NBA Experience

One of the most exciting experiences as a Disney fan is the Disney Quest, which sadly was officially announced closed in June 2015. However, more important was the announcement that the NBA Experience would take its place on the 12th of August 2019.

The NBA experience is meant to make you feel like an NBA player by focusing on different interactive aspects of the game of basketball.

Like some new experiences, expectations are not always usually met. Therefore, the NBA Experience, thought to provide a more refreshing and exciting feel than the Disney Quest, could turn out to be one with mixed expectations for those looking forward to it.

The Welcome Experience

The entrance scene to the NBA experience provides guests with the experience of walking out in a live basketball arena.

Upon arrival, guests gain access by first scanning their tickets for authentication on the instruction of a Cast Member. They are then directed to a screen where they again scan their tickets on a basketball-like icon and create their desired names. This is meant to be their identification name at different locations where authentication is required. 

In addition to creating names, guests are also required to enter other personal details like their age, favorite basketball team, and skill level. They are then free to experience the levels of activities as they please.

The Experience

The NBA experience features a variety of activities. These are skill-based physical activities, arcade games, photo sessions?

Physical skill-based Activities

The NBA physical activities are quite entertaining, especially for basketball enthusiasts. They are basketball skill-based challenge activities, where guests engage in different basketball skills challenges just like a pro basketball player. These skills, in addition to the setting, is meant to give the player the feel of an actual pro basketball player. These challenges include dribbling, dunking, shooting, and combine.

The dribble challenge is the first skill challenge, where a Cast Member guides participants to perform specific dribble skills with first, their dominant hand, their non-dominant hand, and lastly alternating between both hands. This challenge is performed in front of a camera, which helps track the ball’s movement and ascertain a player’s dribble accuracy.

The dunk challenge is the second challenge and is equally as exciting. Players begin this challenge from an easy to medium then hard levels by starting with a short hoop, making it easier to accomplish than a higher hoop, making it more difficult for players until the challenge is completed.

Shooting is the final challenge. It’s a one versus one challenge where a player challenges a Cast Member to make as many points as possible in front of a virtual crowd, making the experience a realistic one.

Another challenge is the Combine, combining various skills to shoot multiple balls into a hoop.

Arcade Games

The arcade games are set interactive games between users. 

Under this category, there is also the trivia game where users are asked a couple of challenging questions about the NBA.

Another aspect of the arcade games is the replay, where a match event is replayed, and a player is allowed to decide as to whether a decision given in the actual was a good or a bad call. This aspect of the game features replay options like zooming, pausing, changing camera angles to get a better look, and then making your decision.

There is also the slingshot challenge. The goal of this game is to shoot balls made of foam into basketball hoops with slings.

Photo session

Another aspect of the NBA experience is the photoshoot experience. This is a computer-based photoshoot, where the computer takes a series of pictures of a guest while lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy, and the NBA Most Valuable Player trophy, creating a feeling like you just won a real trophy.

Another photo experience allows for a personalized photo of you drafted by your favorite team.

The Players Experience

The players’ experience is an experience that feels like stepping into a real NBA locker room, with actual players on board. The lockers contain players’ kits and every item that can be found in a locker room. 

Installed between each locker is a touch screen, where players could view statistics and league standings of the NBA.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The NBA experience overall is an excellent experience for every participant. Certain activities standout and are worthwhile.

For most of the experience, the physical challenge activities that allowed guests to engage in a real NBA-like activity stands out as this creates the actual feel of physically participating in an NBA game.

The dribble challenge, the dunk challenge, and the shoot all stand out and offered real-life game situations.

While there’s a lot to relish from the NBA experience, some of the activities are mostly experiences to be relished by only NBA experts. For example, the Replay Center games where guests are called upon to make a call on match replays will not be a challenge to a participant who is very conversant with the game rules. This is not precisely fun if it is not much of a challenge. 

Another ugly side of the NBA experience is the fact that the activities are modeled to a too strict NBA standard, perhaps in a bid to give users an authentic NBA feel, without realizing that the regular-sized basketballs, hoops and other facilities make it impossible for underage children to derive maximum satisfaction.


The general feel of the NBA experience is no doubt one of excitement. However, to topple an experience like the Disney Quest would mean, the NBA Experience would be one second to none to afford guests a feel-good experience they would relish for a lifetime. However, the experience is modeled after the taste of an ardent basketball fan, and not much of a consideration was left for the ordinary user. A lot of modifications should, therefore, be considered.

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