FAQ Orlando

Orlando conventions and you

Peabody Orlando and Orange County Convention Center

The Peabody Orlando abuts the main convention center but pack comfy walking shoes

Big conventions take a decade to plan and draw tens of thousands of visitors to Orlando – a high-demand city for meetings because the nearby theme parks boost attendance. If Mom has a three-day conference, her company probably pays room and airfare. For a few dollars more, Dad and the kids share the room and ride Space Mountain while Mom works.

For the casual visitor, however, conventions add some risk to a vacation. A huge gathering boosts local crowds in parks, restaurants, and on roads. Perhaps the worst case: Your hotel is filled with a stereotype convention crowd that parties all night, pees in the pool, and uses language your six-year-old only vaguely understands.

That doesn’t mean you should avoid the big convention hotels. Many times, the pool, shops, and restaurants astound even a seasoned traveler. However, it’s worth floating the question when booking your reservation: Are there any conventions in town that week? If so, how big? And if big, what group?

According to the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Orlando has 4,700,000 square feet of convention space and that number is growing. That’s almost 100 football fields if you don’t include the end zones, and it makes Orlando second in size only to Las Vegas.

The city’s top 10 convention properties based on available meeting space follow. Five of them (2, 5, 7, 8, and 10) sit close to the main convention center (1). Two (4 and 6) are on Walt Disney World Property. The remaining three (1, 3, and 9) are close to Disney property.

1. Orange County Convention Center: 2,580,000 square feet
2. Rosen Shingle Creek: 445,000 square feet
3. Gaylord Palms Hotel & Convention Center: 400,000 square feet
4. Walt Disney World Dolphin: 329,000 square feet
5. Peabody Orlando: 300,000 square feet
6. Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort: 220,000 square feet
7. Renaissance Orlando Resort: 185,000 square feet
8. Hilton Orlando: 175,000 square feet
9. Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek: 122,000 square feet
10. Rosen Centre Hotel: 106,000 square feet

If booking a convention, any resort with a closet they call “meeting space” would love to talk to you. To simplify the process, however, contact the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to get started.

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