The NBA Experience in Disney Springs is an exciting new attraction! It opened August 12th, and we dropped by August 16th to see what this was all about! If you like basketball and arcade games…this is the place for you!! Come along with me as I explore the NEW NBA Experience!!
First thing to know…tickets are $34.00 for ages 10+, and Ages 3-9 is $29.00. Just in case you think this is a little much…your pass is good ALL DAY. That means you can leave and come back! OR you can stay ALL DAY! It’s perfect for a rainy day!!
Upon first arrival, the immediate space you walk into is full of NBA merchandise and has this cool N – B – A filled with basketballs! The actual NBA Experience is towards the left and to the back of the building.
You can pay for your ticket into the Experience at the cash register right in front of the doors leading into the Experience. Once you get your ticket, you’ll step through the portal, into a whole new N – B – A world! Your first stop will be to Personalize Your Experience!
Once you register and set up your name, you’ll be able to track your whole experience. See that little basketball? Anytime you see one of these, you can wave your magic band over it, and it will know to send your scores or pictures to your My Disney Experience! The cast member told me I would get 80-85 pictures on my PhotoPass… ummm… I didn’t have that many pictures…not sure what happened…but I did get a few…which maybe I’ll share… I don’t know…it was a little awkward being a childless millennial flying solo at an NBA Experience. But the cast members said they heard I was drafted…so there is hope all my basketball dreams CAN come true!!
Okay, so to personalize, you first tap your magic band to the basketball, then you choose the personalize button. You can pick your favorite team. I picked the Pacers…since I’m from Indy. #pacers
After this, you can pick a nickname! You get to choose from two different columns to create your own nickname! Super fun!!! Once you have your name…you are all set to explore!
You can start upstairs or downstairs. Downstairs is a good “warm up” area – it is a little less active and prepares you for games and drills upstairs. The areas to explore downstairs are The Combine, Players Area, Measure Up, and Film Review.
My first stop was the Players Area. You can go inside this room and look at team jerseys, team stats, and more!
You can check out the roster and stats of various teams!
The next area to explore downstairs is The Combine. Here you get to imagine what it is like to be drafted. They measure your wing span, your vertical jump, and your free throw abilities.
This was actually one of my favorite stations…despite my inability to make a free throw. Ha! The sweet design of this room was spot on and maybe one of the most “realistic” stations they created.
As you wait in line, you can watch this guy (I’m sure you’ll let me know who he is) talk about the actual Combine.
Now, when it’s your turn, you (and those in your party) will get assigned to a little area with a hoop!
You will tap in here with your magic band…and then follow the directions. A voice will tell you what to do when… when to jump, when to make a shot, where to stand and hold your arms…just listen and follow directions. If you need help, cast members are available, but the room is designed to be used on your own!
Okay…I know you all are dying to see my high scores 😉 This is what your score sheet will look like…only hopefully better scores. And again, this will show up on your My Disney Experience.
Also downstairs is a Measure Up area…where you can compare height and size with NBA and WNBA players! There are also basketballs that show the size of hands of some of the players! And there is even a wall that shows who has been to the NBA Experience and when they visited!
Okay, I’m all ready to head upstairs! We’ve gone through “warm ups” and it’s time to take on the real games! You with me?
Just in case you want to see what the layout is on each level –
Once you get to Level 2, you will see many more experiences to choose from! There is the Arcade area, Dunk Experience, Dribble! Experience, Trivia Room, Draft Area, Replay Center, Shoot Court, and Slingshot Experience!
Our first stop is the Replay Center. In this room, YOU get to be the official. They will show you a play, and then you can look at the play through 4 different angles and decide what the best call would be. There were only a few people in this room, and it isn’t quite as “active” as the other rooms on this floor. Tapping your magic band to that basketball will track your score as a Basketball Official 😉 and send it to your My Disney Experience!
Next up is the Shoot court! This was also one of my favorite stops! The cast members were super friendly and probably the most hands on at this station! You get to shoot from 5 different spots, and the cast members will help feed you basketballs to keep you going! Also, I should have mentioned this before, but each station where you actually use a basketball, you can choose from an NBA size basketball or an WNBA size basketball!! Thanks Disney!
Our next stop is Slingshot! Your goal is to make as many baskets as you can using the slingshots to hoist the basketballs (not actual basketballs) into the air and (hopefully) into the hoop. This is also a lot of fun, especially for families. I witnessed multiple families playing each other over and over in this area! Moms and dads especially got into this station (and the Shoot station). Surprisingly, this is harder than it looks…and addictive?
NBA2K – Arcade is right around the corner and features arcade type games. If you love arcades, you’ll love this station. Parents also seemed to enjoy competing against their kids here too!
All right, I know you didn’t believe me when I said they drafted me…but here’s the proof! I got to pose with some guy 😉 Lots of kids LOVED this area! You can choose the team hat of your choice. The team you chose at the beginning will be the team you get “drafted” to…so choose wisely friends 😉
The next room we’re exploring is the Dribble Area! This is really a well thought out room. You can definitely go in here and do your dribble drill…BUT you can actually go through this station several times! It actually has 5 rounds! So if you get over 80% on your first drill, you can come back for a second round of dribble drills. If you pass the second level, you get to go to the 3rd level. It tracks your score on your magic band! For the last round you have to get 90% or better! I really enjoyed this station!
Let’s head over to the Dunk! Room! So this is similar to the Combine in that you get your own area with a hoop! You have a little under a minute to dunk as many times as you can! You even get to choose the height of your basketball hoop before you start to play. I’ll be honest, I was really hoping I’d get some pictures from here that made me look like Michael Jordan. Sadly, no pictures showed up on My Disney Experience. Oh well…I guess we can’t all be like Mike.
The Trivia Room is also upstairs, and this room ended up being more fun than I thought it would be! The cast member running it was great…so maybe that’s why it was fun! There was no line for this station, so at the end of the competition, the cast member invited us to stay at our stations or leave. The questions are different each round, so you could stay at this station for hours if you love NBA trivia…and there is no line. 😉
Well friends, thanks for coming along as we explored the new NBA Experience! There were lots of parents and children enjoying this new Disney attraction! I definitely recommend you check it out if you are a big basketball fan…or you have kids who are budding athletes. It’s a fun family experience! Also, if a #childlessmillennial who never played competitive basketball could enjoy the NBA Experience all by myself- ya’ll can!
If you are looking for other new attractions this fall, check out our blog on 14 Insider Secrets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We also have 5 Ways to Prepare for Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge if you are stopping by the new land of Batuu! And we have a Review of the New Takumi-Tei Restaurant that just opened up in the Japan Pavilion in Epcot! We wish you a magical day as you plan your next trip to Disney!