Orlando Travel Guide

City Overview Orlando

Since the Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1966, the Central Florida region has been booming, and Orlando today lives primarily from its numerous and popular theme parks.

At the same time, this young city developed its own identity when several high-tech industries grew up. The city center is strongly shaped by young, dynamic and successful people and the city is striving to become a large cultural center. Orlando is also number two in America’s hit list of conference venues.

Still, for 99% of visitors, the main attraction remains the theme parks and similar attractions like the nearby Kennedy Space Center.

Orlando is experienced in constantly reinventing itself and offering new attractions at regular intervals, all in order to keep attracting the important returnees among the visitors.

Important facts

Area code: 409

Population: 285.713 (2020)

Latitude: 28.538336

Longitude: -81.379237

Weather in Orlando

The main season is during the summer holidays in July and August, when families with children populate the amusement parks. Cheaper hotel prices and shorter queues are available in September, which is usually the quietest month in Orlando. From January to March, fewer visitors come and the weather is pleasant. Temperatures never normally drop below 21 ° C, but from June to September it is rainier than in the other months.

Orlando City History

The beginnings of the city of Orlando were humble. The city was originally called ‘Jernigan’ after the settler Aaron Jernigan, who came from Georgia and settled there in 1843. From this point on, Orlando developed relatively slowly around a former military base (Fort Gatlin), which was built there during the high phase of the Seminole Wars and abandoned in 1849.

The city was permanently renamed Orlando in 1857. It’s unclear how the city got its current name, but the most common story tells that heroic guard Orlando Reeve, who guarded the camp, was killed by arrows and buried on the south side of Lake Eola, saved his unit should have.

The area was initially heavily used for agriculture until the early 20th century. The landscape was dominated by beef farms that supplied beef to hungry Cuba and cotton fields that were converted to orange groves in the late 19th century.

The construction boom in the 1920s saw significant development across Florida, but Orlando was not very successful as a middle-class recreation area. Although the boom was short-lived, the city’s reputation changed with the opening of the Cypress Gardens Adventure Park in 1936. Orlando became an internationally known vacation spot and developed into an entertainment center.

Cypress Gardens opened as a botanical garden, but the park quickly became an attraction known for its water skiing facility. The park remained open until its sale in 2009 and is now home to Legoland Florida.

Success as a vacation spot was assured when Orlando International Airport opened in 1962 and was served by four major airlines with scheduled flights. For Orlando, which was difficult to access by other routes, the airport brought hordes of domestic and foreign visitors.

The truly crucial year for Orlando was 1965 when Walt Disney announced its plans to build a theme park here in Miami and Tampa, where he saw the danger of hurricanes. After the first Magic Kingdom theme park opened in 1971 after five years of construction, Disney added three more theme parks and two water parks, as well as a host of related structures, including hotels, shops, and golf courses, to create a real world resort to let.

After Disney set an example, SeaWorld (three theme parks) and Universal (two theme parks: Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure with the Harry Potter theme park) also contributed to Orlando’s reputation as the world capital for family entertainment. Together, they attract almost 50 million visitors a year, which has resulted in a large increase in hotels, restaurants, shops and numerous smaller attractions.

To this day, Orlando has tried to present itself independently of the theme parks, but obviously these form the backbone of the local economy. A burgeoning business district is changing the city’s skyline, and companies outside of tourism (IT and financial services) are receiving extensive support.

Downtown Orlando