Orlando in Florida

Friday, 22 December 2017 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Downtown Orlando - Church Street Station © Miosotis Jade/cc-by-sa-4.0

Downtown Orlando – Church Street Station © Miosotis Jade/cc-by-sa-4.0

Orlando is a city and the county seat of Orange County. Located in Central Florida, it is the center of the Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2.4 million, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released in March 2016, making it the 24th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States, and the third-largest metropolitan area in Florida. As of 2017, Orlando has an estimated city-proper population of 277,000, making it the 73rd-largest city in the United States, the fourth-largest city in Florida, and the state’s largest inland city. The City of Orlando is nicknamed “The City Beautiful,” and its symbol is the fountain at Lake Eola. Orlando is also known as “The Theme Park Capital of the World” and in 2014 its tourist attractions and events drew more than 62 million visitors. The Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the thirteenth-busiest airport in the United States and the 29th-busiest in the world. As one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations, Orlando’s famous attractions form the backbone of its tourism industry: Walt Disney World, located approximately 21 miles (34 km) southwest of Downtown Orlando in Bay Lake, opened by the Walt Disney Company in 1971; the Universal Orlando Resort, opened in 1999 as a major expansion of Universal Studios Florida. With the exception of Walt Disney World, most major attractions are located along International Drive.

The city is also one of the busiest American cities for conferences and conventions; the Orange County Convention Center is the second-largest convention facility in the United States. Like other major cities in the Sun Belt, Orlando grew rapidly during the 1980s and into the first decade of the 21st century, mostly due to the success of Walt Disney World, which opened on October 1, 1971. Orlando is home to the University of Central Florida, which is the largest university campus in the United States in terms of enrollment as of 2015. In 2010, Orlando was listed as a “Gamma” level of world-city in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory. Orlando ranks as the fourth-most popular American city based on where people want to live according to a 2009 Pew Research Center study. The Florida Mall is the largest mall in Orlando and one of the largest single-story malls in the USA at over 1,849,000 sq ft (171,800 m²). There are over 250 stores, seven anchor department stores, and the Florida Mall Hotel & Conference Center Tower. It is located outside the city proper in unincorporated Orange County. The Mall at Millenia is a contemporary two-level upscale shopping mall, including the department stores of Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and Neiman Marcus. The mall covers an area of 1,118,000 ft² (103,866 m²). IKEA Orlando opened adjacent to the mall on November 14, 2007. Orlando Fashion Square is the nearest indoor shopping mall to Downtown Orlando and one of the first to open in the city. The mall features 4 anchor department stores and a 14-screen Premiere Cinema theater.

Orlando, as Florida’s largest inland city, became a popular resort during the years between the Spanish–American War and World War I. In the 1920s, Orlando experienced extensive housing development during the Florida Land Boom. Land prices soared. During this period several neighborhoods in downtown were constructed, endowing it with many bungalows. The boom ended when several hurricanes hit Florida in the late 1920s, along with the Great Depression. During World War II, a number of Army personnel were stationed at the Orlando Army Air Base and nearby Pinecastle Army Air Field. Some of these servicemen stayed in Orlando to settle and raise families. In 1956 the aerospace and defense company Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) established a plant in the city. Orlando AAB and Pinecastle AAF were transferred to the United States Air Force in 1947 when it became a separate service and were re-designated as air force bases (AFB). In 1958, Pinecastle AFB was renamed McCoy Air Force Base after Colonel Michael N. W. McCoy, a former commander of the 320th Bombardment Wing at the installation, killed in the crash of a B-47 Stratojet bomber north of Orlando. In the 1960s, the base subsequently became home to the 306th Bombardment Wing of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), operating B-52 Stratofortress and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, in addition to detachment operations by EC-121 and U-2 aircraft. In 1968, Orlando AFB was transferred to the United States Navy and became Naval Training Center Orlando. In addition to boot camp facilities, NTC Orlando was home of one of two Navy Nuclear Power Schools, and home of the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division. When McCoy AFB closed in 1975, its runways and territory to its south and east were imparted to the city to become Orlando International Airport, while a small portion to the northwest was transferred to the Navy as McCoy NTC Annex. That closed in 1996, and became housing, though the former McCoy AFB still hosts a Navy Exchange, as well as National Guard and Reserve units for several branches of service. NTC Orlando was closed in 1993 by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, and converted into the Baldwin Park neighborhood. The Naval Air Warfare Center had moved to Central Florida Research Park near UCF in 1988.

Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando © Miosotis Jade/cc-by-sa-4.0 Downtown Orlando - Church Street Station © Miosotis Jade/cc-by-sa-4.0 Downtown Orlando Business District © Miosotis jade/cc-by-sa-4.0 Walt Disney World - Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom © Jedi94/cc-by-sa-3.0 Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom - Cinderella castle © Childzy/cc-by-sa-3.0 Universal Studios entrance gate © Alfred A. Si/cc-by-sa-3.0 SeaWorld - Dolphins © flickr.com - Christian Benseler/cc-by-2.0 SeaWorld entrance area © flickr.com - Chad Sparkes/cc-by-2.0 Lake Eola Park © Visitor7/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Walt Disney World - Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom © Jedi94/cc-by-sa-3.0
Orlando is a major industrial and hi-tech center. The metro area has a $13.4 billion technology industry employing 53,000 people; and is a nationally recognized cluster of innovation in digital media, agricultural technology, aviation, aerospace, and software design. More than 150 international companies, representing approximately 20 countries, have facilities in Metro Orlando. Orlando has the 7th-largest research park in the country, Central Florida Research Park, with over 1,025 acres (4.15 km2). It is home to over 120 companies, employs more than 8,500 people, and is the hub of the nation’s military simulation and training programs. Near the end of each year, the Orange County Convention Center hosts the world’s largest modeling and simulation conference: Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC). Metro Orlando is home to the simulation procurement commands for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Lockheed Martin has a large manufacturing facility for missile systems, aeronautical craft and related high tech research. Orlando is close enough to Patrick Air Force Base, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and Kennedy Space Center for residents to commute to work from the city’s suburbs. It also allows easy access to Port Canaveral, a cruise ship terminal.

One of the main driving forces in Orlando’s economy is its tourism industry and the city is one of the leading tourism destinations in the world. Nicknamed the “Theme Park Capital of the World”, the Orlando area is home to Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. Over 59 million visitors came to the Orlando region in 2013, spending over $33 billion. The Orlando area features 7 of the 10 most visited theme parks in North America (5 of the top 10 in the world), as well as the 4 most visited water parks in the U.S. The Walt Disney World resort is the area’s largest attraction with its many facets such as the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Disney Springs. SeaWorld Orlando is a large park that features numerous zoological displays and marine animals alongside an amusement park with roller coasters and water park. Universal Orlando, like Walt Disney World, is a multi-faceted resort comprising Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and Universal CityWalk. SeaWorld Orlando also comprises more than one park, alongside Aquatica and Discovery Cove. Orlando attractions also appeal to many locals who want to enjoy themselves close to home. The convention industry is also critical to the region’s economy. The Orange County Convention Center, expanded in 2004 to over two million square feet (200,000 m²) of exhibition space, is now the second-largest convention complex in terms of space in the United States, trailing only McCormick Place in Chicago. The city vies with Chicago and Las Vegas for hosting the most convention attendees in the United States. Numerous golf courses can be found in the city, with the most famous being Bay Hill Club and Lodge, home to the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Read more on City of Orlando, Orlando Tourism, VisitFlorida.com – Orlando, Wikivoyage Orlando and Wikipedia Orlando (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.










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