Orlando! The name strikes a chord with the 52 million tourists that visit the city from all corners of the world as well as the envious few hundred more that cast their eyes on the fun-filled moments captured by these Orlando-returned holiday-makers on film. Orlando now boasts more theme parks and entertainment attractions than anywhere else in the world.
Orlando is the 6th largest city in Florida with a population of over a quarter of a million people.
A Little History
Orlando was initially known as 'Jernigan' – after the first permanent settler; however, it was the 1837 war against the Seminole Indians that changed the name of the City. History tells us that someone found a tree with the name of 'Orlando Reeves' carved on it and decided it was the gravesite of a soldier with the same name. (Orlando Reeves was a soldier who also owned some plantations and a sugar mill in the area.)The city of Orlando was thus, initially known as 'Orlando's Grave'. With the passage of time the place gradually began to be known as "Orlando".
Universal Orlando, like Walt Disney World, is a multi-faceted resort comprising Universal Studios, CityWalk, and the Islands of Adventure theme park. Other attractions include the hundreds of shopping malls, museums and parks spread through-out Orlando's sunny climes that are not possible to visit on one trip.
If you speak English you will find it quite easy to be understood as over 3 quarters of the population speak the language; however, Spanish, Haitian Creole, French and Portuguese are also spoken by the people of Orlando.
Orlando is warm and humid due to its elevation from the sea, which is just 32 meters above sea level. This hot humid season lasts from May through all of October and you can expect plenty of rain. The temperatures will soar as high as 38 degrees Centigrade (100 degrees F). During these months Orlando is lashed with daily thunderstorms that last a couple of hours, so go prepared. The cooler months are from November to March when the humidity is low with the temperatures rarely exceeding 22 degrees Centigrade (72 Degrees F). Nights can get cold at 10 degrees Centigrade (50 degrees F).
Orlando can be reached by air, road and rail being well connected to the rest of the world by three airports; the main airport is the Orlando International Airport, the busiest airport in Florida. The other two are The Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) located in Sanford and the Orlando Executive Airport at Downtown Orlando which primarily caters to executive jets, flight schools and small-aircraft aviation.
Orlando is connected to the rest of the state by major highways that include the Interstate 4, East-West Expressway (Toll 408), Central Florida Greeneway (Toll 417), Beachline Expressway (Toll 528), Central Florida Greeneway (Toll 417), Florida Turnpike and the Daniel Webster Western Beltway (Toll 429). Then, there is the railroad as well.
Since reaching Orlando is so well taken care of, can lodging be a problem? There need be no guessing game here, what with the state having the second largest number of hotels in the country, exceeded only by the number of hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada – so rest easy, folks!
Tourists to Orlando can move around in the local trains or the city's buses and Taxis. The place is well connected with transport just a call and a few steps away.
If nothing else, a visit to the Shopping malls in Orlando will have you coming back for more, year after year. So, be prepared to become one of the tens of millions of tourists that visit Orlando every few years.
- Forbes.com ranks Metro Orlando fifth on their annual list of "Most Wired Cities."
- Metro Orlando ranks 5th among Milken Institute’s 2007 "Best Performing Cities."
- Metro Orlando has a rapidly growing $13.4 billion technology industry employing 70,000 people.
- BusinessWeek recently touted Orlando as one of three global “hot spots” for innovation along with Singapore and Stockholm.
- Metro Orlando has the 7th largest research park in the country that is home to over 120 companies and is the hub of the nation’s military simulation and training programs.
- Orlando has nationally recognized clusters of innovation in digital media, agritechnology, aviation and aerospace, and software.
- The Metro Orlando economy ranks among the strongest economies in the U.S. and the strongest in the state of Florida according to the annual POLICOM Economic Strength Rankings.
- Orlando is the “No. 1 Hottest Job Market” according to Business2.0.
- Inc. magazine names Orlando as the fourth “Best City for Business” in the large cities category.
- According to Forbes magazine, Orlando is the fourth “Best City in the Country for creating jobs.”
- BusinessWeek magazine featured Metro Orlando among its picks of “global hot spots" in its issue titled What Makes a Winner: The Competition Issue. Orlando is one of three communities in the world to be featured.
- Metro Orlando was named one of ten "Blooming U.S. Cities for Tech" according to eWEEK.com.
- Forbes magazine lists Metro Orlando among the "Best Places for Business and Careers."
- Southern Business & Development magazine names Metro Orlando “Major Market of the Year,” twice in three years.
- Metro Orlando is ranked as one of the top five “Cities for Moviemakers” by MovieMaker Magazine.