Molly M has been an editor and freelance writer since 2010 and has had her work mentioned on MediaBistro, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, "Loyola Law Review," "The Portland Mercury" and "Carillon Magazine. She received her M.S. in journalism from Boston University and holds a B.A. in English from the University of Melbourne.
Orlando is one of the fastest-growing cities in Florida. Within a short span, it has seen an unmatchable growth of modern facilities and exclusive tourists' attractions in the world. It is home to top athletes and movie stars as it hosts Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios.
Orlando is one of the worlds' best meeting destinations due to several nightclubs, restaurants, and entertainment spots. Sports fans are spoilt for choice with all the significant sports well represented. The venues, world-class convention centers with ballrooms and banquet halls make the city an ideal place for business meetings and conferences.
Here is a detailed look at some of the best Orlando attractions that make Orlando a top business destination.
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
Choosing a place to host your event in Orlando among the hundreds of hotels is a daunting task. Forget about the struggle, because there is a reliable and accessible center in the form of Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Located at the Disney World, these resorts allow you access to many perks.
Covering a space of 110,500 square feet, Swan and Dolphin can host 7,000 people for a sit-down meal and 15,000 for a reception. It accommodates over 550 booths for trade shows. For other events, you can use the 55,000 square foot Hemisphere Ballroom.
While World Swan and Dolphin are independent hotels, they cooperate such that you can use either concurrently. One of the best perks that come with the resorts is the central location. You can easily access amenities like the Hollywood Studios, shopping centers the Fantasia Golf Course, and several other facilities.
Orange County Convention Center
Being the second-largest convention center in the US should mean something. The Orange County Convention Center covers a sprawling 7 million square feet total space, with 2.1 million square feet covering exhibition space. Orange County Convention Center is continually improving. Currently, it is a world leader in functionality, flexibility, and service.
You don't have to worry when setting up a small meeting at the venue. The green-friendly complex is set to allow for partitioning to enable meetings of any size. It comes with several resources like events calendar, convention center map, and an interactive floor plan for all your events.
At OCCC, you will never run out of facilities. It provides 74 meeting rooms and 235 breakouts. It has three full-service restaurants and food courts for your meals. Also, it offers a reliable internet connection in the meeting rooms and the food courts.
To add to these impressive features, OCCC is committed to environmental stewardship. It has several nationally recognized social responsibilities, long-term environmental impact on the community, and green initiatives.
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
The Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center is a spacious venue of over 400,000 square feet of space for your events. The Florida Exhibition Hall is the largest area measuring 178,500 square feet. It can accommodate over 21,000 people for a reception, and 12,000 for a banquet.
The center has the 46,748 square-feet Osceola Ballroom that provides ample stage, two green rooms, and three dressing rooms for your performances.
You don't have to leave the resort to accomplish your gateway desires when meeting at Gaylord Palms & Resort Convention Center. It has a state-of-the-art fitness center, South Beach adult-only pool, and the Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park for your leisure activities.
Orlando World Center Marriott
Run by one of the largest brands Marriott, Orlando World Center Marriott, is the largest inline. It has an enchanting range of amenities. This meeting space is built using the vintage style of the 1980s, even though it easily fits the contemporary bill. The center's business convention and meeting premises are separated from the other leisure activities to ensure the least distractions.
Orlando World Center Marriott provides a 450,000 square feet event space with a ballroom that covers 105,000 square feet. The facility can divide these into three sections. It can host up to 13,000 people in theatre-style seating. Also, the ballroom opens up to additional 50,000 square feet that allow for ample exhibition space.
If you are looking for a serene environment and a peaceful environment to hold your meetings, then you should consider Hilton Orlando. With a function of 175,000 square feet, and a ballroom covering 48,166 square feet, you get enough space for your event. It also has two additional ballrooms covering 15,000 and 30,000 square feet for extra space. In total, the rooms can accommodate 3,910 people at round tables and 5,070 for a reception.
The hotel provides resources like planner toolkit when organizing a function involving large numbers. You can also opt for outdoor meeting venues where you get to enjoy the Orlando starry nights or sunshine without forfeiting the event.
If you are planning an event around Orlando, Amway Center is a name that must crop up. It allows you to host any event. Whether small, private, or large, they have the facilities. The center has a meeting bowl that can host up to 16,000 people. The bowl has a stage at one end of the floor. For a more formal meeting, you can use the 25,500 square-feet floor arena that can host around 2,000 people for reception and 1,000 at round tables.
Top Attractions Sites in Orlando
You might be coming to Orlando for that high net worth business meeting, but is never all dull. You need to create some time to partake some of the Orlando gifts to the world. Some of the top attraction sites in Orlando include:
Walt Disney World is one of the most popular attractions in the world. The 40-square mile world-class recreation and entertainment center has everything you can need for leisure. It features two adventure parks, four theme parks, 34 resort hotels, and several golf courses. You also get to experience Disney's ESPN Sports Complex and Disney Spring for a lifetime shopping and dining experience.
The Hollywood studios provide you to experience the movie world, while the Animal Kingdom lets you view African animals roam freely in a natural habitat. For the tech enthusiast, you can visit the Epcot’s Spaceship Earth geosphere, as the Cinderella fans head to the Magic Kingdom.
