Orlando, Florida: Wikis


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—  City  —
Downtown Orlando


Nickname(s): The City Beautiful
Motto: "Say Yes to Orlando"[1]
Location in Orange County and the state of Florida
Orlando is located in the USA
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 28°32′37″N 81°22′22″W / 28.54361°N 81.37278°W / 28.54361; -81.37278
Country  United States
State  Florida
County  Orange
Settled 1875
 - Mayor Buddy Dyer (D)
 - City 101.0 sq mi (261.5 km2)
 - Land 93.5 sq mi (242.2 km2)
 - Water 7.5 sq mi (19.3 km2)
Elevation 98 ft (34 m)
Population (2008)[2][3]
 - City 230,519 (82nd)
 Density 2,282.36/sq mi (951.77/km2)
 Metro 2,054,574
  2008 estimates
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Area code(s) 321, 407
FIPS code 12-53000[4]
GNIS feature ID 0288240[5]
Website www.cityoforlando.net

Orlando is a major city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan region. The Greater Orlando metropolitan area has a population of 2,054,574 while the city-proper population is 230,519 (July 2008 estimate) [6]. It is the fifth largest city in Florida by population. It was incorporated on July 31, 1875, and became a city in 1885.

Originally the center of a major citrus-growing region, Orlando is now an urban city with various industries. The area is a major tourist destination and is the home of the Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld. Orlando is also about 21 miles Northeast of Lake Buena Vista, Florida, home of the Walt Disney World Resort. These attractions helped make Orlando the third most visited American city among travelers [7] in the year 2007. Since the establishment of destination tourism in the 1970s, the local economy has diversified, and today the region is the center of operations for companies servicing Central Florida. Orlando is also home to the University of Central Florida, the largest university campus by student enrollment in the state of Florida and among the largest in the United States.[8]

In 2008, Orlando was listed as a "high sufficiency" world-city in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory by Loughborough University [9]



Lake Lucerne in c. 1905

Pre-European history

Before European settlers arrived in the area in 1836, Orlando was sparsely populated by the Creek and Apache Native American tribes. However, very little, if any, archaeological sites exist today.


Prior to being known by its current name, Orlando was known as Jernigan. This originates from the first permanent settler, Aaron Jernigan, a cattleman who acquired land along Lake Holden by the terms of the Armed Occupation Act of 1842.

Local legend says the name "Orlando" was derived when a soldier named Orlando Reeves died in the area during the Second Seminole War. It seems, however, that Orlando Reeves (sometimes Rees) operated a sugar mill and plantation about 30 miles (50 km) to the north at Spring Garden in Volusia County. Pioneer settlers simply found his name carved into a tree as Orlando Acosta and assumed it was a marker for his grave site. They then referred to the area as "Orlando Acosta's grave" and later simply Orlando. According to written evidence, Orlando Acosta was also a soldier, but most details of his life is uncertain. A memorial beside Lake Eola designates the spot where the city's namesake fell. Another popular local legend says the city was named after one of the main characters in the Shakespeare play As You Like It. One of the main streets in downtown Orlando is named Rosalind Avenue, after Rosalind, the heroine of the play.

During the Second Seminole War, the U.S. Army established an outpost at Fort Gatlin, a few miles south of the modern downtown, in 1838, but it was quickly abandoned when the war came to an end.

Most pioneers did not arrive until after the Third Seminole War in the 1850s. Many early residents made their living by cattle ranching.


After Mosquito County was divided in 1845, Orlando became the county seat of the new Orange County in 1856. It remained a rural backwater during the Civil War, and suffered greatly during the Union blockade. The Reconstruction Era brought on a population explosion, which led to Orlando's incorporation as a town on July 31, 1875, and as a city in 1885.[10]

The period from 1875 to 1895 is remembered as Orlando's Golden Era, when it became the hub of Florida's citrus industry. But the Great Freeze of 1894–95 forced many owners to give up their independent groves, thus consolidating holdings in the hands of a few "citrus barons" who shifted operations south, primarily around Lake Wales in Polk County.

The Wyoming Hotel in c. 1905

There were a couple of notable homesteaders in the area, including the Curry family. Through their property in east Orlando flowed the Econlockhatchee River, which travelers crossed by fording. This would be commemorated by the street's name, Curry Ford Road. Also, just south of the airport in the Boggy Creek area was 150 acres (0.61 km2) of property homesteaded in the late 1800s by the Ward family. This property is still owned by the Ward family, and can be seen from flights out of MCO southbound immediately on the south side of SR-417.

After Industrial Revolution

Orlando, as Florida's largest inland city, became a popular resort during the years between the Spanish-American War and World War I. In the 1920s, Orlando experienced extensive housing development during the Florida Land Boom. Land prices soared. During this period several neighborhoods in downtown were constructed, endowing it with many bungalows. The boom ended when several hurricanes hit Florida in the late 20s, along with the Great Depression.

During World War II, a number of Army personnel were stationed at the Orlando Army Air Base and nearby Pinecastle Army Air Field. Some of these servicemen stayed in Orlando to settle and raise families. In 1956 the aerospace/defense company Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) established a plant in the city. Orlando AAB and Pinecastle AAF were transferred to the United States Air Force in 1947 when it became a separate service and were redesignated as Air Force Bases (AFB). In 1958, Pinecastle AFB was renamed McCoy Air Force Base after Colonel Michael N.W. McCoy, a former commander of the 320th Bombardment Wing at the installation, killed in the crash of a B-47 Stratojet bomber north of Orlando. In the 1960s, the base subsequently became home to the 306th Bombardment Wing of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), operating B-52 Stratofortress and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, in addition to detachment operations by EC-121 and U-2 aircraft.

