A year in Orlando

The Super Bowl XXXVII champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven't returned to that lofty perch since, but the team still has a faithful ban base including a growing core in Orlando thanks to the Bucs' Annual Training Camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports (www.disneyworldsports.com; 407-939-1500; 700 Victory Way, Lake Buena Vista, 32830). The team returned to the playoffs in the 2007 season, but lost in the first round to the New York Giants, the eventual Super bowl champions. The training camp lasts three weeks in late July and early August. Admission is free and autograph sessions are held daily.

If you're bound for one reason or another to a summer visit and gnashing your teeth because you missed January's big boat show, the Hot Summer Boat Show (www.boatshowflorida.com/showinfooriginal.html; 407-456-6680; 9400 Universal Blvd. Orlando, 32819) will give you a fix of nautical eye candy Aug. 10-12. Featured attractions range from pontoon boats and runabouts to luxurious yachts and cruisers. It's held at the Orange County Convention Center—where parking is a nightmare, pedestrians can risk life and limb and confusion sometimes reigns. Tickets usually run around $8.


Walt Disney World's Night of Joy (www.disneyworld.com/nightofjoy; 407-824-4321; 311 World Drive, Lake Buena Vista, 32820) is one of the more popular, non-holiday-related religious celebrations in Orlando. The contemporary Christian music show, held Sept. 5-6 in the Magic Kingdom, is in its 26th year, featuring pop, rock, urban and gospel sounds. Advance tickets usually are $45; it's $5 more at the gate. Note: The event usually sells out in advance, so don't wait if you plan to attend. Tickets include access to popular rides such as Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Two of the best things about this event—class acts and smaller crowds than during regular hours. The nightly concerts start at 7:30 p.m. and run until 12:30 a.m.

Universal loves to go head to head with the Magic Mickey when it can and Rock the Universe is its answer to Night of Joy (www.rocktheuniverse.com; 407-363-8000; 1000 Universal Studios Plaza, Orlando, 32819). It's even staged on the same weekend—Sept. 5-6. In addition to concerts, the show offers motivational speakers and a Sunday worship service. Rock the Universe has the same plusses as Disney's show, namely top-notch musicians and smaller crowds as well as access to Revenge of the Mummy, the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman and other rides at the Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure theme parks. Tickets are about $42 in advance and $47 at the gate; advance sellouts are less likely than at Night of Joy.

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