How Will Disney World Housing NBA Players Affect Your Disney Vacation?

in Walt Disney World

How will the NBA season affect your Disney Vacation?

As the NBA prepares to complete its season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the Walt Disney World Resort starting in late July, the question of where the players will stay for the duration comes into focus. It appears that the plan is to house the basketball players at one of Disney World’s resort hotels.

If that is the case, what does that mean for your Walt Disney World Resort hotel reservation and overall Walt Disney World vacation?

As of now, it appears that the current front runner for where the NBA could stay on Disney property is Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

According to NBA reporter Keith Smith,

“Per Walt Disney World sources, Disney and the NBA have agreed that Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is likely to be the primary host resort for the NBA when they resume the season. Sources say an agreement may be reached this week, which will allow preparations to move quickly. 

“Other Walt Disney World resorts remain under consideration to host the NBA, but Coronado Springs offers the best package of rooms, resources and proximity to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Still a possibility that multiple resorts are used for the NBA, per WDW sources.”

Those other resort hotels include Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, as well as the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort.

According to The New York Times:

“Disney and the N.B.A. have not commented, but there is no chance that players will be sprinkled across a dozen hotels. The league will use one or two. The 443-room Four Seasons is high on the draft board; it sits inside a gated, ultra-exclusive area near the center of Disney World called Golden Oak.”

But Keith explained why Coronado Springs was the probable candidate by noting its size, the space it offers, and overall campus-style design:

“Coronado Springs has over 2,000 hotel rooms between their campus style buildings & the 15-story Gran Destino tower. It all surrounds a contained lake with pools, boating, and walking/jogging paths.. In addition, the property has over 220,000 sq. ft. of convention space attached.”

What if the NBA Chooses Your Resort Hotel?

These reports allude to the possibility that Disney and the NBA are planning to house all of the NBA players at one resort, two at the very most. If that is the case, then only those Guests planning to stay at the chosen resort will be primarily affected, and, right now, that would include only those would-be Guests who have a reservation set at that chosen resort hotel.

Walt Disney World has put a pause on all new hotel reservations at this time. This allows Disney to stem the flow of Guests and accommodate those with preexisting hotel reservations within the limited capacity and social distancing guidelines during their phased reopening set to begin July 11. It stands to reason that once a resort hotel is chosen for the NBA, Disney World will likely reach out to those Guests reserved at that chosen hotel to notify of the event, if not offer them the chance to move–or even request that they move—to another resort hotel, adhering to their commitment to accommodate all preexisting reservations.

Coronado Springs
Credit: Disney

But there are still too many unknowns at this point to be sure of anything. A host resort still hasn’t been determined, nor has it been determined if Disney will agree to give the NBA teams and their families exclusive access to one resort so players can roam the resort without worrying about being bothered by fans.

It is also unknown whether or not the players will have affect the new park reservation system–more information on which is coming soon–and get to “cut the line” in regard to park access, FastPass+, and dining reservations. But their purpose of being on Disney World property is to play basketball and resume the NBA season, not to go have fun at the theme parks. Disney has said nothing on that matter.

espn NBA header
Credit: Disney/NBA

Disney World has housed athletes for events it has hosted before, but arguably never on this scale. Our advice, at this point, would be to keep an eye out for an official statement from Disney or the NBA and any information.

Inside the Magic will update its readers on how the NBA season can or will affect their Disney World vacation as more concrete information comes to light.

How do you feel about the NBA completing its season at Walt Disney World? Would you like to stay at the same hotel as the NBA players? Let us know in the comments!

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