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.

    • As of April 2023, Disney World parkgoers can ride the new Tron Lightcycle Run in Magic Kingdom. Based on the science fiction film "Tron: Legacy," it's one of the fastest rollercoasters at any Disney theme park in the world.

    • Two new attractions are debuting at Universal Orlando Resort. Universal's Great Movie Escape, opened at the end of 2022, is an escape-room experience inspired by "Jurassic World" and "Back to the Future." Illumination's Villian-Con Minion Blast, a game-based attraction with characters from "Despicable Me," will debut this summer as part of the new Minion Land.

    • A performing arts venue opened in downtown Orlando at the beginning of the year. Fringe ArtSpace has two theaters: a 166-seat main stage and a black-box theater that can hold 40 to 60 audience members. The programming is a mix of traditional shows and concerts, as well as a studio series with weekly, monthly and pop-up events.

    • The newest restaurant in the Pointe Orlando outdoor shopping center is Kavas Tacos + Tequila. Paying tribute to Mexico's rich culinary history, the eatery features tableside experiences and hand-crafted recipes. The 7,000-square-foot venue can host groups as large as 500 people.

    Luminary Green Park is a new gathering space in the Creative Village district. The 2.3-acre park has a lawn for recreation where events are hosted.

    • The Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster launched at Walt Disney World on May 27, 2022. The indoor ride is the latest to debut as part of Epcot's multiyear renovation project, and is one of the longest fully enclosed coasters in the world.

    • Orlando's Island H2O Water Park now welcomes groups. Special group pricing was launched in March 2022, so planners can reserve cabanas, have the park opened early for their group or request a full buyout. Gatherings of 15 or more save 50 percent on admissions, and meals can be held in the venue's private spaces.

    • Though Orange County offers many championship courses, it also features a great minigolf scene. Created with Tiger Woods and opened in June 2022, PopStroke offers two 18-hole putting courses, and lots of friendly competition. Event packages require a minimum of 15 guests.

    • New to the Orlando food scene is Immersion at London House. A new boutique restaurant by Chef Rikku O'Donnchu, it features a three-hour, 15-course tasting menu. The concept's ingredients focus on zero waste, science, climate change and sustainable farming.

    • Opened in June 2022 is the Bandbox, a speakeasy-style, alcohol-free tasting lounge and vintage shop. Aside from the menu of mocktails, the bar will serve nonalcoholic beer and wine.

    New York Beer Project opened a tasting room in Winter Garden in summer 2022, the company's first Florida location. Guests can sample up to 20 craft brews on tap, and grab a bite to eat at the gastropub or sidewalk bistro.

    • Art² ("art squared"), an urban park featuring a two-story shipping container structure, made its debut in downtown Orlando in spring 2022. The park incorporates 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

    • In May, SeaWorld® Orlando launched its seventh rollercoaster, Pipeline: The Surf Coaster. The attraction is the first of its kind, using immersive design elements such as a surfing drop-in and wave-jumping motions, for a unique ocean adventure.

    • Ice Breaker, SeaWorld Orlando’s first launch coaster, opened in February 2022. 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.

    • Riders on Reef Plunge, Aquatica Orlando's new water slide, twist and turn through 330 feet of fiberglass, and travel underwater to view dolphins, leopard sharks and other marine life.

    Orlando International Airport

    Flights began taking off from Orlando International Airport's $2.8 billion Terminal C in September. The airport's largest expansion ever added 15 gates, accommodating up to 20 aircraft, and increasing capacity by about 2 million passengers. In March, a $69 million federal grant was announced to build up to eight more gates and a pedestrian walkway from the new terminal to terminals A and B. Completion is expected within 15 to 18 months.

    Brightline has unveiled its new rail station at Orlando International Airport. The expansion connects Central Florida to existing stations in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Ticket sales launched in May 2023, with one-way fares starting at $79; and service will begin summer 2023.

    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.

    • The Conrad Orlando is scheduled to open in fall 2023 next to Walt Disney World. The 433-room hotel will have a spa, a signature rooftop restaurant, a 20-acre tropical-beach complex and two 18-hole golf courses. The property will offer 40,000 square feet of event space.

    • The 502-room Waldorf Astoria Orlando is undergoing a multiphase renovation to its guest rooms, lobby, restaurants, spa and golf course. The project is expected to wrap in December 2023. After adding the Central Park Ballroom in 2022, the property now has nearly 60,000 square feet of meeting space.

    • The Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando — Disney Springs Area began welcoming guests in December 2022. The newest Walt Disney partner hotel has 604 rooms, more than 17,000 square feet of meeting space and shuttle service to all four theme parks.

    • In January 2023, the Orlando World Center Marriott unveiled the North Tower's refreshed meeting space. The 14,000-square-foot area received new décor, flooring and more. In 2022, the 2,010-room resort, which is the largest Marriott in the world, opened the 36,000-square-foot Magnolia room, bringing the property's total event space to more than 500,000 square feet.

