September 15, 2015

Feel Like a Kid Again at Disney World

family activities in disney world

We all need a little imagination in our lives. It’s the spark that makes us goofy, gives us great ideas and gets us to smile. Our Orlando CME conference gives you a chance to ride in teacups bigger than yourself and watch a castle change colors right before your eyes. That’s because our 2015 Orlando CME conference is minutes away from Disney World!

Make it a CME vacation by bringing the whole family to the happiest place on earth. Contrary to popular belief, Disney World is an adventure for everyone. Why? Because we all have an inner child in us no matter how old we are, a child that dreamed of stepping foot in Disney castles and talking to pirates and princesses.

Bringing your family to Disney World is sure to create some unforgettable moments for everyone. It’s not every day parents and children can marvel at something they both love and share stories about when they first saw Mickey Mouse. To help plan your travels through Disney World, we’ve created a list of the top five family attractions at Disney World.

1. Scream on Rock n’ Roller Coaster
If you and your family are feeling a bit adventurous, the Rock n’ Roller Coaster is the ride for you. Not only does it have sharp twists and turns, but it also plays classics such as Aerosmith while you ride. You can’t miss this ride, no really you can’t miss it. Just look for the giant red electric guitar and you’re there. It’s also perfect for selfies (if your family is into that).

2. Go for a spin on Alice in Wonderland teacups
Another oldie but goodie is the Alice in Wonderland teacups. We don’t know if there’s anything as iconic as that, no matter what age you are. Plus, grownups drink tea as well! This is a cool ride because it involves teamwork. If you want to spin as fast as you can, you and your family have to work together. Be mindful and don’t eat too much before you get on!

3. Smile on Splash Mountain
The Splash Mountain ride is also a must-see on your trip. It features one of the biggest drops at Disney World and gives you a little family bonding time as well! You get to go on a tour of Br’er Rabbit’s (From the Disney movie Song of the South) favorite places. He was a tricky rabbit, so you’ll mostly see him get into binds and then magically slip away, infuriating his chasers. And then, you guessed it, you’ll go down a mountain and make a big splash! Make sure to smile. There are no do-overs.

4. Watch the Main Street Electrical Parade
We love the Main Street Electrical Parade because it has a lot of lights to catch your eye. This parade happens almost daily at the Magic Kingdom as soon as it gets dark. You’ll get a map with the times when you get to the park. It features Mickey and almost every Disney character. Reminisce about which Disney characters you loved when you were kid (or still love) with your family and wave to them!

5. Make a wish at the Magic Kingdom fireworks show
Finally, the one thing you have to do at Disney World is go to Cinderella’s Castle for the fireworks show. We don’t want to give anything away, but you might hear a cricket lead the crowd in “When you wish upon a star.” Then, as if to highlight the magic at Disney World, the castle will change colors and fireworks will fill the sky. It’s a show to remember.

You’ll always have those moments when you walked through park with your family on the shimmering (yes in some parts it shimmers) ground. When you leave, remember what Walt Disney said: “We believed in our idea – a family park where parents and children could have fun – together.”

We focused a lot of the Magic Kingdom in our recommendations, but of course there is so much more. Let us know which Disney World attraction you’re most excited about in the comments below!

Put a Little Magic in Your Life at Harry Potter World

fun things to do at harry potter world

The only place to eat a chocolate frog, ride a dragon and tour a castle is at Harry Potter World, and you can visit it when you’re in town for the Orlando CME Conference in Florida from October 15-18!

Officially called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (but just Harry Potter World for cool people), Harry Potter World is just 20 minutes away from our hotel. Harry Potter World is one of the most family-centric amusement parks in Orlando partly because it’s an adventure for everyone, even if you’re not a fan. Younger Harry Potter fans will squeal when they taste butterbeer (don’t worry, it’s non-alcoholic), and even more mature folks will be amazed at the moving portraits and talking hats.

If you’re planning on attending the Orlando CME Conference, make it a CME vacation. Visiting Harry Potter World is sure to create memorable moments for you and your family. To help get the magic flowing in your veins, we’ve created a list of the top five things to do at Harry Potter World.

