Orlando, Florida, known for its bustling tourist industry and theme parks, boasts a rich, complex history. The city was founded in 1875, though it served as a hub for cattle farming and citrus growing in the decades prior. Orlando rapidly developed after the arrival of the railroad in the 1880s, which brought growth, prosperity, and a population boom.
A key turning point in Orlando's history was in 1971 when Walt Disney World Resort opened, transforming Orlando into a world-famous destination for families and tourists alike.
Despite facing challenges such as hurricanes and economic recessions, Orlando has continued to thrive and diversify, blending its rich history with dynamic growth.
What is the best way to get there?
Orlando International Airport (MCO) serves most major airlines. Interstate highways like I-4 and the Florida Turnpike also provide easy access by car.
What is Orlando famous for?
Orlando is famously known as the 'Theme Park Capital of the World', home to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld and many more.
What are 5 interesting facts about Orlando?
Orlando attracts more than 60 million tourists each year.
It is home to over 100 lakes.
Orlando is the most visited destination in the United States.
There are over 100 golf courses in the Orlando area.
The famous Walt Disney World Resort is actually located in Lake Buena Vista, not Orlando.
How did Orlando get its name?
The origin of Orlando's name is subject to various theories, one being that it was named after a soldier, Orlando Reeves, who died in the area during the Second Seminole War.
Do I need a visa?
Visa requirements depend on your country of origin. Most travelers from countries in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) can visit the U.S. for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without a visa.
When is the best time to visit?
The best time to visit Orlando is from March to May when the weather is more comfortable and the tourist crowds are smaller than the summer high season.
Are there local customs I should know?
The legal drinking age is 21, and it is common to be asked for identification regardless of age.
A casual "Hello" or "Hi" is common when greeting people.
Public transportation is readily available, with LYNX buses and the SunRail providing service throughout the city. It's customary to enter through the front door and exit through the rear.
What is the time zone?
Orlando is in the Eastern Standard Time zone.
What are the voltage/plug types?
United States uses Type A or Type B plugs at 110-120 volts.
What is the currency?
The currency is the United States Dollar (USD).
Are ATMs readily accessible?
ATMs are widespread throughout the city and can be found in most convenience stores, shopping centers, and banks.
Are credit cards widely accepted?
Credit cards are widely accepted in most places around Orlando.
Can you use ApplePay and Google Pay?
Yes, most businesses in Orlando accept Apple Pay and Google Pay.
How much do I tip?
Tipping is customary in Orlando. Service workers rely on tips as a significant part of their income.
The standard tipping rate is 15-20% of the total bill.
A tip of $1-2 per bag for bellmen and $2-5 per day for housekeeping is standard.
For taxis, a tip of 10-15% of the fare is customary.
For tour guides, a tip of $5-10 per person for a day tour is common.