Lucerne Circle in c. 1905

Tourism in history

Perhaps the most critical event for Orlando's economy occurred in 1965 when Walt Disney announced plans to build Walt Disney World. Although Disney had considered the regions of Miami and Tampa for his park, one of the major reasons behind his decision not to locate there was due to hurricanes— Orlando's inland location, although not free from hurricane damage, exposed it to less threat than coastal regions. The famous vacation resort opened in October 1971, ushering in an explosive population and economic growth for the Orlando metropolitan area, which now encompasses Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake counties. As a result, tourism became the centerpiece of the area's economy. Orlando is consistently ranked as one of the top vacation destinations in the world, and now boasts more theme parks and entertainment attractions than anywhere else in the world.

Another major factor in Orlando's growth occurred in 1962, when the new Orlando Jetport, the precursor of the present day Orlando International Airport, was built from a portion of the McCoy Air Force Base. By 1970, four major airlines (Delta Air Lines, National Airlines, Eastern Airlines and Southern Airways) were providing scheduled flights. McCoy Air Force Base officially closed in 1975, and most of it is now part of the airport. The airport still retains the former Air Force Base airport code (MCO).

Geography and cityscape

Lake Eola in 1911
Seaworld SkyTower

The Geography of Orlando is mostly wetlands, consisting of many lakes and swamps. The terrain is generally flat, making the land fairly low and wet. The largest lake in Orlando, Lake Apopka, is larger than the Walt Disney World Resort.


  • The SunTrust Center, the tallest building in Orlando at 441 ft (134 m), was built in 1988.
  • The VUE at Lake Eola (2008, 426 ft (130 m) tall, but with 35 stories it will have more stories than the SunTrust Center.[11][12]
  • The Orange County Courthouse (1997, 416 ft (127 m).
  • The Bank of America Center (Formerly Barnett Plaza), built in 1988, 409 ft (125 m)
  • Solaire at the Plaza, 2006, 359 ft (109 m)

Outside downtown Orlando, the Orlando International Airport ATC Tower (2002, 346 ft (105 m) and the SeaWorld SkyTower, at 400 ft (122 m) tall, is the tallest tower in Orange County outside Orlando proper. There are also several tall transmission towers in Orange County, the tallest of which is the WFTV transmission tower in Christmas at 1,617 ft (491.6 m) tall.

Defense and Aeronautics

Orlando is close enough to Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and Kennedy Space Center for residents to commute to work from the city's suburbs. It also allows easy access to Port Canaveral, an important cruise shipterminal. Because of its proximity to the Space Coast near the Kennedy Space Center, many high-tech companies have shifted to the Orlando area.


Orlando has a warm and humid subtropical climate, and there are two major seasons each year. One of those seasons is hot and rainy, lasting from the break of June until late September (roughly coinciding with the Atlantic hurricane season). The other is the dry season (October through May) that brings more moderate temperatures and less frequent rainfall. The area's warm and humid climate is caused primarily by its low elevation, its position relatively close to the Tropic of Cancer, and its location in the center of a peninsula. Many characteristics of its climate are a result of its proximity to the Gulf Stream, which flows around the peninsula of Florida.

During the height of Orlando's very humid summer season, temperatures rarely fall below 70 °F (21 °C), and daytime highs average in the 90s (32-37 °C). The area's humidity acts as a buffer, usually preventing actual temperatures from exceeding 100 °F (38 °C), but also pushing the heat index to over 110 °F (43 °C). The city's highest recorded temperature is 101 °F (38 °C), set July 2, 1998. During these months, strong afternoon thunderstorms occur almost daily. These storms are caused by air masses from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean colliding over Central Florida. They are highlighted by spectacular lightning and can also bring heavy rain (sometimes several inches per hour) and powerful winds as well as occasional damaging hail.

During the cooler seasons, humidity is lower and temperatures are more moderate, and can fluctuate more readily. Average nighttime lows in January are around 50 °F (10 °C), and average daytime highs are about 72 °F (22 °C). Temperatures rarely dip below 32 °F (0 °C). Because the winter season is dry and rare freezing temperatures occur after cold fronts (and their accompanying precipitation) have passed, Orlando experiences no significant snowfall (only once has measurable snow accumulated since recording began at the airport in 1948). Very rarely do the ingredients come together for flurries to occur. The area around Orlando recorded up to 6" (15 cm) in 1977 during a snowstorm. Reports of flurries in Orlando include December 23, 1989, and January 9, 2010. Ocean effect snow in the coastal areas around Orlando are slightly more frequent, but rarely making it to the ground.

The average annual rainfall in Orlando is 48.35 inches (122.8 cm), most of it occurring in the period from June to September. The months of October through May are Orlando's driest season. During this period (especially in its later months), there is often a wildfire hazard. During some years, fires have been severe. In 1998, a strong El Niño caused an unusually wet January and February, followed by drought throughout the spring and early summer, causing a record wildfire season that created numerous air quality alerts in Orlando and severely impacted normal daily life, including the postponement of that year's Pepsi 400 NASCAR race in nearby Daytona Beach.

Orlando has a considerable hurricane risk, although it is not as high as it is in South Florida's urban corridor or other coastal regions. Since the city is located 42 miles (68 km) inland from the Atlantic and 77 miles (124 km) inland from the Gulf of Mexico,[13] hurricanes usually weaken before arriving. Storm surges are not a concern since the region is 100 feet (30 m) above sea level. Despite its location, the city does see strong hurricanes. During the notorious 2004 hurricane season, Orlando was hit by three hurricanes that caused significant damage, with Hurricane Charley the worst of these. The city also experienced widespread damage during Hurricane Donna in 1960.

Climate data for Orlando
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 87
Average high °F (°C) 72
Average low °F (°C) 50
Record low °F (°C) 19
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.43
Source: weather.com 2009-04-15


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1890 2,856
1900 2,481 −13.1%
1910 3,894 57.0%
1920 9,282 138.4%
1930 27,330 194.4%
1940 36,736 34.4%
1950 52,367 42.5%
1960 88,135 68.3%
1970 99,006 12.3%
1980 128,251 29.5%
1990 164,693 28.4%
2000 185,951 12.9%
Est. 2008 230,514 24.0%
Population 1890–2000.[14]
U.S. Census Map

According to the 2006-2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the racial composition of Orlando was follows:

Source: [15]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 185,951 people (2008 estimate counted 230,514 people), 80,883 households, and 42,382 families residing in the city. The population density was 767.9/km² (1,988.9/mi²). There were 188,486 housing units at an average density of 365.4/km² (946.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 61.10% White, 26.70% African American, 1.43% Asian, 0.34% Native American, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 5.41% from other races, and 2.54% from two or more races. 17.79% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 80,883 households out of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.4% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.6% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 37.3% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.

The median income  for a household in the city was $35,732, and the median income for a family was $40,648. Males had a median income of $30,866 versus $25,267 for females. The per capita income  for the city was $21,216. About 13.3% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.0% of those under age 18 and 12.6% of those age 65 or over.

Orlando is also home to one of the nation's highest population percentage of LGBT people. According to a study by UCLA, 7.7% of Orlando's population is gay, lesbian, or bisexual and with 5.7% of the entire metropolitan population, it ranks 9th in the nation.[16]

Orlando also has the largest population of Puerto Ricans in Florida and their cultural impact on Central Florida is similar to that of the large Cuban population in South Florida.[17]


Crime is being attacked by Orlando authorities by the installation of security cameras. Traffic lights are merged with cameras capable of detecting out-of-the-ordinary activity. Once a camera detects this activity, it will zoom in on people of interest in an effort to identify them and can also zoom in on a vehicle's license plate.[citation needed]

According to the FBI Annual Crime report for 2009 the Orlando Police Dept. initiatives to lower crime rates across Orange County, Fl are having great success. Orlando violent crime rates are down 30 percent and homicide is down 43 percent in 2009.[18]


As of 2000, 75.43% of all residents speak English as their first language, while 16.60% speak Spanish, 1.93% speak Haitian Creole, 1.33% speak French, and 0.99% of the population speak Portuguese as their mother language.[19]

According to the American Community Survey, 69.3% of Orlando's residents over the age of five spoke only English at home. Spanish-speakers represented 19.2% of Orlando's population. Speakers of other Indo-European languages made up 9.0% of the city's population. Those who spoke an Asian language made up 1.9% of the population, and speakers of other languages made up the remaining 0.6% of the populace.[20]

Metropolitan Statistical Area

Orlando is the hub city of the Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida, Metropolitan Statistical Area, colloquially known as "Greater Orlando" or "Metro Orlando". The area encompasses four counties (Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake), and is currently the 27th-largest metro area in the United States with a 2007 Census-estimated population of 2,032,496.[21]

In 2000, the population of Orlando's urban area was 1,157,431, making it the 3rd largest in Florida and the 35th largest in the United States. As of 2009, the estimated Urban Area population of Orlando is 1,377,342.

When Combined Statistical Areas were instituted in 2000, Orlando was initially joined together with The Villages, Florida, Micropolitan Statistical Area, to form the Orlando-The Villages, Florida, Combined Statistical Area. In 2006, the metropolitan areas of Deltona (Volusia County) and Palm Coast (Flagler County) were added to create the Orlando-Deltona-Daytona Beach, Florida, Combined Statistical Area.[22] This new larger CSA has a total population (as of 2007) of 2,693,552,[23] and includes three of the 25 fastest-growing counties in the nation—Flagler ranks 1st; Osceola, 17th; and Lake, 23rd.[24]


The North Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center. The convention center is vital to Orlando's tourist-based economy, hosting many visitors every year.

Metro Orlando has a rapidly growing $13.4 billion technology industry employing 53,000 people, and is a nationally recognized cluster of innovation in digital media, agritechnology, aviation, aerospace, and software. More than 150 international companies, representing approximately 20 countries, have facilities in Metro Orlando.

A vital part of the Orlando area economy is involved in the tourist industry, with the city being known for its wide range of its attractions including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and Sea World Orlando. Over 48 million visitors came to the Orlando region in 2004. The convention industry is also critical to the region's economy. The Orange County Convention Center, expanded in 2004 to over two million square feet (200,000 m²) of exhibition space, is now the second-largest convention complex in terms of space in the United States, trailing only McCormick Place in Chicago. The city vies with Chicago and Las Vegas for hosting the most convention attendees in the United States.[25]

Metro Orlando has the 7th largest research park in the country Central Florida Research Park with over 1,025 acres. It is home to over 120 companies, employs more than 8,500 people, and is the hub of the nation’s military simulation and training programs. Metro Orlando is home to the simulation procurement commands for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

Orlando is a major industrial and hi-tech center. Lockheed-Martin has a large manufacturing facility for missile systems, aeronautical craft and related high tech research. Other notable engineering firms have offices or labs in Metro Orlando: KDF, General Dynamics, Harris, Mitsubishi Power Systems, Siemens, Veritas/Seagate, multiple USAF facilities, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD), Delta Connection Academy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, GE, Air Force Agency for Modeling and Simulation (AFAMS), U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command United States Army Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC), AT&T, Boeing, CAE Systems Flight & Simulation Training, HP, Institute for Simulation and Training, National Center for Simulation, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon Systems. The Naval Training Center until a few years ago was one of the two places where nuclear engineers were trained for the US Navy. Now the land has been converted into the Baldwin Park development.

Another developing sector is the film, television, and electronic gaming industries, aided by the presence of Universal Studios, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Full Sail School, the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, and other entertainment companies and schools. Numerous office complexes for large corporations have popped up along the Interstate 4 corridor north of Orlando, especially in Maitland, Lake Mary and Heathrow. The U.S. modeling, simulation, and training (MS&T) industry is centered around the Orlando region as well, with a particularly strong presence in the Central Florida Research Park adjacent to UCF. Nearby Maitland is the home of Tiburon, a division of the video game company Electronic Arts. Originally Tiburon Entertainment, it was acquired by EA in 1998 after years of partnership, particularly in the famous Madden NFL series and NCAA Football series of video games.

Orlando is the home base of Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Red Lobster and Olive Garden and the largest operator of restaurants in the world by revenue. In September 2009 they moved to a new headquarters and central distribution facility.[26]

Orlando has two non-profit hospital systems: Orlando Health and Florida Hospital. Orlando Health's Orlando Regional Medical Center is home to Central Florida's only Level I trauma center, and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies and Florida Hospital Orlando have the area's only Level III neonatal intensive care units. Florida Hospital's main campus is ranked as one of the best hospitals in the nation, and has a renowned brain attack facility.[citation needed] Orlando's medical leadership will be further advanced with the completion of UCF's College of Medicine and a new VA Hospital, both of which will be located in a new medical district in the Lake Nona area of the city.[27]

Historically, the unemployment rate in Greater Orlando was low, which resulted in growth that led to urban sprawl in the surrounding area and, in combination with the 2007 Subprime mortgage financial crisis, to the rising cost of home prices. Today, according to Workforce Central Florida, the March 2009 unemployment rate in Central Florida has increased to 9.9 percentSentinel. Housing prices in Greater Orlando went up 34% in one year, from an average of $182,000 in August 2004 to $245,000 in August 2005, and eventually to a record $255,000 in February 2007. They are tapering off, however, down to $211,000 in April 2008.[28]


For tourist information, see Wikitravel:Orlando.

The Orlando area is home to a wide variety of tourist attractions, including the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Holy Land Experience. The Walt Disney World resort is the area's largest attraction with its many facets such as the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Downtown Disney. SeaWorld Orlando is a large park that features numerous zoological displays and marine animals alongside an amusement park with roller coasters and water park. Universal Orlando, like Walt Disney World, is a multi-faceted resort comprising Universal Studios Florida, CityWalk, and the Islands of Adventure theme park. Orlando attractions also significantly appeal to many locals who want to enjoy themselves close to home.

Orlando has the second largest number of hotel rooms in the country (after Las Vegas, Nevada), and is one of the busiest American cities for conferences and conventions with the Orange County Convention Center, the country's second largest in square footage. It is also known for its wide array of golf courses, with numerous courses available for any level of golfer. Located several miles away from the main tourist attractions, Downtown Orlando is undergoing major redevelopment with a number of residential projects, commercial towers, and major public works projects including the Amway Center and the Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center. Orlando ranks as the fourth most popular city, based on where people want to live, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center study.[29]

Entertainment and performing arts

The hip hop music scene, metal scene, rock music scene, reggaeton and Latino scene, are all active within the city, which is largely home to the Florida Breakbeat movement. Orlando has also been called Hollywood East because of numerous cinematic enterprises in the area.[30]

The Universal Studios globe

Until recently, Walt Disney Feature Animation operated a studio out of Disney's Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort. Feature Animation-Florida was primarily responsible for the films Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, and the early stages of Brother Bear and contributed on various other projects. Universal Studios's Soundstage 21 is home to The TNA Impact Zone. Nickelodeon Studios, which through the 90s produced hundreds of hours of GAK-filled game shows targeted at children, no longer operates out of Universal Studios Florida. The Florida Film Festival in nearby Maitland is one of the most respected regional film festivals in the country and attracts budding filmmakers from around the world. In addition, the implosion of Orlando's previous City Hall was filmed for the movie Lethal Weapon 3. Orlando's indie film scene has been picking back up since Haxan Film's The Blair Witch Project (1999) and a few years later with Charlize Theron winning her Academy Award for Monster (2003). A Florida state film incentive has also helped increase the amount of films being produced in Orlando and the rest of the state.

The Orlando Metropolitan Area is also home to a substantial theatre population. Several professional and semi-professional houses and many community theaters dot the area including Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orlando Theatre Project, Mad Cow Theatre, Theatre Downtown, The Osceola Center for the Arts, Winter Park Playhouse, Theatre Winter Haven, and IceHouse Theatre. Disney also a cast theater company known as S.T.A.G.E. as well as Encore, a cast choir and orchestra whose annual charity concerts have raised thousands of dollars. Additionally, both University of Central Florida and Rollins College (Winter Park) are home to well respected Theatre Departments that provide an influx of young artists to the local area.

In addition, the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre brings national tours through town on a regular basis. This venue, built in 1926, will be replaced by the Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center in 2012.

Each spring, local theaters and downtown venues play host to the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, which draws touring companies from all around the world as well as readings and fully staged productions of new and unknown plays by local artists. Also in the spring, there is The Harriett Lake Festival of New Plays, hosted by Orlando Shakespeare Theater.[citation needed]

Shopping malls

Orlando has become one of the fastest growing retail markets in the USA with at least five major upscale department stores opening in 2008 alone and more than 50,000,000 square feet (4,650,000 m2) of shopping space in Central Florida.[31]

  • The Florida Mall is the largest mall in Orlando, one of the largest single-story malls in the USA at over 1,849,000 sq ft (171,800 m2) with over 250 stores, seven anchor department stores, and the Florida Mall Hotel & Conference Center Tower.
  • The Mall at Millenia is a contemporary two-level upscale shopping mall, including the world-famous department stores of Bloomingdale's, Macy's, and Neiman Marcus. The mall covers an area of 1,118,000 ft² (103,866 m²). IKEA Orlando opened adjacent to the mall on November 14, 2007.
  • Orlando Fashion Square is the nearest indoor shopping mall to Downtown Orlando. The mall features 4 anchor department stores and a 14-screen Premiere Cinema theater.
  • Festival Bay Mall on International Drive is home to stores, a skate park, and a theater.
  • Waterford Lakes Town Center on S. Alafaya Trail just North of SR 408. An Open-Air mall featuring many large chain stores, small shops, restaurants, doctor's offices, and Regal Waterford Lakes Stadium 20 with 3D and IMAXDigital.
  • West Oaks Mall ,located in nearby Ocoee, a northwest suburb, has many stores, a food court, and a 14-screen AMC Movie Theatre. A carousel ride and a photobooth are located near the theatres, in the back of the mall.


Orlando is the home city of the Orlando Magic NBA team, the Orlando Predators Arena Football League team, the Orlando Titans NLL indoor lacrosse team and the UCF Knights college athletics teams. It has also been home to several successful minor league sports teams which have won two Arena Bowls, two titles in ice hockey, three titles in minor league baseball, one title in soccer, one title in American football, and one title in roller hockey.

Orlando has produced several major athletes, such as baseball players A.J. Pierzynski and Johnny Damon, football players Warren Sapp, Daunte Culpepper, Chris Johnson, Brandon Meriweather, Deacon Jones, Brandon Siler, Mike Sims-Walker, Brandon Marshall, and Kevin Smith, basketball players Amar'e Stoudemire and Darius Washington, and soccer player Michelle Akers. Orlando is also home to many current and notable former athletes as well, including baseball players Carlos Peña, Frank Viola, Ken Griffey, Jr., and Jonathan Aldridge, basketball player Shaquille O'Neal, and many golfers, including Tiger Woods, Mark O'Meara and Arnold Palmer.






Orlando is governed via the mayor-council system. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote. The six members of the city council are each elected from districts.

State and federal representation

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Orlando. The Orlando Main Post Office is located at 10401 Post Office Boulevard, adjacent to Orlando International Airport.[32]


Public primary and secondary education is handled by Orange County Public Schools. Some of the private schools include Orlando Lutheran Academy, Forest Lake Academy, The First Academy, Trinity Preparatory School, Lake Highland Preparatory School, Bishop Moore High School and Orlando Christian Prep.

Area institutions of higher education

The University of Central Florida
Full Sail University

State universities

State colleges

Private universities, colleges, and others




Major highways

  • I-4.svg Interstate 4 is Orlando's primary interstate highway. Orlando is 2nd largest city serviced by one interstate, preceding Austin, TX and is the largest metropolitan area in the US serviced by a single interstate expressway as well. The interstate begins in Tampa, Florida and travels across the mid-section of the state directly through Orlando ending in Daytona Beach. As a key connector to Orlando's suburbs, downtown, area attractions, and both coasts; I-4 commonly experiences heavy traffic and congestion. I-4 is also known as State Road 400.
  • Toll Florida 408.svg East-West Expressway (Toll 408) is a major highway managed by the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority. The highway intersects with I-4 in Downtown Orlando providing a key artery for residents commuting from eastern and western suburbs including the University of Central Florida area. The highway also intersects with the Central Florida Greeneway (Toll 417) and Florida's Turnpike. In late 2006 the I-4/408 interchange finished undergoing a major overhaul that created multiple fly-over bridges and connectors to ease heavy traffic flows. In addition, lane expansions, new toll plazas, and sound barriers are being added throughout the highway.
  • Toll Florida 528.svg Beachline Expressway (Toll 528) provides key access to the Orlando International Airport and serves as a gateway to the Atlantic coast, specifically Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral.
  • Toll Florida 417.svg Central Florida Greeneway (Toll 417) is a key highway for East Orlando, the highway is also managed by the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority and serves as Orlando's eastern beltway. The highway intersects with the East-West Expressway (Toll 408), the Beachline Expressway (Toll 528), and begins and ends on Interstate 4. The highway is often praised for its green scenery and generally light traffic, however, recently the highway has seen a rapid rise in drivers during rush hours.
  • Toll Florida 429.svg Daniel Webster Western Beltway (Toll 429) serves as Orlando's western beltway. The highway serves as a new "back entrance" to Walt Disney World from Orlando's northwestern suburbs including Apopka.
  • Toll Florida 414.svg John Land Apopka Expressway (Toll 414) The newest East-West expressway to be built and the first since SR 408. Phase I opened on February 14, 2009 and extends from US 441 to Florida State Road 429. Phase II will link SR 429 to US 441 several miles west of the current SR 429 intersection.
  • Florida's Turnpike shield.png Florida's Turnpike (Toll 91) is a major highway that connects northern Florida with Orlando and Miami. It is the gateway to Miami.

Rush hours and traffic

According to a recent national study by the Texas Transportation Institute, the average Orlando resident spends about 54 hours per year waiting in traffic.[citation needed] Heavy traffic is unpredictable; however, rush hours (peak traffic hours) are usually weekday mornings (after 7am) and afternoons (after 4pm). There are various traffic advisory resources available for commuters including dialing 5-1-1 (a free automated traffic advisory system provided by the Florida Department of Transportation, available by cellphone or landline by dialing 511), visiting the Florida 511 Web site, listening to traffic reports on major radio stations, and reading electronic traffic advisory displays (also called Dynamic Message Signs, information is also provided by FDOT) on the major highways and roadways.

The Orlando Regional Traffic Management Center (or Orlando RTMC for short) serves as the central hub for traffic operations in the region. It monitors traffic conditions on Interstate 4, Interstate 95, The OOCEA Toll Roads, and other major surface streets throughout the DOT's District 5 and relays the information to motorists through the use of Dynamic Message Signs and the Florida 5-1-1 system.

There is also a free roadside assistance service on Interstate 4 provided by LYNX called I-4 Road Rangers. These road rangers patrol during the weekdays looking to help stranded motorists who are in need of tire changing, a tow, or gas. Road Rangers also assist in debris removal on highways and traffic diversion during vehicle crashes. These trucks are highly identifiable by the red and white paint scheme and their FDOT Seals. Recently, State Farm Insurance company has taken over funding and sponsorship of the program.[33] Each truck is also equipped with large light up message board on its roof, usually displaying an arrow or urgent message. The toll roads have a similar service provided through OOCEA which is funded on toll fares.

Florida's Turnpike Enterprise operates its own separate Road Ranger program. Road rangers from I-4 or the OOCEA Toll Road network will not respond to motorists on State Road 91 otherwise known as Florida's Turnpike.


The Orlando area is served by one through railroad, CSX Transportation's A line (formerly the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad's main line), and some spurs, mostly operated by the Florida Central Railroad. Amtrak passenger service runs along the CSX A line. See also a map of these railroads.

Platform-side, Orlando Amtrak Station

Amtrak intercity passenger rail service operates from the Orlando Amtrak Station south of downtown. The Mission Revival-style station has been in continuous use since 1927[34], first for the Atlantic Coast Line, then the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad (signage for which is still displayed over the station's main entrance). Amtrak's Silver Meteor and Silver Star service Orlando four times daily, twice bound for points north to New York City and twice bound for points south to Miami. Orlando also serves as a transfer hub for Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach bus service. Orlando Station has the highest Amtrak ridership in the state, with the exception of the Auto Train depot located in nearby Sanford[35].

Historically, Orlando's other major railroad stations have included:

Commuter rail

In 2005, Federal and state funding was granted for the establishment of SunRail, a local commuter rail service, to operate on the CSX A line tracks between DeLand and Poinciana, passing through the downtown area and surrounding urban neighborhoods along the way. The service was expected to substantially reduce traffic congestion along the I-4 corridor, especially between Downtown Orlando and the suburban communities in Seminole and Volusia Counties. The Federal and state funds would have covered approximately 80% of the estimated $400 million cost for track modifications and construction of stations along the route. The counties involved had approved local matching funds in 2007 and the line was projected to begin operations in 2011.[36] However, the project was ultimately voted down by Florida State Senate in 2008 and again in 2009 due to an amendment that would have approved a $200 million insurance policy for the system. Although there has been growing concern the system may be scrapped, a deadline extension combined with a new insurance arrangement with CSX has brought new hope that SunRail will be completed after all.[37] In a special session in December 2009, the Florida Legislature approved commuter rail for Florida, which also enabled high-speed rail federal funding.

Attempts to establish a smaller light rail service for the Orlando area were also considered at one time, but were also met with much resistance and opposition.

High speed rail

On January 28, 2010, it was announced by President Obama that Florida will be receiving $1.25 Billion to start the construction of a statewide High Speed Rail system with Orlando as its central hub. The first stage will connect Orlando and Tampa Bay, Florida and is expected to be completed by 2014. The second stage will connect Orlando and Miami, Florida. [38]



Orlando is served by LYNX; it provides local transit service covering a five-county area: Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, and Volusia.[39] Bus route schedules and maps can be found at LYNX Official Website.


Additionally, Greyhound Lines offers intercity bus service from Orlando to multiple locations across the country. The Orlando Greyhound Station is located west of Downtown Orlando.

Sister cities

Orlando has nine International Sister Cities as listed by the City of Orlando Office of International Affairs.[1]

Country City District / State Date
Spain Spain Bandera valladolid.svg Valladolid Castile and León Castile and León
Brazil Brazil Bandeira de Curitiba.PNG Curitiba Paraná (state) Paraná
People's Republic of China People's Republic of China Guilin Guangxi
Russia Russia Flag of Orenburg.png Orenburg Flag of Orenburg Oblast.png Orenburg
Iceland Iceland Reykjanesbær Southwest
France France Marne-la-Vallée Seine-et-Marne
Republic of China Taiwan Tainan City
Japan Japan Flag of Urayasu, Chiba.png Urayasu Chiba
Mexico Mexico Monterrey Nuevo Leon
Palestinian National Authority Palestinian Authority Bethlehem West Bank[40]
Laos Laos Vientiane Vientiane Prefecture

Marne La Vallée, Anaheim, and Urayasu are connected to Orlando as homes of other Disney theme parks (Disneyland Resort Paris, Disneyland Resort, and Tokyo Disneyland, respectively). Swindon Town, UK has also now been twinned with Orlando.

Foreign consulates

Given Orlando's status as a busy international tourist destination and growing commerce industry, Mexico and the United Kingdom opened consulates in Orlando.[41][42] Other countries operating consulates in Orlando are Haiti, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Jamaica. As a result, Orlando now has the second highest number of foreign consulates in Florida next to Miami.

In popular culture

Portions of the 1959 novel Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank take place in Orlando including McCoy Air Force Base (now Orlando International Airport). One of the nuclear bombs in the novel destroy Orlando and the Air Force Base.

The low-budget films Ernest Saves Christmas, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, and Never Back Down take place in and were filmed entirely in Orlando. Other movies filmed in Orlando include Passenger 57, D.A.R.Y.L., Jaws 3, Parenthood, Problem Child 2, Lethal Weapon 3, Dead Presidents, The Waterboy, Olive Juice, Monster and the final scene of The Final Destination.

Exterior shots of Orlando's Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium were used in the television series Coach, starring Craig T. Nelson as Coach Hayden Fox. In the show, the Citrus Bowl was the home stadium of the fictional Orlando Breakers franchise, which Coach Fox led during the series' final 2 seasons (1995-1997).

Orlando is home to numerous recording studios and producers and as a result; contributed heavily to the Boy Band craze of the mid-90's. The groups The Backstreet Boys, NSync, and O-Town all started in Orlando before becoming nationwide successes. The Alternative groups Matchbox Twenty and Seven Mary Three are from Orlando. The city is home to Florida Breaks, with prominent DJ's DJ Icey and DJ Baby Anne hailing from Orlando. They still spin at Orlando clubs.

Orlando is also home to hip-hop artists DJ Magic Mike, Wes Fif, Jon Young, and the group Treal. Orlando is represented in the hip-hop songs "Perfect Gentleman" by Wyclef Jean and "Area Codes" by Ludacris, "Whoot! There it is" by 95 South, and "I Am Not Locked Down" by Treal.

Orlando also has a prominent metal scene, spawning bands such as Death.

The Chevrolet Orlando is named after the city.

