A Tourist's Guide to WWE Royal Rumble 2016 in Orlando
While many people think of Orlando, Florida as the amusement park capital of the world, the WWE Universe will be invading the area during the annual Royal Rumble pay-per-view spectacular.
On Jan. 24 at the Amway Center in Orlando, WWE will host an event at one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States, headlined by the 30-man Royal Rumble match. The caveat in 2016 is the winner of the Battle Royal will also walk away with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
That isn’t all, though, as the Royal Rumble PPV card will also feature an Intercontinental Championship bout between defending titleholder Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens. Add in the inevitable surprise returns and the long-term implications of this event, and wrestling fans should be flocking to Orlando for the show.
While in Orlando, the WWE Universe should also be looking to have a little fun.
The weekend is packed with wrestling activities, so the best course of action will be to arrive in Orlando Friday during the day to avoid airport congestion. During your visit to Orlando International Airport, try to stop for a quick bite to eat at McCoy's Bar and Grill for the best food the facility has to offer.
Once you have made your way to your hotel and are thoroughly comfortable, it’s time to get the wrestling experience started. Starting at 7:30 p.m. ET on Jan 22 at the CFE Arena in Orlando, WWE’s NXT brand will be holding a live event in support of the Royal Rumble. For those who love developmental stars like Finn Balor, Bayley and Apollo Crews, spending a few hours watching NXT live would be the perfect start to the weekend.
It will be too late when the show concludes to hit up the local amusement parks, but there are plenty of local bars and eateries in Orlando. The NXT crowds are typically very friendly, so find out where the locals will be heading on a Friday night after the show and tag along.
After a good night sleep, it’s time to make the most out of your Saturday in Orlando. The first place to stop is Keke's Breakfast Cafe for some much-needed grub. As one of the best restaurants in the city for a filling morning meal, this is the ideal way to start a busy day.
From Keke's, it’s time to head to Universal Orlando.
There are many amusement parks in the Orlando area, but those looking to stay close and use public transportation or Uber should consider Universal Orlando. With several parks in the same complex to explore, marquee roller coasters for thrill seekers and a plethora of family rides and attractions, the facilities have everything wrestling fans could want from a day at the theme park.
Guests will spend most of the day exploring the park and all of its entertaining options, but the facility will eventually close at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday night. With the WWE Universe looking for something to do next, a short trip to the Orlando Downtown Recreation Complex would give people the chance to watch the next generation of stars at the EVOLVE 54 independent wrestling event on Jan. 23.
Starting at 8 p.m. ET, wrestling fans will be able to see some of the best indie wrestlers in the world going to battle. What makes this show different from other independent wrestling shows, though, is that there are rumors of a working relationship between WWE and EVOLVE parent company WWN. There will also reportedly be several NXT Superstars at the event.
Independent wrestling events tend to run very long, so fans will most likely want to go back to their hotels after the conclusion of EVOLVE 54 for some much-needed sleep in preparation for a wild Sunday. If not, following the crowd to a local bar is always an option.
Once wrestling fans in Orlando wake up late Sunday morning (or early in the afternoon, depending on just how late you came back to the hotel), it’s time for a filling lunchtime meal. Check out an Orlando staple called The Gnarly Barley for a great mixture of American cuisine and the tastes of the local cultures. Add in a bountiful list of craft beers, and this is a must-visit destination.
@ActionBronson Next time you're in Orlando, gotta try some food at Gnarly Barley. Bombdastic.— Jon Lane (@GeekJonLane) January 8, 2016
After the filling meal, wrestling fans should either go to the Amway Center parking lot and take in some of the tailgating activities, or travel back to the Orlando Downtown Recreation Complex for the 2 p.m. ET EVOLVE 55 show. The start time of the 2016 Royal Rumble is listed as 7:30 p.m. ET, so enjoying a quick indie show before making your way back to the Amway Center is not out of the realm of possibility.
Finally, wrestling fans who make their way back to the Royal Rumble will see one of the most anticipated PPVs in recent memory due to the implications the show will have on WWE’s Road to WrestleMania 32. With a new world champion almost certainly being crowned at the event, the WWE Universe will want to be on hand to witness history.
There is so much to do in Orlando during Royal Rumble weekend for wrestling fans. If you are planning to make the journey to Florida, be ready to constantly moving and having fun. That’s the Orlando way.
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hottest topics.
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