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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nickname: "The city Beautiful"
Location in Orange County and the state of Florida.
Coordinates 28°32'01?N, 81°22'6.72?W
Counties United States
Mayor Buddy Dyer (D)
City 100.9 mi² - 261.5 km²
Land 93.5 mi² - 242.2 km²
Water 7.5 mi² - 19.3 km²
Elevation 34 m
City (2004) 205,648
Metro 1.8 million
Summer (DST) EST (UTC-5)
The city of Orlando is the county seat of Orange County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 185,951 (metropolitan area 1,644,561). A 2004 U.S. Census Estimates population count gave the city population was 205,648 (metropolitan area nearly 1.8 million). It is the sixth-largest city in Florida, and its largest inland city. It is also at the head of the state's third-largest metropolitan area, behind Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater. Additionally, Orlando is home to the second largest university in Florida, the University of Central Florida.
The city is well known for the tourist attractions in the area, particularly the nearby Walt Disney World Resort, which is in the Reedy Creek Improvement District . Other area attractions include SeaWorld and Universal Orlando Resort. Despite being far from the main tourist attractions, downtown Orlando has recently seen much redevelopment, with many more projects currently under construction or planned. One of the oldest attractions in this area is Gatorland. Orlando sees an estimated 52 million tourists a year. Orlando is the 2nd largest city in the country for number of hotel rooms.
The city's nickname is "The City Beautiful", though plans are underway to change this title through a local contest. Its symbol is the fountain of Lake Eola. The current mayor is Buddy Dyer.
2.2 Metropolitan area
5.5 Light rail
6.1 Area institutions of higher education
9 Area attractions
Some historians date Orlando's name to around 1836 when a soldier named Orlando Reeves allegedly died in the area, during the war against the Seminole Indian tribe. It seems, however, that Orlando Reeves (sometimes Rees) operated a sugar mill and plantation about 30 miles (50 km) to the north at Spring Garden in Volusia County, and pioneer settlers simply found his name carved into a tree and assumed it was a marker for a grave site. They thus referred to the area as "Orlando's grave" and later simply "Orlando."
During the Second Seminole War, the U.S. Army established an outpost at Fort Gatlin, a few miles south of the modern downtown, in 1838. But it was quickly abandoned when the war came to an end.
The first permanent settler was cattleman Aaron Jernigan, who acquired land along Lake Holden by the terms of the Armed Occupation Act of 1842. But most pioneers did not arrive until after the Third Seminole War in the 1850s. Most of the early residents made their living by cattle ranching.
Orlando remained a rural backwater during the American Civil War, and suffered greatly during the Federal Blockade. The Reconstruction Era brought a population explosion, which led to the city's incorporation in 1875.
The period from 1875 to 1895 is remembered as Orlando's "Gilded Era," when it became the hub of Florida's citrus industry. But a great freeze in 1894-1895 forced many owners to give up their independent groves, thus consolidating holdings in the hands of a few "citrus barons" which shifted operations south, primarily around Lake Wales in Polk County.
Orlando, as Florida's largest inland city, became a popular resort during the years between the Spanish-American War and World War I.
During World War II, a number of Army personnel were stationed at the Pine Castle AAF. Some of these servicemen stayed in Orlando to settle and raise families. In 1956 the aerospace/defense company Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) established a plant in Orlando. In 1958, Pine Castle AAF was renamed McCoy Air Force Base after Colonel Michael N.W. McCoy.
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, an important cruise ship terminal. Because of its proximity to the "Space Coast" near the Kennedy Space Center, many high-tech companies have shifted to the Orlando area.
Perhaps the most critical event for Orlando's economy occurred in 1965 when Walt Disney announced plans to build Walt Disney World. Although Disney had considered the cities of Miami and Tampa for his park, one of the major reasons behind his decision not to locate in those cities was the threat of hurricanes. The famous vacation resort opened in October 1971, ushering in an explosive population and economic growth for the Orlando metropolitan area, which now encompasses Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake counties. As a result, tourism became the centerpiece of the area's economy and Orlando is consistently ranked as one of the top vacation destinations in the world.
