At Disney California Adventure Park in the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., the new $75 million World of Color show uses all manner of lasers, lights and projections, not to mention some 1,200 pulsing fountains, in a 25-minute "visual symphony" that takes viewers through stories based on Disney movies such as The Lion King and WALL-E. The attraction can accommodate up to 6,000 people, and buyouts are available that would enable event organizers to customize the show with corporate logos.
Also at the resort, the 988-room Disneyland Hotel's new Big Thunder Suite spans 1,400 square feet decorated in the mid-19th-century fashion of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland Park. The entrance, on the 11th floor of the hotel's Dreams Tower, is a faux mine shaft inlaid with fool's gold. Inside, wood from a Midwestern barn has been repurposed for flooring and paneling, complimenting the rustic décor and textured earthen walls. The suite features two bedrooms, a living and dining area, and a master bathroom concealed by a sliding barn door.
In addition, a 10,000-square-foot kitchen has boosted the efficiency of the culinary experience for visitors to both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. The facility can turn out F&B for meals ranging from an intimate dinner in the secluded Aladdin's Oasis, to an 800-person picnic in the Festival Arena, to a 7,000-person private event in either of the theme parks. (714) 781-7531; disneyland.disney.go.com
The 130-year-old Los Angeles Athletic Club completed the renovation of its 72-room hotel in October 2009. The urban-chic accommodations feature a variety of original artwork on the walls and homey touches such as grandfather clocks in addition to flat-screen televisions and wireless Internet. The hotel's Trophy Room serves as a 1,000-bottle wine cellar as well as a private venue for chef-led tasting dinners for up to eight guests.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is in the midst of an $84 million renovation. The museum's revamped Rotunda and Galleries reopened in July, and a new fossil hall and urban wilderness exhibit are set to debut in 2011. Space inside the galleries or among the huge dinosaur exhibits can be rented for events and can accommodate up to 500 people.
Meeting Hotels: Properties include the 1,352-room Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites, 1,234-room Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 1,004-room Los Angeles Airport Marriott, 928-room Wilshire Grand Los Angeles, 878-room JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles, 802-room Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles, 740-room Westin Los Angeles Airport, 726-room Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, 683-room Millenium Biltmore Los Angeles, 613-room Crowne Plaza Los Angeles International Airport, 569-room Beverly Hilton, 485-room Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel, 482-room Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, 469-room Los Angeles Marriott Downtown, 453-room Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza, 295-room Sofitel Los Angeles, 268-room Hotel Palomar Los Angeles-Westwood and 200-room London West Hollywood.
Convention Center: Los Angeles Convention Center; exhibit space, 770,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 64; (213) 741-1151; lacclink.com
Airport Transit: Los Angeles International Airport, approximately 17 miles from the downtown district. Transfer cost to downtown by taxi, about $47; by bus, $1.85; by FlyAway shuttle to Union Station, Westwood and Van Nuys, $5-$7
Taxes: Sales tax, 9.25%; room tax, 14%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14%
Group Venues: In the downtown district, The Edison began life as an early power plant back in 1910 and today serves as a striking event emporium. With its art nouveau and industrial Gothic décor, the facility features a variety of interesting spaces, such as The Lab (which accommodates up to 200 people), the Game Room (20) and the Generation Lounge (70). For private dinners of up to 45 people, the Tesla Lounge offers a genteel turn-of-the-20th-century vibe. Victorian-style armchairs and furnishings, an elevated stage for live entertainment and beautifully primitive early motion pictures (produced by the venue's namesake) projected onto the walls complete the picture. (213) 613-0000; edisondowntown.com
L.A. LIVE, AEG's $2.5 billion sports, entertainment and hotel complex, spans a monumental 4 million square feet and includes the Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge, the Grammy Museum, and a Yard House eatery and bar, among other attractions. Outside, the 40,000-square-foot Nokia Plaza can be taken over by groups for events. The entire complex, nestled between the Staples Center and Los Angeles Convention Center in a lively area of the city, offers a total of 260,480 square feet of event space. (866) 548-3452; lalive.com
CVB Services: LA Inc., The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, (213) 624-7300 or (800) 228-2452; discoverlosangeles.com