Luxury properties, entertainment venues, diverse dining and thrilling attractions set to open
ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2024) – Orlando, both the No. 1 meetings (source: Cvent) and travel destination in the U.S., continues to embrace new and returning meeting, convention and incentive groups in 2024 with new or expanded accommodations, venues and experiences. The destination is brimming with new possibilities for dream meetings and events, from a luxury beach-like resort with an 8-acre crystal lagoon to a cabaret-style music venue tucked inside a stunning performing arts center.
With new concepts from Michelin-recognized and Food Network and Top Chef celebrity chefs, alongside champagne bars, sober speakeasies, omakases and arcade bars, Orlando’s culinary and nightlife scene continues to grow to reflect the diversity of the destination with distinct new offerings.
“Year after year, Orlando sets itself apart as a meetings destination with new luxury accommodations, and unforgettable venues and attractions to help inspire ingenuity,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. “Whether planners are seeking new venues, immersive entertainment or fine dining options to fill out their agendas, a whole new Orlando is ready to welcome groups in 2024 and beyond.”
- Evermore Orlando Resort opened Jan. 1 and is Orlando’s first beach-like property and features a 20-acre sandy beach centered around the 8-acre crystalline Evermore Bay designed by Crystal Lagoons®. The property includes a range of 2- to 11-bedroom vacation homes and offers an array of meeting and event options including The Boathouse, a 2,500 square foot venue offering floor to ceiling views of Evermore Bay.
- Conrad Orlando, the destination’s first Hilton luxury brand, opens on Jan. 9 with 433 rooms, a spa, numerous dining options – including its signature rooftop experience – and 65,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor-outdoor meeting space. Located at Evermore Orlando Resort, the property overlooks a golf course and the Evermore Bay and its sandy beaches.
- Aloft Orlando Lake Nona, the closest hotel to the world-class USTA (United States Tennis Association) National Campus and footsteps away from the Drive Shack golf range, opens this month with 205 loft-style guestrooms, 15 suites, wellness facilities, a sports-themed restaurant, and a 10,000 sq. ft. event center. The vibrant hotel will welcome visitors with eclectic décor and design nods to its music and technology roots that give each guestroom its own character.
- Villatel Orlando Resort, situated just minutes from the Orange County Convention Center, begins a phased opening in 2024, offering private villa rentals with hotel-style standards and amenities. For groups, the property has flexible indoor and outdoor social space and endless in-house entertainment options. Upon full completion in 2025, the entire resort will have 526 units with apartment-style suites and single-family homes.
- The Alfond Inn, a boutique hotel in the heart of the historic Winter Park district, completed an extensive renovation in October 2023, adding 71 guestrooms, a chic café, and a lavish spa, among other features for its 10-year anniversary celebration. The expansion also included a new meeting room and boardroom, providing an additional 2,400 square feet to the existing meeting and functions rooms.
- Waldorf Astoria Orlando unveiled the new Central Park Ballroom, which offers an 8,000-plus-square-foot ballroom, nearly 2,600 square feet of pre-function space, and a planned 8,700-square-foot covered outdoor patio. The property also completed a multi-phase floor-to-ceiling transformation of its resort rooms and suites, lobby space and select culinary outlets, including its award-winning restaurant Bull & Bear and prestigious 18-hole golf course.
- Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is elevating the meetings experience with the new Waterside expansion. Coming early 2024, this 2-story addition of over 90,000 square feet of meeting space will be located directly adjacent to the existing meeting space, overlooking the Bonnet Creek waterways. The Waterside expansion includes one ballroom, a screened lanai with incredible views of the Walt Disney World® Resort fireworks, an outdoor patio, event lawn, and seven additional meeting rooms.
- The Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, in downtown Orlando, completed a comprehensive renovation with new additions — like the upscale Altira Rooftop Pool Lounge where your attendees can savor seasonally influenced dishes and specialty cocktails — and reimagined spaces like the property’s signature restaurant, The Boheme, as well as the Bösendorfer Lounge and guestrooms. The hotel includes over 10,000 square feet of meeting space.
- JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes completed several multimillion-dollar renovations in 2023. The property’s new amenities and offerings include: an expansive waterpark, refreshed guestrooms and suites, the introduction of inspired executive family suites, and a redesigned and upgraded lobby lounge. There is over 144,000 square feet of functional space for planners to incorporate into their events.
- Caribe Royale Orlando is debuting Stadium Club in January. This 500-seat, sports-themed facility, located just 3 miles from popular theme parks, will feature eight pro-level sports simulators, two bars and several areas for private events. Stadium Club complmenets the resott’s robust event sapve offerings with the 220,000 sq. ft. of total meeting space.
Orange County Convention Center Expansion
- The Orange County Convention Center announced the continuation of the facilities’ Phase 5A expansion which consists of the Convention Way Grand Concourse and will include an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space and an 80,000-square-foot ballroom, along with a new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way.
New Dining and Entertainment in the Convention District
- Pointe Orlando, dubbed a playground for adults with or without kids, will debut a trio of new indoor/outdoor entertainment spaces, including Sports & Social, a place to watch and play games such as Skee-Ball and Foosball; a PBR Cowboy Bar, featuring a mechanical bull and multiple bars; and Live! Plaza, a space for special events, live music, viewing sporting events, festivals and more.
