Explore fantasy worlds, meet living legends, and chart your own course with geeky cons, bars, dining and attractions in Orlando (Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS® at WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort pictured, Matt Stroshane/©Disney).
Updated May 19, 2023
Calling all Terrans, Resistance fighters, Whovians and more: Orlando is home to some of the nerdiest attractions on planet Earth, from incredible themed bars and attractions to star-studded sci-fi, horror and comic conventions. Dwarf, elf or human, there’s something for everyone to love here.
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Nerd Out Throughout Orlando
Fill up on all the themed cocktails, tabletop games and pop culture references your heart can handle at these geeky themed bars, game halls and eateries throughout Orlando.
1 Up Orlando
Located in downtown Orlando, this gaming bar is sure to hit the spot with a retro video arcade, clever concoctions and nostalgic gathering spaces inspired by some of your favorite films and pop culture icons. Kick back in Barbie’s Dream House, search for the master key in Flynn’s Arcade, and loosen up with fun cocktails like the Flux Incapacitator or the vibrant blue Romulan Ale. Hungry? Serve up a little deep-dish action with handcrafted pizzas inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Cocktails & Screams
Horror fans will also love Cocktails & Screams, a terrifyingly fun Halloween haunt from the same people behind 1Up. Located just around the corner, Cocktails & Screams pays homage to spooky cult classics and horror icons like Elvira, The Addams Family and Michael Myers. They also have a reservations-only speakeasy, The Craft, where you can get your voodoo on.
Discover: Things to Do in Downtown Orlando
Cloak & Blaster
Settle in with a pint at this tabletop tavern and game shop, which serves up specialty fare like Peeves’ Poutine, Shrek’s Swamp Bath, and a whole menu based around “po-tay-toes.” Perfect for elevensies or any time of day, Cloak & Blaster also has an extensive whiskey list, frequent roleplaying events and an excellent collection of tabletop games — play all you like (or bring your own games) for just $5 per person. Cloak & Blaster is located near the University of Central Florida, 30 minutes north of Orlando International Airport.
Arcade junkies and craft beer aficionados unite at Player 1 Video Game Bar. For $8 ($5 for Florida residents), enjoy unlimited access to a rotating selection of vintage arcade games and consoles from every era, from Mortal Kombat to Ms. Pac Man. Player 1 is also a craft beer haven, serving up over 150 local and international brews and beer mixes, like the Donkey Kong (Banana Bread Ale floated with a layer of Guinness Stout). Bring the whole crew to this family-friendly joint, located near Walt Disney World® Resort, and show them what it means to win.
The Geek Easy
If live entertainment is more your jam, check out The Geek Easy, located 20 minutes northeast of our tourism districts in Winter Park. What started out as a speakeasy inside a comic store has now evolved into one of Orlando’s hottest nerdy bars, hosting themed dance parties, burlesque shows, costume karaoke and more incredible weekly events. The Geek Easy will move to a new location later in 2023, complete with a brand-new food concept for a full night of themed fun.
This post-apocalyptic-themed speakeasy, hidden inside comic book and collectibles shop Gods & Monsters on International Drive, aka I-Drive, features a rotating selection of themed saketinis, mixed drinks and shots, along with 100+ bottles of beer, wine, cider or mead, and free retro gaming. Inspired by the worlds of Fallout, Mad Max, Bioshock and more, this intimate space gets wild in the evenings with themed parties, double features and even cage dancers.
Discover: Orlando Speakeasies
If you’re all tapped out and seeking a laid-back night of nerdy fun, head to Hourglass Brewing in the Hourglass District east of downtown Orlando. This funky hometown brewery pairs vintage arcade games with limited-edition themed brews like the Bleep Bloop, a fruited sour with a fun can design that has absolutely nothing to do with any galaxies far, far away. (This is not the can you’re looking for.)
Discover: Orlando Breweries
Dragonball Z fans and noodle aficionados can dig into pan-Asian fare at Soupa Saiyan, which has two locations in Orlando. Head to the original location near Universal Orlando Resort to build your own Soupa bowl, or head to the University of Central Florida for sushi, soup and a curated soupakase experience. Both are decked out with incredible anime-inspired art, collectibles and other treasures, making this a can’t-miss experience for Dragonball Z fans. Just don’t make a habit of talking to your food, OK?
