Disney Potentially Teases Permanent NBA Experience Replacement – Inside the Magic

The NBA Experience at Disney Springs opened in August 2019 to much fanfare. The basketball-themed virtual reality experience replaced DisneyQuest, and seemed to be the start of a long-term partnership between Walt Disney World Resort and the NBA.

Credit: Disney

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At the time, an official blog post read:

Amid cheering fans and celebrity guests, Disney Chairman and [then] CEO Bob Iger unveiled the first-of-its-kind destination, joined onstage by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and several current and former NBA and WNBA players.

“NBA Experience lets everybody who loves the game, live it,” Bob said. “We’re excited to open the doors to a fun and unique experience for fans of all ages.”

NBA Experience concept art
Credit: Disney

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While the National Basketball Association and Disney maintain a good relationship — the NBA even held its first season during the pandemic within Disney World’s “NBA bubble” — the NBA Experience was open for less than a year before it closed due to COVID-19 in March 2020, and the decision was ultimately made to not reopen the venue.

From early May 2022 until the end of July 2022, the building that formerly housed the NBA Experience played host to ILMxLab’s “Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge” virtual reality experience based on the video game of the same name.

star wars tales from the galaxy's edge cantina
Credit: ILMxLAB

Related: Guests Are “Terrified” Disney Is Planning a Galaxy’s Edge Expansion

Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney District offered a nearly identical experience for Star Wars fans last year. The official description of the original Oculus Quest game reads:

Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is an action-adventure experience where you’ll take on the role of a droid repair technician operating near the Outer Rim. When a group of pirates attack you on Batuu, you’ll discover that anyone in the galaxy can become a hero.

Fight alongside classic characters like R2-D2 and C-3PO, and take on unexpected alliances and deadly enemies. Visit Seezelslak in his cantina to pick up missions that will take you into the wilds of Batuu — or become part of his legendary tales.

c3po tales from the galaxy's edge
Credit: ILMxLAB

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Now, a new construction permit indicates that Disney may be planning to unveil the permanent replacement for the NBA Experience in the near future. The permit in question is to “Install one (1) post & panel sign on concrete footer in softscape planter.”

While Disney has not confirmed that this new signage is for an upcoming permanent offering in the NBA Experience space, the company quickly removed all NBA-related signage ahead of the “Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge” installation.

nba experience exterior
Credit: Bioreconstruct

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Now that Star Wars fans have to go back to Batuu at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park to get their fill of a galaxy far, far away, it is likely that Disney has plans of some sort for the massive space.

Fans have previously speculated that the large structure could be used for escape rooms, but again, Disney has not made any official announcements.

What do you think will replace the NBA Experience at Disney Springs?

Visit the official Disney World website to plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district OR the official Disneyland website to plan your trip to Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — and the Downtown Disney District!

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