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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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…
- 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.
- 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!