The 5 Biggest Myths about Orlando

Did you know that Orlando is the third-largest city in the Sunshine State? Or, that its original nickname is “The City Beautiful?” You might not even know the University of Central Florida is the second-largest institution of higher education in the country. It’s also been estimated that a traveler would have to spend more than two months, about 67 days, to see and do everything Orlando has to offer.

The 5 Biggest Myths about Orlando

Orlando is also home to the second-largest number of hotel rooms in one city. These facts, like the area being renowned for cattle farming before it was populated with theme parks, are just a few of many. When people think of this particular location, images of tourists crowding large theme parks is the first impression. However, the city has a quite long history, and, it’s also home to many types of recreation.

Orlando’s lower population density may partly explain its higher growth rate. Even after absorbing almost 20,000 people in three years, Orlando’s population density remains roughly 2,500 people per square mile. That figure is still well below St. Petersburg’s density at more than 4,000. —

In addition, the city holds the record for the lowest unemployment rate on the Florida peninsula, due to the fact that it hosts over 60 million visitors annually. What’s more, Disney World alone generates an eye-popping $19 billion dollars in revenue every year.

What might really surprise you is that it’s home to the largest public library in the entire state, with an impressive 290,000 square feet of space to house books, magazines, and audio and video content. It’s also a massive place, with Walt Disney World Resort alone being sizable enough to accommodate two of the Big Apple’s Manhattans, or, could fit all of San Francisco inside its property. However, there are several myths about Orlando. Here are the five biggest about this central Florida city:

  1. Orlando is a fake city, with no real history. Though it’s described as the Theme Park Capital of the World, because of Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios, it actually has a rich history. It was settled by Aaron Jernigan in the early 1800’s, who attempted to name it after himself. Rollins College is the oldest higher education institution in the state, founded in 1885. In addition, it was the one of the largest agricultural places on the peninsula, having some 80,000 acres of orange groves in 1950.
  2. There’s no fine dining in The City Beautiful. Like other well-traveled tourist and business destinations in the nation, Orlando is actually one of the cities where you’ll find no shortage of dining options, from casual come-as-you-are, to white tablecloth, fine dining. A new restaurant opens at the average rate of one per week. In fact, there are so many eateries, you could have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a three different restaurants every day, and it would take five years to eat at them all.
  3. It’s just a large retirement community. Florida has a reputation for white sand beaches, sunshine, oranges, and retirees. However, the notion about retirees simply isn’t true. A 2010 U.S. Census report found that only 9.4 percent of all residents are 65 years of age or older.
  4. Orlando is super hot and very humid, all the time. The Sunshine State has a reputation for being exceptionally warm and balmy, but, the average annual temperature in Orlando is just 72 degrees. That’s comfortable enough to make it the seventh on list of hottest cities. What’s more, in January and February, temperatures are typically in the 60’s.
  5. Theme parks are the only recreation. This is a big misnomer because there are 27 museums in the city — not to mention the many performing arts, shopping, and outdoor recreational opportunities.