Tag Archives: Top 5

Top 5 Must Dos at an Orlando City Soccer Club Match

With the Lions now in their second season in Major League Soccer, I am sure most of you have been to a match. For those of you that haven’t, what are you waiting for? I went to my first match five years ago, and I haven’t looked back.

In fact, I have abandoned all other sports because I don’t have time for them. But I place a bet on sports at https://uk.mansionbet.com/sports/boxing/ occasionally. There is so much soccer all over the world that I am never bored. Trust me when I tell you, it only takes one match to hook you and I hope this is your year if you have never been.  With that said, here are my “Top 5” MUST DOs at an Orlando City Soccer Club match.

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  1. Tailgate – This is an absolute MUST. It is hands down the most American thing about the beautiful game here in Orlando. Tailgates are a wonderful way to warm up before a match. Great food, great people, and beer! There are a number of lots around the Citrus Bowl where people come together two, three, sometimes six hours before the kick-off for some pre-match shenanigans! However, I have to say (with bias!), no one does it up quite like the supporters in Lot 11. With $5 donation for all you can eat food, and an open cooler policy, there is no place I would rather be!
Photo Credit: Ish Shah

Crawfish… YUM! Photo Credit: Ish Shah

Watch the march in – This has been a tradition since the early days of United Soccer League for the Orlando City supporters. About an hour before kick-off, you can hear the beating of the drums and the chants beginning to rise above Lot 11. After some chants and a toast to get the blood pumping, the march begins to defend our home, and “Man The Wall”.

The procession is a short one from Lot 11 to Gate C of the Citrus Bowl, but that doesn’t stop the supporters from putting on a show. The chants, drums, and purple smoke fill the air as hundreds of fans line the path shooting pictures and taking video.

Photo Credit: Orlando City SC

Photo Credit: Orlando City SC (Can you spot me?)

Visit The Wall – The Supporter Section (aka The Wall) is a general admission area. You do need to have a ticket to get into the section, but you are able to stand on the rail at the top of the section. When I first started going to Orlando City matches back in 2011, I sat at midfield.

After one trip to the supporters section halfway through the 2011 season, I was hooked, and I have been there ever since. The energy and passion in The Wall is unmatched anywhere in the State of Florida. I will even go so far as to say that it is unmatched anywhere in the country outside of Portland or Seattle.

OCSC ​Anthony in The Wall

Take a walk around the Citrus Bowl – The newly renovated Citrus Bowl, you are able to walk around the entire stadium below the plaza level. This is awesome because you can get different views of the action on the pitch throughout the match. It’s nice to see a different perspective from time to time. So get out of your seat for a little while and take in the views.  Who knows, you might just find a new section for your season tickets!

OCSC ​Darwin Ceren with Ruckus at Tailgate

Wait for the players after the match – When the match is over, don’t just make a beeline for your car, especially if you have kids. Wait around a bit for the stadium to clear out, then head down to the south end of the stadium. Once you exit the stadium, hang a right and just passed the press entrance, you will see a small gated lot on your right. Security will be there keeping an eye on the handful of expensive luxury cars, this is the players lot. When it comes to player/fan interactions, the Orlando City players are a class act. On any given night after a match, you can get autographs and selfies with any if not all of the players. Even if you just want a fist bump and to say hi, they are always ready to greet the fans.

 

 

Orlando City SunRail

Like I’ve said, if you haven’t made it to a match yet, what are you waiting for? The Lions will be back home at the Citrus Bowl on May 6th, as they take on the New York Red Bulls. Kick-Off is set for 7:30, and there are still good seats available.  Visit http://orlandocitysc.com/tickets for more info.

Vamos Orlando!

 

Top Five SunRail Tips!

Happy birthday, SunRail!  May 1 marks one year since SunRail began operation.  I was there on opening day, and I’m so glad to see that traveling by SunRail is only becoming more and more popular.  As someone who regularly commuted to work via SunRail from May through December in 2014, I thought this would be a good time to offer my Top Five tips for successful SunRail commuting.

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1.  Do the Math.  It may seem at first glance that SunRail isn’t a good choice for you, but with the I-4 Ultimate construction project looming, it’s definitely worth a closer look.  Living in Mount Dora, I was 20 miles from the Sanford station, but compared to the almost 40 miles I drove into Orlando daily on toll roads, it ended up being worth it, for both my wallet and my sanity.  But also remember that a 30-day ticket means 30 calendar days, so do the math there too – I ended up saving money by just loading cash onto a prepaid SunRail card instead of buying the monthly pass.