- AREA15, an immersive and experiential art entertainment district in Las Vegas, is opening its second location in the heart of Orlando’s tourism corridor. AREA15 Orlando will offer guests a robust, ever-changing roster of concert events, art exhibitions, nightlife and boundary-pushing shows, featuring an impressive indoor/outdoor event space.
- Arcade Monsters unveils its fifth location of the video-game bar and restaurant later this month in Orlando’s International Drive area offering a menu of classic bar food. With the purchase of wristbands, guests can play unlimited classic arcade games. The facility can host events from private parties to corporate meetings.
- Chuck Lager America’s Tavern is opening their fourth Florida location on Orlando’s famed International Drive, from Top Chef alumnus, Fabio Viviani. While known for its craft bourbons, the Tavern will also offer classics, like nachos, burgers, flatbreads and tacos. The restaurant is also available for private events.
New Restaurants and Venues in Orlando’s Neighborhoods and Districts
- Natsu Omakase, an exclusive 10-seat sushi omakase concept, will open in downtown Orlando with an innovative and seasonal menu.
- Judson’s Live debuts on Feb. 6, bringing a low-key, 150-seat, cabaret-style music space with unparalleled sound to the spectacular Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Guests will discover new music with scheduled 50-minute performances while enjoying specialty cocktails and a seasonal scratch-kitchen menu of shareable bites. Judson’s joins Steinmetz Hall, Walt Disney Theater and Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater as the fourth performance space in the 9-acre venue.
- Moso Nori, a new concept by James Beard Award finalist and Michelin-recognized chef Henry Moso, is expecting a summer opening in Winter Park. The new restaurant will feature a hand-roll bar, serving a variety of temaki, sake, beer, wine and sake-based cocktails.
- Bar Kada, a new concept by Michael Collantes, chef and owner of Michelin-starred Soseki, will open in February. Bar Kada will be an intimate 30-seat sake and wine lounge with a focus on small plates, ancient sakes and low-intervention wines overseen by Michelin "Sommelier of the Year" Benjamin Coutts and offer experiences like classes and pairing dinners.
- Flûtes Champagne Bar, a 40-seat French-inspired champagne bar, celebrates the timeless art of champagne-making and brings the elegance, culture, and flavors of France to Winter Park.
Ivanhoe Village and College Park
- BANDBOX Orlando, the spirit-free speakeasy in Orlando’s Ivanhoe Village district, will expand in the new year. The 1920s-inspired venue is partnering with a local coffee company to offer a variety of coffee and tea options by day, and a sober speakeasy by night. The expansion will also feature a larger bottle shop and retail selection.
- Mid Drive Dive, a locally owned midcentury-inspired bar and restaurant serving elevated American classics, will open in the heart of Orlando’s College Park neighborhood.
New Venues and Attractions at the Theme Parks
Walt Disney World Resort
- Journey of Water, inspired by Moana opened in October 2023 at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort. Through a self-guided exploration trail, guests are fully immersed in the animated film while playing, dancing and interacting with water that travels through its lifecycle, from rain falling to vapor rising to the clouds.
- Tiana’s Bayou Adventure replaces Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park in late 2024. Guests will explore a musical adventure inspired by the fan-favorite film showcasing the beloved characters as they are brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s story.
- eet by Maneet Chauhan, the only Indian-inspired restaurant in Disney Springs, is now open. Created by Food Network’s Maneet Chauhan, most known for her role as a permanent judge on Chopped, the new eatery offers traditional Indian flavors with a modern flair.
- Summer House on the Lake, a lakeside eatery with California-inspired cuisine, also opened at Disney Springs and features local and sustainable ingredients, water views, a signature Rosé cart with rotating bottles and a dedicated Cookie Bar with 15 varieties of oversized cookies. The restaurant can host large-scale events and small, private gatherings.
Universal Studios Florida
- DreamWorks Land will debut at Universal Studios Florida in late 2024. Guests will be able to interact with their favorite DreamWorks Animations’ characters in themed, interactive play spaces and attractions that bring characters from popular movies like “Shrek,” “Trolls” and “King Fu Panda” to life.
- SeaWorld Orlando will debut Penguin Trek, an immersive indoor/outdoor launch coaster groups can ride together this spring. Guests (including children who meet the height requirement) will ride snowmobile-inspired cars going at a maximum capacity of 43 mph, ending up in the park’s penguin habitat.
About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States, Theme Park Capital of the World® and No. 1 meeting destination in the country. A not-for-profit trade association that brands, markets and sells the Orlando destination globally, we represent more than 1,500 member companies comprising every segment of Central Florida’s tourism community.
Visit Orlando connects consumers and business groups with all facets of Orlando’s travel community, whether for a vacation or meeting. Home to seven of the world’s top theme parks — as well as refreshing water parks, activities to connect with nature, vibrant neighborhoods, a dynamic dining scene with Michelin recognized restaurants, and a robust calendar of entertainment and sports events — Orlando is a diverse, welcoming and inclusive community for all travelers. Find more information at VisitOrlando.com or OrlandoMeeting.com.
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