It’ll be the end of an era when DisneyQuest closes in 2016 to usher in The NBA Experience. Personally, I will be saddened by the void it will leave in my nostalgic heart. I’ve been attending DisneyQuest since it opened, and visiting nearly once a year since 2009.
Sure, the technology in the place is outdated, but the fun isn’t. But I get it. Until it closes next year, we can enjoy the virtual reality and the fully immersive and interactive activities as much as we want.
That being said, I’m a big NBA fan and excited for what’s to come which, as the Orlando Sentinel reports, will include “high-tech experiences, a restaurant and a store.”
As we await more details, in the true spirit of Disney, I imagined what we could see when The NBA Experience opens in the not-so-distant future.
Virtual Game of 5-on-5
Likelihood of *potentially* happening: 80%
By offering interactive basketball experiences, your first thought would be to actually play some basketball. Since injury liability, among other factors, prevents the facility from holding pickup games, I suggest a virtual alternative.
To visualize, I point to the Mighty Ducks Pinball Slam, a long-time fixture at DisneyQuest. In this game, 11 players take the controls of a pinball in digital form, which is projected before them on a giant screen.
In my version, you’ll take the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controller and, well, assume control of an NBA player in the latest game of either 2K Sports’ NBA 2K or EA SPORTS NBA Live series and play it on a giant screen. It’s not likely that you’ve played against nine other competitors in the same room. Call picks, shout “I’m open” and even talk trash a la Michael Jordan and it’s the next best thing to playing at the playground — and as NBA superstars to boot.
Likelihood of *potentially* happening: 25%
We’ve all played the pop-a-shot games at the arcade and they’re always a ton of fun. There’s nothing but you, a ball and a basket as you attempt to knock down as many shots as possible.
But we’re talking about The NBA Experience, a building that will assume the spot of the virtual-reality laden DisneyQuest, so we need some VR up in here!
So imagine donning a HMD (head-mounted display) and some motion capture gloves and doing the same thing but here’s the twist — now you’re trying to shoot over NBA players. Think of it as a reimagining of Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride.
Immersing yourself in a video game environment (like the aforementioned NBA 2K or NBA Live games) and having a LeBron James dare you to score on him could be the closest thing to a one-on-one contest with The King.
Of course, if you win, LeBron gives you props and suggests he might tell NBA Commissioner Adam Silver about you.
Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest
Likelihood of *potentially* happening: 50%
The night before the annual NBA All Star Game features a plethora of activities including the Skills Challenge. How cool would it be to perform the same drills course as the select group of NBA players every year? And what’s more, comparing your times to that of your favorite player, of course.
You could also do the same with the 3-Point Contest. Run the rack as you race the clock to drill as many treys as possible. Don’t forget the money ball!
Can you make it rain more than this past year’s winner, Steph Curry?
Do You Have the Inside Stuff?
Likelihood of *potentially* happening: 90%
NBA players are among the most elite athletes in the world, but nothing puts that quite into perspective like directly comparing yourself to one.
Test your vertical leap and reflexes as well as measure your height to see how you rank among the globe’s best basketball players.
Protect the Rim
Likehood of *potentially happening: 60%
Much like number two on this list, you’ll virtually go one-on-one with a NBA player except this time you’re on defense. Utilizing technology like that in the Kinect, you’d assume a defensive stance and swat away shots fired by players like Kevin Durant and James Harden.
It’s easy to score, but putting the clamps on your competitor is just as, if not more, satisfying.
I’m no attraction engineer, but I tried to create experiences that could theoretically be achieved by today’s technology. Whether any of these come to bear or not, I’m sure The NBA Experience will have a lot of game.