Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is one of three Walt Disney World resorts that will host players from the National Basketball Association this summer.
Details have begun to emerge regarding the NBA's plan to return to play at Walt Disney World. Players will be housed at the Grand Floridian, along with Disney's Coronado Springs Resort - Gran Destino Tower and Disney's Yacht Club Resort. Coronado Springs will serve as the hub, with a variety of temporary workout and leisure facilities erected within the convention center.
Teams have been assigned to hotels based upon current season standings. Those with the best records will be housed at Cornoado Springs. The next tier is located at Grand Floridian followed by the lower group at Yacht Club.
Sources: NBA teams Disney hotels based on seeding:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 16, 2020
-Grand Destino: Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers, Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz, Heat
-Grand Floridian: Thunder, 76ers, Rockets, Pacers, Mavericks, Nets, Grizzlies, Magic
-Yacht Club: Blazers, Kings, Pelicans, Spurs, Suns, Wizards
The league has not ruled out relocating teams should they progress further in the playoffis than anticipated.
By all indications, the Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort will resume housing Disney Vacation Club members from June 22 forward. NBA players will likely be sequested in a group of hotel buildings. It is not known what impact this may have on access to resort recreation and dining.
A number of NBA reporters have offered insight on health and safety protocols, as well as the living & playing circumstances players will face at Walt Disney World.
Participants will be issued MagicBands for use as touchless payment option and hotel room access. Players must agree to certain movement and contact restrictions, and cannot leave Walt Disney World property without authorization. Approved reasons for leaving are mostly health-related, including need to seek medical treatment and birth of a child.
Per a Walt Disney World source: Plans are in motion for king sized and over-sized beds to be moved into many of the rooms that will be used by the NBA. Per a source: "We only have so many of those types of beds at a given time, but we're doing our best to accommodate the NBA."— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 17, 2020
Cast Members working with the league will be subjected to a now-familiar screening process which includes overall health checks and temperature check. They must wear masks and gloves at all times and maintain social distancing. Some high-contact Cast Members may be sequestered in a manner similar to the players, but that is still being discussed between the league and Disney officials.
Disney will largely follow the NBA's lead with regard to offering additional experiences and access to players. League participants may not visit the theme parks during normal operating hours, however Disney has expressed a willingness to host exclusive after-hours events and behind-the-scenes tours. A wide variety of dining options will be available, ranging from hotel room delivery to private events in Disney restaurants.
Participants will have access to Disney golf courses, fishing excursions and a variety of other recreation. Unique lounges will be set-up to offer video games, recreational sports (ping pong), playing cards, music and late night entertainment and more.
The league will have access to up to three courts at Disney's Wide World of Sports for games or practices. Additional temporary practice facilities are expected to be set-up at the Coronado Springs convention center. Due to the need to schedule many games across just 2 or 3 courts, play is expected to begin around noon daily and continue until after midnight eastern. In order to facilitate television viewing, eastern conference teams will play the majority of their games early in the day while west coast teams are scheduled for later.
The NBA is expected to arrive in mid-July and begin regular season play on July 30. The NBA Finals should end no later than October 12.