NWRS banquet held in magical setting By Brett Borden NASCAR Online ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 4, 1999)

The Disney Contemporary Resort is best known, perhaps, for the Monorail that comes directly through the hotel and leads to the Magic Kingdom. The NASCAR Winston Racing Series sure knows how, and where, to throw a party.

The NWRS, with markets stretching from Palmer, Alaska, to St. Augustine, Fla., and from Portland, Maine, to San Diego, Calif., celebrates its season and honors its national champion here at the Disney Contemporary Resort. With theme parks around every corner, Orlando is a veritable Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory for the kid in all of us. To get a golden ticket, 110 drivers and 10 mechanics who will be picking up awards here Friday had to prove themselves in those markets across the country.

The banquet is held at Disney's Contemporary Resort, which towers over the neighboring Magic Kingdom Park. Its 15-story, A-Frame tower and two three-story garden wings offer more than 1,000 rooms, a beautiful new lobby, and a variety of restaurants, lounges, shops, and onsite recreation. It is best known, perhaps, for the Monorail that comes directly through the hotel and leads to the Magic Kingdom.

There aren't any Wonka-like rivers of chocolate or candy plants around, but there are no less than six unique restaurants on the premises.

Chef Mickey's Restaurant offers an enormous buffet for breakfast and dinner.

Concourse Steakhouse is a family-friendly steakhouse with a view overlooking the Monorail.

The Food and Fun Center is a food service counter featuring hot and cold sandwiches, salads, and desserts 24 hours a day.

The Outer Rim features cocktails and appetizers and overlooks Bay Lake.

The California Grill is an award-winning restaurant on the 15th floor and features spectacular views of Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom.

The California Grill Lounge serves cocktails and California wines, tapas, and desserts.

For those more interested in trimming their stomachs than filling them, the resort offers golf, tennis, volleyball, watercraft rentals, and a health club.

As for the guest rooms, the amenities include an in-room wall safe (in which to store trophies), data ports for computers, and phones in the bath area.

The hotel serves as a mecca for motorsports enthusiasts on a grass-roots level.

And outside the hotel, there is the city built on the dreams of Walt Disney himself. There is a theme park to suit anyone's fancy, and fancy restaurants that will suit anyone's tastes. Disney World. Sea World. Wet and Wild. NASCAR CafT. You name it, and this town has it.

And for one sparkling night in November, the NASCAR Winston Racing Series has a ball there. And a banquet, too.