Have you ever been to the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World? If not, you’re truly missing out on a great experience. Earlier this week, I was luckily invited to come out and visit the ESPN complex and take a tour, to see all that they have to offer there. I also got to see the opening ceremonies for the Disney Cup International, a week long soccer tournament which features young players from all over the world. I had no idea that ESPN offers these amazing programs for kids, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and is a dream come true for most. The players AND the parents really get excited, as they should, it’s fantastic. Take a peek at part of the ceremony and the players taking their oath for the week.
When the ceremony was over, we got to take photos with Mickey and Minnie in their soccer attire, they looked adorable. The energy during this event is high, you can feel they excitement in the air. I’m so glad that I got to experience the festivities.
The next morning, we had to be up bright and early, as we were getting to tour the new building and different areas across the ESPN property. This week is a busy one at ESPN Wide World of Sports. In addition to the Disney Cup International, the International Champions Cup (soccer) and the AAU National Basketball Championships were also taking place. The entire area was filled with young athletes. We started our tour at the newest facility. Here we saw basketball players warming up and we were able to see the various courts and such that this building offers. Honestly it’s pretty fascinating. The sports complex has interactive fun as well, like the ability to make custom t-shirts or have items made that look like an ESPN magazine cover. How great of a souvenir is that?
One of the best parts of the tour, was having the opportunity to hear from ex Orlando Magic player, Nick Anderson. Nick is great. He explained into further detail how the opportunities at ESPN make a huge impact on the young players who get to participate there. In addition to hearing from Nick, we also got to play a little basketball with Goofy and his “coach” which was a lot of fun. I even made the basket on my first try, even better. They really treated us to a fun experience. The new facility is impressive, some of you may have been there for the runDisney expo already! It was in the same building!
There is so much happening at ESPN, it’s quite something to see. We were shown the broadcast desk where sports casters sit, and actually got to sit there as well for photos. Also, we saw the control rooms where they run the back end of different programming. It’s just like you see on television, I was in awe at how things are done. Next was a golf cart tour of the various playing fields and such. I honestly didn’t realize how large the property of the complex is, it’s much bigger than I imagined. Before we wrapped up, we were given a bit more info on ESPN and runDisney. The experience was more than I anticipated, I learned a lot. If you haven’t visited the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World, you really should give it a try the next time you’re close by. You can keep up with all the happenings at ESPN at http://disneysportsnews.com/. A big thank you to ESPN and Disney for this opportunity, I’ll definitely be back soon.
I also talked more in depth about ESPN on TMSM Weekly Live! Watch below!
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