City Guide



Orlando Skyline
Orlando Skyline © Bill Dickinson
The most famous resident of this central Florida city is Mickey Mouse, the cartoon creation of animated movie tycoon, Walt Disney, whose vision has turned Orlando, and the adjacent Lake Buena Vista and Kissimee areas, into the world's busiest, biggest and best-known concentrated tourist paradise. Disney bought up land in the area with the aim of establishing his dream theme park back in the 1960s. He died before the first park, the Magic Kingdom, officially opened in 1971, but his legacy has taken root and is still growing. Currently the Disney empire in Orlando includes four theme parks, dozens of smaller attractions, thousands of hotel rooms and holiday apartments, hundreds of restaurants and snack bars and even two cruise ships.

It is not only the Disney dazzle that draws visitors to Orlando, however. There are other attractions here too, like Universal Studios, Discovery Cove, and the beloved SeaWorld, all adding to the maelstrom of thrills and pleasure palaces that this city is now renowned for. Just a trip down attraction-rich International Drive is a mind-boggling experience. The city and surrounds can occupy visitors of all ages for weeks, but those who feel the need to travel farther afield will find that another of Florida's greatest attractions, the Kennedy Space Center, is also nearby, as are the theme parks and attractions of Tampa, including the thrilling Busch Gardens.

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