2.  Plan Ahead.  During my commuting days, I carried a tote bag with the essentials: my dress shoes that I could put on once I got to work, an umbrella (during Florida summer? A must!), and a wrap (those trains could be COLD, so it was nice to have something to snuggle into).  Bring a book, some games on your phone, or your headphones to listen to some music.  SunRail offers free wi-fi, so bring a laptop and catch up on email or see what your friends are doing on Facebook.  One of the best things about SunRail is not having to drive.  Enjoy it.

3. Get on Social Media. Honestly, the best way to find out what’s going on with SunRail, to learn about outages, delays, or any other odd things going on, is to have a Twitter account. Follow the #SunRail hashtag; fellow passengers are very vocal if something is going on, because we all want to get the word out. And DEFINITELY follow @sunrailriders, he does a great job of keeping people informed. You’ll find out more information more quickly via Twitter than on the news, trust me – I scooped the local news and the Orlando Sentinel more than once!

4. Weekend Crowds Are Not Normal. I suffered through those first two weeks of SunRail commuting: late trains that were overstuffed with people when they finally arrived. It was pretty miserable, to be honest, but when the free weeks were over and it was just paying passengers, the congestion thinned out considerably. From what I understand, the crowds recently for the free rides to and from the Orlando City Soccer match or the Winter Park Arts Festival were about the same, so I don’t expect free days to be any different. So take this time to see if the stations are convenient for you, and enjoy your first taste of SunRail.  But be prepared to be patient.

5.  Don’t be a Jerk.  This should be a no-brainer, right?  Follow the rules, and be considerate.  Don’t eat on the SunRail – no one wants to smell your Publix cheesesteak at the end of the day.  (I remember sharing a table one night with Dorito-Fingers Guy.  Yay.)  Don’t put your bag in the seat next to you and your feet up on the seat in front of you.    We’re all in this ride together.  So unless you’re planning to split that cheesesteak with me, wait to eat until after you get off the train.

Happy birthday, SunRail!  I’m looking forward to seeing it expand and serve more and more central Floridians as the years go by.  Happy commuting!

Top 5 | Anticipated Feature Films at Florida Film Festival 2015

There are over 170 films playing at this year’s Florida Film Festival! Have you seen this year’s trailer by Academy Award Nominee (and longtime friend of the fest) Bill Plympton? Check it out!

 

Below is our list of our Top 5 anticipated features. Our list of Top 5 anticipated shorts can be found here!

 

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Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon

Having grown up on movies like Animal House and Vacation, I certainly knew National Lampoon by name but beyond it being a parody magazine before my time, I knew little else.  Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead documents the creation, rise, and fall of an empire that would live on longer after it was gone.  The film explores not only the brilliant writers of the magazine, but it’s partnership with some of the biggest names in comedy during the early parts of their careers, including Bill Murray and John Belushi.

For more information on Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead including times and ticket purchases, click here.

 

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The Editor

Astron-6 is a Canadian production company known for making homages to exploitation films of the past and blending it with their own style of comedy.  Their newest film, The Editoris a love letter to Italian giallo films of the 70’s, which were a blend of murder mystery and horror whose style is unmistakable.  Not only does it celebrate the works of filmmakers like Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, it also pokes fun at some of their conventions.  As a long-time horror fan, this instantly shot to the top of my must-see list for the festival’s Midnight Movies. The film follows Rey Ciso, a famous editor who ends up as the prime suspect in a series of murders surrounding the newest film he’s working on.

For more information on The Editor including times and ticket purchases, click here.

 

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Her Composition

Joslyn Jensen won the Special Jury Award at the 2011 Florida Film Festival for her performance in Without, my favorite film from that year.  While the film itself was incredibly divisive, everyone seemed to agree that her performance was terrific.  This is the first feature I’ll have the opportunity to see her in since Without and that’s more than enough for me to put it on this list.  From first-time writer/director Stephan Littger, Her Composition tells the story of Malorie (Jensen), an orchestral composition student who, after failing to get a PhD scholarship, ends up visiting high-end escort clients as a means to help pay for school.  Malorie uses the encounters as inspiration of her thesis composition and struggles to hold onto her sanity in the process.

For more information on Her Composition including times and ticket purchases, click here.

 

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Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

The Zellner Brothers are also Florida Film Festival alumni.  Their last film, Kid-Thing, polarized FFF audiences in 2012 and I fell on the “loved it” side.  Their newest film, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, is based on an urban legend about a woman who travels from Tokyo to North Dakota after seeing the movie Fargo. It’s said that she believed the movie was a documentary and that the money buried by Steve Buscemi’s character is real. With that legend as its basis, this dark comedy follows the adventure of Kumiko as she travels across the world in search of the missing money.

