ORLANDO, Fla. – With seven of the top theme parks all in one sunny location, Orlando is the theme park capital of the world. And, with more than 57 million visitors in 2012, this Central Florida city is also the most visited tourist destination in the United States. From theme parks and sunshine to its continuously evolving dining scene, Orlando is the only destination where everyone in a travel party can do it all and enjoy it all together.
Orlando is best-known as home to the world’s top theme parks and water parks including the four theme parks and two water parks at Walt Disney World Resort – Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach Water Park, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Typhoon Lagoon; the two theme parks at Universal Orlando Resort – Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida; three parks from SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment – SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica – SeaWorld’s Waterpark and Discovery Cove; and LEGOLAND Florida
With a unique mix of legendary theme parks, water parks, spectacular museums, world-class entertainment and blockbuster rides and attractions, it would take about 67 days to visit all of the entertaining offerings in Orlando.
Before Mickey Mouse called Orlando home, the destination was a leader in the emerging citrus industry, fulfilling the country’s need for grapefruits, tangerines and oranges. As the citrus industry flourished, the City of Orlando was officially incorporated on July 21, 1875. Capitalising on Orlando’s near-perfect, year-round flying weather, aviation brought another economic boom to the city. Orlando’s Municipal Airport became the Orlando Army Base and quietly contributed to the war efforts both before and after World War II as one of the first places to train bomber pilots. The military built a second Air Force Base which today is the Orlando International Airport. The Wells’ Built Museum of African American History preserves Central Florida’s unique African-American history and heritage through tours of the museum and South Street Casino, home to famous performers like B.B. King, Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. The Orange County Regional History Center chronicles life in Orlando when the area was first known for its cattle ranches and, later, orange groves.
With seven of the world’s top theme parks and more than 100 other fun-filled attractions, visitors will find plenty of exciting options to keep the entire family entertained. From innovative new rides to ground-breaking expansions, Orlando is constantly re-inventing itself, giving visitors new reasons to return year after year.
From Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton to a pair of Mickey Mouse ears or a Harry Potter wand, the diversity and quality of shopping is like no other. And while there are plenty of neighbourhood shops worth a visit, there’s a day’s worth of treasures right in the heart of the tourism district. All are within a 20-minute drive, from luxury malls to top-notch outlets and theme park shopping.
Orlando is home to a thriving nightlife scene with exciting options for those looking to extend their fun beyond the theme park. From ultra-hip bars and high-energy dance clubs to laid-back pubs and extensive retail, dining and entertainment complexes, Orlando offers several distinct areas to live it up once the sun goes down.
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