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What's New & Next in Orlando

The #1 Meetings Destination in the U.S.


While some top meetings destinations may rest on their laurels, Orlando-which once again has been ranked by Cvent as the #1 meeting destination in the United States, continues to raise the bar with new resources for meeting attendees, improvements at the conventions center, new venues and a variety of new dining and attractions options.

Hotels and Venues

Orlando boasts more than 119,000 rooms at a wide array of price points and 150 meeting hotels offering a combined 4.5 million square feet of meeting space. New hotels, renovations and venues that recently opened or are opening in 2017 include:


  • Universal Orlando Resortopened the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort featuring 1,000 rooms and suites with a casual Caribbean theme, built around a lagoon and towering waterfall. The new Loews Meetings Complex consists of 247,000 square feet of contiguous meeting space between Loews Royal Pacific Resort and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.

  • On October 1, 2016, the Buena Vista Palace Resort and Spa became the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, located in the Disney SpringsTM area marking the unveiling of a large-scale renovation project including 92,000 square feet of renovated meeting spaces.

  • Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek unveiled the completion of its five-million dollar renovation including a new 3,500-square-foot Bonnet Creek Ballroom accommodating up to 360 people and a 2,155-square-foot Expedition meeting room.

  • The Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, is in the midst of a $140millionmulti-year redesign project to transform all 2,267 guest rooms.

  • A 25,500 seat multipurpose Soccer Stadium began construction in fall 2014 and is scheduled to open prior to the 2017 Major League Soccer season. The stadium will be located in downtown Orlando in a developing entertainment center a block away from the Amway Center.

  • Orlando will also soon become the "home of American tennis" when the United States Tennis Association (USTA) new campus moves to the Lake Nona area. The complex, slated to open early 2017, will encompass more than 100 tennis courts.

    New at the Orange County Convention Center

    The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) is known for its extraordinary size, with 2.1 million square feet of exhibition space and 480,000 sq ft of flexible meeting space. Improvements made or coming soon includes:


  • Aeroponic Garden - The center recently debuted the OCCC Vision Gardens, which currently is the largest aeroponic garden in a public venue in the country. It's currently producing 780 plants a week (40,000 per year), providing greens, chards, bok choi, celery, herbs and micro-greens that are included in the center's catering offerings.

  • Pedestrian Bridge - A new pedestrian bridge will connect the West Building of the Orange County Convention Center to the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The bridge opens May 2017 and will be the fifth bridge connecting nearby hotels to the convention center.

  • Destination Lounge - The center is creating a new destination lounge -- a gathering area with video wall, LED systems and lighting to support corporate branding and displays. The 7,000-square-foot area can host meetings, corporate functions and presentations.

  • New Ballrooms - The all-new designed 62,182-square-foot Valencia Ballroom was recently unveiled as well as the OCCC revealed the beautiful new 48,961-square foot Tangerine Ballroom and Sunburst Room with attached outdoor Sunburst Hospitality Terrace for attendees to soak up the sunshine.
  • New Attractions
  • In 2017 Universal Orlando Resort will open Volcano Bay. The water park will offer innovative, thrilling attractions, peaceful moments and an entirely new guest experience. A highly themed, immersive environment is inspired by postcard-perfect tropical islands.

  • Also in 2017, Universal Orlando Resort opens a new ride: "Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon". The ride will invite guests to join the Tonight Show's studio audience on the ultimate race through the streets-and skies-of New York City.

  • Walt Disney World Resort's Pandora - The World of AVATAR, set to open in 2017, will be the largest expansion in Animal Kingdom's history and will feature floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests a Banshee flying attraction, and new after-dark entertainment.

  • Disney's Hollywood Studios plans two historic themed land expansions, bringing the far, far away galaxy of Star Wars and the colorful world of Toy Story closer to guests.

  • SeaWorld Orlando will debut its first digitally-enhanced ride experience this summer as the legendary Kraken roller coaster is transformed into a virtual reality (VR) roller coaster experience. This thrill ride will be the only VR coaster experience in Florida, taking guests on a deep sea mission alongside sea creatures inspired by extinct and legendary animals.

  • Top Golf Orlando, opening fall 2017, the 65,000-square-foot venue will offer more than 100 climate-controlled hitting bays with advanced technology to track accuracy and distance of players' shots.

  • Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, opening spring 2017, features high-speed electric super karts on a two-level track, over 120 arcade games, a rock wall, zip line and more.

  • Dining & Entertainment

    Named 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.


  • Disney Springs - this favorite hotspot has transformed into a dining and entertainment district with five restaurants helmed by James Beard Award winning chefs. New dining experiences including: The Edison, themed around a 1920s-era electric company with live entertainment, classic American food and craft cocktails; The Polite Pig, sister restaurant of The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park, led by local celebrity chefs James and Julie Petrakis; Planet Hollywood Observatory featuring a Guy Fieri sandwich menu; and Wine Bar George, the only Master Sommelier-led wine bar in Florida.
  • International Drive - As part of $1 billion multi-year investments for developments along International Drive, Orlando will welcome a new dining restaurant:  
  • Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican will join the dining offerings at I-Drive 360 in summer 2017. The Texas-based restaurant chain sits near the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, with a patio around the building for a view of the wheel. The Tex-Mex menu items include a range of options, like honey chipotle salmon and cowboy queso .