Orlando, Kissimmee, and Central Florida Area Information and History

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Magical History of Orlando:

History Beyond the Magic of Orlando, Florida

Everyone is aware of the Magic that infuses Orlando, Florida, and that dreams really can come true. There is also a deep history that goes beyond the magic of this great city.

Native American Indian tribes were scattered in small numbers around the area of Orlando prior to the arrival of settlers from Europe. This area was first named Jernigan, from Aaron Jernigan when he gained control of the land by way of the Armed Occupation Act of 1842.

Origin of the name Orlando

Some say the name of the area was changed to Orlando following the death of Orlando Reeves a soldier in the second Seminole War. Muddying the waters even further, the name Orlando, a different local settler was carved into a tree in the area.

Even another legend to the name of Orlando was that the city was simply named from a main character from As You Like It, a Shakespeare play.

Around 1850, when many settlers came to the area, cattle ranching was the main means of making a living in this area.

During the Civil War Orlando was a rural backwater. The Union blockade caused much suffering in this area.

Orlando was incorporated as a town in 1875 and then a city in 1885. Orlando was the citrus industry’s hub in 1885-1895. In 1894 - 1895 the area experienced a great freeze and many of the small citrus grove owners were not able to remain in business. The big citrus barons of Florida moved the citrus industry further south of Orlando.

The area experienced growth during the Florida land boom in the 1920’s. The growth was halted at the end of the decade following several hurricanes and the Great Depression.

The Orlando area was home to both an Army Air Base and an Army Air Field during World War II.

Magical History of Orlando

Walt Disney’s announcement in 1965 to build Walt Disney World in this central Florida community began to spread the magic across the Orlando area. The magical dream of Walt Disney was soon to become a reality.

Walt Disney had considered some of the coastal cities of Florida for his “world” but it is believed the main reason he selected Orlando was because of the inland location and the fear of hurricane damage in the more coastal areas.

The magic of Disney came alive in Orlando to the public in 1971. Tourism quickly became the backbone of the economy for this area. Year after year Orlando is always at the top of the vacation spots of the world. Orlando has the most theme parks and entertainment attractions of any city in the world.

Orlando’s growth in tourism has also been complemented by the many airlines that service the area. Disney has grown from its opening in October 1, 1971 to 4 major theme parks, 2 water parks and over a dozen hotel resorts and its own transportation system for Disney visitors.

History continues beyond today with more magic in the plans

Word is out; Fantasy Land is scheduled for upgrading. The completion date is scheduled for 2012. Some of the attractions will be updated and new attractions will be added. Let the magic and the history continue with your stay in one of the most magical places on earth.

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