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Disney Begins Demolition at Abandoned Location, Sparking Speculation

Disney Springs tower with demolition rocks
Credit: Disney / Canva

Walt Disney World is finally dismantling a location and experience that failed and closed down three years ago.

Credit: Disney

Disney World Finally Begins Dismantling Disney Springs Location After Failed Experience Shuttered Three Years Ago

Nearly three years after its permanent closure to guests, Disney World has initiated removing the theming from the exterior of the former NBA Experience at Disney Springs. The NBA Experience operated for slightly over two years. Still, due to the closure of Disney World amid the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the attraction effectively operated for a mere seven months, disappointing many visitors.

During a recent visit to Disney Springs, observers noted that Disney World had commenced the de-theming process on the exterior of the building. This involved the removal of decorative steel elements around the roof line, which previously featured poses of basketball players. The deconstruction work has commenced on the east side of the structure, with crews conducting removal activities during overnight hours.

The House of Mouse has yet to disclose any definitive plans for the future of the space. However, earlier this year, the company filed permits for demolition, suggesting a likely course of action. Any demolition efforts would probably be concentrated on the NBA Experience section of the building. Meanwhile, CityWorks, situated in a lower quadrant of the structure, continues to operate and is expected to remain open for the foreseeable future.

A vibrant exterior view of the nba experience attraction featuring a large crowd of visitors, illuminated signage, and screens showing basketball games inside of Disney World, Disney Springs.

Credit: Disney

The NBA Experience at Disney Springs provided an immersive haven for basketball enthusiasts of all ages, boasting 13 interactive activities tailored to ignite the passion for the sport. These activities, including “dunk,” “shot,” “dribble,” “slingshot,” and arcade games, aimed to engage visitors in an unforgettable basketball journey.

Additionally, guests could explore a dedicated retail store, indulge in a gourmet menu, and enjoy high-definition TVs, enhancing the overall experience.

Opened on August 12, 2019, the NBA Experience quickly became a hub for sports fans. However, its operations abruptly stopped in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite initial hopes of reopening, the House of Mouse announced in August 2021 that the NBA Experience would remain permanently closed, marking the end of an era.

adam silver and bob iger with mickey and minnie at nba experience opening

Credit: Disney

Among the highlights of the NBA Experience were its diverse activities, each designed to capture the essence of basketball prowess. These included the “Slam Dunk Challenge,” where guests could adjust hoop heights to execute their superstar moves, and the “Slingshot” game, where oversized slingshots propelled balls into varying-sized hoops in a thrilling race against time and fellow visitors.

Additionally, guests could test their shooting accuracy in the “Shooting” challenge or showcase their NBA knowledge in the “Trivia” segment.

Notably, all activities were designed to be no-contact and focused on individual basketball skills, offering a safe and enjoyable environment for guests to immerse themselves in basketball.

What would you like to see replace this abandoned location at Disney Springs? 

This post originally appeared on Inside the Magic

About Emmanuel Detres

Since first stepping inside the Magic Kingdom at nine years old, I knew I was destined to be a theme Park enthusiast. Although I consider myself a theme Park junkie, I still have much to learn and discover about Disney. Universal Orlando Resort has my heart; being an Annual Passholder means visiting my favorite places on Earth when possible! When I’m not writing about Disney, Universal, or entertainment news, you’ll find me cruising on my motorcycle, hiking throughout my local metro parks, or spending quality time with my girlfriend, family, or friends.

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