For more information on Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter including times and ticket purchases, click here.

 

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When Marnie Was There

When Marnie was There is the newest, and possibly final film from Studio Ghibli.  It’s also the second Ghibli film from Hiromasa Yonebayashi who previously directed The Secret World of Arrietty and has been an animator with the studio since Princess Mononoke.  The film focuses on Anna, a young girl who is sent to the country due to issues with her health, and her new friendship with a mysterious girl named Marnie who lives by the sea.  While the English dubbing may turn off some, GKids has a great record with Ghibli films and has gotten quite a bit of talent for the English cast, including Haillee Steinfeld, John C. Riley, and Kathy Bates.

For more information on When Marnie Was There including times and ticket purchases, click here.

Top 5 Fun Places to Hunt Easter Eggs

Something about bunnies and grass make the park seem like the right place for an Easter Egg hunt, but that hippity, hoppity Easter Bunny likes to mix it up sometimes, just like the rest of us. Skip the traditional park hunt and get the kids out somewhere new to hunt down those brightly colored plastic shells filled with sugary treats and prizes. If you’re a grown-up avoiding small humans dressed in pastels, you can hunt your own shells filled with cash and prizes at our #3 pick. Here are five non-park places across Central Florida where the bunny left eggs for you.

1. Green Meadows Farm (April 2-5)

In addition to the rush of filling their baskets with eggs of the plastic variety, the kids can also spend time with the animals who make eggs of the real variety! Pet baby animals, visit Whiskers the Easter Bunny and enjoy live entertainment. Green Meadows Farm touts this as Orlando’s favorite egg hunt. 

2. Fairwinds Credit Union Hippity Hop Adventure at the Central Florida Zoo (April 4 & 5)

Not only can you hunt your egg-y prizes, but you can hop along the Adventure Trail to find clues from the Easter Bunny to win candy, prizes and surprises. Prepare for cuteness overload as kids receive free bunny tails to wear. Crafts, a bounce house, live entertainment and the Easter Bunny are also promised. Check the zoo website for details. 

3. Third Annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt at The Hammered Lamb (April 5)

Just because you’re all grown up and the Easter Bunny forgot to stop by your house doesn’t mean you can’t join in the fun. In fact, it means you get to enjoy brunch and Bloody Marys while searching for a golden egg hiding $100! Being grown up no longer sounds so bad. Egg Hunt at 2pm, Egg Toss and live music at 3pm. Maybe save the Bloody Marys for after the hunt so you can focus. 

4. Artegon Marketplace (April 4)

Bonus for guardians of small human egg hunters – you can shop in an air-conditioned building while the little ones hunt! Hunt for Easter eggs scattered throughout the artisan village and in surrounding stores, some containing prizes from Artegon merchants. Visit the Easter Bunny, get an Easter balloon animal and make a custom flipbook (1-4 p.m., free while supplies last). If you register to win, you might score an Artegon Easter basket filled with merchant prizes. 

5. WonderWorks 2nd Annual Upside-Down Easter Egg Hunt (April 4)

Turn Easter on its head and hunt down those eggs hidden throughout the WonderWorks exhibits. The building being upside down is not the only surprise – expect prizes, candy and more, but you’ll have to get up early to get these eggs.

If you’re a traditionalist and prefer your Easter with both plastic and real grass, check out the City of Winter Park 61st Annual Easter Egg Hunt or the Sanford Easter Eggstravaganza both on Saturday, April 4, 2015. 

You’re advised to bring your own baskets and to check each event website for details including ages and hunt times.

Happy hunting! 

Top 5| Fancy Pants Events In Central Florida

By Lisa Wilk

Living in Central Florida gives residents plenty of opportunity to keep outings casual…but we also like to get dressed up for a night on the town and enjoy the finer things. A bonus: fancier events usually benefit worthwhile local charities and local arts- and not always with a hefty price tag. Here are five great ways to delve deeper and explore great Central Florida events in the next month.

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Cows n Cabs 10.25.2014
Don your best Cowboy and Cowgirl attire and celebrate the creations of local chefs enjoyed with wine, craft beer & spirits, live music and more in the heart of Winter Park. Proceeds benefit the Community Food & Outreach Center and Elevate Orlando. Tickets are available for purchase online.

 

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Park Ave Fashion Week 10.25-11.1.2014
Put your most fashionable foot forward as you support the Foundation for Foster Children. Runway Show tickets are available for purchase online for both VIP and general admission tickets.

