Walt Disney World has festivals and special events year-round geared towards different interests. This weekend, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has one just for the sports fan.
Stars from the NFL, MLB, NBA and NCAA, plus well-known ESPN on-air personalities, are headed back to Walt Disney World Resort for the eighth annual ESPN The Weekend.
This year’s lineup at Disney’s Hollywood Studios features more than 35 athletes and ESPN stars, including former University of Florida football coach and current ESPN college football analyst Urban Meyer, Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco, NBA Hall of Famer Julius “Dr. J” Erving and MLB Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.
Other athletes expected to participate are Donald Driver and Greg Jennings (Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers), former NFL star Derrick Brooks, ex-NBA great Alonzo Mourning and Karl Malone, Mia Hamm (U.S. Women’s soccer legend), and current Orlando Magic players.
For the first time in the event’s history, several popular sports team mascots will participate in the event, including the Phillie Phanatic (Philadelphia Phillies), Albert E. Gator (University of Florida), the Penn State Nittany Lion, the Oregon Duck, Homer The Brave (Atlanta Braves), Captain Fear the Buccaneer (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Sebastian the Ibis (University of Miami).
In addition to athlete appearances, ESPN The Weekend will feature on-site telecasts of popular ESPN programs (beginning Thursday, March 3) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney.
During the event, there will be Q&A sessions, motorcades, and autograph sessions. The ESPN Sports Zone will also give guests of all ages the opportunity to test their skills at a wide variety of sports. MLB-, NBA-, NFL- and BASS-themed interactive areas within the Zone will have fans swinging for the fences, shooting baskets and throwing passes, as well as Dick’s Sporting Goods’ Sports Caravan, a multi-sport interactive area.
All ESPN the Weekend event activities run March 4 through 6, and are included in regular admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For a complete list of ESPN and sports attendees, visit the ESPN the Weekend website.
[Photos courtesy Walt Disney World]