Another major factor in Orlando's growth occurred in 1970, when the new Orlando International Airport was built from a portion of the McCoy Air Force Base. Four airlines began providing scheduled flights in 1970. The military base officially closed in 1974, and most of it is now part of the airport. The airport still retains the former Air Force Base airport code (MCO). It is considered a world-class facility, and it is one of the most heavily travelled airports in the world.
In addition to McCoy Air Force Base, Orlando also had a naval presence with the establishment of the Orlando Naval Training Center in 1968. Providing training to recruits as well as being a base for selected post basic training programs, the base had a prominent presence in the area. In 1993, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission ordered that the base be closed. The base continued in a diminished capacity until the base closed for good with the last graduates of the base's Naval Nuclear Power School leaving in December of 1998. The former base has been developed into tracts for upscale housing called Baldwin Park.
In the hurricane season of 2004, Hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Jeanne battered the Orlando area, causing widespread damage and flooding and impeding tourism to the area.
Orlando Skyline at sunset, from SR-408Orlando is located at 28°32'1?N, 81°22'33?W (28.533513, -81.375789)GR1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 261.5 km² (100.9 mi²). 242.2 km² (93.5 mi²) of it is land and 19.3 km² (7.5 mi²) of it (7.39%) is water.
Orlando is rivaled only by the Twin Cities in the number of natural lakes to be found in its metropolitan area. The Orlando area is home to more than 100 lakes, the largest of which are Lake Apopka, Eustis, Griffin, Harney, Harris, Jesup, Monroe, Sand Lake, Conway, and Tohopekaliga. The region Orlando occupies is generally low-lying, the only exception being minor sand hills formed by wave action in earlier geological eras when sea level was higher. These sand hills are found primarily in the western sections of the metropolitan area, especially in Lake County. The area is also very prone to sink-holes due to the large number of underground limestone caverns that are located in the area. Many of the lakes started as sink holes in recent geologic history.
The city of Orlando has 115 neighborhoods in the city limits, some of which are:
Central Business District
Lake Davis / Greenwood
Lake Eola Heights
Park Lake Highland
In the Orlando area, like most metropolitan areas in Florida, the majority of the population lives outside the city proper. Orlando is the center of a four-county metropolitan area that includes Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake counties. Oviedo, in Seminole County, has been listed as one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Clermont (Lake) and Poinciana (Osceola) have also seen explosive growth. Although technically outside of the Orlando metro area, Deltona grew so fast that it overtook Daytona Beach as the largest city in Volusia County as of the 1990 census.
Orlando has a warm and humid subtropical climate, and there are two major seasons each year. One of those seasons is hot and rainy, lasting from April until November (roughly coinciding with the Atlantic hurricane season). The other is a cooler season (November through March) that brings more moderate temperatures and less frequent rainfall. The area's warm and humid climate is caused primarily by its low elevation and its position just a few degrees north of the Tropic of Cancer, and much of its weather is affected by the movement of the Gulf Stream.
During the height of Orlando's very humid summer season, temperatures rarely fall below 70ºF (21ºC), and daytime highs average in the 90s (32-37°C). Although the city rarely records temperatures over 100°F (38°C), extreme humidity often pushes the heat index to over 110°F (43°C). The city's highest recorded temperature is 102ºF (39ºC), set in 1998. During these months, strong afternoon thunderstorms occur almost daily. These storms are caused by air masses from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean colliding over Central Florida, and they often bring high wind, damaging hail, heavy rainfall (sometimes several inches per hour), and violent lightning. Orlando is sometimes referred to as the lightning capital of the world, but it is actually second to parts of Central Africa in its frequency of strikes. It does have more lightning than any other city in the United States.
