Orlando, Florida

Historic Orlando

The area that is now Orlando was originally settled by Native Americans. The first permanent pioneer settlement of Orlando happened in 1842. Settlement did not expand much until after the Third Seminole War in the 1850s. Orlando was incorporated as a town in 1875. At that time, Orlando had 85 residents. Orlando became a popular resort in the late 1800's and early 1900s. Other key dates in Orlando's history include:

  • In 1838, the U.S. Army built Fort Gatlin south of present day Orlando to protect settlers from attacks by Indians.
  • In 1880, the South Florida Railroad extended its line into Orlando.
  • In 1970, the Orlando International Airport was built.
  • In October of 1971, Walt Disney World opened.



Hotel San Juan and Orange Avenue c1904.

Court house and Lake Eola from Hotel San Juan c1904.


Introduction to Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida, is a city of approximately 200,000 people located in east/central Florida. Orlando is the sixth largest city in Florida. The Orlando metropolitan area is home to nearly 1.8 million people.

Orlando is the undisputed theme-park capital of the United States. It is home to the world famous Walt Disney World Resort, as well as numerous other theme parks. Orlando is also only 45 minutes from Port Canaveral, a major cruise ship port that plays host to at least three major cruise lines and over ten different cruise ships, including the Disney Cruise Line's two ships. As of 2006, Orlando is also home to three Fortune 1000 company headquarters.

Orlando is ranked as the 36th "Most Fun U.S City" in a survey conducted in 2003 by Cranium Inc. Factors taken into account in the ranking include: the number of sports teams, restaurants, dance performances, toy stores, the amount of a city's budget that is spent on recreation, and other factors. Orlando is also consistently ranked as one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

Orlando has a hot, sub-tropical climate that is divided into two main seasons, the warm season (from late spring through early fall), and the cool season. The warm season is hot and very humid. The cool season is more temperate and comfortable. The cool season does occasionally see temperatures below freezing, typically over night. On average, the temperature dips below freezing in Orlando about three times a year.