Business Travel to Orlando: Around the corner from Disney
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This multi-level venue has plenty of space to roam about, even during the most crowded shows. The room focuses on the mammoth stage that is elevated just enough so that it can been seen from just about any angle. However, since the main bar located at the back of the facility is usually the only one open, be prepared for a long wait.
Since the capacity is upwards of 1500, the House of Blues is a popular stop for a huge cross-section of national talent. Shows over the past few years have included The Cramps, Link Wray, De La Soul and Duran Duran. Also, the Orlando music scene is supported by a series of local band nights.
As the House of Blues is on Disney property, there will always be an influx of tourists blindly wandering into any show with a "brand name" performer. However, since the bands that play here come from every style and strata of music, the crowd here is what you would expect at any similar venue.
2 hide detailThe chef is here
Expect an imaginative menu from the most acclaimed of the Hyatt Regency's five restaurants. The Chef's Table, available Thursday through Saturday evenings (seasonally September through June), allows guests the unique experience of dining right in the kitchen (completely transformed by ambient lighting and a chic contemporary decor into an intimate and upscale private dining room). Guests are invited and encouraged to come right into the exhibition kitchen as their dinner is prepared. Chef Orlando personally brings each of the five tantalizing courses to your table. You might find roasted veal tenderloin, seared ahi tuna with black pepper, buffalo tenderloin, and red pepper-marinated duck on the menu. A personalized menu signed by the chef and a Grand Cypress apron are given to each guest at the end of the experience. Even at $95 per person (or $135 with wine pairing), this unique dining experience is well worth the splurge. Make the very-hard-to-obtain reservations for this ultrapopular experience as far in advance as possible. The Sunday brunch (Sept-June) also allows diners to try out the intimate setting of the kitchen, though most opt to sit in the main dining room.
3 hide detailLuxury Hotel, Memorable Swimming Pool
A favorite of honeymooners and those seeking a luxurious adult oasis, yet there's plenty here for families as well. This getaway's lobby has lush foliage from which macaws wave to passersby, with winding walkways and landscape lighting to add to the ambience. The 18-story atrium has inner and outer glass elevators (ride the outers to the roof for a panoramic rush). The rooms are beautifully decorated with a Laura Ashley flair and easily sleep four. If you find, however, you are in need of additional space, you can usually request a connecting room for a discounted price. The west-side rooms on floors seven and up have a distant view of Cinderella Castle and the Magic Kingdom's fireworks. (This vantage point also shows how much of WDW and the surrounding area still remain wooded.) To ensure the resort remains at the top of the A-list, extensive renovations, including the addition of a full-service spa, a complete overhaul of the guest rooms and suites, the addition of all new dining options, and a redesign of the lobby and check-in area are slated to begin in 2009. The Hyatt shares a golf club and academy, racquet club, and equestrian center with its sister property, Villas of Grand Cypress ; both offer excellent packages aimed at the sports set. The Hyatt's half-acre, 800,000-gallon pool is one of the best in Orlando and features caves, grottoes, waterfalls, a rope bridge, and a 45-foot water slide. A very nice child-care facility is also available. Hemingway's, its signature restaurant, has a Key West theme and a menu featuring fresh and innovative seafood. At the Chef's Table, guests can indulge in a unique and intimate dining experience -- perfect for a special night out.
Facilities: 4 restaurants; 4 lounges; large heated outdoor pool; 45 holes of golf; 12 tennis courts (5 lighted); 2 racquetball courts; health club; spa; watersports equipment; children's center; arcade; concierge; car-rental desk; free Disney shuttle; transportation to non-Disney parks for a fee; store; salon; 24-hr. room service; in-room massage; babysitting; laundry service; valet; concierge-level rooms; equestrian center
4 hide detailRace Car Drive / Ride Along
Experience a real-life racing thrill when you ride shotgun in a two-seater stock car at Walt Disney World Speedway, Orlando! Driven by a professional instructor, you'll experience a simulated three-lap NASCAR qualifying run.
You'll see what it feels like to be in a race car as it thunders around the track at speeds of up to 145 miles (233 kilometers) per hour. The experience will take your breath away!
5 hide detailTerrific teppanyaki dining experience
Located just inside the lobby of the Hilton resort at Lake Buena Vista, this restaurant mixes authentic Japanese cuisine with the always-entertaining teppanyaki table dining experience. From frozen drinks to the freshest sushi, your dining experience takes place in a casual atmosphere. The chefs, while whipping knives and forks, clanging peppershakers and shoving sizzling butter around like professional jugglers, prepare a lavish four-course meal peppered with a lively sense of humor. Come early, as this exciting eatery is popular with both locals and tourists.