Whether you’re planning high-end incentives or huge conventions, there is news for your niche in the expansion projects under way at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. Also, one of the theme park’s most popular convention hotels has been “re-imagined.”
Most notably, a Four Seasons Resort Hotel will be built along the northeast border of the property as part of a 900-acre luxury resort area. Along with the Four Seasons, the area will include an 18-hole championship golf course, single- and multifamily vacation homes, and fractional ownership vacation homes. The Four Seasons is expected to open in 2010.
Also, adjacent to the Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center, a 450-acre entertainment/commercial district will be built in phases over the next eight to 10 years. The district will include restaurants, retail shops, and additional hotel rooms, all easily accessible to groups holding meetings at the Coronado Springs Convention Center. Next fall, three new restaurants will open at Coronado Springs—an upscale eatery called Terrazzo, a cocktail lounge named Rix, and the waterfront Laguna Bar. The casual Pepper Market will be expanded.
This summer, a multipurpose sports facility and conference center will open at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. The 70,000-square-foot Jostens Center will feature 44,000 square feet of competition and event space and some 25,000 square feet of conference rooms and function space. The new facility will be used for sports groups, private events for meetings, networking events, andprograms.
The Contemporary Resort, another one of Disney’s convention properties, recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation. The pyramid-shaped hotel, located in the Magic Kingdom, had every one of its 1,008 rooms refurbished and “re-imagined” in a very stylish, sophisticated way. Most rooms have flat screen televisions and functional, hideaway, workstations equipped with laptop computers. The 400-square-foot rooms feature polished woods, glass tile, marble, plush fabrics, and retro couches and furnishings, designed to create a parlor-like feel.
The hotel also has 95,000 square feet of meeting end exhibit space on the second floor, where attendees can buy full or half-day Disney World passes at ATM-like kiosks. The monorail to the park goes right through the middle of the hotel on the fourth floor, where visitors can hop aboard. Below the tracks on the fourth floor are a variety of restaurants and shops. Atop the hotel on the 15th floor sits the California Grill restaurant, which offers great views of the Magic Kingdom and is a prime spot to watch the nightly fireworks at Cinderella’s castle.
The property sits between two bodies of water, Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon, and features an outdoor pool, spa, marina, and outdoor eatery, the Sandbar, where guests can lounge and watch the boats drift by. Last September, the hotel became part of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Lodging Program.