Universal Studios is all you need for an exhaustive experience in the movie world. It has a wide range of theme parks combined with a working studio for an exclusive experience of the film making industry. Some of the most popular themed island parks in the location are Toon Lagoon, Skull Island, Jurassic Park, The Lost Continent, Marvel Superhero Island, and Seuss Island. Harry Potter fans cannot miss the new addition of the Wizarding World with the Hogsmeade and the Hogwarts Castle.
Visit the City Walk for the shopping, dining, and other entertainment provision. You can attend regular events and celebrations around Universal Studios, depending on the time of the year.
3. Volcano Bay
If you are a fan of a water theme park, then you can never get enough of the Volcano Bay. With secluded waterfalls, thrilling water slides, and swaying palm trees on the pathways, Volcano Bay is the perfect place to take some needed break.
Enjoy the relaxing sandy beach and large waves at the Waturi Beach. Opt for either lounge chairs, padded lounges, or rent a cabana for the best beach experience. Volcano Bay never runs out of activities; it has thrill rides, waterslides, tubing, and other dedicated areas for children.
By now, you most probably know of Orlando's legendary massive dolphins, whale shows, aquariums, and other rides. Visiting the SeaWorld is your best opportunity to interact with the water animals like never before. Take an up-close tour of the park to interact with the sea lions, whales, dolphins, and sharks. You can also get to view the SeaWorld operations and young dolphins care center.
Other than the sea animals, you can enjoy the thrilling water rides and the roller coasters.
5. Day Trip to Kennedy Space
When visiting Orlando, you have to spare a day to visit the Kennedy Space Center. The visitor’s complex at the center provides you an opportunity to discover some of the best NASA's known operations. Here, you will learn about all the Heroes and Legends of the space program. You will dwell on the lives and careers of all those who have been part of the program. Get to view the U.S Astronaut Hall of Fame. You can also experience shuttle launch, IMAX Theater, and a mock astronaut training.
Top Places to Eat in Orlando
Derived from the legendary New York’s original, the Orlando’s Bull & Bear Steakhouse keeps the reputation of best quality beef brand meat. Whether you are looking for a traditional steakhouse atmosphere or the contemporary touches in service, Bull & Bear steakhouse is your place.
To top off your meals, you get to experience the natural flow of the horizon past the gold courses and signature swimming pool. The bar stocks high-end spirits, top quality cocktails, and exclusive wine for your taste.
Victoria & Albert’s is all about superior fine dining and timeless elegance. The modern American cuisine is predominant in this restaurant creates a contemporary dining experience with top of the range of ingredients from the world over. This restaurant is one of the most prestigious in Orlando and has won several awards and accolades as a testimony to its quality.
Seasons 52 is a stylish and comfortable dining world where you get to enjoy some of the best-grilled meat and wine in Orlando. The menu in Seasons 52 relies on the current seasons. Every menu is fresh, never frozen, and taken from the ingredients at their peak. All the entrees in the restaurant are either oven-roasted or oak-fire grilled for tastier and flavorful meals. Be sure you will find something new every time you visit Seasons 52.
If you are looking for an out-of-town area or going on a road trip, Yellow Dog Eats is the place to have your meals. The charming and rustic set up of this restaurant gives it an ambiance you will fall in love with. It also has some great choice of menu that involves salads, sandwiches, and a wide range of starters. Do not hesitate to try out the signature pulled pork and Rufus to appreciate the place more. If you love your music to match the food, then you can hit the outdoor beer garden.
Located at the Winter Park, 4Rivers is one of the most accessible restaurants in Orlando. To take advantage of the location, the restaurant provides tasty signature ribs, brisket, and smoked turkey like no other place. The menu is big enough to cover different tastes and needs.
Airports and Transportation in Orlando
If you are getting worked upon how you will get to your business destination in Orlando, you don't have to worry anymore. Orlando has an extensive transport system that ensures you arrive at your destination seamlessly.
You can access Orlando through the Orlando Airport that has several operating airlines. You can also fly to the other close airports like Orlando Sanford, Daytona Beach, and Tampa TPA. If you are using private general aviation airports, you can go with the Orlando Executive Airport.
Once you are at the destination airport, you can efficiently complete the rest of the journey through a taxi or vehicle for hire. Public transport through bus from the airport is also easily accessible.
Orlando’s local bus transport system, like Lynx, picks and drops passengers at the airport every 30 minutes. The cost of using the bus is $2. You can consider a day pass of $4.50 or weekly pass of $16 if you intend to use the bus regularly during your stay. The buses are operational every day, with Sunday and holidays inclusive.
Some hotels and attractions like Disney World offers complimentary guest buses. However, you have to make early reservations.
Why Nifty Loves Orlando as a Meetings and Events Destination
Most people think of Orlando in terms of Disneyland only, when there are a lot of other facilities and activities you can use. Whether you are planning a small or huge event, Orlando is the perfect place to head.
Are you struggling to come up with a schedule or plan a perfect business trip to Orlando? Reach out to us to create and execute your tradeshows, events, or conferences in Orlando. Our qualified personnel are skilled in ensuring every detail falls in place.