From theme park thrills to indoor entertainment, there are plenty of fun, new options for groups to enjoy after business hours that are a short walk (or drive) from the Convention District.
• PopStroke, a golf entertainment venue created in partnership with Tiger Woods, will offer a menu of handhelds and pizzas to enjoy from the indoor-outdoor dining room overlooking two 18-hole miniature golf courses. PopStroke even has an app to automatically keep track of scores on the course and is set to open in May at Waterford Lakes Town Center.
• Take a short drive to explore Orlando’s local neighborhoods and experience The BANDBOX – Orlando, Central Florida’s first alcohol-free speakeasy cocktail tasting lounge and vintage shop, will open this summer at Ivanhoe Village in Downtown Orlando.
• The New York Beer Project, set to open this summer in Winter Garden, will resemble an indoor beer garden complete with a gastropub, sidewalk bistro and up to 20 craft beers on tap.
• Art² (“art squared”), an urban park featuring a two-story shipping container structure, is coming to downtown Orlando in spring 2022. The park will incorporate a café, art gallery, stage, seating, digital video walls and a gift shop, as well as an artificial turf courtyard, a concrete patio, picnic tables and hammocks and two food truck spaces.
• Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex opened at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The 50,000-square-foot, multi-level attraction features a showcase of NASA and commercial spacecraft hardware with immersive displays, as well as a “journey” through space, unique launch viewing opportunities and more.
• Visit Orlando’s site, OrlandoMeeting.com, has many resources to offer planners, including the 360-degree Orlando Virtual Tour, information on our newest venues, planner testimonials and access to our Healthy Traveler page.
• Steinmetz Hall at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts opened in January 2022 in the heart of downtown Orlando. The facility achieves an N1 sound rating — the lowest level at which humans can detect sound. The facility stages a range of performances by local, national and international artists. The new hall is available for groups and can accommodate 850 for a reception, 600 banquet and 1,700 theater style.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
• Ice Breaker, SeaWorld Orlando’s first launch coaster, opened in February. The ride features four launches, both backwards and forwards, culminating in a reverse launch with a 93-foot-tall spike with 100-degree angle, the steepest vertical drop in Florida.
• Aquatica Orlando’s newest water slide, Reef Plunge, offers eye-catching translucent cutouts and rings with twists and turn though 330 feet of fiberglass. A vibrant array of marine life, Commerson’s dolphins, leopard sharks and a variety of other cold-water fish are also part of the new dynamic habitat.
Orlando International Airport
The largest construction project in airport history is underway at Orlando International Airport, The South Terminal Complex. Phase one of the $3.82 billion, multi-year project is expected to be substantially completed in 2022.The project will add 15 gates and includes features such as interactive digital media, a state-of-the-art radio frequency baggage system, numerous shops, restaurants, lounge facilities and the Intermodal Terminal Facility (ITF), which is designed to accommodate up to three train systems including the Brightline train with service to Miami.
Orange County Convention Center
The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), the award-winning convention center, welcomes more than 200 conventions and events each year and 1.4 million attendees. In the past five years, walkability and connectivity have been enhanced throughout the facility and its surrounding district. Four pedestrian skybridges now connect more than 5,200 guest rooms to the convention center.
Hotel Additions & Renovations
Home to more than 480 hotels and resorts, including 150+ meeting hotels, Orlando has 5.8 million square feet of total meeting space beyond what is offered at the Orange County Convention Center.
• Three-time James Beard Award semifinalist and “Top Chef” contestant Chef John Tesar has brought his concept Knife Burger to the JW Marriott Orlando. Featuring a slightly more expanded menu than the original Texas location, the poolside restaurant offers classic, high-quality burgers as well as seafood burgers and salads, all made with the finest ingredients.
• AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando Lake Buena Vista will offer a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness facility, inventive chef-tailored dining and signature cocktail service. The property is set to open June 2022.
• Walt Disney World‘s immersive Star Wars-themed hotel, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, opened March 1, 2022. Guests will "board" the starship Halcyon for an all-inclusive experience that puts them into the immersive world of Star Wars.
• JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek is one of the newest hotel properties to open at Walt Disney World Resort, the hotel offers 50,000 square feet of space (including a 22,000-sq-ft ballroom) and other rooms for groups that range from large to mid-sized gatherings.
• The Walt Disney World Swan Reserve is a new tower expansion at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort complex adding 15,853 sq. ft. of meeting space and an elevated pool deck with 13,835 sq. ft. of outdoor event space and two new ballrooms, 12 meeting and breakaway rooms, and a unique rooftop space. Overall brings complex to over 2,600 rooms and 350,000 sq. ft of meeting space, making the three-tower property the third largest hotel in the Disney area.
• Caribe Royale Orlando has completed a $127 million renovation, including a new grand ballroom with 50,000 sq. ft. The property now has 220,000 sq. ft. of total meeting space.
• As part of an ongoing renovation to be completed in 2022, Orlando World Center Marriott will fully renovate its 2,010 guestrooms and suites, add 24 additional breakout rooms giving a total of 450,000 sq. ft. of flexible event space, including indoor and outdoor options. They also added a nightly poolside Laser Light Show that can be customized for group events.
• AC Hotels Orlando Downtown is a recent addition to downtown Orlando, the 180-room features modern guest rooms with a sleek European-inspired design, three meeting spaces, a ﬁtness center, and SkyBar Rooftop Terrace where 360° city views.
• Tru by Hilton Orlando Convention Center Area is a new addition to the convention district, located near the West Concourse of the OCCC. This hotel features 259 guest rooms and 2,200 sq ft of meeting space. Complimentary breakfast, parking and wi-fi are included for all guests.
• Hyatt Regency Orlando has completed a $20 million renovation of the property’s indoor meeting space, including all five ballrooms and 100+ breakout rooms with a new contemporary design highlighting the Florida landscape. The hotel has also added a new Regency Lounge with an outdoor patio.
• Lake Nona Wave Hotel is located within minutes of Orlando International Airport, this new property is ideal for small to medium sized groups. This wellness and technology focused property has 234 guest rooms and more than 12,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.
• The Tuscan-inspired, 126-room ette Hotel Orlando opens spring 2022 near Disney World. Focusing on wellness as an alcohol-free property, the hotel offers culinary experiences in partnership with Michelin Star Chef Akira Back, along with The Spa at ette, with services for everyone from the modern minimalist to the unruly naturalist.