Orlando offers many opportunities to have fun, learn new things, and eat great food. Our conference location, the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, places you in the middle of the excitement. Seek adventure close to the hotel or further afield...
There's so much to enjoy in and around the Hotel...
Orlando is home to the Walt Disney World® Resort, which includes:
- Magic Kingdom Park
- Disney's Typhoon Lagoon
- Disney's Animal Kingdom Park
- Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Disney's Blizzard Beach
For advance purchase of specially priced Disney Meeting/Convention Theme Park tickets, go here. These Walt Disney World tickets are available for purchase through October 10th, so don't wait until the conference to buy them!
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is going on just in time for our conference: September 30 - November 13. Entry to the Festival is included with any Disney Theme Park ticket, so get yours today!
A free shuttle is available that will take you from the hotel to any of the Walt Disney World® Resort Parks. Transportation is also provided to Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando for a fee.
Check out the park calendar for what's happening at each of the Resort parks during your stay.
In Downtown Disney, there is something for everyone. An impressive array of dining options, unique shops, and great entertainment is available just minutes from the conference hotel.
Free transportation is available from and to the hotel via coach. Check with the hotel concierge for a transportation schedule.
House of Blues: For great entertainment and even better food, the House of Blues is the place to be in Downtown Disney. World-famous and up-and-coming music ions perform nightly, playing the best blues, rock, reggae, and jazz.
Ridemakerz: This unique store allows you to build your own radio-controlled car or truck. Each creation is fully customizable, an activity that people of all ages will enjoy.
Disneyquest Interactive Theme Park: With five floors of interactive games, The Disneyquest Interactive Theme Park is worth the visit. Attractions include:
- Virtual Jungle Cruise - experience in 4-D the sites and sounds of rafting the rapids on a prehistoric Dinosaur Age river
- Animation Academy - a Disney instructor will take you step-by-step through the process of creating a Disney character
Great dining options around Orlando...
Outside of the Walt Disney World area, your dining choices become even more expansive. Check out the Orlando Sentinel's 2011 "Foodie Awards," Urbanspoon.com, or Visitorlando.com's Dining Guide to locate the best dining around Orlando.
Some options that caught our eye...
Peach Valley Café: Great reviews and reasonable prices. Try their Greek omelet or the shrimp and grits special.
- Keke’s Breakfast Café: originally the Florida Waffle Shop, this restaurant was true to its name with a generous waffle selection. Granola Crunch and Banana Split waffles are not all this restaurant has to offer, however, with great omelets and even better prices. It’s no surprise that Keke’s Breakfast Café stays busy, but it is worth it.
- Sweet Tomatoes: A healthy buffet option for a good price. Every day they offer a different variety of salads, soups, and wonderful pastas.
- Texas de Brazil: Although considered pricey, the cost is worth it for what you get. An all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse, Texas de Brazil offers an out of this world salad bar along with an incredible array of well-cooked meats and seafoods. Brazilian sausage, Filet Mignon and Parmesan crusted chicken breast are just a few of the options and if you go at lunch you can get it all half-priced!
- Agave Azul: Reviews claim this is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Orlando with inexpensive prices and fresh food.
- Seito: One of the best sushi bars in Orlando. Has a great lunch menu complete with yummy bento boxes.
- Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi: Kelly Fitzgerald at the Dragonfly has invited all ACHE members to visit their property and has extended the offer of a complimentary sake or edamame with the purchase of any menu item. From Kelly, "Dragonfly offers a chic and sophisticated dining atmosphere. We have become well known for serving the freshest sushi and sashimi and also for our Robata Grill, which uses the finest grade bincho-tan charcoals that heat up to 1,000 degrees. By grilling fresh produce & proteins this quickly, we are able to capture the essence of the food, which enables you to experience pure and natural flavors. Dragonfly’s mission is to stimulate the senses through the sharing of dishes, which we consider to be a modern interpretation of the Japanese pub culture. We strive to fulfill an emotional enlightenment through the balancing of the three essential elements: Sensual, Spiritual and Savory. Come experience our passion and dedication that goes into every dish we serve here at Dragonfly. Please call Kelly Fitzgerald to make your reservations at (407) 370-3359."
