Winter Symposium: What to Do in Orlando

Having our inaugural Winter Symposium in Orlando has its benefits. For a lot of us, it gives us the chance to trade in our cold winter for a few days in the warm Florida sun. And while we have a great series of educational sessions lined up for the days you’re here, there’s plenty of time to explore some of Orlando’s great attractions. Looking to attend Symposium, but want to turn it into a vacation (for you or the family)? We’re not experts, but we certainly have some ideas!

Disney World

When you think Orlando, the first thing that may come to most of your minds is Disney World. With four theme parks, two water parks, and their own shopping district, Disney World is bound to keep the whole family entertained. Go on an African-inspired safari in Animal Kingdom, get the full Hollywood experience in Hollywood Studios, or get a glimpse at the future in Epcot. Oh, and you’re certainly not going to want to miss Magic Kingdom’s Main Street.

If theme parks aren’t for you, you may want to check out Disney Springs. Disney Springs is a luxury shopping district that houses some of your favorite stores, such as Alex and Ani and Coach. Hungry? There’s plenty of great spots to eat.

Universal Studios

Not a Disney fan, but still looking for a theme park? Universal Studios is just 15 miles from the airport. With two theme parks, Universal Studios brings you attractions that let you experience your favorite movies up close. If you like Harry Potter, you’re in luck. Both parks have sections that will transport you into the world of Harry Potter. If you’re looking to cool off, stop by Universal’s brand-new waterpark: Volcano Bay.

Florida Beaches

After two days of educational sessions, you may need some time to relax. Lucky for you, Orlando is just an hour away from some beautiful, East Coast beaches. Whether you’re looking to lay in the sun or take a dip in the ocean, Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach are great options. Both have access points for you to park your car on the beach, and Daytona even has a boardwalk for you to enjoy when it starts getting dark

Kennedy Space Center

The Kennedy Space Center is a little trek away from Orlando, but worth the drive if you are looking to visit the home of space exploration. Take a bus tour visiting some of NASA’s famous launch sites, or get an up close look at some of NASA’s facilities with a facilities tour. Some sections of the facility even have pieces of real NASA rockets. If that’s not enough, you or the whole family can experience what it’s like to be a real astronaut in a space training simulation.


Last on our list of things to do is the SEA LIFE Centre. Home to nine habitats for different sea creatures, SEA LIFE focuses on protecting and conserving our oceans and the animals that live in it. If you’re looking to get up close with some animals, sign up for a behind the scenes tour to learn about how these creatures are cared for every day

We hope we gave you some great ideas on what do do while you’re down south for Symposium! Not interested in any of these? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of other things to do in Orlando. For now, we look forward to seeing you in January. Have fun planning your trip!

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