Sun Central

Orlando and Kissimmee shine on for meeting planners

By Gretchen Kelly

As Bali is called “the naval of the world,” Orlando and Kissimmee, smack in the center of Florida, could be called “the navel orange of the world”: the focal point of all things Disney, meetings in the sun and the relaxed, casual luxury to be found in her hotels and resorts. And while you are in central Florida, if the hankering gets to you to see the beach, it’s never a far drive away and now—a short Brightline rail trip from the newly opened Orlando station to Miami.

Insider Intel

“In Orlando planners will discover a state-of-the-art convention center, an abundance of hotel rooms, ease of accessibility in, out and around the destination, Michelin-recognized dining and world-class entertainment. Planners will also discover that partnering with Visit Orlando provides them with a set of “boots on the ground’ to help craft unforgettable events for their attendees.

“Our Destination Experience team, most of whom are Certified Meeting Professionals (CMP), is well-versed in the complexities of planning events of all sizes. From providing hands-on assistance with coordinating venues to offering deep expertise on the destination, they are at your service.”

– Casandra Matej, president and CEO, Visit Orlando

5 Great Places to Meet in Central Florida

5 Reasons to Choose Central Florida for Your Meeting:

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  • New additions to the theme parks: Pipeline: The Surf Coaster is SeaWorld Orlando’s 7th roller coaster, launched May 27, the world’s first “surf coaster,” with a dynamic surfing launch and “wave jumping” motions reaching speeds of 60mph. Universal Orlando Resort’s, Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast, opens within a new Minion Land on Illumination Avenue. And at Walt Disney World, the TRON Lightcycle / Run at Magic Kingdom Park is one of the fastest coasters at any Disney theme park in the world, based on the Disney sci-fi film “TRON: Legacy.”
  • It’s now even easier to travel to and from Orlando with the recent opening of Orlando International Airport’s South Terminal Complex. The new facility adds 15 gates and includes a seamless, low-touch environment with a state-of-the-art radio frequency baggage system, numerous shops, restaurants and lounge facilities.

Read MoreOrlando, Florida: Mouse-Optional Meetings

  • The new Orlando Health Virtual Care Center, now open at the Orange County Convention Center is located in the west concourse on the first floor near the Visit Orlando Welcome Center. Medical providers will be able to evaluate medical conditions for attendees during large conventions.
  • Kissimmee is very close to Disneyworld and makes it “easy to pair work with leisure goals,” says Michelle Moore senior director of meeting sales and services for Experience Kissimmee Communications. Moore says meeting organizations can save money when meeting in Kissimmee through the “It Pays to Meet in Kissimmee” meeting incentive offering up to $10,000 cashback per meeting. “And, when qualified for our meeting incentive, groups will receive help compensating for a portion of their carbon emissions through our Trees4Travel sustainability initiative. Trees are planted based on total actualized paid room nights.”  Example: 1,500 total paid room nights = 1,500 trees planted,” she says.
  • Brightline Orlando Station, now open and located at Orlando International Airport’s (MCO’s) new Terminal C, connects domestic and international visitors traveling between Orlando and Miami with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. There’s ouchless ticketing, premium in-station lounges, complimentary Wi-Fi, and topnotch bars and restaurants at every Brightline station

This article appears in the digital-only July and July/August 2023 issue. You can subscribe to the magazine here.