During the winter season, humidity is lower and temperatures are more moderate. Average lows in January are around 50ºF (10ºC), and the highs average near 70°F (21°C). Temperatures rarely reach below 32ºF (0ºC), although the coldest temperature ever recorded was 19°F (-7°C) in 1985. The area does get cold enough to facilitate snowfall - however, the winter season is dry, and most freezing temperatures occur after cold fronts have passed. Although no measurable amount has ever been recorded, scattered flurries were reported on January 24, 2003 , and trace amounts of snow also fell on December 23, 1989.
The average annual rainfall in Orlando is 48.35 in. (122.56 cm), most of it occurring in the period from June to September. The months of December through May are Orlando's driest season. During this period (especially in its later months), there is often a wildfire hazard. During some years, fires have been severe.
Orlando has a considerable hurricane risk, although it is not as high as it is in South Florida's urban corridor or other coastal regions. Since the city is located 40 miles inland from the Atlantic and 60 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, hurricanes usually weaken before arriving. Storm surges are not a concern since the region is 100 ft (30 m) above sea level. Despite its relatively safe location, the city does see strong hurricanes. During the notorious 2004 hurricane season, Orlando was hit by three hurricanes that caused significant damage. The city also experienced widespread damage during Hurricane Donna in 1960.
Climate Table Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average daily maximum temperature (nearest °F) 72 74 79 83 88 91 92 92 90 85 79 73 83
Mean daily minimum temperature (nearest °F) 50 51 56 60 66 71 73 73 72 65 59 53 62
Mean total rainfall (in.) 2.43 2.35 3.54 2.42 3.74 7.35 7.15 6.25 5.76 2.73 2.32 2.31 48.35
Source: The Weather Channel
NOTE: The record high of 102°F was recorded at Orlando International Airport, and is available from AccuWeather.com. (historical data from July is only visible in July and August unless you buy into their premium services) The Weather Channel only uses historical data recorded at Orlando Executive Airport. Both airports have official National Weather Service recording stations.
To no surprise, a large part of the Orlando area economy is involved in the tourist industry. Tourism surrounding Orlando is worth billions of dollars to the area's economy. Over 48 million visitors came to the Orlando region in 2004. The convention industry is also critical to the region's economy, due partly to the multitude of attractions available for all age ranges in the area. 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 the United States.
The area's economy includes other industries besides tourism, such as manufacturing. Lockheed-Martin has a large manufacturing facility for aeronautical crafts and related high tech research due to Orlando's proximity to the NASA Kennedy Space Center. Since the 1970's and 1980's the area is also home to many computer software and hardware firms, such as IBM. Another developing sector is the film, television, and electronic gaming industries, aided by the presence of Universal Studios, Disney-MGM Studios, Full Sail School, and other entertainment companies and schools. Numerous office complexes for large corporations have popped up along the Interstate 4 corridor north of Orlando, especially in Maitland, Lake Mary and Heathrow. The U.S. modeling, simulation, and training (MS&T) industry is centered around the Orlando region as well, with a particularly strong presence in the UCF Research Park.
Nearby Maitland is the home of Tiburon, a division of the video game company Electronic Arts. Originally Tiburon Entertainment, it was acquired by EA in 1998 after years of partnership, particularly in the famous Madden NFL series and NCAA Football series of video games. Due to this, there were rumors in 2005 that EA may move its corporate HQ to Orlando.
The diversifying economy has led to an incredibly low unemployment rate in Greater Orlando of 3.4% as of September 2005. The result is explosive growth that has led to urban sprawl in the surrounding area and skyrocketing housing prices. Housing prices in Greater Orlando went up 34% in one year, from an average of $182,000 in August 2004 to $245,000 in August 2005.
Companies and organizations that have a their corporate headquarters or a major presence in the area:
Adventist Health System
Campus Crusade for Christ
Celtic Engineering, Inc.
Cendant Timeshare Resort Group
CNL Financial Group
Commercial Net Lease Realty
Darden Restaurants, Inc.