See also


  1. ^ "Say Yes to Orlando". Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau. http://www.orlandoinfo.com/articles/say-yes-to-orlando.cfm. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  2. ^ "Annual Estimates of the population for the Incorporated Places Over 100,000" (XLS). US Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2008-01.xls. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  3. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas:April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008". U.S. Census Bureau. 27 March 2009. http://www.census.gov/popest/metro/tables/2008/CBSA-EST2008-01.xls. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2008-01.csv
  7. ^ America's 30 Most Visited Cities
  8. ^ Zaragosa, Luis (October 14, 2009). "UCF now largest university in Florida". Orlando Sentinel. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/education/orl-ucf-number-one-101409,0,126628.story. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 
  9. ^ http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/world2008t.html
  10. ^ About Orlando from the City of Orlando website, accessed June 17, 2008
  11. ^ OCLS - Fast Facts - Tallest Buildings in Orlando
  12. ^ Buildings of Orlando / Emporis.com
  13. ^ Distance measured from Orlando City Hall to nearest Atlantic coastline, near Oak Hill, Brevard County, and nearest Gulf coastline, near, Pine Island, Hernando County, using Google Earth's Ruler tool.
  14. ^ "Census Of Population And Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/decennial/index.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  15. ^ http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ADPTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=16000US1253000&-qr_name=ACS_2008_3YR_G00_DP3YR5&-ds_name=ACS_2008_3YR_G00_&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-_sse=on
  16. ^ Gary J. Gates Same-sex Couples and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Population: New Estimates from the American Community SurveyPDF (2.07 MiB). The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, UCLA School of Law October, 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2007.
  17. ^ http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105691084
  18. ^ http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-fbi-crime-stats-orlando-20091221,0,2519132.story
  19. ^ Modern Language Association Data Center Results of Orlando, FL
  20. ^ http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ADPTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=16000US1253000&-qr_name=ACS_2008_3YR_G00_DP3YR2&-ds_name=ACS_2008_3YR_G00_&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-_sse=on
  21. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007" (XLS). U.S. Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/population/www/estimates/metro_general/2007/CBSA-EST2007-01.xls. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  22. ^ Update of Statistical Area Definitions and Guidance on Their Uses
  23. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007" (.xls). U.S. Census Bureau. March 27, 2008. http://www.census.gov/popest/metro/tables/2007/CBSA-EST2007-02.xls. Retrieved March 15, 2008. 
  24. ^ http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/cb07-42tbl3.xls
  25. ^ Bergen, Kathy. Las Vegas and Orlando Bruising Chicago's Trade Show Business. The Chicago Tribune, 11 September 2003
  26. ^ Darden headquarters to open Wednesday in Orlando
  27. ^ "Lake Nona Is Site Of New VA Hospital". Internet Broadcasting Systems/WKMG-TV. 2 March 2007. http://www.local6.com/news/11154722/detail.html. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  28. ^ "Metropolitan Orlando Housing Trends Summary." Orlando Regional Realtor Association. May 9, 2007. Retrieved on May 24, 2007.
  29. ^ For Nearly Half of America, Grass Is Greener Somewhere Else from the Pew Research Center website, accessed April 17, 2009
  30. ^ "What Happened to Hollywood East?" Southwest Orlando Bulletin, 17 July 2004
  31. ^ Shopping in Orlando - Orlando Villa Guide - The Essential Guide to Florida Vacation Rental Homes and Holiday Villas in Orlando, Florida
  32. ^ "Post Office Location - ORLANDO." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
  33. ^ Tracy, Dan (March 31, 2009). "State farm to pay for Road Rangers on Interstate 4". Orlando Sentinel. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/orl-bk-state-farm-road-rangers-032409,0,1081977.story. Retrieved March 31, 2009. 
  34. ^ Mulligan, M. "Railroad Depots of Central Florida", page 42. Arcadia Publishing, 2008.
  35. ^ "Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2009". Amtrak. Retrieved February 2, 2010.
  36. ^ SunRail Official Website
  37. ^ http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orl-sunrail-commuter-legislature-070209,0,7151760.story
  38. ^ http://orlando.bizjournals.com/orlando/stories/2010/01/25/daily33.html?surround=lfn
  39. ^ The Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority—LYNX
  40. ^ "::Bethlehem Municipality::". www.bethlehem-city.org. http://www.bethlehem-city.org/Twining.php. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  41. ^ Orlando
  42. ^ Consulado de México en Orlando

External links

Coordinates: 28°32′1″N 81°22′33″W / 28.53361°N 81.37583°W / 28.53361; -81.37583

Orlando: A Biography  
Author Virginia Woolf
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Publisher Hogarth Press
Publication date 11 October 1928

Orlando: A Biography is an influential novel by Virginia Woolf, first published on 11 October 1928. A semi-biographical novel based in part on the life of Woolf's intimate friend Vita Sackville-West, it is generally considered one of Woolf's most accessible novels. The novel has been influential stylistically, and is considered important in literature generally, and particularly in the history of women's writing and gender studies. A film adaptation was released in 1992, starring Tilda Swinton as Orlando and Quentin Crisp as Queen Elizabeth I.



Orlando tells the story of a young man named Orlando, born in England during the reign of Elizabeth I, who decides not to grow old. He is briefly a lover to the decrepit queen, but after her death has a brief, intense love affair with Sasha, a princess in the entourage of the Russian embassy. This episode, of love and excitement against the background of the Great Frost, is one of the best known, and is said to represent Vita Sackville-West's affair with Violet Trefusis.

