In case you’re staying in Orlando, Fla. for a couple of days prior to and/or
after the Capital One Bowl instead of flying in and out on January 1, 2005 like
Tiger Rag Editor Matt Deville, you might want to check out just some of the
things you can do and places you can go while in the Sunshine State.
While the waterparks are out because of the time of year, there are a couple
of other places you may want to take a look at.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way, shall we?
WALT DISNEY WORLD
A lot has changed here since LSU’s last Orlando excursion, a trip to the
Tangerine Bowl in 1979.
In addition to the Magic Kingdom, you also have Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios,
Animal Kingdom, and Pleasure Island to visit.
Made up of Future World and World Showcase, Epcot offers a look at high-tech
gadgetry and the world of tomorrow, while also providing a taste of the world of
Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, France, the United
Kingdom, Canada, and America are all featured in the World Showcase and there
are opportunities to dine in restaurants of each nationality.
Disney-MGM Studios provides a variety of aspects of the entertainment
industry, from going behind the scenes of a real movie studio to seeing the
secrets of Disney animation.
Be sure to check out the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Star Tours
while you’re there.
Animal Kingdom is the latest Disney park to open, and basically it’s one big
zoo, but only like Disney could do. Think Jurassic Park if everything had
Aside from exploring the animals of Africa and Asia, there is a section
called DinoLand U.S.A.
Pleasure Island is Disney’s nightclub/restaurant complex and New Year’s Eve
themed street party. Convenient, huh? There are fireworks nightly.
UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT
If you’ve decided Disney is a small world after all, Universal Orlando Resort
is probably the next step to take.
Comprised of Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, and Universal
City Walk Orlando, this relative newcomer is worth a look-see to say the
Universal Studios places you in some of the most famous movies of all time
such as Back to the Future, Jaws, and Terminator, and like at Disney-MGM Studios
there are some stunt shows featured.
Islands of Adventure is where those no longer satisfied with riding Dumbo’s
Flying Circus can take on a T-Rex, brave white water rapids, and take a spin on
the world’s first inverted dueling roller coasters.
Probably don’t want to eat too much before doing that.
Universal CityWalk is the alternative to Pleasure Island.
While you might not want to get into the water, there are a couple of Orlando
residents who don’t have a choice.
Located at Sea Harbor Drive near the intersection of I-4 and Bee Line
Expressway, is Sea World.
Sure there are other marine parks around, but no where else can you see the
Shamu Adventure show.
Other attractions include the Wild Arctic complex, and the park’s first
thrill ride – Journey to Atlantis. Additionally the Penguin Encounter, the
Dolphin Pool, and Terrors of the Deep are must-sees.
Although Pleasure Island and Universal CityWalk aren’t for kids, you may want
to get away entirely from Mickey Mouse and Spiderman. There are definitely a lot
of opportunities to do so.
The Palladium: Located at 7430 Universal Blvd., the Palladium is one of
Orlando’s hottest places to be. Latin nights are featured at the club ever
Wednesday and Saturday from 9 p.m. – 3 a.m. (Good thing this isn’t the Cotton
Bowl and it’s 10 a.m. kickoff).
Blue Room: If you find yourself at 17 W. Pine Street, you’ll have your pick
from three rooms where dance music, disco and reggae are the options. For you
ladies there is no cover charge, and you’ll drink for free until 11:30 p.m. on
Roxy Night Club: The club scene in Orlando is indeed dominated by those
recently free of the strings of college. For those trying to avoid that group,
head on over to 740 Bennett Road. The Roxy has a Top 40 dance room and a retro
dance room. Unlike the majority of clubs the crowd is pretty ethnically mixed,
and while there is boxing on Monday nights, Wednesday is Latin Night.
Obviously there are more clubs, but this should get your night
"FORE" THE GOOD TIMES
In case you’ve managed to bring along your sticks (as all good golfers do),
you have several options on where to get a tee time.
