Orlando

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Overview

Orlando, known as 'The Theme Park Capital of the World', is home to more than a dozen theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Besides theme parks, it offers a variety of cultural attractions, shopping venues, and outdoor activities.

History

Originally inhabited by the Seminole tribe, Orlando became a city in 1885. It was a quiet farming town until the arrival of Walt Disney World in 1971, which transformed it into a globally known tourist destination.

Culture

Orlando is a melting pot of cultures, with a significant Hispanic population and a growing number of people from around the world, making it a diverse and cosmopolitan city.

Interesting Facts

  • Orlando is home to more than 100 lakes.
  • The city was originally named Jernigan after the first permanent settler.
  • Walt Disney World Resort is roughly the size of San Francisco.
  • Orlando attracts more visitors than any other amusement park destination in the United States.
  • The region is known for its large orange production.
  • Orlando has the largest collection of Tiffany glass in the world at The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art.
  • The city is a major tech hub, often referred to as 'Silicon Valley of the East'.
  • Orlando's Lake Eola is actually a giant sinkhole.
  • The Orlando International Airport (MCO) stands for McCoy Air Force Base, its former name.
  • Orlando hosts the largest university campus by enrollment in the United States, the University of Central Florida.

Expert Advice

  • Purchase theme park tickets in advance to save time and money.
  • Stay hydrated and wear comfortable clothing; the weather can be quite warm.
  • Consider staying at a hotel with shuttle service to the parks.
  • Explore dining options outside theme parks for more variety and better prices.
  • Take advantage of FastPass+ or Express Pass options at theme parks to skip lines.
  • Check the event calendar for seasonal festivals and events.
  • Rent a car if you plan to explore beyond the theme parks.
  • Visit during the off-peak season (late August through early November) for shorter lines.
  • Pack a portable charger for your phone; you'll use it a lot for photos, apps, and maps.
  • Explore natural attractions like springs and wildlife reserves for a break from theme parks.

People on Budget

  • Visit theme parks during off-peak periods for lower admission prices.
  • Buy souvenirs from off-site stores rather than inside the theme parks.
  • Use free shuttle services provided by hotels.
  • Look for combo tickets that offer access to multiple parks or attractions.
  • Dine outside the theme parks to save on meals.
  • Take advantage of happy hour specials at restaurants.
  • Use coupons and discount vouchers available online or in tourist guides.
  • Consider a vacation rental instead of a hotel for longer stays.
  • Purchase a refillable water bottle to avoid buying bottled water.

Emergency Details

  • Emergency services: Dial 911
  • Orlando Police Department: +1 407-246-2470
  • Orlando Health: +1 321-843-2584
  • Advent Health Orlando: +1 407-303-5600
  • Poison Control: +1 800-222-1222
  • Roadside Assistance: Dial *347 if you're on a highway

Weather

Orlando has a humid subtropical climate, with hot, rainy summers and cooler, dry winters. Average summer temperatures are around 90°F (32°C), while winter temperatures average around 60°F (15°C).

Ideal time to visit

Late August through early November, when the weather is more pleasant and the crowds are smaller.

Top Places to Visit in Orlando

Orlando caters to all tastes. Below, we have picked some crowd favorites. Prepare for memorable experiences that will leave a lasting impression:

  • Visit Walt Disney World Resort for a magical experience.
  • Explore Universal Orlando Resort, home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  • Enjoy the thrills at SeaWorld Orlando and Discovery Cove.
  • Take a hot air balloon ride for a bird's-eye view of the area.
  • Shop at Orlando's premium outlets and malls.
  • Relax at one of the many world-class spas.
  • Play a round of golf at one of the numerous golf courses.
  • Discover local wildlife at Gatorland or the Central Florida Zoo.
  • Experience an airboat ride in the Everglades.
  • Enjoy the nightlife and dining in downtown Orlando.
Image for Walt Disney World® Resort

Walt Disney World® Resort

Experience the Magic at Walt Disney World® Resort

Image for Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney's Hollywood Studios

A Cinematic Adventure Awaits

Image for Disney Springs

Disney Springs

Explore the Magic of Disney Springs!

Top Places to Eat in Orlando

Orlando boasts a plethora of exceptional dining choices. Below, we highlight a few must-try options not to be missed during your visit. Prepare to savor the culinary delights that await you:

  • Cuban Sandwich - A Florida classic, featuring ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard.
  • Gator Bites - Fried alligator, often served with a dipping sauce.
  • Key Lime Pie - A sweet and tart pie, made with Key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk.
  • Fresh Citrus Juices - Given the region's production, freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juices are a must-try.
  • Seafood - With its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, Orlando offers a variety of fresh seafood dishes.
  • Southern Barbecue - Enjoy smoky flavors from local barbecue joints, serving ribs, brisket, and pulled pork.
  • Ethnic Cuisines - Explore diverse offerings including Mexican, Cuban, Vietnamese, and Indian restaurants.
  • Plant-Based Options - Many restaurants offer vegan and vegetarian dishes, catering to all dietary preferences.
  • Theme Park Snacks - Try iconic treats like Disney's Dole Whip, Butterbeer at Universal's Wizarding World, and giant turkey legs.

Maple Street Biscuit Company

6268 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, celebration

Brunch Restaurant, Breakfast Spot

Miller's Ale House

8123 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, kissimmee

Sports Bar, Family Dining, Casual Dining

Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar

Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar, orlando

Speakeasy

B-Line Diner

9801 International Dr, orlando

Diner, American Cuisine

Plan Your Trip to Orlando

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