The NBA has invaded Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. On Monday, the theme park opened the NBA Experience at Disney Springs. The attraction features “a dozen hoops-driven activities that either simulate the big-league experience, improve skill sets or tweak normal basketball play,” according to the Orlando Sentinel. There’s also an area for dunking where the rim can be lowered to three feet and there are also giant slingshots aimed at backboards.
“It is an experience, and that’s what we’re about,” said Matt Simon, vice president for Disney Springs. “They will have that experience of what it’s like to feel like an NBA star.”
A number of NBA stars were in Orlando for the grand opening including legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Grant Hill. Also in attendance were Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic, Victor Oladipo, formerly of the Magic and now with the Indiana Pacers; and Dwyane Wade, a former Miami Heat who just retired from the NBA.
"When we were young, we played basketball in our driveways or in the park, creating those imaginary moments of making the game-winning shot for a championship," said Stan Dodd, executive producer, Walt Disney Imagineering via Good Morning America. "We want to take that energy and help you feel what it's like to be an actual NBA or WNBA player."
A visitor of the NBA Experience can personalize their visit by registering with their Disney wristband. One of the notable attractions is the NBA Draft where a visitor can get drafted by their favorite team and take a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. There is also the locker room where fans can get a glimpse of what an NBA and WNBA locker room looks like and get the latest information on their team. Fans can also take a picture with the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy and the MVP Award.0comments
"NBA Experience lets everyone who loves the game, live it," Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement per Spectrum News 13 in Orlando. "We're excited to open the doors to a fun and unique experience for fans of all ages."
According to Disney’s website, tickets for a one-day pass for the NBA Experience cost $34 for an adult (ages 10 and up). It’s located on the West Side of Disney Springs and normal operation hours are from 12 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET.