2017 Preview: 10 Most Anticipated Orlando/Central Florida Venues for Meetings and Events

The conference spaces, eateries, drinking spots, and more slated to open in Orlando/Central Florida for events and entertaining next year.

By Mitra Sorrells December 29, 2016, 7:00 AM EST

Circo Orlando

Rendering: Courtesy of Circo

Looking for a new venue to host your next event? Here are the most anticipated Orlando/Central Florida restaurants, corporate event venues, hotels, conference centers, and party rooms to open next year. These new and renovated Orlando/Central Florida venues will accommodate groups large or small for private and corporate events, conferences, meetings, weddings, business dinners, teambuilding activities, cocktail parties, and more.

1. Circo Orlando is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2017, 120 feet above I-Drive on the top floor of a new building being built next to Mango’s Tropical Café. The restaurant is being developed in partnership with LC International, which owns the Le Cirque, Osteria del Circo, and Sirio Ristorante restaurants worldwide. The 10,000-square-foot space will have seating for 330 people and private dining spaces that will seat as many as 100 people. The restaurant will have a retractable glass roof over the dining area and lounge, giving guests a view of the sunset and fireworks from nearby theme parks. The menu will mirror Circo restaurants in New York and Abu Dhabi, with new dishes exclusive to Orlando.

2. Master Sommelier and former manager of Disney’s California Grill, George Miliotes, will return to Disney to open Wine Bar George at Disney Springs in the fall. The 6,000-square-foot venue will have seating for 210 people. The wine menu will offer a range of varietals, vintages, and prices from both well-known and up-and-coming wineries. The food menu will be a mix of small plates, cheese, and charcuterie chosen to complement the wine list. The space is being designed to feel like a winemaker’s home, with oak wood, warm lighting, and a comfortable atmosphere.

3. Topgolf will open its third Florida location this summer next to the Orange County Convention Center. The 65,000-square-foot venue will have high-tech driving ranges, golf instruction, live music, games, and a restaurant and full bar. The facility will have indoor and open-air event spaces and will also be available for buyout.

4. Also near the convention center, Andretti Indoor Karting & Games will open in July and will accommodate about 1,500 people for a buyout. The 106,000-square-foot facility will have high-speed go-karts on multi-level tracks, more than 120 arcade games, a two-story ropes course, a zip line, a rock wall, a laser tag arena, 12 lanes of bowling, and a restaurant and bar. There will be 10,000-square-feet of event space and catering and planning services available.

5. Pandora—The World of Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the summer of 2017. In collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment, Disney is bringing to life the mythical world of Pandora, with floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests, and soaring Banshees. The two signature attractions will be Avatar Flight of Passage, where guests fly over the jungles of Pandora, and Na’vi River Journey, a family-friendly boat ride. The new section’s main restaurant will be Satu’li Canteen.

6. Universal Orlando Resort’s first water park will open in early summer. The 30-acre Volcano Bay park will have a variety of attractions, including a multi-directional wave pool with sandy beaches, a peaceful winding river, twisting multi-rider raft rides, body slides, and more. The signature experience will be the Krakatau Aqua Coaster that will use linear induction motor technology to send guests on a ride through the park’s icon, a 200-foot replica of a volcano.

7. Just south of downtown Orlando, a new boutique hotel is scheduled to open in May. The Delaney Hotel will be located across the street from Orlando Health and will have 54 rooms and suites. It will also be home to Delaney’s Tavern, a 6,000-square-foot restaurant serving a menu of small plates and family-style fare. There will be seating for 75 people in the restaurant and 34 at the bar. There will also be a room for special events that can accommodate 100 people standing. The hotel will also have a fitness center and 325-space covered parking deck.

8. The Grove Resort & Spa will open its first phase in mid-February, which will include 184 suites and 6,000-square-feet of flexible indoor meeting space as well as poolside, lawn, and garden venues. When its completed, the 106-acre property will have 878 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, four swimming pools, a spa, and a water park with a surf simulator. There will also be multiple restaurants and bars on property, including Valencia with indoor and outdoor seating for 221 people.

9. DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando SeaWorld is in the midst of a construction project that will add 40,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor conference and event space. Once the work is completed by July, the new conference center will complement the existing 60,000-square-feet of flexible venues. All of the existing meeting facilities will be upgraded and renamed as part of the full multimillion-dollar renovation project, allowing the hotel to accommodate as many as 2,000 attendees. The hotel has 1,004 rooms and is located within walking distance of the Orange County Convention Center.

10. In the fall, Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas will open in Hamlin, a new community being developed in southwest Orange County. The venue will have 10 movie theaters with fully-reclining leather seats, in-theater waiter service, gourmet food, and a full bar. The theater will be available for buyout for as many as 780 seated guests.

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