NORDP 2016 Annual Research Development Conference

Visitor Guide


Complimentary transportation from Hyatt Regency to WDW, Universal and Sea World

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World, Click here for special ticket offers
There are special Disney packages just for NORDP Conference attendees. Why not take advantage of all the fun Disney has to offer while you’re right next door. Click on this link for your special rates:

Walt Disney World has 4 theme parks and 2 water parks:

Magic Kingdom

  • fairy tale setting, “THE” Disney World
  • Cinderella Castle
  • divided into Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland
  • attractions such as Space Mountain, Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, Under the Sea, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, many kid-friendly rides
  • Great “Wishes” Evening spectacular with projections on the castle and fireworks

Hollywood Studios

  • all about movies
  • Star Tours, Toy Story Mania, Aerosmith Rock n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Frozen Sing-along celebration, The Great Movie Ride, Lights, Motor, Action (car stunt show)
  • Evening show: Fantasmic! – one of the best evening shows, starring Mickey Mouse on an island who battles evil villains to save his dreams; pyrotechnics and water projections

Animal Kingdom

  • all about animals
  • visit Africa, Asia and Dinoland
  • attractions such as Kilimanjaro Safari, Expedition Everest, Kali Rapids, Finding Nemo (Musical), Festival of the Lion King (show), Dinosaur, several walking trails to visit with a diversity of animals, take a train to conservation station, with petting area
  • Currently no evening show


  • educational on cultures, language, earth, etc.
  • divided into Future World and Worldshow Case
  • Future World: “The Land” with Soarin’ and Living with the land; The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Test Track, Mission: Space, Spaceship Earth
  • World Showcase: walk through Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, The American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, Canada, learn about the different countries, and try their food
  • Evening Show: “Reflections of Earth”, on the lake
  • Epcot is connected to Magic Kingdom via monorail (free of charge)

Typhoon Lagoon

Many slides with small or big drops: Bay slides, Castaway Creek, Crush ‘n’ Gusher, Gangplank Falls, Humunga Kowabunga etc., some animal encounters

Blizzard Beach

  • simulates ski resort that melted
  • Many water slides, wave pool, raft rides

Also available on-site are mini-golf (Fantasy golf) and golfing.

Individual theme park tickets are available for single or multiple days. If visiting more than one theme park a day, a “park hopper” pass is required (extra charge). After purchasing tickets, each individual can obtain “fastpasses” for 3 different rides that allow quicker access and less waiting in line. These fastpasses are free, and can be made either at kiosks in the park, or on the “Walt Disney World” official app “My Disney Experience” (preferred).

Disney Springs

  • ~ 3 miles from Grand Cypress
  • This multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney is a unique destination that will treat guests to significantly more shopping, dining and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm. It is expected to be completed in 2016.
  • There is no entrance fee to visit Disney Springs.

Universal Studios


  • Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley with “Escape from Gringotts”
  • Coasters: Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Revenge of the Mummy
  • Minions, The Simpsons, Men in Black Alien Attack, E.T. Adventure, Shrek, Transformers etc.

Islands of Adventure

  • Harry Potter’s Hogsmeade and Hogwart’s Castle with “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”
  • Coasters: The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Dragon Challenge, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall
  • Water Rides: Jurassic Park River Adventure, Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges
  • Other Rides: Spiderman, The Cat in the Hat, Pteranodon Flyers etc.

Both parks are connected via the Hogwarts Express. A “park-to-park” admission ticket is required to board the train. Express passes that will let you bypass wait lines can be purchased for an additional $60 pp fee. These are good for any rides (except Harry Potter rides), all day.

Sea World

  • ~ 5 miles from Grand Cypress.
  • Entertainment includes rides, shows and exhibits.
  • Express passes (Quick Queue) can be purchased starting at $19 pp for these attractions: Manta, Kraken, Antartica, Turtle Trek, Journey to Atlantis, Wild Artic, and Sky Tower.


Grand Cypress Golf Course

Click on this link to reserve a tee time at one of four uniquely challenging Jack Nicklaus Signature Design courses or sign up with a nationally acclaimed instructor at the Academy of Golf.

