tech all became outdated.
    That's the biggest problem with any tech, it becomes outdated so fast it would need a constant update which cost money every time so maybe that's why they decided to close it. Personally, I would've like to seen them keep it open but offer new and old. They could've brought in some nice dated games and set it up where all ages could enjoy it. They could've started off with pinball machines and then worked their way up from 80's til now and then had an exclusive section for the most up to date tech. Then instead of having to worry about updating everything as the tech changes, they only update a couple. Then they would've drawn in crowds of all ages. Disney, this ideal is free, next one will cost.

    Ps..they could've done a play off Tron arcade and tied it together with the new upcoming Tron attraction.
     
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  • tlmadden73

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2014
    A west side World of Disney store probably would be a bigger draw than the NBA Experience or a West Side Photo pass studios with a bunch of ride vehicles to get your picture taken in ...

    But like others have said .. just seems like a giant waste of space for what it is.
     

    randumb0

    Party at Mickey's
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    Oct 25, 2011
    I have an open invitation to go for free but I have no interest. It is a shame because I like basketball
     

    Helvetica

    DIS Veteran
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    Apr 24, 2018
    Me, too. DQ was great when it opened, but they never updated anything and the tech all became outdated.
    I always liked the idea of a Disney arcade, but I wish they would have done things differently.

    I think it could have lasted longer as an arcade/museum type thing. Start with an original SpaceWar! on a PDP-1 in the 60’s and show examples of how video games changed throughout the decades.

    For some games, I think they could have gotten away with licensed games through emulation, especially for the rare and the obscure.

    A history of pinball could have been really fun too. They could have shown some really old games that were basically gambling devices and show how this game of chance turned into a game of skill and included something about the legal history as well.

    I don’t know, but I just really don’t understand the NBA Experience.
     
  • EastYorkDisneyFan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2006
    I think maybe an ESPN branded sports experience may have worked a bit better. You could have seasonal exhibits or experiences. Bring in NFL stuff when the Pro Bowl is town.
    I'm not sure if a multi-sport thing would work any better in Toronto we used to have something called the Olympic Sprit it was a one-off thing that the I.O.C. wanted to roll out to several cities across the world. Attendance at it was poor even though it was in downtown Toronto across from the Toronto Easdtn Centre. Once the I.O.C. gave up on it it became the home of one of our television networks.
     

    rteetz

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    Feb 20, 2013
    I'm not sure if a multi-sport thing would work any better in Toronto we used to have something called the Olympic Sprit it was a one-off thing that the I.O.C. wanted to roll out to several cities across the world. Attendance at it was poor even though it was in downtown Toronto across from the Toronto Easdtn Centre. Once the I.O.C. gave up on it it became the home of one of our television networks.
    The IOC is one of the worst sports organizations there is.
     

    tlmadden73

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2014
    That's the biggest problem with any tech, it becomes outdated so fast it would need a constant update which cost money every time so maybe that's why they decided to close it. Personally, I would've like to seen them keep it open but offer new and old. They could've brought in some nice dated games and set it up where all ages could enjoy it. They could've started off with pinball machines and then worked their way up from 80's til now and then had an exclusive section for the most up to date tech. Then instead of having to worry about updating everything as the tech changes, they only update a couple. Then they would've drawn in crowds of all ages. Disney, this ideal is free, next one will cost.

    Ps..they could've done a play off Tron arcade and tied it together with the new upcoming Tron attraction.
    What's funny is .. with some upgrades something like DQ could be popular with the millenials at Disney because "retro 80s to 90s" is in. - I mean just look at the money spent on the retro Nintendo and Super Nintendo the past two Christmas's.

    So .. if DQ simply still existed like it did in the 90s -- the millenials would flock to it to relive their childhood memories (just like they flock to WDW now).

    I've seen arcades make a comeback (and the ones at Disney Resorts seem still pretty popular as they've updated them to just have giant-versions of phone game) .. there is something to be said about playing on giant physical machine.
     

    Alynw

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 29, 2018
    .
    I'm not sure if a multi-sport thing would work any better in Toronto we used to have something called the Olympic Sprit it was a one-off thing that the I.O.C. wanted to roll out to several cities across the world. Attendance at it was poor even though it was in downtown Toronto across from the Toronto Easdtn Centre. Once the I.O.C. gave up on it it became the home of one of our television networks.
    With all the hype and fame of being a pro athlete, a movie star or a singer super star, that seems to be the number 1 thing all the younger generation wants to be, they all want to be a star whether it's in sports, movies or music so in this country, anything related to those are going to be big and who knows, maybe even this NBA experience will turn out to be big. I dont think it has much to do with NBA, although NFL would've been better, I thinks it more of the fact that it's only NBA which in return only attracts a portion of the market to where as if they would've done multiple sports they could've went after a larger market. They should've set this up and marketed it a little different imo. Split this up into the 4 main sports, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, then u pay to bring in some big names from each sport, they dont have to stay there just stop by for 5 and go, just so u can say they might be there and they might not. Then periodically u have guys from each sport stopping by on and off throughout the year so people think there a chance of seeing or even playing with these guys. Then u try to get a few of the local Orlando athletic scouts to stop by every now and again so u can also use that to help bring in the masses. Then u market it as a place to come an experience how the pro's do it. Train like a pro, play like a pro and most important, possibly even play with a pro. Oh yea, dont look now but there are pro scouts watching and looking for some raw talent so play hard cause u never know who's watching. This could really be something big but the fact that it's just another glorified basketball gym just doesn't do anything for me.
     

    gatour

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 14, 2002
    And you had NBA city at Universal which wasnt't a huge draw either. I don't know, maybe NBA is funding it over at DS. I still believe a revamp of DQ would have been much better.
    NBA at Universal was a restaurant. Totally different than what Disney has done
     

    TonyaG83

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 28, 2017
    I have been patiently waiting for them to announce the opening date of City Works Eatery & Pour House. Last year watching the NBA finals on property was a nightmare. Same thing this fall when the season opened. Both times, ESPN couldn't guarantee me seating in front of the screen of my choice, and watching in my room alone was boring. I just want somewhere I can relax, drink, eat, and watch a basketball game.
     

    ChrisFL

    Disney/Universal Fan and MALE
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2000
    I'm pretty sure it became the NBA experience because the NBA paid for most of it. If not for that, it probably would have been something different, or DQ would not have closed when it did (not like they would have invested anything either)
     

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