Drinks & Nightlife:
- Seasons 52: This restaurant offers a menu with items all under 475 calories. This place is not only frequented for the healthy fare. They also have a great bar and wonderful drink options.
- Venetian Room: The Venetian Room offers celebrated wine lists and assorted drinks that have been praised by both critics and customers.
- Baby Grand's Dueling Piano Bar: With a great mix of unique entertainment and good drinks, Baby Grand's Dueling Piano Bar is the perfect stop. Every night from 7:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m., the players provide you with a range of music from Lady Gaga to Michael Bolton and everything in between.
Experience Orlando's Culture...
Orlando isn't just about theme parks and food! As the center of the current cultural explosion in Florida, the area is rich with history, art, sports, entertainment, and music.
Loch Haven Park: Orlando’s most well-known Arts District, Loch Haven Park includes three lakes, beautiful grassy areas, and many museums and centers. The Park is home to:
- Orlando Museum of Art "collects and exhibits local, regional, national and internationally significant works of visual art, presenting annually 10-12 exhibitions on-site and 13 exhibitions off-site, making this museum one of the most relevant and enriching organizations in Central Florida."
- the Orlando Science Center "offers engaging hands-on fun for all ages through exciting interactive exhibits, live programming, and giant-screen films in the Cinedome"
- The Menello Museum of American Art: Near downtown Orlando, "the Museum offers a diverse collection of paintings and sculptures, as well as a beautiful environment to engulf the senses."
- The Orlando Shakespeare Theatre "is celebrated for its bold productions of Shakespeare’s classic works, as well as for developing new plays with impressive casts and presentation." Beginning October 12th, "God of Carnage" will be playing. The play is a hilarious take on parenthood and has so far received great reviews.
- the Orlando Repertory Theatre is a great place to take the kids. Throughout October, they will be showing "A Wrinkle in Time."
The Red Chair Project allows you to purchase a pass that provides access to the Orlando Science Center, the Orlando Museum of Art, and the Menello Museum of Art. Good for 14 days, the pass provides you with 20% savings.
- Enzian Theater: The Enzian Theater is the only theater in central Florida that caters to alternative films, offering a dinner theater experience. Patrons can order from a full-menu throughout the movie. The Enzian Theater also houses one of the best bars in Orlando, the Eden Bar. During the week of our conference, the theater will be showing celebrated horror flicks and cult Halloween movies.
- Sak Comedy Lab: On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Sak Comedy Lab presents the Duel of Fools. The show is an improv comedy competition that is a must-see while visiting Orlando. Ticket information along with information about their other shows is available on their website.
- Harry P. Leu Gardens: To take in natural beauty and also learn a little more about Florida's history, Harry P. Leu Gardens is a must-see. In the center of nearly 50 acres of beautiful flowers, butterfly gardens, and lakes, the Leu House which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The gardens are an enjoyable experience for all age groups. Visit their website for more information on tours and year-round special events.
Visit www.Downtownorlando.com for the best information about parking and utilizing public transportation.
You can't visit Florida without going to at least one beach...
While you may feel as if all beaches tend to be similar and not worth trips to each one, Florida's beaches all have distinctive features that make them worth the visit and experience.
Cocoa Beach: Only about an hour's drive from Orlando, Cocoa Beach offers miniature golf, boating and sailing, canoeing, and jet skiing. There is also an impressive array of stores and eateries along the beach that are particularly inviting. Alan Shepard Beach Park is located on Cocoa Beach and is known for the excellent view it provides of space launches.
Daytona Beach: While it may be one of the busiest beaches in Florida, Daytona Beach still ranks up there as one of the best and most kid-friendly. Along with 23 miles of beach and beachfront parks, a new water park has recently been added. The activities available at this beach are endless, from the speed slide at Daytona Lagoon to Go Kart Racing at the entertainment center.
Canaveral National Seashore: Canaveral National Seashore is known for being the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline on Florida's Atlantic coast. Managed by the National Park Service, this beach is a favorite for seeing dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles in their natural environment. Recreational activities include swimming, surfing, and hiking. There is also some great Florida history to discover here as it is the site of several Native American shell mounds and preserved historic buildings.
Check back with us as we continue to update this page with things to do and see in Orlando and the surrounding area.
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