Top 4 Ways to 'Nerd Out' in Orlando
With the popularity of Game of Thrones, Star Wars and superhero movies, one thing is certain: Geek is chic. Even Orlando's big theme parks cater to the nerd in all of us, with entire areas built around Harry Potter, comic books and a Nintendo land on the horizon. Beyond the theme parks, the destination has even more options for folks who like their fandom. Check out the top four ways to geek-out below, from gaming bars and heroic experiences to comic-con events and upcoming attractions for big screen fans. You might be surprised to discover just how nerdy you can get in Orlando!
Geeky Bars and Game Halls
As any nerd knows, games aren't just for kids. What you probably don't know is that Orlando is the No. 1 city for gamers, according to a study by WalletHub. Among Orlando's wide variety of nightlife and entertainment, venues like BART offer a nostalgic selection of retro video games, including Pac-Man and Space Invaders, while Player 1 offers both retro and contemporary games on the latest consoles. Enjoy craft beers, sakes, meads and wines while you play.
If you're hungry, head over to Cloak & Blaster for a plate of "Gollum's Fish & Chips" or the "Sorcerer's Scone." Here you'll find mostly tabletop games, with an extensive library of board, card and party games all free to enjoy.
For those looking for more of a "team sport", stop by for Geek Trivia and other live entertainment at The Geekeasy, located inside A Comic Shop. Want to stay closer to the theme parks? Main Event Entertainment offers a large, brand-new selection of arcade games, bowling, virtual reality (VR) games and more.
Be Your Own Hero
Watching your favorite characters save the day is awesome, but at Orlando's many escape games, you can become your own hero. Each venue features unique themes and challenges, so you can dive into the genre you most enjoy.
At America's Escape Game, you can choose from rooms such as Pandemic: Project Hephaestus, where you'll hunt for a cure before the Red Death takes you, or explore the Lost Tomb of Monthu before the Egyptian dig site caves in. A word to the wise: You only get three hints per game here!
If the thrill of victory is what you seek most, try Escapology, where unlimited clues (if you need them) guarantee a satisfying win, whether you're Under Pressure on a sinking U.S. Navy submarine during the height of World War II, solving a murder aboard the Budapest Express or in one of their other mysterious rooms.
For additional fun go The Escape Game. Here, realistic settings ratchet up the tension as you race against a radiation storm on Mission: Mars, or try beating art thieves at their own game in The Heist.
Cons and Other Nerdy Events
Orlando has grown into a nerd's paradise, attracting more fan events each year. From major comic cons to special theme park events, there's plenty going on to enhance your geeky itinerary. Here's a look at what's coming up:
Oct. 27–29, 2017: Spooky Empire, the annual "dark side of comic con event," will feature an array of activities including a tattoo festival, film festival, celebrity autographs, zombie walk, kids zone, costume and cosplay contest, and Q&A sessions with artists, authors and filmmakers.
Nov. 18, 2017 – Jan. 06, 2018: Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the newest addition to Universal Orlando Resort's holiday events. Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade and Muggle London will be transformed with holiday decorations, festive goodies and unique witchy entertainment. Don't miss the Hogwarts castle at night, wrapped in a stunning holiday projection show.
January 2018: A Celebration of Harry Potter is the premiere event for casual and die-hard Harry Potter fans alike. Get an insider's look at the films and stories, attend Q&A sessions with stars from the films, access special panels and demonstrations, and even enjoy an immersive Harry Potter expo.
May 2018: Megacon is the Southeast's largest comics, sci-fi, horror, anime and gaming event. Get the inside scoop on your favorite fandoms and series, hang out at celebrity panels and shop unique gifts all under one roof. 2018's dates are yet to be announced, but plan for the month of May, especially to purchase tickets.
New Attractions Coming for the Ultimate Fan Experience
Of course, nerds can still find some of the most amazingly detailed, immersive fan experiences at the theme parks. New lands, rides and characters will join the Orlando lineup in the next few years, with no signs of the geekiness slowing.
Walt Disney World Resort®
The Star Wars universe will soon come to life more vividly than ever before at Disney's Hollywood Studios, where a new land, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, will feature two major attractions, at least one highly immersive hotel and many familiar faces from the Star Wars universe.
Disney Springs will also welcome a bit of the Star Wars universe with Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, a hyper-reality experience that will plunge you directly into an untethered, social and multi-sensory Star Wars experience. And if that's not enough, Disney recently revealed plans for two other geeky rides, a TRON coaster and a Guardians of the Galaxy coaster.
Universal Orlando® Resort
At Universal Orlando Resort, a New Harry Potter Ride is coming to Hogsmeade, replacing the Dragon Challenge coasters after Sept. 4, 2017. While the new ride has no official name yet, it is slated to be one of the most highly-themed coaster experiences Universal has ever created.
Universal is also leveling-up with a new Nintendo-themed area, full of attractions, shops and restaurants designed to make you feel like you're inside Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda and other video game classics. This exciting expansion does not have a date yet, but seems well worth the wait.
Cover image courtesy Main Event Entertainment
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