Attending a Professional Conference at Disney
Conventions, you either love them or you hate them. I personally love them! In fact, part of my job is putting on our internal work conference. I just really enjoy event planning. So when I had the chance to attend a really cool conference hosted at Disney World, I jumped on it. The conference is a Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing, and Corporate Communications. It is hosted by Ragan, PR Daily, and PRSA.
This conference is held at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, aka where I used to work! I saw many many conferences, big and small, come through this resort. This Ragan event is one of their biggest and was incredible to attend. Some keynote speakers included Dustee Rucker Jenkins from Target, Thomas Smith from Disney Parks, and John Yembrick from NASA. The idea of this article is to help you visit Disney while attending a conference.
Disney can host conferences at many of their properties around the world, but the most common is Walt Disney World. There are five main resorts that have conference space available; The BoardWalk Inn, the Contemporary, Coronado Springs, the Grand Floridian, and the Yacht & Beach Club. There are also smaller spaces available at a few other resorts. When you plan or attend a conference at Disney, you are given a discounted rate for the hotel. During this conference, the rate was around $250 instead of the usual $400 a night at the Yacht Club. Most conferences offer pre and post stays available for this price as well. You have the option to stay at another resort and take Disney Transportation to the conference center.
Disney Convention Tickets are available for purchase for conference attendees. This also includes conventions not on Disney property IF the convention provides a conference specific URL. These tickets include all normal Disney park tickets at a small discount. Even better, they offer after 3pm and after 5pm tickets for the parks. These tickets are only for people attending the conference and the guests visiting with them.
Depending on the conference, they may or may not provide food. Most likely they will have some food because they have to meet a food and beverage spending minimum. If you do not have food offered or do not like the food, there are many options at the resorts. Disney convention resorts are typically equipped with a lot of dining options to help conference attendees stay full. Some of these locations require advanced dining reservations, but a majority will accept walk-ups.
Since you are staying at a Disney resort, Disney transportation is a perk available to you. First is Disney’s Magical Express; this is a free bus service to and from the Orlando International Airport. You can call to book this or online via this link.
Once on property, all internal Disney transportation is available to you. These can take you to all parks and Disney resorts on property.
Attending a conference at Disney is a neat experience. If you have any specific questions about planning or attending, let me know in the comments below and I will do my best to answer them.