Home Disney News Breaking: NBA to Occupy 3 Resorts, No Other Guests Allowed

Breaking: NBA to Occupy 3 Resorts, No Other Guests Allowed

Breaking: NBA to Occupy 3 Resorts, No Other Guests Allowed
credit: Disney

We have known for a week or two now that the NBA is coming to complete their season at Walt Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports. Today the CEO of the Orlando Magic confirmed their resort plans.

Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins released a video today where he seemed to be reading from a prepared statement.

In the video, Martins confirms that the NBA will occupy the following 3 resorts: The Grand Floridian, The Yacht Club and the Gran Destino Tower at Coronado Springs.

Martins goes on to say that no guests who are not with the NBA will be allowed in those resorts for the duration of their stays. Presumably, this measure is to limit the possibility of players, coaches, reporters, referees and their families being exposed to the novel Coronavirus.

interior of the Grand Floridian

Basketball is a close contact sport and the NBA was the first major sport to shut down their season back in March. Some players tested positive for the coronavirus immediately preceding the decision.

It was not immediately clear what measures will be taken to limit other guests other than needing a special magic band for entry to the restricted areas.

We assume this means that the restaurants that are contained within those resorts will not be available to other guests for the duration of the NBA condensed season (mid July to mid October).

That would mean that the Grand Floridian Cafe, Yachtsman Steakhouse and Toledo at Gran Destino tower would be off limits to guests during this time.

the Grand Floridian cafe

There is no word on whether guests in the Disney Vacation Club villas at Grand Floridian resort will be affected or whether those guests will have access to the quick service restaurant inside the main building at the Grand Floridian.

It’s possible they will be asked to walk to Captain Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian resort for restaurant options.

outdoor seating at Captain Cooks

While the information released is not new, it does confirm what some guests had feared about being able to access their favorite resorts this summer and fall. I know my (Rebecca’s) husband will be disappointed that we can’t stop by the Crew’s Cup Lounge in the Yacht Club for a giant pretzel and some lobster bisque.

How does this announcement affect your plans? Let us know in the comments on Facebook and in our Facebook group.

-Rebecca W Davis


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  1. All 3 resorts have convention centers. It would make much more sense to have the players occupy the convention center to eat and the other activities they are having for them. They will not be paying for their meals so seems strange to shut down the restaurants to paying dvc members.

  2. This is good to hear. If we are not allowed into “their” resorts, then they shouldn’t be allowed into “our” parks. It’s only fair. ;-)

    • No, the NBA players association has imposed strict rules for all players and their guests. Bc basketball is a contact sport, he risk of covid spread is very real. So, players and anyone they bring will not have access to the parks. I think I heard something about after their team is eliminated they can go, but I think that means after they check out of the bubble resorts… they really are being quite strict with it.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. I am wondering how this impacts Stormalong Bay pool at Beach and Yacht club. Is that why the pool will not open initially? We have reservations for September and really hoping the pool will be open by then.

  4. It totally makes more sense that the NBA wont be in the main building. There are plenty of other buildings to put them in. I cannot see them making DVC members walk to the Polynesian to get something to eat, access the monorail, and purchase personal items. That is just my opinion.

  5. I’m pretty ticked off right now as this was a big fear of mine. I was concerned this would happen. I called last week before my 30-day window to specifically ask if we would have access to the main building at the Grand Floridian and was told we would. In fact, the cast member on the phone acted surprised that I would even dare to ask such a question. Of course, now I can’t find another resort to switch to.

  6. My daughter was supposed to be married originally May 8 then July 30 but cancelled so we booked the villa for more room for her her bridesmaids to get ready i was told because I purchased a confirmed dvc reservation I could not make changes or cancel. I did receive an email from Disney asking if I wanted to modify, cancel or keep my reservation and I had to July 1 to respond. So I’m a bit confused

    • Wow! Congrats to your daughter. I don’t think they knew which resorts the NBA was going to occupy until very recently. At first it was supposed to be just Coronado.. there was talk of animal kingdom lodge… etc. it was only about 2 weeks ago that they confirmed their choices.

      I’d fill out the form and let them make you and offer. Thanks for reading!

    • I’m not sure. Perhaps they will be limited to boat transportation? Or have to pick it up at the Polynesian? Good question!

  7. Was there mention of disney moving those affected to other resorts? I am booked at Coronado springs and cant get thru customer service support to even talk to someone about getting it changed. This is so frustrating since nothing from Disney on it even tho it’s been known for weeks. Terrible service from a multi billion dollar company

    • Carol, I totally agree! I JUST received emails this evening about my July and august stays as did some of the other writers. I’ve been trying to call all day, can’t even get put on hold.. I’m going to try again tomorrow!

  8. I think it’s unfair I’m stuck with a $6000 villa at grand Floridian which I will have access to nothing And can’t get any ticket to the parks cause they aren’t selling them. And will be restricted on the property

    • Yikes!! That’s steep. Hopefully 2020 tickets are back on sale soon. They wouldn’t sell me an annual pass for our foster to adopt daughter who is coming home next week. So… I guess I’m just waiting to see if they open up ticket sales before august.

      Can you cancel the villa? Even if you rented, sometimes the owner will let you transfer it to someone else or help you reschedule.

      Thanks for reading!

  9. Yeah. I figured that was the primary reason. It’s still incredibly frustrating, though.

    I was trying to think of other options for a nice dinner, and i thought of the Yachtsman Steakhouse – but, nope, the NBA will be there too. Isn’t it enough that they make hundreds of thousand or even millions of dollars? Do they have to take away things from us regular people as well? Why can’t Disney just put them up at All- Star Sports? That would seem more fitting, and they can live like the rest of us do for a while. It might be good for them? I’d be okay with Nikki’s suggestion too that they stay in apartments instead of taking up the Disney properties.

    I’m very disappointed with this decision, but my wife is going to be absolutely crushed when she learns of it.

    Sorry, sports fans, but I’m really hoping the NBA just cancels their season altogether.

  10. I am upset that Storm Along Bay will be closed while we are at the BCVillas. NBA families will have access to the pool while Disney expect us to us theBoardwalk pool.

    • There is no indication that stormalong bay is opening at all. I don’t expect that it will be. Takes way too many CMs to man it. Thanks for reading.

  11. We had a reservation booked for Victoria and Albert’s in March for our 30th anniversary. We rebooked it for September to have a do-over, and then that reservation was canceled by Disney. I am hoping that they will allow us to book it again for our stay. My wife and I will be very disappointed if we can’t go, as we had been saving our pennies and looking forward to it for so long.

    Neither of us are NBA fans in the least, so, if we can’t dine there, we will be extra irritated. Aside perhaps from noticing the players’ heights we wouldn’t be able to identify a single one of them as an NBA player. I couldn’t care less about the fact they are NBA players, so it’s not like we’d try to be getting selfies or even approach any of them.

    • Hi Robert thanks for reading. The restrictions are to keep exposure to a minimum for the coronavirus not necessarily to keep players isolated bc of their fame, though I’m sure they don’t mind that part! The NBA players union insisted on it for safety.

  12. Wow! Why can’t they stay at apartments instead of taking up Disney hotels? This seems like a lot away for the resort guests for a long period of time!

    • I don’t think Disney owns any apartments. The deal is they are paying for all these rooms. I think money talks and Disney will take the guaranteed cash during this difficult time.

      I hardly feel sorry for Disney as they are a huge company but they are losing $30 million a day with the parks closed. I can see why they entered this agreement.. further they own ESPN and even though ESPN doesn’t air games (I don’t think?) at least the sports casters will have something to talk about, and that will bring as revenue. Right now ESPN is like showing reruns of old horse races or something.

    • You+Me+Lebron at Toledo… yeah, I can see that! Husband will want to come too, maybe grandma can watch the boys!

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