Back in 2015, it was announced that DisneyQuest was going to close for good sometime in 2016 to make way for a new sports-based facility: the NBA experience. Though no official date was ever revealed, Disney stopped including DisneyQuest admission with top-tier annual passes immediately, and Cast Members were notified that they were likely going to be relocated in the near future.
However, as you undoubtedly already know, 2016 came and went, and Disney Quest never did close. Behind the scenes, rumors swirled about what was going on with this location, with several sources claiming that Disney's negotiations with the NBA had broken down over construction costs associated with the project as well as issues with the projected theme.
However, even though this project seemed to have stalled for a bit, it was confirmed earlier this week that Disney really is still looking to bring the NBA Experience concept to Disney Springs, and the first step towards making that goal a reality will be the closure of DisneyQuest. And yes, they actually mean it this time.
The last day for guests to experience DisneyQuest will be…
Though we always knew DisneyQuest was not long for this world, Disney has officially announced that this location will close its doors forever on July 3, 2017. This is still quite a while from now, and will give fans almost six months to make one final stop at the location that was once billed as the “theme park of the future”. However, even though this long march to closure might seem like a boon for fans of DisneyQuest (it's not often a closure is announced six months before it happens), there could be some other potential reasons for this extended goodbye period for DisneyQuest….
Could the NBA deal still be in doubt?
Well-sourced insiders insisted last year that the NBA and Disney were squabbling quite a bit behind the scenes over costs, theming and overall licensing. And while we haven’t heard any updates in some time, something about the Disney Parks Blog announcement, posted earlier this week seems a little off.
While Disney announces closures all the time, if there is a replacement ready, they always try and mitigate the bad news with a flood of information and details about whatever is coming next. A recent example would be the closure of Disney California Adventure’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror last year. When Disney confirmed that this attraction was indeed going away forever in 2017, they did it as a footnote to their announcement of Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT, the first attraction to anchor the new Marvel Land at this park.
However, with the NBA Experience, Disney seems to have done the inverse, making the closure of DisneyQuest the centerpiece of the announcement, and then adding the vaguest of details about the NBA Experience to the bottom of the post. This is certainly not the norm, and while we could be reading a bit too far into things, this could be a signal that the future of this project might still be in doubt.
What is certain though, is the fact that DisneyQuest will definitely close this July, and if the NBA Experience project is indeed going ahead, here's what we know so far...