Orlando is filled with new and exciting attractions, entertainment and dining - with even more to come! So, if you're planning a meeting in Orlando or coming as an attendee, here are a few things you can do in the evening after the meeting ends or if you plan on extending your stay. Many of these attractions offer full buyouts.
In the heart of Orlando's tourism corridor, International Drive will see significant development in 2015 with the addition of several retail, dining, and entertainment venues. I-Drive 360, a new entertainment complex, will open The Orlando Eye, a 400-foot-tall observation wheel providing breathtaking views of Central Florida. Groups of 15 can even take over an entire fully enclosed, air conditioned glass capsule for an intimate cocktail party. SEE ALSO: The Orlando Eye Final Capsule Installation Time Lapse.
Madame Tussauds offers groups the ultimate celebrity experience. Groups (15 or more) will get a special group discount. Come see Taylor Swift and John Travolta and be your own paparazzi.
SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium offers an interactive visit for groups. It's a new wave of underwater adventures with beautiful displays of colorful fish, sharks, sea horses and more.
As far as restaurants at I-Drive 360, the Yardhouse - known for its phenomenal beer selection-and Tin Roof, for fabulous live music, will add to the experience. New shops and entertainment will be announced soon.
Perfect for a group looking for an adrenaline-raising experience, I-Drive NASCAR Indoor Kart Racing offers some memorable fun. Customized packages are available for groups.
Orlando welcomes one of South Beach's hottest dance clubs with the addition of Mangos Tropical Café. With 55,000 square feet of entertainment space, the Orlando location is a massive restaurant and nightlife destination offering high-energy entertainment for a wide variety of tastes. Guests will enjoy Salsa, Bachatta, Reggae and Pop performances with Floriddean cuisine and tropical cocktails.
Groups looking for a fun, teambuilding excursion will want to try Escapology, bringing a new kind of entertainment to Orlando with its first U.S. location. The attraction challenges guests to be their own heroes in a thrilling game of adventure and mystery. Teams of up to six players are locked in a themed room with just 60 minutes to combine clues, solve puzzles and discover the key to escape. Escapology: The Pressure Is on to Solve Orlando's Newest Attraction.
The list of dining and entertainment options unique to Orlando continues to grow with the addition of The Whiskey on Sand Lake Road, welcoming lovers of gourmet burgers, craft cocktails and rock ‘n roll fun. With over 100 brands of whiskey for the thirsty connoisseur, the venue will also host live entertainment, from musical guests to head-to-head "food fights," where local chefs will pit recipe against recipe.
Walt Disney World Resort is transforming Downtown Disney into Disney Springs, doubling the number of shops, restaurants and other venues. The new area will open in phases starting in 2015 and include Morimoto Asia, a one-of-a-kind dining experience created by Chef Masaharu Morimoto of Iron Chef America fame. Morimoto Asia's extraordinary 36-foot tall, two-story layout includes a vast range of areas to explore, including open terraces, a grand hall, private rooms, long bar, cocktail lounge, waterside seating and more. Truly a great venue for meeting groups. SEE ALSO: Downtown Disney will now be Disney Springs.
The BOATHOUSE will be an amazing, upscale, waterfront dining experience, also at Disney Springs that will immerse guests with experiences beyond the cuisine. Guests can listen to live music or take a Captain's guided tour aboard The Venezia, a beautifully crafted 40-foot wooden Italian Water Taxi featuring champagne toasts and chocolate-covered strawberries.
STK Orlando blends two concepts into one - the modern steakhouse and a chic lounge. Unique features include a live DJ, high-energy atmosphere and a sleek environment designed to encourage guests to interact and mingle. STK Orlando boasts the only rooftop dining venue in Disney Springs.
In the new Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, groups can take advantage of delicious Spanish tapas at Capa, with glorious views of the nightly Disney fireworks.
Downtown Orlando now boasts the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, delivering s a stellar lineup of 2015 entertainment for its inaugural season: Broadway productions, big-name musicians and comedians will complement an ongoing Jazz Roots series and Orlando Ballet season. Groups can buy blocks of tickets in the Walt Disney Theater or use sections of the center for indoor or outdoor customized events. SEE ALSO: Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Opens in Orlando
Also downtown, an influx of restaurants will join new downtown Orlando venues in 2015, including: Two Chefs Seafood, featuring comfort food and seafood from former chefs of Emeril's Orlando and The Palm Restaurant; and North Quarter Tavern, a chef-driven neighborhood tavern by the team behind downtown Orlando's power-lunch staple, Citrus Restaurant.
Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort will feature 20 Bungalows on Seven Seas Lagoon and 360 Deluxe Studios. The Bungalows will be the first of this type of accommodation at Disney, sleep up to eight guests, and feature a plunge pool with views of fireworks over Magic Kingdom Park. The first phase is scheduled to open in 2015. The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel is getting a $125 million, multi-phased, multi-story upgrade.
The JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes will welcome new restaurant concept based on the resort's 13,000-square-foot farm. Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen, will serve up farm-fresh food and signature craft beer. Building on a year of epic growth, Universal Orlando Resort will soon embark on the largest meeting space expansion in its history.
Universal Orlando Resort is excited to announce the debut of its newly-renovated guest rooms at Hard Rock Hotel. Inspired by the essence of music, the new look at Universal Orlando's on-site hotel features a mix of retro-inspired shapes, patterns and colors paired with clean and contemporary surfaces, creating a fun and unique experience for guests. The new rooms capture the vibe of rock with distinctive artwork that takes literal components of music, such as drumsticks and speakers, and turns them into multi-colored graphic expressions in the space. The hotel offers 6,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, as well as 140,000 square feet of additional function space at the nearby Hard Rock Café and Hard Rock Live venues at Universal CityWalk. Check out one of the rooms being renovated:
By fall 2015, Loews Royal Pacific Resort - already the largest meeting hotel at Universal Orlando - will greatly expand its meeting and event space from 85,000 square feet to more than 140,000 square feet. Inspired by the beauty of the South Pacific, the expanded areas will seamlessly connect to the existing meeting space. Planners will benefit from flawless execution with a local flavor that is the calling card of all meetings at Loews Hotels. The new space will feature a nearly 36,000-square-foot ballroom, divisible by 12, along with four additional breakout rooms and pre-function space. Once completed, the expansion will offer meeting planners a total of 141,330 square feet of meeting space on one level. Group reservations are currently being accepted.
Orlando is a destination filled with great things to do. Follow us on Twitter @orlandomeeting