NBA Experience debuts at Disney: Here’s everything you need to know
Shannon McLellan/ABC(ORLANDO, Fla.) — The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World’s Disney Springs is a slam dunk for basketball fans of all ages.
The immersive, one-of-a-kind attraction allows guests to get an inside look at the NBA in a way that’s never been done before.
“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.”
The interactive exhibit gives visitors the opportunity to personalize their experience by allowing them to register using their Disney wristband. Once they’re scanned in, guests will be able to pick their favorite team along with a personalized basketball nickname. At each exhibit, visitors can scan in and have their experience be personal to them and the team they love.
ABC News toured the entire NBA Experience and breaks it down in four quarters below:
Quarter 1: Put Me In, Coach
Several immersive games will put visitors’ basketball skills to the test and tell them how they stack up against current NBA and WNBA stars.
“Combine” will measure visitors’ wingspan, reach and vertical leap. Once the results are in, the interactive screen will show how guests compare to today’s most popular NBA stars like Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis and more.
If you get discouraged after your combine results, have no fear: There are plenty of interactive basketball activities to help guests sharpen their skills on the court.
“Dribble” has guests work with an interactive coach to show the drills and skills they need to become the next great point guard while “Shoot” tests players to see how many shots they can make from different areas of the court in just 15 seconds.
To really feel like an NBA superstar, however, visitors should head to “Dunk.” The rim can be lowered from the normal 10 feet to 7 feet and visitors have one minute to give their best Slam Dunk Contest-worthy performance. Once the minute is up, guests can check out pictures of them slamming the ball through the hoop like NBA superstars.
Quarter 2: Welcome to the NBA
After guests sharpen their skills at the NBA Experience’s immersive basketball attractions, they’ll be ready for the league.
Visitors will be able to experience one of the biggest milestones in a professional basketball player’s career — the NBA draft. Get drafted by your favorite team and snap a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver — or at least a life-like replica of him.
Once drafted, visitors will be ready to hit the locker room. This room, which is an exact replica of an NBA locker room, houses jerseys from all of the NBA and WNBA teams. Along the walls are interactive screens, which allow visitors to take a look at each team in the league and explore their current rosters, records and highlights.
Now that guests are in their league, they’ll need to see how they measure up to the competition. The “measure up” wall has life-size cutouts of NBA star Mo Bamba and WNBA star Elena Delle Donne. Guests can also compare their hand size to current NBA players on basketballs lining the walls.
Quarter 3: The League’s Legacy
Now that guests are in the league, they’ll want to experience the NBA’s rich legacy.
“Champions” allows visitors to learn about the legacy of great teams in the NBA and the WNBA. Visitors will get the chance to snap photos with replicas of the Larry O’Brien NBA Champions trophy and the Most Valuable Player award.
Guests will also be able to watch the impact of the league through two film experiences. “Game Time” shows the heartwarming impact attending an NBA game makes on a young woman and her father, while “Together” follows the incredible on-and-off court story of an NBA superstar in an 180-degree cinematic presentation.
Once immersed in the legacy, visitors will be able to put their knowledge to the test with NBA trivia. This multi-screen room allows guests to play trivia with other visitors of the experience in real time.
Quarter 4: All Fun and Games
Once guests get the full NBA journey, it’s time for a little fun! The experience has a ton of games that will make people of all ages feel like a kid again.
The arcade has a ton of games that are perfect for some friendly competition. Visitors can take on their friends in Pop-A-Shot and also challenge them to the latest NBA 2K video games.
Perhaps the most fun attraction in the entire exhibit is the “Slingshot” game. Guests use over-sized slingshots to fire balls into varying sized hoops, in a race against the clock against dozens of other visitors.
The NBA Experience allows people of all ages to be everything from a fan to a referee to a draft pick to, ultimately, an NBA champion. With all these elements combined, one thing is for sure — everyone is a winner!
The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of ABC News.
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