Ginn Clubs & Resorts
Hard Rock Cafe
Hewitt Associates LLC
Hilton Grand Vacations Club
Hughes Supply Incorporated
Harcourt Trade Publishers
Template:Lighthouse Creative Inc
Marriott Vacation Club International
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse
Siemens Power Generation
Siemens Building Technologies
Siemens Shared Services
Starwood Vacation Ownership
T.G. Lee Dairy
The Golf Channel
Tishman Hotel Corporation
Trans Continental Companies
The Walt Disney Company
Unicorp National Developments
Wycliffe Bible Translators
A LYNX bus stop on North Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando.
Orlando is served primarily by Orlando International Airport, though nearby Orlando Sanford International Airport also serves the area. Orlando Executive Airport is used for charter flights and General Aviation.
Its major freeway is Interstate 4, which crosses Florida's Turnpike southwest of Downtown Orlando. It is also served by the toll roads of the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority, particularly the East-West Expressway (SR 408), which crosses I-4 downtown.
The East West Expressway (SR 408) is undergoing major construction with the addition of lanes, concrete barrier walls, sound walls, and a better scenic view. This project began in 2005 and is not yet complete.
The Orlando area is served by one through railroad, CSX's A line (formerly the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad's main line), and some spurs, mostly operated by the Florida Central Railroad. Amtrak passenger service runs along the CSX A line. See also a map of these railroads. In 2005 Federal and state funding was granted for the establishment of the Central Florida Commuter Rail service to operate on the CSX A line tracks between Deltona and Poinciana, passing through the downtown area and surrounding urban neighborhoods along the way. The service is expected to substantially reduce traffic congestion along the I-4 corridor, especially between downtown Orlando and the suburban communities in Seminole and Volusia Counties. The Federal and state funds would cover approximately 80% of the estimated $400 million cost for track modifications and construction of stations along the route. Pending approval by the county governments (Volusia, Seminole, Orange and Osceola) involved and the set aside of matching funds, the line is projected to begin operations in 2009.
The following major railroad stations have existed in Orlando:
Amtrak Orlando station (originally built by ACL to replace Church Street Station, the only one still in use)
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Orlando station (now Church Street Station, a tourist attraction)
Seaboard Air Line Railroad Orlando station (Central Avenue Station)
Orlando is served by LYNX, which runs bus service in the tri-county area (Osceola-Orange-Seminole).
Several attempts have been made to bring a light rail system to Orlando, but each one has met with failure due to a perceived lack of public interest and various conflicts over a potential route. Walt Disney World officials have been particularly adamant that a light rail line run from Orlando International Airport to the resort, drawing opposition from other vacation destinations who fear loss of business. Local residents also oppose the idea of funding what is essentially a private beeline to Disney that will do little to alleviate the growing traffic problems in the area. Conversations have also centered on a light rail connecting Orlando to Tampa and Miami.
Public education is handled by Orange County Public Schools. Some of the larger private schools include Trinity Preparatory School, Lake Highland Preparatory School, Bishop Moore High School, New School of Orlando, Orlando Christian Academy, and Forest Lake Academy.
Area institutions of higher education
Troy University, in Winter Park providing convenient education to adult learners
Asbury Theological Seminary, Orlando (Dunnam) Campus
Barry University's law school
Brevard Community College (in nearby Brevard County)
DeVry University, Orlando campus
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Florida A&M University's law school
Florida Institute of Technology, Orlando campus
Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences
Florida Metropolitan University, Orlando campus
Full Sail Real World Education (in Winter Park)
Hindu University of America
International Academy of Design and Technology
Nova Southeastern University, Orlando campus
Keiser College, Orlando Campus
Orlando Culinary Academy, (a Le Cordon Bleu school)
Polytechnic University, Orlando Campus
Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando campus
Rollins College (in Winter Park)
Seminole Community College (in Sanford)
Stetson University (in Deland)
University of Central Florida
University of Phoenix, Orlando campus
Valencia Community College
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 185,951 people, 80,883 households, and 42,382 families residing in the city. The population density was 767.9/km² (1,988.9/mi²). There were 88,486 housing units at an average density of 365.4/km² (946.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 61.10% White, 26.70% African American, 2.90% Asian, 0.34% Native American, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 5.41% from other races, and 2.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.79% of the population. [Total is greater than 100% because Hispanics may be of any race.] The city has large Puerto Rican, Colombian, Haitian, Vietnamese communities (among others), and a growing number of Russian and British (mostly English) residents.
