Have you been to an NBA game? Especially now that we’re gathering without masks after the pandemic (YAY!!!), the experience is almost MORE amazing and exciting than before! And not every city can say they have their own NBA basketball team, like Orlando has our Magic!
As a local Orlando mom, I wanted to share our 1st post-pandemic game experience with you, especially because I came across a few things I wish I would have known before we went. (Note to self: leave the big purse at home.)
And also, MOST importantly, it was my son’s 16th birthday request that we go to the game where the Magic were playing his favorite team, the Golden State Warriors! I’m SO glad we got to do it for him! Sadly, my son’s favorite player, Steph Curry, was injured, so we didn’t get to see him play. But it was still a pretty cool birthday adventure!
Back to the “note to self” I mentioned earlier — us moms tend to carry bigger bags (or in my case, Disney Loungefly backpacks) to fit a BUNCH of stuff for our kids. That can mean snacks, hand wipes, sanitizer .. and in our case, Epipens for my daughter’s food allergies. And Advil for me (because headaches are also pretty common for moms, amiright?!)
I didn’t realize that the Amway Center, where the Orlando Magic NBA games are held, has a “small bag policy.” We found $10 parking a few blocks away, so once we made it to the Amway there was NO WAY I was walking allll the way back to the car.
Thankfully, the Amway has a “bag check” locker area that, for another $10, can hold your bags. In my case, my daughter and I left our Loungefly backpacks (her Stitch one and my Disney parks one) at the bag check. But we did take the Epipens with us.
Follow along for my top 10 tips to enjoy your next Orlando Magic NBA game at the Amway!
Top 8 tips for Moms Before You Go to an Orlando Magic NBA Game
1. Where can I find good & cheap tickets?
I literally Googled “Orlando Magic tickets” & found a few sites with pretty decent prices (about $30 to $40 were the cheapest.) Some sites we checked included StubHub, SeatGeek, VividSeats and Ticketmaster. My best tip is to check various sites and find the best one for you and your family. A friend of mine in Miami found a Groupon with amazing deals a few weeks ago, too! It’s worth doing a little Googling to find the best deals.
It’s downtown Orlando, so it might be challenging to find a good parking close to the Amway Center. We drove around, found $10 parking and walked a few blocks. It wasn’t too bad! Just in case it’s raining, have a backup plan with umbrellas or ponchos. And here’s a page with more parking info: https://www.amwaycenter.com/plan-your-visit/directions-and-parking
Plan on spending between $10 to $20 on Parking for an Orlando Magic NBA basketball game at the Amway Center.
We saw a BUNCH of people after the game, waiting on their Uber or Lyft. It seems like this is another popular option that people use as an alternative to trying to find parking downtown. We don’t live near Downtown, so we were ok just looking for public parking options. But ride sharing could be another option to consider.
4. Comfy shoes
Whether you park near, far or try ride-sharing, you’re going to walk. A lot. The Amway Center alone is HUGE. There will be lots of walking. I know other shoes might look cuter but opt for the comfiest sneakers you have. You’ll thank me later.
5. Bag check
As I mentioned earlier, man, I wish I had known to plan better for this! You can’t take big bags or purses with you to an Orlando Magic game. Thankfully, the Amway Center provided an area for “bag check/lockers.” When the lockers filled up (which was our case), they still provided an alternate place to store your belongings. It was about $10 plus tax to store my daughter’s and my bags. The line was long, but it moved pretty quickly. And pick up after the game was quick and smooth as well. Shout out to the Amway Center for having a streamlined, easy process.
By the way, if you have anything medical in your bag (my daughter and I both carry Epipens for food allergies), there may be exceptions. The lady at the bag check tent said we may have been able to bring our bags in just because of that, but we had already checked the bags at that point. Maybe we’ll try that next time.
6. Food (and food allergies)
If you’re like me, you’re not a big fan of sports venue food. Some people love their hot dogs during baseball games or burgers during NBA games and that’s great! But in our family, we have food allergies (dairy, peanuts and tree nuts), so eating out can be a little challenging if we’re not familiar with the place, the food or how careful the venue is with food allergies and cross contamination.
I have special dietary restrictions. Can I bring my own food or beverages inside Amway Center?
Outside food and beverages are not permitted inside the arena. However, individual exceptions for medical purposes may be made to this policy.
Good to know! And honestly, we ate snacks before the game and planned for a birthday dinner out for my 16 year old afterwards, so eating during the game was not even a thing.
7. Headphones (is it too loud for little ones?)
If you’ve never been to an NBA basketball game, it’s SO loud! That alone makes it exciting, but it can be a little overwhelming for little ones. If you take headphones to loud events, fireworks shows at theme parks, etc., I’d recommend bringing them here, too. And if you’re sitting next to me, definitely bring them — I like to yell at games. DEFENSE!!! COME ‘ON PASS THE BALL!!! UGH CAN YOU EVEN MAKE A BASKET??? My kids love it. No, they don’t.
8. Is it kid friendly?
YES! For a regular Tuesday night in March, there were a LOT of elementary age kids having the time of their lives! When they did the “Live Cam” dance offs, kiss cam, etc. in the middle of the game, the kids on screen were SO excited! That was honestly one of my favorite parts of the event.
4th Quarter Wrap Up
At the end of the night, after a SUPER exciting, down to the last seconds in the 4th quarter, my son’s team, the Golden State Warriors lost to the Orlando Magic (boooo.) But for his 16th birthday to experience an NBA basketball game LIVE like this, it almost felt like the pandemic never happened. It felt back to “normal.” And that alone was an awesome gift.