Missouri squares off against Minnesota in Orlando’s Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015 at 1 p.m.

Many bowl visitors have visited Orlando, Fla., previously either on business or pleasure. Orlando is a top meetings and convention destination as well as family travel destination with world class theme parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld.

Visiting guests will often stay at a hotel on or near Walt Disney World property or in close proximity to the International Drive / Convention Center corridor. Whether you and your family plan to visit Disney parks during your stay will likely determine which area you choose.

Where To Stay:

  • Stay on or near Disney if you plan to visit the Disney parks. Options to consider include WDW Swan & Dolphin, Marriott World Center, Grand Floridian or Hilton Bonnet Creek.
  • Stay on or near International Drive if you have family, but do not plan to visit Disney parks. Options to consider include Rosen Shingle Creek, Hyatt Regency Orlando, Hilton Orlando, or JW Marriott Grande Lakes. There are also a number of low cost “travel lodge” type options available in the area.
  • Stay downtown if you only care about the game and/or you don’t have children traveling with you. Options to consider include the Grand Bohemian or Aloft Hotel.

Restaurant Suggestions

  • Disney Area: California Grill ($$$), House of Blues ($), Johnnie’s Hideaway ($$), Wolfgang Puck ($$)
  • I-Drive / Sand Lake Rd. Area: Rocco’s Tacos ($$), Moonfish ($$$), any restaurant at Point Orlando (all price ranges), Amura Sushi ($$). Also consider Universal’s CityWalk which has a number of restaurants and nightlife options.
  • Downtown Orlando Area: Citrus Restaurant ($$), Kres Steak House ($$$), The Boheme ($$$), Wildside BBQ ($)

Things To Do

  • Orlando is known for its theme parks. Holiday week is one of the busiest times of the year to visit the parks, however, so be ready for crowds.
  • Dave & Busters is great for families.
  • Orlando has two “high end” bowling alleys. Both are excellent. King’s Bowl is on International Drive and Splitsville is located at Downtown Disney.
  • The Orlando Magic are in town on Dec. 30 and Jan. 2. The Amway Arena is one of the best basketball arenas in the country.
  • If you’re looking to do some shopping, Orlando has a number of great Outlet malls (Prime Outlets and Premium Outlets are both big). For a higher end mall, check out Mall at Millenia. Traffic will likely be very high during this time.


  • Orlando Ale House (several locations) is an inexpensive sports bar with great food and plenty of TVs.
  • Rocco’s Tacos and Cuba Libre are both very fun with Mexican or Cuban food and plenty of beverage options.
  • If you’re downtown, Wall Street or Church Street is your best bang for your buck. Looking for something more? The Woods is a good bourbon bar, Hanson’s Shoe Repair is a speakeasy that requires a password, Saddle Up is a country bar that is always packed and Tap and Grind has a great beer selection.

Getting To The Stadium

The Citrus Bowl is located in a fairly rough part of town, not far from downtown, but definitely not walkable. See if your hotel is offering shuttles to the stadium, otherwise plan on driving and parking near the stadium. Most fans tailgate wherever they park, but there are some lots and tailgating areas adjacent to the stadium if you arrive early enough.

Good news is that if you’re heading to the Citrus Bowl, you’ll be one of the first fans to experience the renovated Citrus Bowl! You’re not likely to be blown away, but it’s a significant upgrade from the past. Enjoy the game!