Permits Filed for Demo at the NBA Experience at Disney Springs

A new permit has been filed for demolition and general construction at the closed NBA Experience at Disney Springs. The permit, which we noticed thanks to @danlb_2000, calls for the Adena Corporation to perform the demo and general construction at the address where the old NBA Experience resides.

City Works Eatery & Pour House shares the building that housed the NBA Experience, so a complete demolition of the building seems unlikely unless City Works suddenly announces they’re closing. It seems more likely that Disney is starting to remove the old elements from within the NBA Experience space for whatever is planned next.

The NBA Experience opened in Summer 2019 and was immediately met with mixed-to-bad reviews. The entire concept was puzzling, and many questioned if enough guests would want to take time out of their day and pay to run shooting drills and other activities. The answer was quickly made apparent as rumors surfaced about extremely poor attendance.

Still from a Disney promotional video of the NBA Experience.
Still from a Disney promotional video of the NBA Experience.

Then, COVID-19 closed the NBA Experience in 2020 along with the rest of Walt Disney World. In August 2021, it was announced that the NBA Experience would not be reopening. Few were surprised, but it was fascinating seeing old NBA Experience merchandise popping up from time to time in random locations.

The NBA Experience was an idea that was doomed from the start. Despite Disney’s ongoing partnerships with the NBA, the entire concept of the NBA Experience just didn’t make sense for Disney Springs. It doesn’t help that Disney demolished the fan-favorite DisneyQuest, an interactive experience with arcade games, VR games, and more, to make way for the NBA concept.

DisneyQuest, which was admittedly quite dated and needed a lot of TLC, was ahead of its time. But, rather than bring DisneyQuest up to modern standards, Disney opted to go the third-party route and thus the NBA Experience was born.

What’s going to happen to the NBA Experience space? Disney hasn’t tipped their hand yet. There’s a lot of possibilities given the sheer size of the building. One rumor suggests escape rooms are an option, which is a concept Disney has tested in the past, but that might not pan out based on similar experiences failing.

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David is a Disney travel expert who created Notes from Neverland in 2018 after visiting Disney theme parks countless times. Previously, David spent way too much time writing about sports, and was featured in Sports Illustrated, MSN, Yahoo!, and in many other publications. Learn more or contact us.

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