There were 80,883 households out of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.4% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.6% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 37.3% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,732, and the median income for a family was $40,648. Males had a median income of $30,866 versus $25,267 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,216. About 13.3% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.0% of those under age 18 and 12.6% of those age 65 or over.
Like fellow Florida cities Miami and Tampa, Orlando has a large and increasing number of Hispanic residents living in the city. Orlando is home to one of the nation's largest and rapidly-growing Puerto Rican communities (particulary its metropolitan area). This is reflected by the abundance of Hispanic-themed restaurants and radio stations. Spanish-language music, such as reggaeton, is common on Orlando radio stations. The Orlando Magic basketball team is the only team in the NBA to have a Latin Night, which is geared towards the Hispanic population in the area. Throughout the city, many Puerto Rican flags can be found on or near buildings, including car dealerships. The city's local newspaper, The Orlando Sentinel, publishes a weekly all-Spanish newspaper called El Sentinel.
Orlando has an equally large African-American population. The city is located within six miles of Eatonville, Florida, the first all-black town to be incorporated in the United States.
Orlando is also becoming popular with Russian immigrants seeking careers or relocating their families to warmer climates. The growth rate of Russians in Central Florida is second only to the rising Hispanic population. The Russian community, made up of several countries of the former Soviet Union, has the Russian language as their common bond. Community and cultural groups are growing in popularity as is the number of Russian-American marriages.
For tourist information, see Wikitravel.
The Orlando area is home to a wide variety of tourist attractions, including the Walt Disney World resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and Universal Orlando Resort. The Walt Disney World resort is the area's largest attraction with its many facets such as the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Downtown Disney. SeaWorld Orlando is a large adventure 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 comprised of Universal Studios, CityWalk, and the Islands of Adventure theme park.
Other attractions in the Orlando area include:
Arboretum of the University of Central Florida
Blue Spring State Park, which is the winter home of large numbers of Florida manatees that come upstream from the St. Johns River to bask in the warm 72 °F (22 °C) waters of the springs. Canoeing, swimming and fishing are popular activities at Blue Springs.
Central Florida Zoological Park, located in Sanford on Lake Monroe. This 100 acre (400,000 m²) zoo is home to a butterfly garden, herpetarium, and numerous tropical animals. The zoo originally started as a collection in the Sanford Fire Department, but grew into a regional zoo in 1975. It is currently in the planning stages of expansion and renaming the facility to "Zoo Orlando at Sanford".
Church Street Station, a multi-level shopping mall and entertainment center that once featured an abundance of specialty shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and bars. Purchased in the late 1990s by TransContinental Airlines owner Lou Pearlman, it is now virtually defunct, as the area suffered in post-9/11 tourist-industry slump.
Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba, in Downtown Disney West Side, features its renowned blend of acrobatics and special effects with more than 70 artists from around the globe performing in a custom-designed, 1,671-seat theater.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum, situated on the campus of Rollins College, features significant loans, recent acquisitions, and items from the Cornell's renowned permanent collection. Admission is free.
Cypress Gardens Adventure Park
Discovery Cove, a resort that is part of the SeaWorld Adventure Park complex. Some attraction features are tropical fish in a coral reef, snorkeling with stingrays, and interacting with birds in an aviary, as well as swimming and playing with dolphins during a half-hour session.
Gatorland is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles. A few of Gatorland's residents have made wrangling appearances in movies, television shows and commercial spots. The 54 year old park combines a petting zoo, bird sanctuary, mini-water park, eco-tour and outdoor entertainment, including daily alligator wrestling.
