As we entered the turnstile at the Amway Center for a recent Orlando Magic game, my two and a half year old grabbed my leg, making it impossible to move forward. I looked down just in time to see the usher pulling out a yard stick and holding it up next to my daughter. She quickly informed me that children have to be below a certain height to come to the game without a ticket. What? I (mistakenly) always thought entry without a ticket was based on age, and in this case, I thought it was 3 and under. Fortunately, my daughter was below the “under 36 inches” height requirement so she made it in ticketless.
Not only have my husband and I brought the aforementioned daughter to multiple Orlando Magic and Orlando City Soccer games, we have even successfully taken our 6 month old twins to an Orlando Magic game.
To ensure you enjoy our local sporting events with your smallest family members, here are some pointers that have helped us.
- Feed them before you enter the venue. Trust me, if you enter the venue with an already-hungry child (or spouse, for that matter), you are not off to a good start. No need to put added pressure on yourself before you even get inside. Once you’re in and you get your bearings, go for it.
- Encourage your child to use the potty as soon as you get inside, or change diapers before you enter the venue, if applicable.
- Bring as few necessities as possible. When bringing babies, try to pack a bag smaller than your everyday diaper bag. For instance, wipes, two extra diapers, one bottle, a small bag of puffs, a small bag of cheerios, one change of clothes, 2 chew toys and a bib should hold your baby over. When we bring our toddler, I shove a couple of snacks, one pair of underwear and one change of clothes into my regular crossbody.
- Wear your baby carrier, if applicable. There was so much for the girls to look at when we took them to the Magic game, they were content chewing their toys and looking around for most of the game. When they got tired, we turned them around and they fell asleep so we were able to enjoy a few more minutes before heading home.
And in an effort to avoid another near #parentingfail, I researched the local venue policies. All of the policies below have been confirmed by organization representatives.
Amway Center, Orlando Magic
- All events at the Amway Center require that any person 36 inches (3 feet) or taller must have a ticket for entry into the Amway Center.
- Strollers are permitted inside the Center, however, if you are in general seating, the stroller must be left at a guest assistance booth in the arena.
- Be sure to visit STUFF’s Magic Castle, which is a play area for kids over 2 years old and under 48” located on the Promenade Level (Level 5) in the southwest corner of the building. *Side note … the line for the castle is especially long at half time, so plan your visit accordingly.
Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando City Soccer
- Any fan that has had their third birthday requires a ticket. Anyone under 3 does not need a ticket, but must be able to sit on their parent’s lap.
- Strollers are not permitted in the stadium.
And for Atlanta Braves spring training fans, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex requires tickets for children 3 and older. Strollers are not allowed inside the stadium, but there is stroller parking just outside the main gates.
So, Orlando sports fans, anything I missed? If anyone has any additional tips for taking our little peanuts (pun intended) to watch the events, please share. As long as you’re prepared, there is no reason why your kids can’t join you in supporting our local teams. Go Magic! Go City Lions! Go Braves!