Did you know that most reservations about meeting in Orlando stem from myths? See how easily they’re busted in this special report.
Orlando’s world-class attractions, dining experiences, meeting venues and hotels make the destination the perfect location for meetings and conventions. It’s why CVENT continues to rank Orlando as the No. 1 meeting destination in the United States.
Learn more: New Reasons to Meet in Orlando
However, despite everything Orlando has to offer convention groups and corporations, some meeting planners remain reluctant to bring their event to The City Beautiful. Why? It turns out there are a few Orlando myths that could make planners turn to another location. So, let’s dispel these myths ahead of your organization’s next meeting, convention or event.
MYTH: High Costs
While planners always need to be mindful of spending, they can find ample transportation and hotel options in Orlando to fit their budget. Orlando International Airport (MCO) reports that as of Q4 2021, MCO had the third-lowest one-way airfares among the top Origin and Destination (O&D) airports in the country with average one-way fares a bargain at $135.
With nearly 130,000 rooms, Orlando also offers an abundance of lodging options. From budget stays to 5-star resorts, meeting planners have a plethora of choices to meet their group’s expectations and budgets. According to STR, Orlando’s average daily hotel room rate is lower than the average daily rate of the Top 25 U.S. markets.
When it comes to organizing activities, planners may anticipate a commensurate price tag for attraction and entertainment options. However, they’ll find they can easily manage their costs, as the theme parks and most area attractions will work with them to tailor their group’s experience to meet their expectations and fit their budget. Additionally, there are several locations that attendees can explore for minimal or no costs including:
- Disney Springs®, which features 120 acres of lush outdoor space alongside high-end boutiques and award-winning restaurants at Walt Disney World® Resort. There’s also a vast selection of live music, shows and other entertainment that hits all the beats.
- Universal CityWalk, also known as the Epicenter of Awesome, features a dazzling array of nightclubs and themed restaurants. Free water taxi service every 15 minutes, 365 days a year (weather permitting), enables guests to cruise the canals and pop into other attractions as they drift through Universal Orlando Resort.
- Pointe Orlando presents exclusive attractions and a diverse selection of restaurants including The Hampton Social, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, Taverna Opa, and The Oceanaire Seafood Room, among others to tempt your attendees’ palates just a short walk from the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC).
- ICON Park® is renowned for its 400-foot observation wheel, appropriately called The Wheel, that showcases a breathtaking vista and a montage of restaurants, bars and attractions to suit every taste and budget. Spots that sizzle include Blake Shelton’s Ole Red for hot barbecue, and the legendary Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips, to name a few.
- Orlando’s Restaurant Row, only minutes away from the convention district by car, serves up tasty grub at a variety of price points, from The Whiskey, known for its signature burgers and extensive whiskey selection, to Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar for unforgettable Mexican fare.
- Downtown Orlando and its adjacent neighborhoods dish up a global smorgasbord, seasoned with zesty regional flavors and moderate pricing. About 20 minutes from the convention district, these neighborhoods also have uplifting arts and culture, sensational shopping, historic architecture, and many other reasons to visit.
- Winter Park offers a medley of menus offering every type of food visitors might fancy or beat any budget, including burgers, steaks, Indian, Thai and Italian. It’s just north of our downtown neighborhoods and approximately 30 minutes from our convention district.
MYTH: Orlando Is Spread Out and Lacks Walkability
One of Orlando’s best kept secrets is its walkability. For groups meeting at the Orange County Convention Center and staying in one of the four hotels connected to the center (with 5,202 rooms), it’s a quick walk to and from the meetings. Even better, the OCCC is in the heart of Orlando’s dynamic convention and tourism district with more than 45 hotels, 75-plus world-class restaurants, and more than 100 unique entertainment experiences, all within a 2-mile radius.
For convention delegates who might have been standing all day, the area does have a myriad of transportation options if they prefer a ride over walking – from ride sharing services, pedicabs and the International Drive’s I-Ride Trolley service, where the transportation can be as entertaining as the intended destination.
MYTH: Difficulty Getting In and Out of Orlando
Orlando International Airport provides accessibility and abundant international and domestic flights in and out of Orlando, with nonstop service from approximately 150 global destinations. Additionally, MCO has earned the distinction of being one of J.D. Powers & Associate’s top mega airports for customer satisfaction.
The accessibility factor will be enhanced when phase one of the $3.82 billion, multi-tier Terminal C project opens Sept. 10, 2022, adding 15 gates and 100% automated lanes in the TSA checkpoint. The terminal’s Train Station is designed to offer seamless integration of air, ground and rail transportation. The Train Station will accommodate the South Airport Automated People Mover (APM) Station and up to three train systems, including the Brightline train with service to Miami to and from MCO expected at the end of 2022.
MYTH: A Chance at Inclement Weather
Florida is called the Sunshine State for a reason, and the year-round sunny weather makes Orlando a viable meeting option any time of the year. And while the summer months do bring hot temperatures and brief daily rain showers, event coordinators are more than prepared to keep their meeting groups comfortable and dry.
Event tents and air conditioning are de rigueur during the summer months, but don’t be surprised if you just need a sweater in the winter, because that’s about as cold as it gets.
Myth: Orlando is Not a Good Pre- and Post-Event Locale
Not only is Orlando a great pre- and post-event locale, but there are so many things to do that attendees may find it difficult to choose what to do before or after their event.
Theme parks, high-end shopping and exceptional dining experiences — including 46 MICHELIN Guide restaurants — can easily turn a meeting event into a vacation experience for attendees and their families, friends or whomever they may bring. And for conference goers, hotels generally extend room block prices a few days before and/or a few days after your meeting, so there’s an added incentive to stay.
Learn more: Bleisure Travel in Orlando
It’s all the major attractions, dining and entertainment areas, and top-notch restaurants and more that make Orlando that quintessentially perfect “bleisure” destination!
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