ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disneyworld in Orlando contacted me in May about visiting their complex and writing a review of what they offer to youth sports teams.
For a free night at the Yacht & Beach Club and 2 free park-hopper tickets to Disney, how could I say no?
Although I had never been there, my son competed in a national flag football tournament there many years ago, so I had already heard good things about the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. For my son, and for many young athletes, Disney is making team travel a dream come true.
More than 35 million kids participate in youth sports across America each year and that often means traveling to out-of-state tournaments, which can be a nightmare for parents, coaches and team moms.
That’s where ESPN Wide World of Sports has stepped up to tackle the problem. Their goal is to provide an experience for youth sports that makes it easier for coaches, parents and kids to compete.
ESPN Wide World of Sports: sports and fun in one trip!
If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of taking a youth sports team to compete at Disneyworld, these 10 reasons might help you make up your mind.
1. There is a wide range of ways to participate.
Disney offers numerous open registration tournaments and training camps that take place during school holidays and summer vacation. They host a spring training program for high school and college teams, national championships for community sports organizations, and showcase tournaments for elite level athletes.
2. The Disney Parks Moms Panel provides planning advice
If you’ve taken a team to a camp or tournament, you know the headaches that can be involved. Disney strives to make it as easy as possible for parents and coaches. Their planning services include pre-arrival advice from the Disney Parks Moms Panel, and after your arrival, they will assist traveling teams and their families with planning an purchases based on their schedule of competition through the ESPN Wide World of Sports Welcome Center.
3. They are prepared to feed hungry athletes and their families.
Disney offers boxed lunches, bulk pizza, group snacks and stocked coolers. These items are available for advance purchase and can be delivered to your team’s competition venue. There is also on-site dining.
4. Disney offers Fundraising assistance.
Teams are given opportunities for raffles, rebates, and to sell ESPN The Magazine subscriptions as fundraisers.
5. Photographers are available.
A team of photographers will take quality pictures of athletes during games for parents and coaches to take home.
6. Resort TVs will broadcast highlights.
You can watch game highlights on a dedicated channel in your Disney resort hotel room. Some games are even broadcasted live on ESPN3.com with highlights showing on ESPN.com, ESPN2. and Sportscenter.
7. They didn’t forget the little guys.
Games and activities are available on-site for younger siblings, so parents and coaches can focus on the competition.
8. The Disney Parks are close by.
You can’t take a bunch of kids to WWOS without scheduling in some Disney time. Through the WWOS Complex you can buy tickets and get transportation to Disney theme parks and water parks.
9. And all the extras…
Disney never fails to deliver on all the extras to make sure your team’s stay is smooth and hassle-free.
- on-site trainers
- complimentary transportation from the airport to all Disney hotels and to the complex
- equipment drop-off from the entrance to the complex to the field
- a business center which provides computers, printers, charging stations, internet, etc.
- concierge services are available to help schedule a team’s entire trip down to the last detail
10. The WWOS experience is parent-tested and approved.
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