The Marilyn Monroe Spa at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

Start your full day of pampering in the spa with a massage, wrap or body treatment, followed by a facial, manicure and pedicure. Then finish with a shampoo, styling and makeup at the Marilyn inspired makeup bar. Click on this link to look at all their available services or to schedule a treatment.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

  • ~58 miles from Grand Cypress
  • Walk under the largest rocket ever flown, touch an actual moon rock, meet a veteran NASA astronaut, experience the International Space Station and stand nose-to-nose with Atlantis

Splitsville Luxury Lanes

Experience this two-story bowling and dining complex located in Disney Springs. A rare upscale and nostalgic feel with 30 lanes, billiards, live entertainment and an eclectic menu with everything from fresh-rolled sushi to cheeseburgers. Click on this link to check out the menu or book a lane.

Lake Eola Park

Enjoy the half mile walking/running path, feeding live swans and other birds, grab a bite to eat at the Grill or rent a swan-shaped paddle boat. Click on this link to see park hours, boat rental fees or see a list of their upcoming events.

The Orlando Eye

This iconic 400-foot tall observation wheel provides breathtaking views of Central Florida in all directions, in fully enclosed air-conditioned capsules.

Orlando Premium Outlets & Lake Buena Vista Outlets

Click on these links for a list of their great retailers, hours and deals:

Air Boat Everglades Tour

Experience a large variety of Florida wildlife, including a possible alligator sighting. Multiple companies servicing the Orlando area

Airboat Ride with Transportation from Orlando

  • Half-day tour that includes admission to an exotic animal park, an alligator demonstration, and 30-minute airboat ride on Lake Cypress
  • Includes free round-trip transportation from designated locations
  • Nearest location is Crossroads Plaza, which is ~0.7 miles from Grand Cypress. Can walk or use the hotel shuttle?
  • Website says additional pick-up locations available for a fee.

Spirit of the Swamp

  • 1-2 hour tours offered of Lake Tohopekaliga
  • Departs from 2830 Neptune Rd Kissimmee, FL 34744 (~20 miles from Grand Cypress)

Boggy Creek

  • Offers a variety of tours of Lake Tohopekaliga
  • Departs from 3702 Big Bass Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34744 (~18 miles from Grand Cypress)

Fun Spot

  • Two locations with different experiences at each: Orlando location is 10 miles from Grand Cypress. Kissimmee location is 7 miles.
  • Both parks offer coasters, multi-level Go-Karts, thrill rides, family rides and an arcade.

I-Drive 360

Orlando’s new $250 million entertainment complex that has a blend of attractions, restaurants, clubs, and shops. Included in the complex is the Orlando Eye, Madame Tussaud’s, SEA LIFE Aquarium, and Skeletons: Animals Unveiled! Approximately 8 miles from Grand Cypress.

Orlando Eye

The iconic 400-foot tall observation wheel provides breathtaking views of Central Florida in all directions, with sights of Orlando’s skyline.

Madam Tussauds

  • Madame Tussauds is world-renowned for the creation of detailed and lifelike wax figures that pay homage to A-list celebrities from film and television, sports icons, musicians from all genres, and notable figures from history and pop culture.
  • One can purchase a single admission ticket or get package prices to any of these 4 nearby attractions: Orlando Eye, Madam Tussaud, Sea Life Aquarium, and LegoLand.

Sea Life

SEA LIFE Orlando will transport you into a magical underwater world filled with a dazzling array of amazing creatures! From face-to-face encounters with sharks, to a hands-on touchpool experience, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy at SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, the newest aquarium in Orlando!

Skeletons: Animals Unveiled

This is a family-owned museum and one of only two skeleton museums in America. Both museums feature the inner framework of hundreds of animals from all over the world.


  • ~ 37 miles from Grand Cypress.
  • The 150-acre interactive theme park offers more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, restaurants, shopping, a breathtaking botanical garden and the LEGOLAND Water Park all geared to families with children ages 2 to 12.
  • The Lego Movie 4D Adventure is expected to debut in 2016.