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A Look Inside the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

by Meghann on July 17, 2013

I’m back! I had a BLAST at the Disney Sports Festival and I can’t wait to share all of the great things I learned about the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex!

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I’m a little sad the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex wasn’t around when I was younger. Back in the day my sister and I used to travel for different soccer tournaments and I can’t imagine how cool it would have been to play at Walt Disney World. What a wonderful one-of-a-kind experience for aspiring athletes everywhere.

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Located at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, ESPN Wide World of Sports is the leading youth sports venue in the country, hosting more than 350 events a year. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 255-acre multi-sport facility accommodates 70 different sports and features a collection of first-class amenities, including a 10,000-seat baseball venue, Champion Stadium, a pair of field houses and dozens of multi-sport fields.

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We started our visit at the complex, just as any team would: we dropped our bags off with the WWoS staff. Instead of lugging bags, balls, equipment across the parking lot, the WWoS offers drop off service for the teams. The coach can drop their equipment off at the golf cart and the staff will make sure their equipment meets back up with them in the complex. It’s like a sports bellhop service.

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Our group was comprised of 20 or so bloggers from around the U.S. It’s always fun getting to know blogger from other niches and genres. I met some Disney bloggers, mommy bloggers, sports bloggers, daddy bloggers, etc. All with a shared love for all things Disney.

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After making a grand entrance through the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (I love walking through the gates, there’s something so empowering about those entrance gates), we headed to The Grill where a catered breakfast was being served.

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But first, we met out awesome hosts for the day: Carissa and Kevin.

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They gave us a game-worthy welcome by introducing our names and blogs as if we were the starting line up for a big game. Such a fun welcome!

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The breakfast spread was amazing. I was so happy when I saw eggs on the table. I knew I needed extra protein to get through the day.

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My plate.

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While eating breakfast we were introduced to a couple of key players at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

First up, Tom Wolber, Senior Vice President Disney Sports Enterprises.

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Tom has basically held every job Disney World has to offer from Disneyland Paris to Hollywood Studios to Disney Cruise Lines. He’s done it all and still sounds like a kid at Christmas when ever he talks about the Disney World brand.

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Tom informed us that Disney Sports offers numerous open registration tournaments & training camps that often take place during school holidays & summer vacation. The events are planned with family in mind.

Up next, Faron Kelly, Director for Disney Sports and RunDisney.

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Again, another man who is so passionate about his job. Faron emphasized that it’s play on the field as well as play off the field at WWoS. The great service that Disney is famous for around the parks is the “wow” factor at WWoS. Adding ESPN to the mix gives the kids that superstar feeling, especially when tournament highlights are played on the ESPN channels around the hotel.

On the runDisney side, he’s seen that women are running more now than ever before. In fact, the Walt Disney World marathon in January had more female participants than male. It’s the women who are driving the current running boom.

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The two men said their good-byes and it was time to move on with our tour.

But not before getting a photo with the “boss.”

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I’ll be back with more!

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Psst… Disney was kind enough to cover my room and board over the next couple of days in exchange for blogging about the event. As always, all opinions are my own!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Christine @ BookishlyB July 17, 2013 at 8:57 pm

I was wondering what exactly that place was when we kept seeing signs for it on the freeway last month! (I’m from California and we don’t have the equivalent near Disneyworld, just and ESPN Zone).
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2 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun July 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm

This is an amazing experience you got to have! I wish I lived in Florida and could enjoy some of these awesome things!
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3 Alissa July 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I can’t wait! I have been seeing this all over twitter from my favorite bloggers, but you are the first to get a post up! I signed up for the Tinkerbell & Princess RunDisney events next year so I all up for anything Disney!! Thank you for sharing!
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4 Mary July 18, 2013 at 1:01 am

Wow! Amazing! I bet you feel like such a celebrity! 🙂
I have totally seen the higher percentage of women at races just lately. Us women are definitely leading the way forward right now!
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5 Jan @ Sprouts n Squats July 18, 2013 at 4:43 am

What a yum looking breakfast! So jealous you got a photo with Micky 😉 hehe

Can’t wait to hear more.
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6 Dana July 18, 2013 at 5:25 am

I hope you had a great time. I competed at the Milk House while in college during cheerleading nationals. What an experience to have Cinderella’s castle as a stage!
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7 Molly @ There Goes Molly Rose July 18, 2013 at 10:03 am

How exciting! I haven’t been to Disney world since I was little (probably 5th grade ish ?) which is cray since I live in tampa. But I do remember visiting wwos with my fam when I was in middle school….they had this obstacle course set up and my little brother and I thought it was the funnest (you can use that word when talking about Disney) thing in the world! I’d love to go back for an event. And meet the boss 🙂
Molly @ There Goes Molly Rose recently posted..WOW #6

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8 CHRISTOPHER July 18, 2013 at 11:15 am

I enjoy seeing and reading your blog Meghann. You are a blogger and you go places. I appreciate your being conscious of the food that you must eat in a day, if you feel you need more protein, so you crave for any protein. You know what your body needs. That’s fantastic. Keep the healthy body and mind.. you have more places to go…. and keep sharing your trips and travel. Take care. 🙂
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9 Angela July 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm

What an awesome experience!! I love all things Disney!
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10 Annette @FitnessPerks July 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm

That sounds so fun!!
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11 joelle (on a pink typewriter) July 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm

So awesome – I want to go check it out! Loooove everything Disney touches.
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12 Megan July 18, 2013 at 8:22 pm

My son got to play at the WWOS complex 2 years ago when his team qualified for the 3 v 3 national soccer tournament. We traveled from Jersey, and had the best time. Oh, and a college cheer competition was going on at the same time, and you can bet the pre-teen boys were way more focused on that.

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13 Megan Dyan July 18, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Can you share links for some of the disney bloggers you met?? LOVE reading all things disney!

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14 Alison Bowling July 19, 2013 at 5:11 am

Very incredible! Wish more theme parks had such a personal touch like Disney incorporates into all their parks, it really makes you feel as though you’re more than simply a number walking through those turnstyles at the entrance. Thanks for such a great entry and for some amazing photos!

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15 Kristin July 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm

You hung out with my Aunt all week, Molly of MyGoMom. How funny! Hope y’all had a great time.

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16 Heathers Looking Glass July 22, 2013 at 11:16 am

so fun! I want to go back and do it again!
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