Yesterday Walt Disney World made the surprise announcement that DisneyQuest would be ceasing operation in early 2016 and would eventually be converted into an NBA-themed restaurant that would have its own "interactive" elements. Though we don’t have a specific closing date yet for DisneyQuest, it looks like if you want to check out this interactive facility, you’ll have limited time to do so, as work will begin on the NBA restaurant early next year.
Though this announcement may have seemed to come out of nowhere, it has been clear to many for some time that DisneyQuest was existing on borrowed time. While the need to begin work on the new NBA restaurant ended up being the final nail in DisneyQuest’s coffin, even without this development, DisneyQuest would probably still have been shut down sometime in the near future, due to several factors.
Here are 3 reasons why the closure of DisneyQuest was an inevitable development:
1. The failure of the DisneyQuest brand
The current state of DisneyQuest is deplorable, but it wasn't always supposed to be this way. Back when the DisneyQuest concept was first brought up in the late 1990's, the idea was to create several DisneyQuest facilities around the US, with each one updating periodically with new attractions that could be duplicated and multiplied across the different locations.
However, this project never quite got off the ground. Though a second DisneyQuest location was opened in Chicago, it was quickly shuttered on September 4, 2001 due to low attendance. By this time, construction had begun on a third location in Philadelphia, but plans were halted when the Chicago location closed and construction was stopped. A fourth location was also in development for the Disneyland Resort, but like the other DisneyQuest projects, this was abandoned when it became clear that the DisneyQuest project was a failure.
Though these other locations were closed or simply not built, Walt Disney World's Downtown Disney DisneyQuest was the prototype project and as it was a finished product (that to its credit did see some decent traffic in its early years) this DisneyQuest location was left standing, However, because of the failure of DisneyQuest to take off as a multi-location brand, Disney executives never saw a reason to invest in this location at all, which helped lead to some even more massive problems...