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Food and Wine Weekends at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Now thru 11.9.2014
Explore your inner foodie with a full Wine Pairing dinner at La Luce by Donna Scala, at Bull & Bear or dive into customizeable Sushi and Sake pairings at Zeta Bar & Sushi Lounge. Be sure to plan a return trip, to indulge in delectable chocolate and Champagne pairings at the Bar du Chocolat and Champagne Tasting at Peacock Alley. (Prices vary)

 

Festival of Trees 2014

Orlando Museum of Arts: Festival of Trees
The 28th Annual Festival of Trees runs from November 15-23rd and kicks off with the black tie gala, on Friday, November 14th. Whether you are dressed to the nines at the gala or prefer strolling the displays at your leisure through the week, this festive Orlando tradition is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

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32nd annual Margarita Ball 11.22.2014
Get ready for the holiday season, admission to this black tie affair is one or more unwrapped toys or gift cards, (the amount of $35 and up is suggested) per couple, along with an invitation from a 2014 director. Guests donations will help spread cheer throughout the holiday season, to those less fortunate in the Central Florida area.

Top 5 | Magical Dining Dishes of 2014

By Lisa Wilk

Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month is wrapping up and I enjoyed dining at restaurants far and wide to seek out delicious meals. Here are five dishes that left a wonderful impression and have me planning to return to each restaurant to enjoy again.

Kasa Corn Magical Dining 2014

Kasa Corn: Roasted corn with miso lime aioli, Togarashi spices, Manchego cheese and queso fresco elevating the flavors of Mexican street corn with Manchego cheese and a fusion of Japanese flavors. Kasa Restaurant & Bar is located in downtown Orlando and Kasa Corn is available on their regular menu.

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Bourbon Glazed Salmon with Sweet Corn and Bourbon Saute had so much flavor in every component, a delightful and unique preparation of a premium Norwegian Salmon. (And Bacon!) This delicious dish featured on Eleven at the Reunion Resort’s current menu, enjoy.

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Grilled New York Strip Steak topped with bone marrow gremolata butter, served with pan seared baby summer squash ragout on the side. From Siro Urban Italian Kitchen in the Marriott World Center was cooked to ordered temperature and the flavorful dish received plenty of happy nods. Enjoy on the current Siro menu.

Hemingways Crab Cakes Magical Dining

“Cayo Hueso” crab cakes from Hemingway’s in the The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, a generous portion of blue crab with little filler, made this entree a winner for me. Happily, this signature dish is available year round at Hemingway’s.

Bananas Foster flambéed tableside over brown butter cake, served with butter pecan ice cream. Eddie V’s Prime Seafood offered Magical Dining guests a wonderful meal, interactive flaming dessert and a spectacular lakeside view.

Magical Dining Month dining ends with dinner service on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 and will return again next September. Over 70 restaurants participated in Visit Orlando’s the 2014 Magical Dining Month and preview week, with $1 from each meal served being donated to charity. I’m already looking forward to the creative offerings for next year’s Magical Dining Menu. For updates and future details on this annual event, check back here at CentralFloridaTop5.com.

Top 5- 79th Annual Winter Park Bach Festival

Central Florida might be better known for its pop-music heritage but that doesn’t mean our other genres suffer.  For over three-quarters of a century the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park has provided some of the very best live Baroque Music one can find.  The 79th Annual Winter Park Bach Festival kicks off Friday, February 14 and runs just over two weeks.  The Festival is chockful of features and not to be missed events.

Zac Alfson, the Bach Festival Patron Engagement Manager, helped us navigate the busy schedule and pulled out his personal Top 5 events and pieces of need to know info.  As with most of our list, it’s in no particular order.

1) Violinist Lara St. John, who is on the Feb 21 and 22 Concertos by Candlelight program has been described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and a “high-powered soloist” by The New York Times.  She will be a highlight to this year’s festival.

2) New subscribers can hear all four concerts on the Festival from $78! That’s less that $20 per ticket!

3) Check out the February 27th Open Rehearsal of Haydn’s Creation for a behind-the-scenes look at the music making process in a more casual atmosphere. This free event is a working rehearsal as Dr. John V. Sinclair prepares the 160-voice choir and orchestra for performance that weekend.

4) Ken Cowan, a superstar of the Organ world, will perform a solo recital on Friday February 14.  While the program isn’t traditional Valentine’s fare, his impeccable technique and expressivity will bring the Great Organ at Knowles Memorial Chapel alive.

5) General Admission tickets are available for all performances.  These seats, along the side walls of the chapel, may have interrupted views, but the sound is amazing!  If you’re coming to hear instead of watch, this is a great, budget-conscious option.

For a full listing of events, seating charts, ticket sales, and information make sure to visit BachFestivalFlorida.com

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