Iowa State football is headed to the Cheez-It Bowl; here's how to get there and what to do in Orlando
Cyclone fans can spend the holidays in Orlando, where Iowa State will face Clemson in the Cheez-It Bowl for a 4:45 p.m. kick on Dec. 29.
While down this year, Clemson offers Matt Campbell's Iowa State program another opportunity to claim a bowl victory over a brand name program. Dabo Swinney's Tigers finished 9-3 this season.
The bowl game presents Iowa State an opportunity to send a historic senior class off with one final game while also getting further experience for a group of youngsters that will work to fill their spots in 2022.
For many Cyclone fans, travel plans start as soon as the bowl game is announced. Here's some travel information to help you get there:
Cheez-It Bowl packages
Camping World Stadium features several premium options including luxury suites, midfield loge boxes, indoor club seating and on-field bunker suites if you want to make the most of your experience. If you're planning to travel with friends or family, group tickets are available at a discounted price, according to the Cheez-It Bowl website.
ADA tickets are also available to purchase on the Cheez-It Bowl website.
The Cheez-It Bowl Pep Rally will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 28 at Pointe Orlando.
The band and cheerleaders from both teams will perform and the head coaches will make a special appearance to fire up the crowd before game day.
Cheez-It Bowl FanFest will be from 1:45 to 5:45 p.m. on Dec. 29 at Tinker Field next to Camping World Stadium. It features interactive games, inflatables and face painting. Admission is free and local vendors will sell a wide selection of food and beverages.
Cyclone fans who drive to Orlando will be faced with a grueling 19-hour drive from Ames.
For those who opt to fly, a round trip flight between Dec. 27, 2021, and Jan. 3, 2022, from Des Moines to Orlando starts at $650, although you might save money by flying from Minneapolis or Chicago.
A round trip flight from Minneapolis to Orlando between Dec. 27, 2021, to Jan. 3, 2022, starts at $500. Chicago flights start at $430.
Camping World Stadium is an 11-minute drive from Orlando Executive Airport and a 22-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport.
Prices for hotels shoot up for dates around game time. Lodging nearing Camping World Stadium ranges from $50 to $300 per night. For those looking to stay near the airport, hotels near the Orlando Executive Airport range from $195 to $350 a night. Near Orlando International Airport, prices range from $50 to $300 per night.
Here's where to eat and drink in Orlando
For meat-lovers, Priceless Bar-B-Que By Ray, a food truck located at 1831 West Central Boulevard, is a five-minute walk from Camping World Stadium. It offers chicken sandwiches, wings and ribs. Meals start at $7.
For those who are craving some seafood, Notcho Momma's Seafood is a 10-minute walk from the stadium and located on 18 North Dollins Ave. It offers fish baskets, shrimp or you can build your own platter. Meals start at $7.
What else is there to do?
Orlando has plenty to offer Cyclone fans or Iowa fans who may head down to watch Iowa State before Iowa's Citrus Bowl appearance.
Orlando is home to Walt Disney World and its four theme parks, the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom. Iowans seeking a respite from the winter weather could cool off at Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park or Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park.
Movie fans can head to Universal Studios' Parks and Resorts where they can go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, fly with E.T. to his home planet on E.T. Adventure or crash through Krustyland on "The Simpsons Ride."
Midwest fans seeking an underwater adventure can head to SeaWorld and watch playful groups of bottlenose dolphins, explore an Empire Penguin habitat or pet stingrays in a stingray lagoon. Thrill-seekers can "soar like a ray" at 55 mph a few feet water on the Manta coaster or ride the Mako "hyper coaster" with nine zero-g sections and speeds up to 73 mph.
Football fans who want turn want to take in some NBA action could catch the defending NBA Finals Champion Milwaukee Bucks take on the Orlando Magic at 7 p.m. Dec. 28 and Dec. 30. Their home, the Amway Center, is just a mile east of Camping World Stadium.
Fans who want to stay away from theme parks and other sports can find plenty of things to do in Orlando's downtown. The Thornton Park District offers an array of shops and shops on a cobblestone street. Lake Eola Park in Orlando's downtown could be a perfect place for a peaceful stroll before the game. CityArts Factory and the Orange County Regional History Center could be two more artsy stops on a sports-heavy trip.