It’s been five years since the NAHB Internationals
Builders’ Show® (IBS) visited Orlando, Florida, and a lot has changed since 2012.
You may already be in the preliminary stages of planning your trip, so whether
you are interested in playing, staying, shopping or dining, here are a few
things that are new and exciting in “O-town.”
New Places to Play
Orlando is known as the theme park capital of the world—a
title bestowed upon the city because of new attractions that open continuously
in the area’s parks. Newest on this list are Disney’s Fantasyland and the
already popular Diagon Alley.
Disney’s new Fantasyland is the largest expansion in
Magic Kingdom history. On one side is the Enchanted Forest and two new castles
that will put you right in the middle of your favorite fairytales. On the other
side is Storybook Circus—a brightly colored and lively addition inspired by the
classic Disney animated film, Dumbo.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s latest attraction, Diagon
Alley, opened recently at Universal Studios Florida. Harry Potter fans can dine
in the Leaky Cauldron, see wand choices at Ollivanders or pick a magical joke
at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.
These two attractions join others that opened over the
last few years, such as the Orlando Eye (a gigantic Ferris wheel), Madame
Tussauds, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the SEA LIFE Orlando
New Places to Stay
When it comes to hotels, you can find anything you want
in Orlando—from a theme-park property to resort-style luxury. One notable change
from 2012, when IBS was last in Orlando: The Peabody Orlando is now the Hyatt
Regency Orlando. Located directly across from the main entrance of the Orange
County Convention Center, the Hyatt has completely modernized this 1,600+ room
property. It boasts spacious guest rooms and suites, a fully outfitted fitness
center and several on-site dining options.
New Places to Shop
Orlando is the mecca of shopping, and visitors will find
a wide variety of options here. Seek out great deals at the Orlando
International Premium Outlets, or for upscale shopping head over to the Mall at
Millenia. The Florida Mall has some great new places to explore like the M&M
Store, the American Girl store and the Crayola Experience.
Additionally, the final phase of Disney Springs (formally
called Downtown Disney) was completed in Spring 2016. The Disney Springs Town
Center joins The Landing, West Side and Marketplace to become the fourth
“neighborhood” downtown. With its opening complete, Disney Springs has doubled
in size, adding 75 new retail, entertainment and dining venues.
New Places to Dine
Speaking of dining, Orlando’s International
Drive is home to more than 70 restaurants and bars, many within walking
distance of the Orange County Convention Center. Food is such an important
aspect of an enjoyable destination, and over the years Orlando has attracted
some of the best and diverse dining options available from celebrity chefs, steakhouses, Thai, vegan and more!
A New Place to Build
The Orange County Convention Center is the second largest
convention center in the country, and over the last few years, it’s undergone
some major renovations, such as the brand-new Tangerine Ballroom, remodeled
meeting rooms, the upgraded Sunburst Room and an all new outdoor terrace.
Additionally, five pedestrian bridges make it easier to walk to the convention
center from nearby hotels. All of these new improvements will make it more
enjoyable for you to explore the show floor and take advantage of the education
sessions that are available during the Builders’ Show.
As you can see, the new and exciting options for playing,
staying, shopping and dining while building your knowledge in Orlando are
limitless. The toughest question in O-town is not, “What can I do?” but “What do I want
to do first?”
Continue to follow our blog for more tips and
ideas for maximizing your time at the Builders’ Show. You can also discover why
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