Downtown Disney will open a new NBA-themed attraction that will include high-tech experiences, a restaurant and a store.
The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort will feature hands-on activities, “immersive NBA video productions and numerous interactive experiences,” according to an announcement made Wednesday. Disney did not provide further details.
Universal’s entertainment area also has an NBA City restaurant, which will close Aug. 31, according to a source who was not authorized to speak on the matter and requested anonymity.
The Universal CityWalk restaurant had been profitable, the source said.
On Thursday, Universal confirmed the closing of NBA City.
“Earlier this year, we decided not to renew the lease for NBA City so we could create an exciting, new concept for that space,” Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said. He said plans for the area would be announced “soon.”
The new attraction at Disney will be about triple the size of NBA City.
Disney’s announcement comes two days after Universal Orlando unveiled plans for NBC Sports Grill, which will open this fall with 90 big screens at its CityWalk dining and entertainment complex.
“It’s kind of the product du jour right now, adding sports,” said Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services.
Both theme park resorts have made enhancing their entertainment districts a big priority. Downtown Disney — being renamed Disney Springs — is undergoing massive expansion. Universal Orlando has opened or revamped about a dozen venues at its CityWalk entertainment area.
In a news release, Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger pointed out his company has had a long partnership with the basketball association through Disney’s ESPN channel.
“We’re thrilled to work with the NBA to take our guests inside the world of professional basketball with an extraordinary entertainment experience,” Iger said.