1. Get a wand at Ollivander’s Wand Shop
One of the most important things about wizards is the fact that they all have wands. In Harry Potter, getting a wand is a pretty big deal because, as Potter fans know, “the wand chooses the wizard.” What’s cool is that you and your family can get your very own wands at Harry Potter World and experience the wand selection process! To do this, go to Ollivander’s Wand Shop. You’ll enter with a group and see a wizard help someone (chosen from the audience) get their first wand.

2. Take a tour of the Hogwarts Castle (and get on the ride)
Every person who has read or watched Harry Potter has wanted to go to Hogwarts. They’ve waited by the window for the owl carrying the letter informing them that they’re a wizard. Although some may still be waiting, you can visit the Hogwarts Castle at Harry Potter World even if you’re not a wizard. The castle features a walking tour of popular sites from the movies and finishes with an exhilarating ride where they get to see a Quidditch game, dementors and the Whomping Willow.

3. Eat dinner at The Three Broomsticks
In the Harry Potter books, it is a rite of passage to be allowed to go to Hogsmeade, the wizard village where The Three Broomsticks is located. One of the signature drinks is butterbeer, a sweet drink that tastes slightly like butterscotch. At Harry Potter World, you can visit The Three Broomsticks to have a typical wizard meal, along with, you guessed it, butterbeer. Butterbeer is available cold or frozen.

4. Go to Zonko’s Joke Shop
Another staple of Hogsmeade, Zonko’s is where all the cool wizards go. It’s a joke store that sells wizard gags such as boxing telescopes (which is exactly what it sounds like so be careful) and extendable ears. You’re bound to be amazed at the shenanigans and come out laughing (at least, if the joke wasn’t on you).

5. Ride a dragon
Dragons are some of the most revered and feared creatures in the Harry Potter books and movies. The number of people who have seen dragons in the Harry Potter books is small, but guess what; you and your family can ride a dragon! The Dragon Challenge is a twin roller coaster that features two “dragons,” the Hungarian Horntail and the Chinese Fireball (which are basically one blue roller coaster and one red roller coaster side by side). This coaster is bound to leave you screaming and breathless from all the fun, and it’s the absolute must-see at Harry Potter World.

As you can see, this Orlando CME Conference will be absolutely magical. Let us know which one of these attractions you’re most excited about in the comments below!

September 10, 2015

5 Free Things to Do in Orlando

free things to do in orlando

In between all of the seminars and networking you’ll be doing at our Orlando CME conference this October, we hope you can find some time to take in the sites and relax a bit. Orlando is known for all of its eye-opening attractions and theme parks, but there is plenty more to see without burning through your vacation budget. Take your family with you on your CME vacation to Orlando and save a few dollars by checking out a few of the great activities the city offers free of charge!

1. The CityArts Factory has a unique and varied blend of art galleries throughout downtown Orlando displaying breathtaking pieces of art from both local and international artists, and your family can enjoy free admission the Saturday of our conference from 11:00AM-6:00PM.

2. If you love craft beer, take in a free tour of Orlando Brewing Company at 6:00PM on Friday or Saturday. They’re the only certified organic brewery in the entire state of Florida and have free entertainment every weekend the kids will enjoy while you relax with a refreshing pint of organic craft beer.

3. Your kids will love taking in the LEGO Imagination Center at the Downtown Disney Marketplace. They can create their own structures, work together with other kids to build towering buildings, and have a romping good time free of charge. Downtown Disney is just a 5-minute walk from our conference hotel!

4. Take the family for a picnic at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando. You can feed the swans that live there, take in a free concert at the park’s amphitheater, or check out their bustling farmer’s market each Sunday morning.

5. The Children’s Library, located on the first floor of the Orlando Public Library, regularly hosts special events such as readings, arts and crafts, movie nights, musical performances, board game nights and much more. Fun for the whole family!

These are just a few of the great free activities available to you in Orlando, and more are always popping up! What are some of free things to do in Orlando you recommend to the rest of your CME colleagues? Share with us below, and we’ll see you in October!