    • Comprised of the 582-room Ritz-Carlton and the 1,010-room JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes Orlando unveiled its expanded waterpark attraction in January. The Grande Lakes Waterpark now features a lazy river, waterslides, an aquatic obstacle course, a restaurant and VIP fire pit lounge. The 500-acre resort also recently completed a multimillion-dollar, propertywide renovation that encompassed both hotels. The Ritz-Carlton offers more than 147,000 square feet of meeting space; the JW Marriott has more than 152,000.

    • The fine-dining restaurant Rosa Mexicano has opened its first Florida locale at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. The menu offers classic Mexican cuisine alongside more innovative dishes, and the bar features more than 100 varieties of tequila and a menu of agave-based cocktails. Maximum capacity s 300 guests and a private dining room can seat up to 50 people for smaller gatherings.

    • A boutique hotel in Winter Park, the Alfond Inn at Rollins is renovating its 112 guest rooms and adding 71 more. The expansion, set to be completed summer 2023, will include a lobby cafe, new meeting spaces and a spa with seven treatment rooms.

    • The Aloft Lake Nona is scheduled to open in fall 2023. The music-themed hotel will feature 205 rooms and 10,000 square feet of event space, including a 6,000-square-foot ballroom and four meeting rooms.

    • The 1,009-room Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek's Waterside expansion is adding more than 90,000 square feet of event space to the property. Set for completion in late 2023, the new area includes a ballroom, seven breakout rooms, an outdoor patio, an event lawn and a screened-in terrace with views of the Walt Disney World fireworks.

    • Brand new on the hotel scene is the Cambria Hotel Orlando Universal Boulevard, which debuted in May 2023. The property, which has 118 rooms and a rooftop pool and lounge, is three miles from the Orange County Convention Center.

    • The Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando will finish up renovations in 2023. The project is refreshing the 247 guest rooms and the restaurants, and is adding a rooftop pool lounge.

    • The 1,335-room Caribe Royale Orlando's $127 million transformation was completed in March 2023. New suites and villas were built, and the restaurants and lobby were revamped. Still to be completed this year are the Grove event lawn and the Stadium Club, a high-tech sports bar and entertainment venue.

    • Orlando has been chosen to be home to the second Sports Illustrated Resort. A lifestyle concept from the magazine brand, the first hotel debuted in the Dominican Republic in early 2023. Plans for the Florida location, expected to open in 2024, include ziplining, rock-climbing and go-karting facilities, and a pool with a lazy river and waterslides.

    • The 550-room Fairmont Orlando is scheduled to open in Orlando's entertainment district in early 2025. The hotel will feature a spa and wellness center, three pools, more than 44,000 square feet of event space, and seven dining options, including a Mediterranean restaurant and an upscale steakhouse.

    • The 1,641-room Hyatt Regency Orlando introduced a new food-and-beverage concept in April. Descend 21 is a lounge and entertainment venue with indoor and outdoor seating, billiards, virtual golf, and a terrace with firepits.

    • The 234-room Lake Nona Wave Hotel opened in December 2021. Dubbed a "hotel of the future," the property features self-driving shuttles, voice automated in-room controls, and View Glass smart windows that tint in response to the sun and other outdoor conditions. Groups can incorporate wellness into their events with the Lake Nona Performance Club, home to Deepak Chopra's Mind-Body Zone and Spa, which offers yoga and meditation classes. The new hotel has 17,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.

    • After Disney's 50th anniversary celebration kicked off in October 2021, the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve opened in November. The 14-story, 349-room hotel has a Mediterranean restaurant, a pool area with a fire pit, and more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space, including the Vue, a rooftop venue that looks out over the surrounding area. Guests of the Swan Reserve have access to all of the amenities at the Swan and Dolphin, including the six pools, 22 restaurants and lounges, and the Mandara spa. 

    • Also new to Walt Disney World Resorts is a Star Wars-themed hotel. Opened in March, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser features a two-night immersive experience complete with launch pods, lightsabers and more.

    Disney's Contemporary Resort renovated all 655 guest rooms in fall 2021. The rooms and hallways received a new look inspired by the Disney-Pixar film The Incredibles, featuring futuristic custom artwork and décor elements from the movie.

    • After two years of construction, the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center revealed a $158 million expansion in July 2021. The project added 306 guest rooms and more than 100,000 square feet of meeting space, bringing the property's totals to 1,718 rooms and more than 500,000 square feet of event space.

    • In July 2021, the 1,334-room Rosen Centre Hotel welcomed Michael McMullen as its new executive chef. He has been with Rosen Hotels & Resorts for 15 years, and was previously executive chef at sister property Rosen Plaza. Dining outlets at the hotel include Caribbean cuisine at Harry's Poolside Bar & Grill and fresh Mexican fare at 98 Forty Tapas & Tequila.

    • Three-time James Beard Award semifinalist and Top Chef contestant John Tesar has brought Knife Burger to the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes. Featuring a more expanded menu than the original in Texas, the poolside restaurant offers burgers, seafood burgers and salads.

    AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando Lake Buena Vista offers a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness facility, inventive chef-tailored dining and signature cocktail service. The property opened June 2022. 

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • The Tuscan-inspired, 126-room ette Hotel Orlando opened 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:

    • 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.

    • 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.


      • 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

      2022 Stella Award Winners

      2021 Stella Award Winners

      2020 Stella Award Winners