Orlando Magic get the lay of the land at The Grand Floridian

The Orlando Magic are settling in at their new home at The Grand Floridian. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic are settling in at their new home at The Grand Floridian. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic are starting to settle into their new digs as the initial quarantine ends and they get ready to practice. Welcome to the Grand Floridian.

Life in the NBA’s bubble is already seemingly a fascinating thing.

Throughout the course of the day Tuesday as the first teams moved into their hotels, NBA fans were hungry to learn what life was like inside the bubble.

Hungry is probably the right word. The buzz on social media as #NBATwitter kicked back on again was at the rations the hotels were providing to the players.

They looked like field trip sack lunches delivered in paper bags and paper plates. It had everyone going a bit crazy.

Of course, players are still in quarantine awaiting clearance to leave their rooms. NBA staff is delivering food to the rooms by leaving them at the door and knocking in a sort of knock-and-run deal. The menu was reportedly approved by the players and made to the players’ liking — Evan Fournier (as you see in the video below) got his gluten-free pasta and seemed pretty excited about it.

There is only so much the league can do in providing accommodations during this early stage of the pandemic.

It still was not a good look. It made for good Internet fodder.

While the reaction on the Internet and social media was probably wilder than the reality, Terrence Ross still said on his podcast it was like eating hospital food.

Maybe that is not the worst thing, but it definitely is not great. Such is life until players are allowed to move about the campus a little more freely.

The league has hired chefs to prepare meals for players. Teams have likely provided meals they would like their players to eat too. And they should get access to better food — or better-looking food — once they are able to leave their rooms.

The Orlando Magic were the first team to move into the Disney campus and get settled in. They appear on track to complete their quarantine Thursday morning and conduct their first team practice later that afternoon.

Those first two days though were spent getting acclimated to their rooms and dealing with some of the boredom of being in quarantine and isolation. Players will have to find their own way and forms of entertainment — the video games and all the other forms of entertainment might already be putting a strain on the Wi-Fi.

This will be life for the next few months for NBA players.

The teams are staying at three separate hotels — The Grand Destino at Coronado Springs, The Grand Floridian and the Yacht Club.

The Magic are staying at the Grand Floridian. For locals, that is the hotel with the beach that is used a lot for weddings on the Seven Seas Lagoon between the Transportation Center and the Magic Kingdom. It is one of the hotels the monorail goes through on the way to the theme park.

It is a sprawling complex — players had to take golf carts from check in to their rooms while staying socially distant. It is one of the nicer hotels on the Disney property — rates run from $750-$850 in July.

The hotel is probably best known for the wedding it hosts on its beach or at its specific wedding pavilion. Whenever you see a video of people getting married at Disney, they are probably at the Grand Floridian.

Not that anyone will be getting married there any time soon. That is the kind of place the Magic and the NBA are staying at.

It also has a pool and dedicated lake area in addition to sitting on the Seven Seas Lagoon.

As players noted in giving tours of their rooms, they can see the Magic Kingdom from their rooms.

Players can indeed hear the monorail driving past and the bot shuttling guests to the Magic Kingdom from their room — the Magic Kingdom opened to pass holders this week and will open to guests with restrictions later this week.

There is at least plenty of room and a nice view outside to look at to try to pass the time. Several players gave a tour of their rooms on Instagram. Anything to pass the time.

The rooms certainly are nice. The league removed the double twin beds and replaced them with a single king-size bed. To go with all the goodies — various snacks and gifts the league and Magic gave to the players.

There is at least enough room to move around . . . some.

Mohamed Bamba showed off that he had enough space to put in a stationary bike and Evan Fournier set up his own workout equipment on the balcony and on one of his door frames.

According to Ross, the first full day in quarantine for the Magic included the team gathering for a group yoga session over a Zoom teleconference and a whole lot of other meetings to get ready for the first day of camp.

It is still a work trip, after all.

He also explained on his podcast a little bit more about the dedicated app the NBA developed for players to use within the campus. In addition to using it to report their symptoms and health — in their goodie bags, they were all given a pulse monitor and a thermometer to check their temperature — they can use it to book the various activities the league has made available to them.

But the team is eager to really get to work starting Thursday if everything goes to plan.

Coaches and players all said they were excited to get back together and start playing again. Some of the realities of the quarantine and isolation on the campus are starting to set in just two days into this thing.

Next. Orlando Magic get second chance in resumed season. dark

Hopefully having basketball to play and work on will make the transition a little bit easier as the league inches closer to returning.