Dive into your favorite sci-fi, anime and fantasy worlds at pop culture conventions in Orlando. From MEGACON to Spooky Empire and all the smaller cons in between, there’s no place like Orlando to discover new worlds.
The ultimate pop culture playground, MEGACON Orlando is one of the largest comic, sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming events in North America. Meet film, television and video game icons, shop for unique art and rare collectibles, meet other superfans and go behind the scenes with panels, demos and workshops featuring your favorite creators. Don’t forget your costume — MEGACON is packed with fun cosplay opportunities, including a cosplay red carpet, a replica competition, themed meet ups and even a photo park. This multi-day convention happens every spring at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center on International Drive.
Sink your teeth into the best of horror and science fiction at Spooky Empire, the southeast’s premier horror convention. Held twice a year in Orlando, the spooktacular main event features iconic horror film stars, collectibles from over 200 vendors and artists, a tattoo festival, a Zombie Walk and more hair-raising fun. Come discover the event that brands itself, “The Dark Side of Comic Con.”
Plus, keep an eye out for smaller nerd-centric conventions at the Orange County Convention Center, Osceola Heritage Park, and throughout Orlando. You never know who — or what — might pop up!
Discover: Upcoming Conventions in Orlando
Nerd Out at Orlando Theme Parks & Attractions
Walt Disney World® Resort
Star Wars fans will find plenty to love at Walt Disney World® Resort, where they can build their own lightsabers, join the Resistance, and even pilot the Millennium Falcon. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge may live inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, but you’ll feel like you’ve touched down on another planet — Batuu, to be exact — as you explore exotic trading stalls, dine on space delicacies and come face-to-face with some of the most recognizable names in the galaxy.
Save on discount tickets: WALT DISNEY WORLD® Resort
Also at Walt Disney World® Resort, you can rock out at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT®, fly with a banshee at Pandora — The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, and, starting April 4, 2023, enter the Grid and face off against menacing programs at TRON Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom® Park. This highly anticipated attraction will be one of the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park in the world.
Discover: 23+ New Things to See in 2023
Universal Orlando Resort
Don your house colors and hop aboard the Hogwarts™ Express, because your letter to Hogwarts™ is finally here. Enter a world of magic at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando Resort, where you can practice your spells, meet magical creatures, perfect your Butterbeer™ mustache and even walk the hallowed halls of Hogwarts™ Castle. Visit the village of Hogsmeade™ in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, then take the Hogwarts™ Express train directly to Diagon Alley™ in Universal Studios Florida. (Park-to-park ticket required.)
HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s19)
If comic book heroes are more your style, head to Marvel Super Hero Island® at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, where you can sling webs with Spider-Man, undergo a thrilling science experiment with Dr. Bruce Banner, meet your favorite Marvel super heroes and villains, and more. For classic comic strip characters like Betty Boop, Popeye and Olive Oyl, head to Toon Lagoon, where you can pose for your own comic book snaps, taste the Famous Dagwood Sandwich and make a splash at two epic water rides.
Finally, head out to Universal CityWalk for Universal’s Great Movie Escape, where you can explore two brand-new cinematic escape rooms inspired by Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s Jurassic World and Back to the Future films.
Discover: Universal’s Great Movie Escape
Be Your Own Hero
Speaking of escape rooms, there are several incredible themed options throughout Orlando where you can play the hero and save the day — or at least save your team from the shame of defeat. Choose from seven themed adventures at Escapology on International Drive, including — zoinks! — a Scooby Doo and the Spooky Castle escape, and a Star Trek-themed escape coming soon. Additional options include The Escape Game Orlando (save on discount tickets) and The Escape Effect, also on I-Drive, and Will to Escape, opening this spring at Pointe Orlando.
Prefer to embark on a virtual campaign? Take roleplaying to a new level with virtual reality gaming at Orlando’s top arcades and game halls. Challenge Lord Vader himself to a duel at Main Event Entertainment, home to five unique VR games and more gaming fun. Explore new dimensions at Andretti Indoor Carting & Games, where you can battle onscreen enemies aboard an incredible 7D thrill ride. Finally, head to Dezerland Park on International Drive for more immersive fun coming soon.
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