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Orlando: Now Bigger, Better, Faster

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Orlando: Now Bigger, Better, Faster

Whether you’re a first-time attendee or an NAHB International Builders’ Show veteran, you’ll be surprised by the number of recent additions to the housing, entertainment and dining scene in Orlando


December 1, 2021
Orlando roller-coaster
In addition to the area's vibrant restaurant scene, Orlando is booming with attractions. | Photo: courtesy Visit Orlando
This article first appeared in the NAHB IBS Pre-Show Planner issue of Pro Builder.

More than a dozen hotels, including the Hilton and Rosen Centre, have refreshed their spaces since the last time IBS was held in Orlando. To make it easy to get to and from the show, a complimentary shuttle bus service will be provided between all official IBS hotels that are not within walking distance of the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC). A complete list of IBS 2022 official hotels can be found at BuildersShow.com.

If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or spot to network before, during or after the show, Pointe Orlando is just a six-minute walk from the convention center. This sprawling dining and entertainment complex offers a variety of food and drink options. The latest addition is Hampton Social, a restaurant with an expansive outdoor patio, a “Rosé All Day” lounge and live music.

Several celebrity-driven restaurants have recently joined Orlando’s eclectic dining scene. Ole Red, a restaurant headed by country superstar Blake Shelton, strikes a perfect blend of southern hospitality, good food and live country music. Ole Red will be the site of the IBS Young Pro Party — sponsored by Pfister — on Wednesday, Feb. 9 (tickets required). The Knife & Spoon steak and seafood restaurant — conceived and led by award-winning chef John Tesar — is a must-try. For a fast-casual lunch or dinner option, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s Fish & Chips specializes in classic English street food.

Aside from the vibrant restaurant scene, Orlando is booming with attractions. Just a 10-minute drive from the OCCC is Dezerland Park, a brand new 800,000-square-foot indoor entertainment complex that is home to the Orlando Auto Museum. Other popular Dezerland Park activity hubs include Axecelsior Axe Throwing and The Pinball Palace for those who love a challenge.

Also located near the OCCC is the recently opened Museum of Illusions in ICON Park. The museum has more than 50 interactive and immersive exhibits designed to fool the senses. ICON Park also features In the Game, a 7,000-square-foot entertainment center and arcade.

A short drive from the entertainment district is Florida’s largest premium winery, Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, which offers free tours and tastings every day of the week. Another destination worth a drive is Winter Park. Known as “The City of Culture & Heritage,” Winter Park is a quaint community with museums and galleries, outdoor attractions, and restaurants.

Of course, world-class theme parks are the cornerstones of Orlando entertainment. If Universal Orlando Resort is on your family itinerary, you might want to try Jurassic World VelociCoaster, dubbed Florida’s fastest and tallest launch coaster. Fans of the blockbuster Bourne film franchise won’t want to miss the new Bourne Stuntacular live-action stunt show.

For Walt Disney World Resort visitors, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure offer one-of-a-kind immersive experiences. Disney Springs visitors will want to check out the City Works Eatery & Pour House, which features 90 different craft beers and more than a dozen high-definition TVs to catch the day’s sports action.

For more information about Orlando’s latest attractions, check out VisitOrlando.com.

 

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