NBA Experience, the brand-new destination coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, officially opens Aug. 12, 2019. The NBA Experience will give guests the chance to feel like a basketball superstar.
“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. “We want to take that energy and help you feel what it’s like to be an actual NBA or WNBA player.”
In collaboration with the NBA, Disney is developing NBA Experience as a one-of-a-kind environment packed with 13 interactive elements and hands-on activities across 44,000 square feet and two floors. Upon entry, guests will feel as if they’re walking through the players’ tunnel at an NBA or WNBA arena. A ticket to NBA Experience grants access to every activity, in any order guests choose, with the ability to return to stations to improve performances or learn even more about the game, players and teams they love. In addition to the competitions and games, the experience will also include a retail store featuring NBA-themed merchandise.
Additional elements of the destination include:
- A Slam Dunk Challenge, where guests can change the height of a standard 10-foot hoop to as low as seven feet to perform their own superstar moves – captured by burst photography.
- An activity that tests shooting skills with spots on a court that light up as guests move from one location to another attempting to sink as many shots as possible in 15 seconds.
- A way for guests to see how they stack up to some of the world’s best basketball players by measuring their vertical leap, wingspan, shooting and dribbling.
- Personalization for various activities with guests’ names and associating the activity with their favorite NBA or WNBA teams.
- Real-time technology to aggregate statistics of NBA and WNBA games and players for continuous updates, while leaderboards will track top NBA Experience performers throughout each day.
NBA Experience at Disney Springs is set to open Monday, Aug. 12 – the day after the second annual Jr. NBA Global Championship concludes at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. Thirty-two teams will participate in a week of on-court competition and off-court programming centered on the Jr. NBA’s core values of teamwork, respect, determination and community.
The NBA will introduce a new layer of local competitions, including more than 20 local tournaments – 14 of which will be hosted by NBA teams in their respective markets – to expand the pool of participating boys and girls teams in the U.S. Long-time league partner and leading basketball stakeholder USA Basketball will enhance all domestic competitions and help increase accessibility by accrediting local tournaments, again licensing participating coaches, supporting all eight U.S. regional tournaments and promoting best practices through the implementation of theNBA and USA Basketball Youth Guidelines.
Qualifying competitions will tip off in January 2019 and run through June 2019. In the U.S., the winning boys and girls teams from each of the new local tournaments will advance to one of eight regional tournaments in the spring.
The international competition, which will once again leverage the Jr. NBA’s extensive global reach, will expand to additional countries and territories. Top players from the Caribbean will now have the opportunity to compete alongside players from South America for a chance to represent Latin America in the Jr. NBA Global Championship. The Asia Pacific regional competition will expand to include youth from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.