Going to #NACE19? Tips for Your Trip to Orlando

By Chaim Shapiro posted 03-12-2019 07:36

  

I just came back from a great family trip to Orlando, the host city for NACE19 in June.  I know you probably aren’t looking to the Orthodox Jewish guy for your party tips, but I did do so some extensive scouting for NACE while I was there. 

The simple fact is that there is SO much to do in Orlando that you will have to choose your extracurricular activities wisely. Here are my top five Orlando visitor tips:

  1. Car Rental—For some odd reason, Orlando seems to have toll booths every few miles. Make sure to get an EZ Pass on your car so you don’t have to stop and toss in a handful of quarters every five minutes.  
  2. Non-Tourist Shopping—If you are like me, you always forget something on your trips (amazing how that toothbrush NEVER makes it in my luggage). Luckily, Orlando has some great stores so you don’t have to pay the exorbitant tourist prices. The local Winn-Dixie, Publix, and Walmart were easy to find and had everything I could possibly need, including inexpensive Disney souvenirs (I found out that Publix carries a hard-to-find brand of Kosher boxed macaroni and cheese that apparently we needed to “shelp” back in our suitcases for bragging rights). 
  3. SO Much More Than Disney—Disney is the big attraction, but there is so much more to see and do in Orlando. Some of the highlights: We got to feed a giraffe at the Central Florida Zoo (I love THAT business model: We pay THEM to feed THEIR animals). The Kennedy Space Center is UNBELIEVABLE. It is awe inspiring to see the Space Shuttle Atlantis and perhaps if enough of us go, we can convince NASA that they spelled NACE incorrectly…
  4. OK. Disney—Yes, there are Disney theme parks in Orlando. They are expensive but a lot of fun. A couple of Disney tips: 

    **You can easily spend a day in each Disney park, but you might want to consider a Park-Hopper that allows you to see all of the best parts of each park.  

    **Use your FastPass to help you skip the lines. Just make sure to choose your three FastPass options EARLY in the day, as the time slots fill up quickly.

    **Visit Disney Springs. Disney Springs is a great Disney-themed shopping and entertainment area with free parking and free admission.

    **Watch your wallet. It is SO easy to spend a ton of money without realizing it at Disney especially with the “MagicBands” which magically have a way of emptying your bank account.

  5. Local Wildlife—Like anyone trying to escape the winter, we spent a lot of time outdoors in Orlando. We didn’t get a chance to do an air-boat tour (on my list for #NACE19) but we saw a lot of local wildlife. There are a number of fascinating indigenous birds in Central Florida. We also saw countless chameleons and geckos (but no car insurance commercials) roaming about. In the most exciting moment of our trip (because we were safe in our car) we even saw a couple of wild alligators! 

Get out there and enjoy yourself at #NACE19 by taking in ALL that Orlando has to offer.  I love NACE, but no, I will NOT be scouting Minneapolis next January for #NACE20!

If you haven't registered for #NACE19, do so today!

 

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Comments

04-29-2019 11:23

Appreciate the tips on the conference since this is my first time (not my first time in Orlando though). So I did want to ask though is it even worth it getting a rental car? I have been checking and I'm not sure if it's due to the conference and peak tourist season but prices are extremely high for even an economy car and if I brought my family it would make sense but for just me I'm conflicted and was more than likely going to just Uber to different places. Is it really worth paying the extra few hundred dollars for a rental?

As far as food places and city life attractions go, it has been some time since I've been there but as much as Disney is fun, I probably won't see myself going through the various parks and will more than likely spend more time in the city of Orlando itself. Would I need to venture a bit to find regular, non-tourist restaurants or are there some nearby?

04-09-2019 13:25

We are having groceries delivered to our hotel room.  I am vegan,  and have spent way too many conferences eating nothing except bread, plain oatmeal,  plain pasta,  lettuce, fruit, and black coffee. The Swan & Dolphin require you to use Instacart,  Disney hotels let you use Garden Grocer.