Looking for a new venue for your next event? Here are the most anticipated Orlando/Central Florida restaurants, corporate event venues, hotels, conference centers, and party rooms slated to open in 2018. These new and renovated Orlando/Central Florida venues will accommodate groups large or small for private and corporate events, conferences, meetings, weddings, business dinners, teambuilding activities, cocktail parties, and more.
1. At Walt Disney World, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will open its 545-guestroom Gran Destino Tower in July 2019 with a Spanish theme. Within this extension of the convention hotel, the rooftop restaurant Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood will accommodate private groups, as will two courtyards flanking the Three Bridges Bar & Grill, located on an island. Also on Disney property, group tickets are available for the Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s theme park, where Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in the fall. Both teambuilding and networking events will be offered at the N.B.A. Experience, designed to look like a modern professional basketball arena, opening at Disney Springs in 2019.
2. Also at Disney Springs, chef José Andrés soon will open the multi-level restaurant Jaleo, with multiple event spaces ranging from eight-seat areas to a buyout for as many as 550 guests. It will be the largest location of the celebrity chef’s tapas concept.
3. New meeting space is in the works at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress. By fall 2019, the convention resort with golf near Disney World will have a new 25,000-square-foot ballroom with customizable LED lighting, plus another 7,000 square feet of pre-function space and an event lawn, for a total of 102,000 square feet of meeting space. The addition follows a property-wide decor refresh.
4. On the eastern end of Orlando in Lake Nona, Boxi Park will open early in 2019 featuring fare served from shipping containers, as well as a stage, playground, ballpark, and seating. The 30,000-square-foot open-air facility will be available for buyouts serving a few hundred guests. For events, the venue will be rentable together with multiple parts of the adjacent Lake Nona Town Center. With three restaurants, outdoor space, and a high-definition “beacon” centerpiece, planners can host as many as 4,000 people, and garage parking is free.
5. Part resort, part water park, part vacation-home community, when the in-development Margaritaville Resort Orlando’s Margaritaville Resort Orlando Hotel is complete in January 2019, its Conventions in Paradise offerings will include 40,000 square feet of indoor, lagoon-side, patio, and lawn event spaces. The hub will be the 8,856-square-foot Compass Rose Grand Ballroom, which can be broken into salons, complemented by two pre-function spaces, another 5,445 square feet of flexible event space, the 2,880-square-foot Seagrass private dining room, and a dining terrace.
6. The multifaceted Dezerland Orlando will debut in January 2019 in a former International Drive mall, offering event space for as many as 10,000 people within 800,000 square feet. Sections will include the Orlando Auto Museum, with 1,500 vehicles including several from movies and TV programs; the Orlando Event Place, with 10 venues; and the Dezerland Action Park, a “family entertainment center” with areas such as a bowling alley, an arcade, and go-karts. The development will grow over time to include rental apartments and hotels.
7. By the end of January, the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld will have added 30,000 square feet of new meeting and event space as part of an expansion, themed to Florida’s plants and ecosystem. The venue will have more than 215,000 square feet total to accommodate groups. The new event-space building will include the 16,500-square-foot Peninsula Ballroom with 22-foot ceilings and flexible rigging points, six breakout rooms with large windows, a boardroom, technology/networking areas, pre-function space, and an outdoor gathering spot. Technology will include a multi-use LED media wall with nine screens, a fiber-optic audiovisual infrastructure to support each room, and strong Wi-Fi.
8. Once its renovation is complete in late winter, the 1890 Seminole County Jail in Sanford will reopen as the Old Jailhouse Restaurant and Bar. Serving a Sunbelt menu, the 3,600-square-foot establishment will seat 150 and have space for private and semi-private events, including buyouts. Facilities will include an eight-seat chef’s table in a former jail cell; three communal wood tables together seating 22 guests; a private outdoor courtyard and an indoor/outdoor piazza, each with space for 35 guests; and a 16-seat dining room with a television and audiovisual technology.
9. At Universal Orlando Resort, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Hogsmeade area within the Islands of Adventure theme park will debut a new coaster experience later in 2019, and the grounds around it will be available for evening buyouts of as many as 20,000 people.
10. Contemporary boutique inn the Delaney Hotel near the Orlando Health medical complex plans for a spring debut. Event space will include a ballroom seating 100 guests, a chef-driven catering menu, audiovisual technology, mobile bar stations, and a dance floor.