Friday-Sunday Nov. 16-18 – Southern Pinball Festival
Crown Plaza Orlando Universal
7800 Universal Blvd.
Whether you’re a deaf, dumb and blind kid who happens to be an arcade prodigy, or just one of those thick-in-the-middle bar denizens with the odd trigger finger, it’s safe to say that the promise of the clinks and lights and extra balls of a pinball bender should be pulling you toward the Orange County Convention Center this weekend. The main event – the overwhelmingly awesome International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions convention – should keep fans of fairground distractions busy dreaming while you plot your quartered conquest of all things pinball over at the Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal. Everyone, including “your family, grandma and kids” (according to the website), is welcome at the Southern Pinball Festival, where thousands of dollars will be at stake for the luckiest and bravest calluses in the room willing to enter one of several contests. Meanwhile, the richest hobbyists will have the opportunity to buy their own machines, because sometimes your grandma doesn’t really feel like enduring your three days of fingerplay. – Billy Manes