Will nationals ever be back in Disney?

How many of you remember the days when the National Championships were hosted at Disney? I haven’t attended the one in Atlanta yet but I hear that there is not much to do after hours. My question is, does anyone forsee it going back to Disney, or maybe Universal or even Bush Gardens in Tampa?

I have been to Disney, Texas, and Atlanta. Disney was a great venue but we outgrew the facilities. Do i foresee a return to Disney? No. This is because FIRST left because Disney wasn’t willing to provide a discount. As for going to Bush Gardens, I’m not sure where you would hold it down there, or if it is big enough for this event. It seems to work well in Atlanta and thats where, if not to another big city, where it will stay. Thats my two sense.

Not enough room at Universal or Busch Gardens, at Disney FIRST would need to move into the Wide World of Sports complex, something that Disney probably wouldn’t want.

I would like to see nats back at disney as the reason I live like 5 miles from disney! Lol, I’d be at nats every year whether we compete or not! Well Disney is big and I know funds alot of robotics teams, mine included. I don’t see the problem with giving us a discount and a bigger facility, after all it’s robotics!

Championships moved from Disney because there wasn’t enough room. I believe that Dean called it “growing pains.” Therefore, as FIRST isn’t anticipated to shrink anytime soon, unless the Championship process is changed and less teams are allowed to attend, no, I seriously doubt it.

well, i’ve never been at nats, so i have no idea how big it is, i live really close to Disney too, so it would be cool if they get the nats back at disney. What sucks is that when i’ll go to nats (if i ever would) will not be for competing, cause this is my senior year, and i dont know what am doing after graduation.oh well…

But still, even if they dont change it back to Disney, they should rotate the nats to other places, so other teams that didn’t have the means to go to nats on a certain city could assist to a closer one on that certain year and whatnot.

Epcot was awesome. I think sadly it will never comeback, i might be wrong but disney just could’nt support the growning first teams. They didnt have capacity to hold that many teams.

I went to championships at WDW twice, and it was great

but I think we have outgrown this aspect of FIRST and there is no going back.

To be honest, it was a bit of a sticking point, asking companies to sponsor teams, when a big part of the budget was sending 20 to 60 students and adults to Disney World for 5 days

when you pitched FIRST to a potential new sponsor, that part of it was a bit awkward.

The way the championship is now is, well… pure FIRST and nothing else

but to be honest, I miss those days - it was magic.

Maybe we could have it on the West Coast for once. The Anaheim Convention center would be nice. It is certainly big enough. Of course you might have to feign ignorance about the large resort area across the street when talking to sponsors :wink:

Disneyland in california would not be the same

as staying in WDW florida for 4 or 5 days, being there at night, riding the monorails around

sitting by the pool at midnight on friday, planning to start new teams at new schools

the on-site hotels, entire hotel complexes filled with FIRST teams from around the world

it just wouldnt be the same

I missed WDW by one yet but I have been to Texas and Atlanta, I think FIRST tries to keep Nats in a centralized location because it might be easier for teams on the west coast to go to Nats in the west but the teams on the east coast would have to have that huge money burden, I know that is what teams had to do when it was on WDW but not that it is in ATL it is a bit closer to the central areas and west coast, I would love to see a Nats in CO because it would have the same cost for both coasts to fly/drive to.

It takes months/years to plan and execute a successful regional event. I can only imagine all the things that go into 300 200+ teams at nationals, plus trying to keep it affordable. For this reason, FIRST probably won’t rotate the location of the Champs. Yah it sucks for teams that are far away, but, what are ya gonna do.

As far as the difference in venues, I spent a year at each. Houston was my least favorite, though I love the city. WDW was better. Hot-lanta is the best, IMO, especially from the driver walk standpoint. That’s where Houston was lacking. If there is a good thing about WDW, during the divisional quals you were very close, most of the time closer than most regionals, but for closing/opening ceremonies if you weren’t close you were almost too far away to keep interest. Plus it was outside, and while there never was rain while I was there I’d hate to see what happened when it was. Plus a girl on my team got pooped on by a bird :eek: it was funny though.

