Hospitality Hive

Updates, opinions, and news for anyone working in Orlando's Hospitality community

Turn Up Your Crazy at Hyatt Regency Orlando on May 24th!

Let’s be honest:  Orlando has more than your average amount of options when it comes to making plans for your weekend fun.  With not one but three world class theme parks all vying for more and more of your time and attention (notice I didn’t mention $$$$, but they vie a lot for that, too, and usually they win), it can get downright confusing when trying to choose among countless opportunities that all offer endless hours of fun.  And, if those expensively printed attraction brochures and advertisements don’t offer enough enticement, just pick up the Friday edition of the Orlando Sentinel and review the weekly calendar section to find even more choices – movies, plays, sports activities, lectures, cooking demonstrations, poetry readings, tarot card readings, festivals, art shows, craft fairs, bike races, and well, you get the picture here.  In fact there are usually so many options listed in that Calendar section that I’m exhausted when I finish reading it, which is, in my opinion, why they put the TV listings at the end because by the time you examine and review all those other activities it just makes you want to curl up with the remote control and a bowl of popcorn to stay put on your big comfy couch.  Oh, and FYI, the dog prefers you do that, too, because Rambo’s been waiting all week for you to play with him.  Plus, he loves the popcorn you drop.

Anyway, decisions, decisions, decisions.  The pressure to get out and have fun is only ramped up when the weekend is a holiday.  Head.  Exploding.

So with the impending arrival of Memorial Weekend (cue internal monologue loop about planning ahead to DO SOMETHING FUN this year), I’m going to make the decision process easier and suggest the following:

Ixnay the plans for spending your entire paycheck on a theme park, and instead steer your car into the parking garage at the Hyatt Regency Orlando – stay with me here because the parking will be free – on May 24th so you can enjoy the oh-so-chic surroundings of a world class luxury hotel along with a poolside concert by Nashville recording artist and songwriter Josh Thompson.  This guy is seriously cool!  Listen to how he describes his recent album, Turn It Up:  It’s a modern, kickin’ country party album with plenty of swagger, energy, and hammer-swingin’, fist-pumpin’ attitude. The title is really all-encompassing, not only [referring to] turn up this record, but turn up the way you live your life, turn up the crazy, turn up the feel-good!”  He’s opened shows for Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley not to mention he’s heavy on the eye candy part.  Sayin’.

Turn It Up

Now tell me you wouldn’t have some serious fun watching this guy perform poolside on the Hyatt’s Garden Terrace while sipping a frozen adult beverage and noshing on some great bites? (PS – all food and beverage at discounted rates for this concert, and that includes hotel restaurants, too.  SWEET!)  But wait, there’s even more goodness in store when country rock artists JT Hodges and Nikki Lane join in on the concert fun!  Hodges not only sings but also starred in the wildly popular Hallmark Channel film, Finding Christmas.  (Yeah, he’s that cute.) And as for Nikki, well, she’s been referred to as a ‘country rebel’ due to her musical influences that combine Motown and alt-rock with her country roots.

JT Hodges – I wasn’t kidding about the eye candy part, right?

Nikki Lane


Eye candy, fun, top notch live entertainment on an outdoor terrace stage located in a first class hotel (right here in Orlando) that you know you want to go see. Plus, don’t forget the FREE PARKING! Check out the full package information along with pricing (tickets start at a very affordable $25 for general admission) at .

Nice kick-off to a sensational summer, right?

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

All Eyes Now On the Orlando Eye

And to be clear, they are ready for it!  Last week’s media opening of the IDrive 360, aka The Orlando Eye, was followed by the public invited-guests-only opening on 4/29; and by the time you read this post the doors, err, I should say ‘pods’, will be officially open to the world.  And that’s a very good thing.  Want to know why?  As Scott Maxwell said in his ‘Taking Names’ column in the Sunday, May 3 Orlando Sentinel, “. . .this is what I-Drive needs – an innovative, high-tech addition that’s garnering national attention.”

That’s due to more than just the stand-out size of this project which can be seen from numerous locations in and around Orlando.  It’s also due to the prestigious comparisons being made between this attraction and similar successful ones already in place in London and other world class global destinations.

Here's one view from the very top of the wheel.

Here’s one view from the very top of the wheel.

Now open for boarding - each pod holds 15 passengers and completes the circle in 20 minutes.

Now open for boarding – each pod holds 15 passengers and completes the circle in 20 minutes.

And then here’s another view, one that you’ll be seeing tons of in the days, weeks, and months ahead, so get ready for selfie overloads from those taken inside the pods, like this one of our group:

We couldn't help ourselves!

We couldn’t help ourselves, could you?

Beyond the ride itself, there’s just so much more to see and experience at this attraction complex including the awesome 4D pre show (you didn’t think these would be just any old special effects, did you?) before you board the wheel, and then continuing on as you visit your choice of Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, the Sea Life Aquarium and the list goes on.  Now that I’ve been through the full circuit, I would definitely recommend getting one version (your choice) of the combination ticket package to keep the fun coming just as long as your patience for tourist attractions can hold out. (Orlando Eye ticket pricing here.) And here in Orlando, we know that’s a very, VERY long time, right?

"Hello little fellows!  Have you seen Nemo?" You can lose yourself completely in the Sea Life Aquarium.

“Hello little fellows! Have you seen Nemo?” You can lose yourself completely for hours in the Sea Life Aquarium.

You can be photo-bombed by all sorts of celebrities like the always dapper Neil Patrick Harris.

Watch out ‘cuz you those celebrities are always up for a photo bomb at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

My final photo share from the grand opening event festivities pretty much says it all:

360 degrees of awesome Grand Eye Opening April 2015

This sums up my feelings about the whole attraction complex, but as the saying goes, don’t take my word for it.  Come experience the fun yourself!

Photos courtesy of Shel Marks PR and Events.


Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner