Chris Widmaier
National Football League
Ellen Brandon
WDW Sports


New York, August 25 -- Football fans no longer need to travel to the site of the Super Bowl to enjoy the "NFL Experience." The National Football League and Disney’s Wide World of Sports will showcase a permanent version of the NFL Experience available exclusively at the new state-of-the-art sports complex in Orlando. The new attraction will open Saturday, August 30 during the NFL’s Kickoff Weekend.

The NFL Experience (NFLX) is the league’s interactive football playground that lets NFL fans test their football ability at various skills challenges and interactive exhibits. NFLX is constructed each year in the Super Bowl host city and a scaled-down version tours with the NFL’s Air-It-Out flag football tournament. However, this new arrangement at Disney will be the first time a comprehensive version of the NFLX will be presented anywhere on a permanent basis.

Walt Disney World Sports expects the NFL Experience’s new home to encompass 60,000 square feet and will be located at the sports complex Sports Fields.

"Walt Disney World is this country’s number one vacation destination and the NFL is the country’s number one sport. The inclusion of the NFL Experience at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex is the perfect marriage of two of America’s favorite institutions," said NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

"Becoming the home of the NFL Experience is an exciting way for Disney’s Wide World of Sports to kick off the pro football season," said Walt Disney World Sports Vice President Reggie Williams. "We know our guests will love to come here and experience what it’s like catch, kick, pass and run with a football in this authentic interactive environment."

This new arrangement enhances a growing relationship between Disney and the NFL. In addition to NFL games being broadcast on ABC and ESPN, the NFL conducts its popular NFL Quarterback Challenge skills competition and the finals of its Air-It-Out competition at the sports complex. This year, the NFL is running a season-long schedule in Disney Adventures, the entertainment conglomerate’s publication for "tweens." In addition, Disney Adventures included a "Play Football" NFL primer in its "Cool Summer Nights Fun Bags" distributed at Walt Disney World. Hyperion Paperbacks for Children, a Disney publishing unit, will publish a paperback series for chidren ages 8-12 entitled the Monday Night Football Club this fall.

Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex will accommodate professional and amateur competition for more than 30 sports including over 40 AAU championships and Harlem Globetrotters training and development. The 200-acre sports complex features a 7,500 seat baseball stadium, a fieldhouse that can accommodate up to 6 basketball courts, a tennis complex with 11 courts, a track and field complex, four multi-purpose fields sized for international soccer, a baseball quadraplex, a softball quadraplex, two youth baseball fields, a special event area and vast locker rooms, press and training facilities.

The NFLX will be open daily at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tickets, $8 adults and $6.75 children ages 3-9, are available at TicketMaster outlets and at the sports complex box office. Media will be invited for a special sneak preview on Friday, August 29.

*** NFL Experience Elements at Walt Disney World Attached ***

Quarterback Challenge
Participants test their passing accuracy by throwing at targets

Quick Release
Speed/Velocity passing challenge

Punt, Pass & Kick
Players test their overall football skills as they consecutively punt, pass and kick the ball

The Kid’s Zone
The NFL’s young fans can crawl, jump and bounce on the custom NFL Stadium Moon Bounce. They also can play on authentic NFL equipment that is safe for children in the Balls and Pads area.

Down and Out
Participants test their receiving skills by attempting to catch a 15-yard pass pattern from automated "Jugs" machines.

The Big Move
Fans push sled against set time; individual and team set up

Long Snap
Participants attempt snapping drills for distance and accuracy

Sudden Death
Participants test their ability to kick an extra point/field goal from 10, 20, 30 yards through a regulation goal post and can kick against a simulated defensive line comprised of life-size tackling dummies on a moving track

Participants can test their long-distance passing ability.

Look Like a Pro
Fans step behind a life-sized body cast replica of various NFL teams for fun photo opportunities.