Home » Is This One of Walt Disney World’s Biggest Flops EVER?

    Is This One of Walt Disney World’s Biggest Flops EVER?

    Announced back in 2017, the NBA Experience is a one-of-a-kind entertainment destination with 13 interactive elements and hands-on activities across 44,000 square feet and two floors, with the goal of making every guest feel like an NBA superstar. This giant facility took over the space where DisneyQuest was, and opened just a few months ago in August. 

    And though Disney held a little opening ceremony for this new facility, we haven’t heard that much about this experience since then. And reports seem to indicate that the NBA Experience could be in serious trouble

    1. Guest levels are extremely low

    Image: Disney

    Though we don’t have any hard numbers about attendance at the NBA Experience, many guests we have spoken to (as well as some Cast Members) who have been to this attraction have said that this facility is basically empty on most operational days. In addition, Cast Members working at the NBA Experience have been seen trying to talk guests at Disney Springs in to stopping by this experience as well, which is a pretty big indicator that there aren’t that many people walking in the door.

    When compared with other Disney attractions, The NBA Experience has a relatively low cost for entry (standard pricing for the NBA experience is $34 for adults and $29 for kids 3-9), and provides a fairly decent value as a ticket to NBA Experience is all-inclusive, allowing guests to access every activity inside this entertainment complex. In addition to being able to experience whatever they want, whenever they want, and guests can return to favorite areas and experience them over and over again if they wish.

    However, even with this value, it looks like guests simply aren’t showing up to check out the NBA Experience (you can check out this video from the second day of operation for an idea of how sparse the guest levels are), which is why Disney has started taking drastic measures to try and increase attendance at this location: 

    Free admission is being offered for Cast Members, family and friends

    Image: Disney

    Walt Disney World offers its Cast Members free admission to theme parks and also gives them a certain number of tickets for family and friends, but earlier this year Cast Members were given a new perk: free admission to the newly-opened NBA Experience. 

    Complimentary admission to the NBA Experience does not count toward a Cast Member’s allotted number of Main Entrance Pass theme park admissions, and Cast Members may redeem this offer once per day, as many days as they would like to visit before the end of the year.  Block-out dates may apply, but have not been announced yet. Guests of the Cast Member must be present when redeeming this offer at the NBA Experience ticket window, and can also get free admission other guests (who do not need to be Cast Members) who want to visit this attraction. 

    Could more free admissions be coming?

    Image: Disney

    Though Cast Members are the only group right now that can get into the NBA Experience for free, we’re going to guess that the next time Walt Disney World raises prices for annual passholders, they will bundle admission to the NBA Experience  with the medium and premium tiers of annual passes to try and get more guests inside this new facility. 

    When it was announced many thought the NBA Experience was a strange addition for Walt Disney World, and though it has only been open a few months, attendance has been incredibly low due to reports, and if Disney can’t at least goose merchandise sales with free admissions for Cast Members (and eventually passholders, potentially), the NBA Experience may not be a very long-lasting experience at Disney Springs, and could be one of the biggest flops at Walt Disney World, ever.