Once again, insurance professionals, colleagues and friends are headed to Orlando, Florida for the Workers’ Compensation Institute Educational Conference. We always look forward to the WCI conference because we have worked for over 20 years in the insurance industry and have attended WCI almost as long. The conference is a chance for us to see old friends, make new connections, and expand our expertise in the return-to-work arena.

As much as the conference grounds us, the theme this year is ‘Cosmic’ so we thought we’d share a few out of this world attractions in and around Orlando that you can visit if you’re coming to WCI.

1 – Kennedy Space Center

If you say the words “Orlando” and “space” to any Floridian, they will tell you to check out the Kennedy Space Center – and they’re right! Just an hour east of Orlando near Titusville, Kennedy Space Center is ground zero for many rocket launches. It’s also one of the only places on Earth where you can see real launch areas, meet astronauts, see rockets, and experience flight simulations.

Not only was American history made here, world history was made on these grounds.

Make the short drive over and spend a few hours walking through the Rocket Garden with rockets from NASA’s Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs or attend one of KSC’s daily “Lunch with an Astronaut” events. You’re sure to Take-Off!

2 – ICON Orlando (formerly The Orlando Eye)

If you’re trying to stay in orbit, visit the ICON Orlando, just 20 minutes from the WCI conference. First opened in 2015, this 400-foot observation wheel has quickly become an iconic part of the Orlando skyline and Orlando experience.

ICON Orlando offers stunning views of downtown Orlando and on a clear day, you may be able to see Cape Canaveral to the East. The wheel is lit every evening so day or night you’re sure to enjoy an amazing ride.

*Bonus: The Orlando Starflyer opened earlier this summer right next door. The Orlando StarFlyer is the world’s tallest swing ride attraction standing 450 feet high. The ride the travels up and down and around the giant tower and can operate in winds up to 45mph. Lift-off and orbit Orlando!

3 – Star Wars™: Secrets of the Empire @ Disney Springs

Maybe you would like to see stars in a different galaxy, lucky for you because a galaxy far, far away needs your help! Visit Disney Springs’ Star Wars™: Secrets of the Empire and be transported in a hyper-reality experience.

Under the orders of the budding rebellion, a team of four will travel to the molten planet of Mustafar. Your mission: to recover Imperial intelligence vital to the rebellion’s survival. Alongside the pragmatic droid K-2S0, your team must navigate through an enemy facility walking into danger at every turn. Disguised as stormtroopers, grab your blaster, solve puzzles, and fight giant lava monsters in an effort to fulfill your team’s orders.

After you’ve saved the galaxy, relax at one of Disney Springs many dining options – Just don’t look for the Mos Eisley cantina.

4 – WonderWorks SpaceZone

If you’re looking to travel in time instead of space, visit your inner child at WonderWorks. Just north of the Orange County Convention Center on I-Drive, WonderWorks’ upside-down construction is attention-getting! Inside visitors will find laser tag, a rope course, a 6D motion ride, and 100+ hands-on science exhibits.

If you can’t make it to Kennedy Space Center, WonderWorks has a SpaceZone where guests can try on an EVA suit, climb into a replica of the Mercury Capsule, or attempt to land a Space Shuttle Discovery.

Finally, if you want to see genuine stars…

5 – Lake Apopka

Lake Apopka is only forty-five minutes from the conference, but it will feel like you traveled farther. With all the nightlife in Orlando, Lake Apopka is a welcome change of pace with very little development. This and the fact that Lake Apopka is one of the largest lakes in Florida, make it one of the best spots to get away and do some serious stargazing…just make sure to watch out for gators while you’re there.

Visit Booth 309

Orlando has a lot to offer orbiting the WCI Conference. But while you’re attending the Workers’ Compensation Institute Educational Conference, make sure to stop by Booth 309 to meet our very own shining stars. Meet with us and register to win an iPad or get animated by cartoonist Rafael Diez.

We will be on hand to discuss Transition2Work as an employer solution for accommodating occupational and non-occupational disabilities. Find out about our programs to help reduce workers’ compensation and disability claim costs by returning injured employees to the workforce as soon as they are released to modified duty.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!