Although there are quite a few private courses, here are arguably five of the
best public courses you might want to take a swing at. If your handicap is
anything like Deville’s, you may need to take plenty more swings.
1. Championship Course at Bay Hill Club & Lodge, 9000 Bay Hill
Though basically a private course, guests of the resort are allowed to play
without the accompaniment of a member. Wide fairways, firm greens guarded by
mounds and bunkers challenge even the best golfers.
2. Grand Cypress Resort, 1 North Jacaranda, Grand Cypress Resort:
There are three 18-hole configurations to choose from thanks to the three 9-hole
layouts. Traditional courses feature lateral hazards and fairway bunkers in the
landing areas. There is also a new links-style course at the resort.
3. Palisades Country Club, 10649 Masters Drive, Clermont, FL: Features
rolling hills and changes in elevation that provide players’ views of
surrounding landscape to make them forget even the most disastrous double bogey.
Quick greens are paired with water that is in play on over half of the holes on
4. Timacuan Gold and Country Club, 550 Timacuan Blvd., Lake Mary, FL:
For you historical fans of the game, this course features the classical Scottish
links-style design on the front nine with rolling fairways, pot bunkers and
open, windswept areas. The back nine features more traditional course
characteristics with mature trees, woodland areas, and doglegs.
5. Walt Disney World Golf Complex – Eagle Pines, Magic
Kingdom/Disney Village, Lake Buena Vista, FL: There are numerous courses at
the golf complex. This Pete Dye course features generous fairways flanked by a
multitude of hazards. Multiple grass and sand bunkers protect undulating greens,
and water is in play on nearly every hole. Saying there are a lot more courses
to choose from would probably be as gross an understatement as stating the Bowl
Championship Series doesn’t really work.
Unbelievably it seems there are more courses in Orlando than there are Waffle
Houses in Atlanta, GA. The biggest problem it appears you will have is just
trying to decide where the heck to play.
BRING BACK THE MAGIC
Maybe while you’re in Orlando you might want to take in some action other
than on the gridiron.
If you don’t mind taking the chance of having professional athletes coming
into the stands and potentially attacking you, then perhaps you should consider
Okay, all jokes about the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers aside, the
Orlando Magic will host two games the last week of December.
On Monday, December 27, the Magic get a visit from the New York Knicks. Two
days later on Wednesday, December 29, Orlando will go up against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. tip-offs, and a quick peek at the Magic’s
website assures that tickets are still available for each game.
WHAT, NO COCOANUTS?
It isn’t the Tournament of Roses Parade, but on December 30 from 11 a.m. – 1
p.m., you may want to head to Downtown Orlando for the Orlando Citrus
The Golden Band from Tigerland will be participating in this event, as will
Iowa’s band, but they won’t be the only ones.
Bands from across the nation will take part, and while you may have been
blown away by seeing floats made out of flower petals in the past from Pasadena,
nothing can beat floats made entirely out of Florida Citrus.
Don’t expect beads, doubloons, or cocoanuts to be thrown though.
THE DAY OF THE GAME
To begin with, the official bowl patch the players will be wearing on their
uniforms is available at www.fcsports.com for a price of $10.
Purchasing the patch will allow you free admission to the Capital One Bowl
Fan Fest located outside of the stadium. The Fan Fest will begin at 10 a.m. on
January 1, and will come complete with games, a food court, and live band.
Just to make the patch even more lucrative, it will also get you free
beverages at the club house at Mystic Dunes Golf Course and discounts at several
golf courses, restaurants and night clubs in Orlando.
In addition to the Mystic Dunes, a 20 percent discount at Falcon’s Fire and
MetroWest await you. Discounts at T.G.I. Friday’s, Friday’s Front Row, One Eyed
Jack’s and Wall Street Plaza will also be given.
The patch also gives its holder a two-for-one Party Pass to Universal Studios
You’re a Tiger fan. Do you really need us to tell you how to have a good