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Facts about Orlando

Updated on November 22, 2016
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Since completing university, Paul has worked as a bookseller; librarian; and freelance writer. Born in the UK, he now lives in Florida.

Some of the sights of Orlando, including Downtown Orlando, Orange County Courthouse, Universal Studios Florida, Walt Disney World, Gatorland, SeaWorld Orlando, Amway Center, Lake Eola fountain, The Mall at Millenia, Church Street Street.
Some of the sights of Orlando, including Downtown Orlando, Orange County Courthouse, Universal Studios Florida, Walt Disney World, Gatorland, SeaWorld Orlando, Amway Center, Lake Eola fountain, The Mall at Millenia, Church Street Street. | Source

Located in Central Florida, the city is the hub of the Orlando metropolitan area, the sixth largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States.

Orlando is nicknamed "The City Beautiful" and its symbol is the fountain at Lake Eola. It is also called "The Theme Park Capital of the World" due to the millions of tourists who visit the city each year.

Below are my top 20 facts about Orlando, Florida.

The University of Central Florida (UCF) was founded in 1963 and opened in 1968.  Measured by undergraduate enrollment, it is the largest university in the United States.
The University of Central Florida (UCF) was founded in 1963 and opened in 1968. Measured by undergraduate enrollment, it is the largest university in the United States. | Source

1. With over 50 million visitors each year, Orlando is one of the most visited destinations in the U.S.A. with only Las Vegas rivaling it for the top spot.

2. The city is popular with both American and non-American travelers. According to 2010 statistics, 47.78 million of visitors to Orlando are domestic and 3.68 million are international.

3. Orlando is the 79th largest city in the U.S. and the 5th largest in Florida.

4. The city has a population of 238,300 people, according to the 2010 census.

5. The city’s nickname is “The City Beautiful”. It is also called “O-Town” by some people.

Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.  One of the most famous and recognizable tourist attractions in the world, the resort was founded in 1971 and is located in the Lake Buena Vista area.
Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. One of the most famous and recognizable tourist attractions in the world, the resort was founded in 1971 and is located in the Lake Buena Vista area. | Source

6. Orlando is internationally famous for the Walt Disney Resort, which was founded in 1971, and situated in the Lake Buena Vista area.

Panoramic view of Universal Studios Florida's lagoon.  The Universal Orlando Resort consists of two theme parks, a night-time entertainment complex, and four Loews Hotels.
Panoramic view of Universal Studios Florida's lagoon. The Universal Orlando Resort consists of two theme parks, a night-time entertainment complex, and four Loews Hotels. | Source

7. As well as the Disney Resort, the city also has the Universal Orlando Resort, and Sea World.

I have a home in Orlando. That's kind of my default 'getaway' city.

— Carrot Top

8. The city has the most hotels in the USA and the 2nd most hotel rooms (after Las Vegas).

Two Delta Air Lines planes parked at Orlando International Airport (MCO).  The airport is the 13th busiest airport in the U.S. and the 29th busiest in the world.
Two Delta Air Lines planes parked at Orlando International Airport (MCO). The airport is the 13th busiest airport in the U.S. and the 29th busiest in the world. | Source

9. Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the 13th busiest airport in the U.S. and the 29th busiest in the world.

10. The city is the county seat of Orange County, which is named after all the citrus groves that used to be common in the area. Before oranges, the area was famous for cattle ranching.

11. The area occupied by Orlando was previously inhabited by the Creek and other Native American tribes.

12. Orlando was previously known as Jernigan, after Aaron Jernigan, the first permanent European settler and didn’t become known as Orlando until 1857.

Once I went to bed in Orlando and I woke up in Atlanta. I have no idea how that happened.

— A. J. McLean

13. Famous residents of the city include Beat Generation author, Jack Kerouac, who lived in the College Park neighborhood in the late 1950s and wrote his novel The Dharma Bums there.

The house in House in Orlando where Beat Generation author, Jack Kerouac lived.  He wrote his novel, The Dharma Bums here in the 1950s.  The books concerns a protagonist looking for a "Buddhist" context to his experiences.
The house in House in Orlando where Beat Generation author, Jack Kerouac lived. He wrote his novel, The Dharma Bums here in the 1950s. The books concerns a protagonist looking for a "Buddhist" context to his experiences. | Source

Famous People From Orlando

Lance Bass – singer

Carrot Top – comedian

Kerlin Blaise - NFL player

Jack Kerouac – author

John Watts Young – astronaut

Amare Stoudamire- Professional Basketball Player

Wesley Snipes – movie actor and producer

Sean O'Neal - actor

Marshall Warren Nirenberg – biochemist and geneticist

Sally Hogshead - author

The actor, Wesley Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida.  Snipes is most famous for his role as the Marvel Comics character Blade in the Blade film trilogy.  He has been practicing martial arts since he was 12 years old.
The actor, Wesley Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida. Snipes is most famous for his role as the Marvel Comics character Blade in the Blade film trilogy. He has been practicing martial arts since he was 12 years old. | Source

14. The city has 71 completed skyscrapers including the Sun Trust Center, which is the tallest building in Central Florida.

Located in the Central Business District of Orlando, the SunTrust Center skyscraper has 35 stories and 30 floors of usable office space.  Designed in contemporary postmodern style, the building was completed in 1988.
Located in the Central Business District of Orlando, the SunTrust Center skyscraper has 35 stories and 30 floors of usable office space. Designed in contemporary postmodern style, the building was completed in 1988. | Source

15. According to a news report from 2011, an FBI study assesses the city to be the 3rd most dangerous in the USA.

FBI badge.  In 2011 they assessed Orlando to be the 3rd most dangerous in America.
FBI badge. In 2011 they assessed Orlando to be the 3rd most dangerous in America. | Source

16. The city has the largest Puerto Rican population in Florida and the also the fastest growing.

Being down in Orlando, Florida, where we filmed the movie, I learned how to bass fish. Jerry Reed, who plays the villain in the movie, taught me how to bass fish.

— Henry Winkler

17. According to a Pew Research Center study from 2009, Orlando ranks as the 4th most popular city, based on where people want to live.

18. The largest shopping mall in the city is the Florida Mall, which is also one of the biggest single-storey malls in the US, covering an area of 1,849,000 sq ft (171,800 m2).

Entrance to Disney Amusement Park, the internationally famous popular holiday destination located in the city
Entrance to Disney Amusement Park, the internationally famous popular holiday destination located in the city | Source

19. In terms of sports teams, the city has Orlando Magic NBA team, the Orlando Predators Arena Football League team, the Orlando City USL Pro soccer team, and the UCF Knights college athletics teams.

20. Top golfers, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer and Mark O'Meara are all from Orlando.

I represent Orlando, Florida, the world's number one vacation destination.

— Ric Keller

Have you been to Orlando?

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© 2012 FloridaFacts

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