ESPN WWOS Media FAM Day 3 Part 1

Disclosure: I was invited to a 3-night media event by Walt Disney World, however, all opinions are my own.

In case you missed day one and two, go back and read those first!

Day three of the media event was the “big day” where we were busy all day long at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. I went into a lot of details of the events, etc on this post, but I will add in a few more as I talk about this day.

We began the day bright and early at the complex. Thankfully they had breakfast and coffee for us. It was cool to see some of the healthy food options you can purchase for your sports team. In my box was an avocado bagel, apple, orange juice, and yogurt. It hit the spot and is definitely something I would be happy for my child to eat as opposed to sugary on the go cereals or pop tarts.

After breakfast, we toured the entire complex, which took a while but was so much fun! (This place is huge, so we did some touring via golf cart.) After seeing the new arena and all the courts it has, we got to hang out with Goofy and Nick Anderson of Orlando Magic fame. He was so nice and spent a ton of time talking to us (check out my Instagram TV channel to see some of what he said.

He even gave me some pointers on my follow through (I haven’t touched a basketball in about 10 years yall) and it was so great to be on the court again.

We sadly left the arena after hanging out with Nick and Goofy, and made our way over to the VISA Center where we learned about the on the spot tee shirt printing services that are offered. It’s so cool that you can get your name, number, team name, and much more printed on a shirt. We even got our own shirts!

Next we got to see the real live working studio where sports reporting is done. It was so much fun to sit behind the desk and pretend like I was important haha! What’s cool is that they can change the colors of the studio (like the yellow and blue in the below photo) depending on what they are covering. How cool!

Next, we headed into the production studio which was SO COOL. I wrote more about it on the link I posted at the top of this page so won’t go into a ton of detail, but it’s so cool how much video footage these guys have on all the events that go on at the complex. It seems so intricate and detailed.

After learning all about the production side, we hopped on some golf carts and headed out to the soccer fields to catch some of the tournament action. I loved seeing people everywhere anad so many games going on at once.
Next, we headed back inside to take a look at the game day photo options. You can get your picture taken holding your favorite sporting equipment and have it put on balls, blankets, Christmas ornaments, and more. You can even hire a photographer to take action shots of your child during their game so you can just focus on cheering. I love this option!

We all had our pictures taken and happened to be put on the cover of ESPN magazine. 🙂 It was soon time for lunch, and we had a delicious spread and ate while listening to more wonderful cast members talking about the complex and then my favorite…runDisney!

At the end of the day we were surprised with an amazing gift…a race entry into the runDisney Walt Disney World marathon weekend! I was of course super pumped because I was not planning on signing up for any of the races. It was so generous of them, and I can’t wait for you all to follow along in my journey on race weekend.

This post is getting long so I’m going to break this day up into two posts, so stay tuned for more!

#DisneySportsFestival Day 3

I last talked about the end of day two at the #DisneySportsFestival, and today we will pick up with our last day. Our final day of the sports festival, we woke up and headed back to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex after the runDisney fun run that I already blogged about.

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We got to check out some more of the activities the complex has available during tournaments such as fun games for kids and even misting stations set up for hot days.

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We got to hang out in the shade and listen in on the team mom reception and do a little live tweeting.

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Next we headed over to where the filming is actually produced, it was really cool to see the behind the scenes of how everything is put together for a broadcast. So much goes into it, wow!

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I loved watching all the computer screens and technology used.

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Next we got to go upstairs and actually see where the filming was taking place that very day. Way cool.  We also listened to a cast member talk to us about how everything works on the film/production side of things, and about how you can catch games on your Disney resort TV!

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I got to sneak in the tent and take a picture.

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We also got to see where Disney hold the awards ceremonies at the end of tournaments.

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We then headed back to the Braves conference room for a chat about fundraising. Lots of great information for coaches and team moms. Lot’s of live tweeting was going on during this one!

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One more stop was on the agenda before lunch, and that was to the VERY well done Art of Animation resort. I have been here before, but noticed so many new things I didn’t see last time. I am going to save them for their own post.

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We headed back to the Boardwalk convention center for an amazing lunch buffet. Seriously it was so good. I had to force myself to stop eating, and I did go back for seconds.

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As we ate, we had one more presentation about youth sports, and then we had an amazing chef show us a delicious overnight oats recipe. We all got samples, too. I felt like I was at a live cooking show, which was really fun to be a part of.

