A not so little place called Orlando

Central Florida is well known for its exciting theme parks, incredible weather, and beautiful lakes. In my point of view, Orlando is a full-blown entertainment city and it is home to some of the finest theme parks, including Universal Studios Florida and iconic Disney World (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios). Orlando is a fun-packed city. It is considered a perfect holiday destination for all ages.

Tourism at its finest

Orlando has many things to offer regarding tourism. But let us begin with the climate. Many can argue that climate is not an important factor but it is.

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The climate in Florida is subtropical, which means that between June and September is a time of heat, storms, and mosquitoes. That being said, June until September is considered to be high season because most tourists go on vacation with their children. Summer dates are ideal for visiting Orlando’s many water parks.

However, if you can organize it, it is worth planning between December and April (less rain). I think that going during the first two months of the year is a great option because temperatures drop, prices of flights, hotels, and restaurants are also reduced, as well as the influx of people.

Another important fact is that Orlando is home to seven of the world’s top theme parks, Orlando is the country’s No. 1 Theme Park Capital of the World.

But what many people don’t know is that Orlando is much more than theme parks.  So, what is there to do in Orlando besides theme parks? Simply put, the answer is many things!

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70 million tourists from all over the world come to Orlando every year to have fun. Most of them aim to enter one of its many amusement parks to enjoy themselves like children.

The truth is that they make it easy for you: its flagship alone, Walt Disney World, has no less than 12,000 hectares of land dedicated to entertainment.

All of this entertainment frenzy began in October 1971, with Magic Kingdom.

It was later expanded with three more theme parks: Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Later on, two water parks were added – Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach – golf courses, shopping malls, and restaurants.

Something interesting to note is that Disney had considered the regions of Miami and Tampa for his park. However, due to the hurricanes, he chose not to.

Beyond Disney World, there are other complexes such as Universal Studios, and Sea World amongst others.

Orlando is one of the most-visited cities in the world primarily due to tourism, major events, and convention traffic. It is the fourth-most visited city in the United  States after New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles with over 4.4 million visitors as of 2019.

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Orlando International Airport is the 13th-busiest airport in the United States and the 29th-busiest in the world. It welcomes around 50 million visitors a year.

In 1962, the Orlando Jetport 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.

Tourism is a major player in Florida’s economic landscape. In 2019, the leisure and hospitality industry accounted for nearly 6% of real state GDP, 14% of total employment, and 15% of state sales tax collection.

Orlando drew 75.7 million visitors in 2019, marking the sixth consecutive year the city home to Walt Disney World Resort attracted more tourists than New York City.

Characteristics of the city

It is the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the third-largest metropolitan area in Florida behind Miami and Tampa Bay.

Orlando is a tourist city that has excellent hotels and numerous attractions for young people and children. This metropolis in central Florida (Tampa, Orlando, St.Peterburg, Pal, Bay, Clearwater, Clermont, Deltona, Daytona Beach, Largo, Lakeland, Melbourne, Kissimmee, Ormond Beach, Oviedo, Port Orange, Sanford andvSt.Cloud) is known to be very family-friendly. Its warm and sunny climate during most of the year also contributes to its popularity as a vacation destination.

Before being known as Orlando, the city was named Jernigan, after the first permanent settler in the area.

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Although there is no official documentation explaining how the name was changed, it is believed that it was due to the influence of popular literature of the time, such as the novel Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf. In any case, Orlando has grown and prospered ever since, becoming a major tourist and economic destination in Central Florida.

As for nicknames for people named Orlando, some stand out such as Orly, Lando, Orlán, Landito, and Orli. It is common for both the nickname and the full name to be used interchangeably, especially in close environments such as family and close friends.

Eco-friendly adventures

Orlando offers a variety of eco-friendly adventures. People can choose from spotlighting airboat rides, zip-lining, hang-gliding, off-roading, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching, and more, here’s your guide to Orlando ecotourism experiences you won’t want to miss.

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Orlando’s flora and fauna offer relaxing escapes, but our natural beauty provides ample thrills, too. We are talking about dune buggies, airboats, zip lines, and hang-gliding are some of the many ways to have a wild time with Mother Nature during your next visit.

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens features Seminole Aerial Adventures, where you can navigate between trees using rope bridges, 13 zip lines, suspended disks, and other unique elements. They’re in Sanford, about 35 minutes north of our main tourism districts.

Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park invites you to climb and soar with Tarzan-style swings, nets, ropes, challenging bridges, and more fun for all ages — including a 425-foot zip line.

Blue Spring State Park offers year-round adventure, including opportunities for camping, birding, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, and more, all about an hour north of Orlando’s main tourism districts.

Kelly Park and Rock Springs Run State Reserve are about 50 minutes northwest of our tourism districts. This park features free-flowing natural springs, several hiking and equestrian trails, and Rock Springs, a clear, swift creek where you can enjoy tubing in the summer.

Other places and activities

OK, so maybe you are staying for a few days in this city. Do not worry, a great plan is to visit Gatorland. It is home to more than 200 crocodiles. Crayola Experience is a family-friendly attraction full of crafts and creative stations based around Crayola products. Legoland is interactive and it includes more than 50 rides, shows, and attractions inspired by LEGO ® brands and characters, plus LEGOLAND Water Park. It also features Peppa Pig Theme Park, designed to be the ultimate day for little ones. Space Kennedy is perfect for those who are passionate about astronomy, astronauts or rockets, and space shuttles.

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I think that if you are in Orlando and have a free day, it is always interesting to dedicate at least one day to discovering the Everglades National Park (6,104 square kilometers). Located in the south of the state of Florida, 330 kilometers from Orlando, it is an interesting visit to observe alligators in their natural habitat and make excursions in hydrofoils or ecotourism routes with Kayak.

But it is important to talk about its art scene. The City Council has created the See Art Orlando route, where numerous works of art are exhibited outdoors.

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One of the exciting points of interest in this Florida city is the Orlando Museum of Art.

It is the home of a wide range of permanent art collections, from the incredible and much-loved Art of the Ancient Americas to African art, to contemporary pieces.

The museum opened its doors in 1924 to encourage love and education regarding art, and it is now one of the region’s main cultural institutions.

Throughout the 20th century, the museum grew and grew, and its architecture gives visitors a glimpse into mid-century aesthetics as created by students of the great Frank Lloyd Wright.

On the other hand, Blue Spring State Park is among the most well-loved vacation spots in Orlando, and for a reason!

It’s a manatee refuge, and in winter months, it’s a must-see as manatees make their way upwards into the spring in the northern portion of the lively city.

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Lake Eola Park is a favorite among the tourist places in Orlando. The serene environment of Lake Eola Park began a long time ago when settlers came by the water for their cattle, and now the beautiful Centennial Fountain and the soothing atmosphere make for a great stop during an Orlando trip.

Runners, joggers, and people enjoying a stroll often visit Lake Eola Park to unwind, and some head out on paddle boats shaped like swans to join swans in the 23-acre lake.

Another great place to visit is the beer spa. It is the newest and the most authentic—Czech-style beer spa in the U.S.

Free things to do 

I am well aware that when you travel to Orlando the amount of money you can spend is big. So, there are also plenty of free things to do around the city.

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Let me start with Disney Springs. This outdoor escape features 120 acres of unique boutiques, award-winning restaurants, and lively entertainment. Relax by the water, stroll through shops, make fun memories, and take plenty of selfies.

Universal CityWalk is an action-packed hotspot, It has themed restaurants, nightclubs, a movie theater, shopping, and non-stop entertainment.

Boxi Park is located in Lake Nona’s Town Center. It is an open-air spot that was built entirely from repurposed shipping containers. Its shady green spaces are perfect for lounging and listening to live music.

Dr. P. Phillips Community Park offers a splash pad free on weekdays, picnic areas, and a dog park, as well as baseball, basketball, and soccer fields, the Dr. P. Phillips Community Park has options to entertain the whole family.

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The Harry P. Leu Gardens are beautiful. This beautiful botanical garden offers free admission and storytelling for young children on the first Monday of every month and visitors can also take part in a free plant clinic on Wednesdays.


In addition to parks and extreme attractions, you can add to your list of things to do a couple of days of relaxation surrounded by beach, breeze, and sea. Near  Orlando, you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida, such as Playalinda Beach, Cocoa Beach, and Siesta Key, in Sarasota.

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In conclusion, I must say that there’s no other city that celebrates the spirit of childhood quite like Orlando, Florida.  In reality, Orlando has a little of this and a little of that to appeal to all ages, and there’s more to do here than visit theme parks.

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