Top 10 Orlando Events in 2010

As 2010 draws to a close, it’s time to look back at some of the most noteworthy events in and around Orlando. Central Florida Lifestyle recently featured a great top ten list of the most interesting happenings this year. How many do you recall?

10. UCF Football Makes the Top 25

On November 7, 2010, the University of Central Florida’s football team entered the BCS Standings for the first time since joining Conference USA in 1997. After winning 5 straight games, and posting an 11-game conference winning streak, the Knights were ranked 25 in the AP Poll, 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 25 in the Harris Poll.

9. A New Life for the Space Shuttle

After 30 years of service, NASA’s space shuttle fleet prepares for retirement. But the shuttles themselves will have a new life of service – this time, as museum exhibit pieces. Discovery, oldest in the fleet, has already been promised by NASA to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Central Florida’s Kennedy Space Center is one of 21 facilities now vying for one of the remaining orbiters, Atlantis and Endeavor.

8. Rollins College Celebrates its 125th Anniversary

Founded in 1885, Florida’s oldest recognized college celebrated its 125th anniversary in November. Celebrations were led by former U.S. Poet Laureate and Rollins professor, Billy Collins.

7. The Return of the Predators

Spring of 2010 marked the return of the Orlando Predators after a year-long hiatus. Part of the 15-team Arena Football League (AFL), the Predators are now under a new head coach: Pat O’Hara, himself a former Predators quarterback.

6. Orlando gets Family Feud

As part of a new strategy to allow Universal guests to see live television, the popular syndicated game show “Family Fued” traded its Los Angeles home for Sound Stage 19 at Universal Orlando Resort. The show tapes 165 episodes from July through September.

5. Seminole Community College now Seminole State College

With a surge in enrollment and the Florida’s legislature’s approval to begin offering four-year degrees, Seminole Community College seized upon the opportunity to rebrand itself. Now Seminole State College, the institution debuted its degree program with a Bachelor of Applied Science in interior design, to be followed in 2011 by a variety of Bachelor of Science degrees.

4. Virgin America Connects to Orlando

Chosen for its convention business and underserved presence, Orlando was linked to Virgin America’s West Coast service. The link now allows for non-stop flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to the City Beautiful.

3. Snowfall in Florida

January of 2010 marked one of the coldest Central Florida winters in years with the National Weather Service reporting a light snowfall at daybreak on January 9th. The unusual weather was part of a seven-day cold spell that sent temperatures into the low 30s. Brrr! The last recorded snowfall for the area was over 30 years earlier, in January 1977.

2. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The fantastic and fanciful new themed area in Universal Orlando opened June 18, with lines forming the night before. A smash-hit in park history, the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride took only a month to surpass a million riders.

1. Amway Center Opens

Featuring eight levels and 1,100 digital monitors, the new Amway Center opened in October. Triple the size of its predecessor, the new center offers a wide range of ticket pricing and seating, from $5 seats to premium Orlando Magic season packages for $13,500. Facing Church Street, the center has high promises to revitalize downtown Orlando’s entertainment presence.

After such an exciting and eventful year, we look forward to what 2011 will bring to our community. Happy New Year!

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