I went to Florida for FIRST 4 TIMES! It was the best time I ever had. The costs for putting on an event in Florida is astounding. The competition use to be held in Epcott Parking Lot for those who were lucky enough to be around during those day. The odds of Nationals returning to Disney is very unlikely. From what I understand was, Disney was not tollerating Kamen and revenue from the event was not accumulating the way Eisner wanted. Therefore, Disney wanted to charge FIRST more for hosting the even there.

I foresee in the future there is going to be Two National Events. FIRST is getting way to big for just one. I imagine someday there will be one held in the south (i.e Houston, Atlanta) and another held in the north (i.e Toronto, New Hampshire). Either of those cities will do.

That is my expert opinon and I doubt FIRST will ever be back in Disney. In order to compensate for this, I consider it a personal lost. So, here is what I am proposing. Anyone that went to Florida for a FIRST Robotics Competition lets sit down and hammer out a date to return. Instead of working in the pits, cheering in the stands, or handing out buttons lets all go on vacation. How about we meet there in the summer and have our own FIRST Disney Florida Reunion!


Personally I would be happy if the championship is NEVER held at Disney again. I love Disney but the event itself had nothing at all to do with FIRST. It was too hot, too spread out and too Disney (I think people were thinking more about going to the parks than the competition). It’s better off being played out in large arenas.

Epcot was horrible for nationals. the Field is outside. the turf got wet, the ac Couldn’t handle the amount of people in the pits. not to mention Disney has complete control over that area It’s not the kind of place made for high school students to hang out Houston was Kay except the air tasted like gasoline. ATL Is The Shiz!!! everything is there and its an awesome stadium and the pits are in the perfect place. for drivers and coaches its a nice underground walk to the Fields. and the omni is the most awesome place to hang. no shortness of things to do in ATL.

Sounds OK to me.

Kyle, don’t confuse distance with airfare costs. I can fly from Seattle to Orlando for $232 roundtrip. Denver is $349. Atlanta is $253. (Prices as of today for an April trip using Travelocity.com.) For what it’s worth, New York to LA is $221, while New York to Atlanta is $161. That’s only $60 more from New York. From Chicago, LA is $30 more than Atlanta, roundtrip. In the grand scheme of things, the major destination cities in the continguous US are close to the same cost for travel.

I dont think it will ever make it back to disney but what would be nice if they tried to host it in the Orlando Convention Center. That place is huge, If i am not mistaken its one of the biggest convention centers in the country. Its right in the middle of disney and universal. It would take FIRST a couple of years to grow out of that place and it brings the championship back to orlando so people can enjoy the parks before and after the event

I went to disney all but the first year when it was inside Epcot.

The early years the pits where small but they got there act together. the last year they held it the pits where great, lots of room. all but one field was inside under the tents AC.

The way it works each park runs itself and has it own budget. Epcot footed the bill without the help of the hotels. So Epcot alone could not put this on without the help of all the parks and hotels.

We did not out grow Disney. they have plenty of room. It was who was going to pay for it and who was getting the profits from it. The hotel made out and the park tickets made out but Epcot needed more help to be able to put it on and they didn’t get it.

I think Disney is the best spot. We treat the Florida regional as our Disney National. We go under the YES program at disney and pay very little for Park tickets and rooms.

What we get out of it is a 3 hour class in one of the parks. This is great to teach kids. The other thing is there is so much robotic at disney for the kids to see. We make this a very good education trip for the kids.

Personally, I liked Atlanta last year. Although I never went to nats when it was at Disney, I have only ever heard that it was too small. A lot of people from my team say they’d love to go to Disney (probably to escape the cold Canadian weather) but I don’t think it would be appropriate for a FIRST competition. A lot of people would be drawn away from the competition and want to go to the theme parks. The walk to the pits in Atlanta was a little far, but, correct me if I’m wrong, I believe the walk will be dramatically reduced this year.

Boy you confederates never give up, trying to use FIRST to divide the US into two nations!

how can you have two ‘nationals’ in one nation - besides, its called the championship now. :^) (ok, Im done picking on you for now)

Those of us who have embraced FIRST dont need Disney world to be an official part of it, we can look to successful careers and goto WDW, or anywhere else whenever we want to.

Personally I would like to see SuperRegionals at places like the Kennedy Space center

BTW, Cedar Rapids Iowa is the closest major city to the geographical center of the lower 48 states. I wonder if you ranked the location of each team by size, where the geographical center of all teams would be?

Interesting computer/math problem for some young genius to solve.