Monday, January 4, 2016

Day 2272 - The ESPN Zone Anaheim

There is magic in the air.

Image Credit

I don't know if it's anticipation, or the memory of visits past, or if magic actually happens, but the moment our taxi drove through Anaheim everyone in the car started to buzz.

Disney is in our sights and magic is in our veins.

After an 8.00am departure from Pennsylvania for the two hour drive to JFK airport in NYC and a six hour flight across the USA, we arrived in LA to blue skies and sunshine.

Gaining three hours in the process meant we were already tired on arrival, but the vibe of Anaheim quickly gave us an energy injection.

We literally threw our bags into the room, grabbed the nearest cab and headed to Downtown Disney to find a dinner spot and absorb a more potent dose of bliss.

Even a thumping migraine couldn't stop my excitement as we entered the throng of people leaving the parks.

To say it was busy is an understatement.  The Sunday before school resumes in the USA is renowned for being hectic at the theme parks.  So lining up just to get a table for dinner was a given.  

We chose the ESPN Zone simply because the line was shorter and there were things to do while we waited for our buzzer to go off.

While ESPN is designed for adults to drink, eat and watch sport, they haven't forgotten the families.  Upstairs is a separate bar for the mums and dads with a gaming arcade for the kids to play within their parents view.

It's a card based system where you load a gaming card with points to insert in any of the gaming machines.  $20 will get you 90 points and each game varies in "price" (one game may cost 4 points, another might cost 9 points).

Games include air hockey, basketball hoops, ten pin bowling, shooting and grid iron tosses just to name a few.

The ESPN menu is typical of an American sports bar with burgers, Buffalo wings and cheddar fries.  There were more healthy options available too with a variety of pastas, sandwiches, wraps and salads. The cost of each meal varied from around $15 for a wrap (which came with a side of fruit, salad or fries) up to $27 for a big plate of steak and all the trimmings.

Our wait time wasn't extreme. We lined up for around two minutes to get a buzzer and be put on the wait list.  We had enough time to head to the upstairs bar, buy a drink, learn the gaming system and play 30 points worth of games before our buzzer sounded signalling us to go back downstairs.  Perhaps around 35 minutes wait time.  Which is a long time in any other part of the world, but pretty standard when you're sharing the magic of Disney with thousands of others.

Sports that were covered on the big screens included ice hockey, basketball and football.  When you put your name on the waiting list they ask you what sport you'd like to watch to ensure you get near the TV of your choice.  We didn't care which probably made our wait time lower than someone who needed to watch the Green bay Packers versus the Minnesota Vikings.

For more information on the Downtown Disney ESPN Zone click here.

For more information on Downtown Disney you can check out my Downtown Disney post from my 2012 Disney familiarisation tour.  

For other posts from that tour head to the Deep Fried Highlights tab above.  

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