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It was a great way to wrap up the event, and I truly had a blast and learned so much about The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and youth sports. While the official event was over, we still had one more fun thing on the agenda. We were taken to Splitsville for dinner and bowling. I finally was reunited with the delicious birthday cake martini, complete with sprinkles around the rim.

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Holy yum. Still my favorite. I may have had 3. It was still my birthday week, so I needed them, right?

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Jen and I didn’t get a chance to bowl, but we did eat delicious nachos which made up for it. A HUGE thanks to Disney for an amazing event. Loads of fun and I learned so much. The ESPN Sports Complex is a great venue I hope more people now know about, and I hope to go back and visit soon!

QOTD: Have you ever seen a TV show or radio show being filmed live?

*Winner of the free 30 minute health consultation is Carolyn Shea. Please e mail me at heatherslookingglass@gmail.com to claim your prize!

*Disclosure: I was invited to this event as a guest of Disney sports as media. While my flight, hotel, food and park tickets were covered, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Disney Sports Made Easy

When I visited the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World back in February, I got to sit down with some folks who work for Disney sports and talk about the complex, and also more specifically about springs training, youth sports, and how they help you from the beginning of your fundraising all the way through your stay so your trip is as easy as possible. I never had the opportunity to play sports there as a kid, but I hope one day my future kids have the opportunity to participate because well, per usual, Disney does it right!

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A lot of youth sports teams come from all over the place to participate in tournaments and spring training programs. Teams have a lot of opportunities to travel to many different states and events, but the logistics can be difficult. It may seem a bit overwhelming as a coach or a parents trying to figure out where to start, but at Disney they take care of all the details for you and makes everything so simple. First let’s start with who can participate. As far as spring training goes, high school college teams may participate. (Generally in March and April). However, there are plenty of other tournaments and events geared toward club teams ages 8-18. When it comes to spring training, teams can get a leg up on the competition and take advantage of the warm Florida climate to get the team ready for their season.

For some teams travel costs can be an issue. However, there are plenty of great fundraising ideas to help you get to Florida. Disney will even give your team a Walt Disney World vacation to raffle off in order to help you earn money. There is also an ESPN magazine sales program you can take advantage of. Not to mention your team will receive a checklist about 90 and 60 days out from your arrival, making sure you are ready to go. Upon arrival, you can get information and help for your group on site at the Wide World of Sports Complex Welcome Center. They can even booking dining reservations for you. What a great way to congratulate the team on a job well done…breakfast with Mickey and the gang!

Not only are these events exciting for the athlete participating, but the whole family can get involved. In addition to all inclusive packages with discounted hotel stays and park tickets, there are also activities for siblings to take advantage of during games. (Think bean bag toss, hula hoops, etc.) Games are scheduled in such a way that teams are generally off the field by 4:00 in the afternoon so there is plenty of time to hang out with your family and explore all the other experiences Disney has to offer.

There is so much attention to detail with these events. For instance, there are professional photographers that take photos during games forpurchase. Boxed lunches or pizza can be pre ordered for the team and are brought straight to the field. There is even a convenient equipment drop off at the front of the complex, and gear will then be transported to the field. Just a few ways that Disney makes teams feel comfortable, and makes the trip an easy one.

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Teams love working with the ESPN brand. Some games are even featured on ESPN3.com (where they are shown live so family members and friends around the world can watch), YouTube channels, and even Disney hotel room TV’s. Some highlights from games have even made it onto Sportscenter!

Disney is a great first traveling tournament for teams with it’s fun but competitive nature, as well as learning experiences on and off the field. Good communication is offered, and awards are given for the top teams in each division. There is typically a consolation bracket, so players have the opportunity to participate in multiple games against teams from all over (30% of teams come from outside of the United States!)

Not to mention, with summer coming up more and more youth will be participating in sports and tournaments, so teams can use this summer as an opportunity to play in central Florida. Planning for a tournament or camp doesn’t have to be stressful and an impossible task. In today’s world where everyone has a full plate efficiency and ease of planning are important. Sitting down with these wonderful Disney folks I learned that there are so many options available to cater to your teams needs and to make magical memories for athletes of all ages. I can’t wait to experience it for myself.

If you would like more information on attending a tournament or event with your child or team, please visit the ESPN Wide World of Sports Contact Page.

QOTD: What is your favorite part about the way Disney runs these tournaments and trainings that you learned in my post? Or, what sport would you most like to watch at the complex?