Orlando

Learn why you should host your next meeting, conference or convention in Orlando.

Why Orlando for Your Next Meeting or Event?

Orlando's legendary appeal to meetings and incentive groups of all ages is due to its magical blend of resorts, venues, dining, air accessibility, activities and — naturally — its theme parks and attractions.

As the no. 1 meetings destination in the United States, Orlando is adding even more resources for meeting attendees, improvements at the conventions center, as well as new convention hotels, venues, and attractions and dining options.

"Orlando is home to some of the most respected tourism brands in the world, and planners know and trust that we are a destination that marries strong safety measures with memorable experiences," says Mike Waterman, chief sales officer for Visit Orlando.

 

    What's New?

    Steinmetz Hall

    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.  

     

    Orlando Travel Essentials

    Intermodal Transit Facility

    Orlando International Airport, about 13 miles southeast of downtown Orlando and 14 miles east of the Orange County Convention Center/International Drive. Transfer:  

    Cost by taxi 

    • $38-$45 to downtown
    • $38-$45 to the convention center/ International Drive
    • $52-$68 to the Disney Resorts area

    Cost by shuttle

    • $20-$32 to downtown
    • $21-$33 to the convention center/International Drive
    • $23-37 to the Disney Resorts area 

     Convention Center: Orange County Convention Center; exhibit space, 2.1 million square feet; number of meeting rooms, 74; (407) 685-9800 or (800) 345-984

    Taxes: Orlando/Orange County: room tax, 6%; sales tax, 6.50%; total taxes on hotel rooms, 12.5%

    Walt Disney World Resort hotels in Orange County: room tax, 6%; sales tax, 6.5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 12.5%

    Disney properties in Osceola County: room tax, 6%; sales tax, 7%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13

    Contact: Visit Orlando, (800) 643-0482

    Universal Happenings

    Rides, new hotels and more are on tap at the resort.

    The ever-expanding Universal Orlando Resort has new accommodations and exciting theme-park attractions set to open in the coming months. Among them are the following:

    • The new Jurassic World VelociCoaster in Universal’s Islands of Adventure will make its debut in summer 2021. Details are still being kept tightly under wraps, but the conveyance promises to take intrepid adventurers through a primitive ecosystem featuring all manner of dinosaurs.

    • The Bourne Stuntacular, a cutting-edge live-action stunt show based on Universal Pictures’ blockbuster Bourne films, is now open at Universal Studios Florida.

    • Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is an epic new addition to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. Guests fly deep into the wilds of the Forbidden Forest, beyond the grounds of Hogwarts™ castle. Anything can happen here. 

    • The sleek Universal's Aventura Hotel debuted in August 2019 with 600 guest rooms and a rooftop pool.  Also on-site are a lobby bar, the rooftop Bar 17 Bistro, a game room and a "food hall" with other dining options.
     
    • Among the recent roll-outs in Universal are the 2,025-room Endless Summer Resort, comprising two properties: the Surfside Inn and Suites, which debuted in summer 2019, and the Dockside Inn and Suites, which opened in early 2020.
     
    • An outpost of hip Voodoo Doughnuts has opened at Universal CityWalk. Among the delightfully weird and delectable offerings is the iconic Voodoo Doll doughnut, which comes with its own pretzel stake.

    Disney's Whole New Worlds

    Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary celebration brings new experiences to all four theme parks and beyond. Some of the most anticipated experiences for 2022 include:

       o Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, EPCOT’s first “other-world” showcase pavilion opening in the summer, features a new storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster.

       o Disney’s Animal Kingdom will open a new show, “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue... and Beyond,” reimagined to be set in the timeline of the Finding Dory film.

      Legoland

      • The world’s first Peppa Pig Theme Park opened in February at LEGOLAND Florida Resort. The standalone theme park will feature multiple rides, interactive attractions, fun live shows, themed playscapes and water play areas.

      • Pirate River Quest, a family friendly treasure hunt adventure, allows guests to journey through the uncharted waters of the legendary Cypress Gardens and discover the secrets protecting its canals, as this all-new story unfolds brick by brick.

      Culinary Highlights 

      In 2022, Michelin will release a guide to Florida, highlighting some of Orlando's best restaurants. Named a top food city in the United States by WalletHub, Orlando’s breadth and quality of dining options continue to attract celebrity chefs and independent restaurateurs. 

      • Immersion at London House by Chef Rikku Ó'Donnchü, a new boutique restaurant, features a tasting menu-only concept with a sensorial dining experience focused on science, climate change, sustainable farming and zero waste, where texture, scents and sounds are as important as taste. 

      • Four Flamingos: A Richard Blais Florida Kitchen opened December 2021 at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. The restaurant, from the Top Chef All-Stars winner, features cuisine inspired by tropical flavors and ingredients from Florida, including native fruits, vegetables, seafood and more.

      • Pointe Orlando will open two new restaurants including Kavas Tacos & Tequila in spring/summer 2022 and JoJo’s Shake Bar in fall/winter 2022. Kavas features a menu paying tribute to Mexico’s rich culinary history, featuring savory comfort food, fresh tableside experiences, and recipes hand-crafted from the freshest ingredients.

       • Sloppy Joe’s, the legendary Key West saloon, opened at ICON Park in December 2021, offering live music and island-inspired food and libations.

      Partners' Properties and Venues

       

      2021 Stella Award Winners

      2020 Stella Award Winners