Following Sasha's return to Russia, the desolate, lonely Orlando returns to writing The Oak Tree, a poem started and abandoned in his youth. This period of contemplating love and life leads him to appreciate the value of his ancestral stately home, which he proceeds to furnish lavishly and then plays host to the populace. Ennui sets in and a persistent suitor's harassment leads to Orlando's appointment by King Charles II as British ambassador to Constantinople. Orlando performs his duties well, until a night of civil unrest and murderous riots. He falls asleep for a lengthy period, resisting all efforts to rouse him. Upon awakening he finds that he has metamorphosed into a woman—the same person, with the same personality and intellect, but in a woman's body. For this reason, the now Lady Orlando covertly escapes Constantinople in the company of a Gypsy clan, adopting their way of life until its essential conflict with her upbringing leads her to head home. Only on the ship back to England, with her constraining female clothes and an incident in which a flash of her ankle nearly results in a sailor's falling to his death, does she realise the magnitude of becoming a woman; yet she concludes the overall advantages, declaring 'Praise God I'm a woman!'

Orlando becomes caught up in the life of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, holding court with the great poets (notably Alexander Pope), winning a lawsuit and marrying a sea captain. In 1928, she publishes The Oak Tree centuries after starting it, winning a prize.

Conceptual history

Apart from being, at the beginning of the book, a knightly young man, ready for adventure, Woolf's character takes little from the legendary hero Orlando of the Italian Renaissance, spoken by Ludovico Ariosto in the Orlando Furioso.

Orlando can be read as a roman à clef: the characters Orlando and Princess Sasha in the novel refer to Vita Sackville-West and Violet Trefusis respectively. The photographs printed in the illustrated editions of the text are all of the real Vita Sackville-West. Her husband, Harold Nicolson, appears in the novel as Marmaduke Bonthrop Shelmerdine. "The Oak Tree", the poem written by Orlando in the novel, refers to the poem "The Land", for which Vita had won the Hawthornden Prize in 1926. Moreover, the minor character Nick Greene, who later reappears as Sir Nicholas Greene, spouts opinions which had been uttered in real life by Logan Pearsall Smith.[1]

For historical details Woolf draws extensively from Knole and the Sackvilles, a book written (and reworked in several versions) by Sackville-West, describing the historic backgrounds of her ancestral home, Knole House in Kent. Other historical details derive from John Dryden's Essay of Dramatick Poesie. (Orlando, personified as one of Vita's ancestors — the 6th Earl of Dorset — discusses artistic topics with his contemporaries as described in that book.) Orlando is also an attractive version of a history book on the Sackvilles' noble descendants, their estates, their culture, etc; Woolf was middle-class and fascinated by the aristocracy, as embodied in Vita. (Vita also wrote about these subjects, but Woolf thought Vita had a "pen of brass").

The conventions of fiction and fantasy (e.g., fictional names and a main character who lives through many centuries) allowed Woolf to write a well-documented biography of a person living in her own age, without opening herself to criticism about controversial topics such as lesbian love. While Orlando was published in the same year as The Well of Loneliness, a novel banned in the UK for its lesbian theme, it escaped censorship because the main character appears as a man when he loves Princess Sasha.

Vita's mother, Lady Sackville, was not pleased at the writing of the novel, because she believed the story was too plain in its meaning, and she would call Woolf the "virgin wolf" henceforth. Violet Trefusis's reply would be a more conventional roman à clef (Broderie Anglaise), which loses much of its interest if the reader does not know the background, whereas Orlando remains a captivating novel, even if the reader does not know the identity of the person in the photographs in the book.

Orlando: A Biography was described as an elaborate love letter from Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West (by the latter's son Nigel Nicolson); nonetheless, Woolf intended her novel as the first in a new trend, breaking the boundaries between what are traditionally seen as the fiction and non-fiction genres in literature (so the novel is not only about trans-gender, but also trans-genre, so to speak). This was not to be, however, as the book is invariably called a "novel" (while Woolf called it a "biography"), and is shelved in the "fiction" section of libraries and bookshops. Only in the last decades of the 20th century would authors again try this "tricky" cross-over genre (which differs from "romanticised" or "popularised" non-fiction, and does not necessarily have to take a roman à clef form) , e.g., Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes (ISBN 0-330-28976-4).

Influence and recognition

The work has been the subject of numerous scholarly writings, including detailed treatment in multiple works on Virginia Woolf.[2] An "annotated" edition has been published to facilitate critical reading of the text.

The novel's title has also come to stand for women's writing generally in some senses, as one of the most famous works by a woman author very directly treating gender.[3] For example, a project on the history of women's writing in the British Isles was named after the book.[4]


  1. ^ M. H. Whitworth, ‘Logan Pearsall Smith and Orlando,’ Review of English Studies, 55 (2004), 598-604.
  2. ^ See, e.g., Alice van Buren, The Novels of Virginia Woolf: Fact and Vision Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973.
  3. ^ For example: Jacqueline Harpman, "Orlanda", Paris, Grasset, 1997.
  4. ^ Orlando: Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present, available at http://orlando.cambridge.org/ .

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Orlando article)

From Wikitravel

Orlando is a large city located in Orange County, Florida.

Orlando, for most people, conjures up the image of theme parks, mainly Disney World, but it has a lot more to offer than that. In fact, Disney World is not in Orlando, but is in nearby Lake Buena Vista. The region sees an estimated 52 million tourists a year, and downtown Orlando is developing significantly under this tourist boom. Other cities in the metropolitan area include Altamonte Springs, Davenport, Kissimmee, and Winter Park.

Lake Eola in downtown Orlando, Florida.
Lake Eola in downtown Orlando, Florida.


When people think of Orlando, most think of theme parks and a vast urban sprawl. However, downtown Orlando includes none of the major theme parks (Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World), dinner attractions (Arabian Nights, Medieval Times), or even most small theme parks (Gatorland, Holyland Experience, Ripley's Believe-it-or-not, etc). Since Orlando is the larger city associated with most of these popular attractions, you will find details and descriptions of them below.

When to Visit

Most tourists visit Orlando between June and August, while another peak time for tourism is March & April. With the number of tourists, far outnumbering the regional population, the best times to visit are when there are fewer tourists. Ironically, the less busy times for tourism correspond to the best weather in the Orlando area. So not only will the theme parks and malls be less crowded, but you will be able to enjoy great weather.

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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