Disney, Bowling Congress, County Revive Plans for Complex

A pro bowling center project at Walt Disney World has been on the back burner since 2008, but it appears to undergoing a revival.

Plans were submitted from a state water management agency that show the footprint of a bowling center along with several new soccer fields as part of a sports complex. According to Disney, a lot of details need to be worked out.

The plan also involves Osceola County (most of the property is in Orange County), the United States Bowling Congress, Disney, and a facility operator.

ESPN Wide World of Sports occupies a corner of the property.

Osceola County is definitely in favor of the complex: they believe a bowling center would give the area an economic boost and even heard a presentation earlier this year. A memorandum of understanding was signed by Disney, the USBC, and Osceola.

An estimated 24 tournaments could come to the center between 2015 and 2034, which could mean 6 million room nights in central Florida, resulting in an economic impact of about $3 billion.

It’s all part of the effort Disney has been making to expand its presence in athletics. ESPN is one of Disney’s brands.

Plans for the 100-lane bowling alley project first surfaced in June 2008. Central Florida beat out four other cities for the honor. However, the economy tanked and plans were put on hold in November 2008, but obviously not forgotten as indicated by the current actions.

According to the presentation, the income demographics of bowlers, Osceola hotel pricing and the timing of tournaments are all indicators for success. Under the proposed agreement, the bowling center must open before Jan. 1, 2015, although a construction start date has not been determined.

Bowling and Disney go hand in duckpin. In July, plans were announced for Splitsville in downtown Disney, an attraction that would combine bowling, billiards, dining, music and nightlife.


Leave a Reply