Hard Rock Café is is the Orlando location of the famed restaurant chain with the typical HRC music memorabilia. There is also Hard Rock Live, a 3,000-capacity live music venue, and the Hard Rock Hotel, a resort hotel with a California-style restaurant called "The Kitchen". It is one of eight worldwide, and one of three in Florida. (Miami and Tampa are the other two.)
International Trolley and Train Museum features 14 model railroad trains with sound and lighting traveling through an indoor garden with 12 foot (4 m) high mountains, waterfalls, and more than 30 trestles and tunnels. Also on display are toy trains from the 1920s to the present. Visitors can catch a ride in a California Victorian-style half open/half closed trolley or the 5/8 replica of an 1880 locomotive (a Mason Bogey) with its passenger cars.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is 45 minutes from Orlando and south of Daytona Beach. Visitors can tour launch areas, see giant rockets, "train" in spaceflight simulators, and much more. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open every day except Christmas Day and certain launch days. Apart from the Astronaut Hall of Fame, Space Center bus tours run every 15 minutes with stops at an observation gantry and the Apollo / Saturn V Center. Other guided tours include NASA Up Close, Cape Canaveral: Then and Now, and Lunch With An Astronaut. Combo tickets offer maximum access admission, plus one guided tour.
The Kerouac House, in the College Park neighborhood or Orlando, is where writer Jack Kerouac lived during the time his novel On the Road was published and released, making him a national sensation and Beat Generation icon. He lived in the house with his mother Gabrielle from July 1957 to the spring of 1958, and wrote his three-act play, The Beat Generation, a 51-chorus poem called Orlanda Blues, and the novel The Dharma Bums during his time there. In 1997, the Kerouac Project of Orlando formed, and restored the Kerouac house. It is now a haven for aspiring writers who can live in the house as they create their own work.
Harry P. Leu Gardens, which is an inner city oasis covering 50 acres (20,000 m²) and features colorful annuals, palms, an orchid house, a floral clock and a butterfly garden.
The World's Largest McDonald's PlayPlace, located on the corner of Sand Lake Rd. & International Dr, looks like a fry box from the exterior. The interior features an arcade with 60+ games with prize redemption, a 1950's room, a waterfall and a gift shop. The Bistro Gourmet at McDonald's features chef-prepared food, such as panini & deli sandwiches, pasta, soup, desserts, and hand-dipped ice cream, plus the standard McDonald's menu.
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, in Kissimmee. Six brave knights on horseback compete in tournament games, jousting, and sword fighting while guests dine on a medieval-style banquet.
The Morse Museum of American Art, located at Rollins College, houses a permanent Tiffany exhibit featuring the world's "most comprehensive" collection of the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany. It includes Tiffany art glass, jewelry, pottery, and the chapel interior designed for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. There is also an exhibit on the Tiffany home, and American paintings from the 19th century. The museum was founded in 1942.
Old Town, in Kissimmee, features eight restaurants, fifteen amusement park rides and 75 shops along its brick-lined streets. Classic car shows every Friday and Saturday feature hundreds of vintage automobiles. Admission and parking are free.
The Orange County Regional History Center Features exhibits and artifacts from the earliest days of the region to the modern day. Includes information on everything from the time of the Seminole Indians to the founding of the city to the Civil Rights era to the Disney period to today.
The Orlando Museum of Art, which has ongoing exhibitions of American portraits and landscapes, American impressionist works, and art of the ancient Americas.
The Orlando Science Center, is a 207,000 square foot (19,000 m²) hands-on learning center with hundreds of interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages. Images surround visitors on the giant screen of the Dr. Phillips CineDome. Other attractions include the Body Zone, teaching health and fitness, as well as an observatory. The center has the largest refracting telescope in Florida.
The Ripley's Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium is located in a building artfully constructed to appear as if it were collapsing to one side, which may be a sly reference to central Florida's infamous sinkholes. Visitors can explore bizarre artifacts, strange collections, weird art/hobbies and interactive exhibits in sixteen odd galleries. It is one of 27 Ripley museums in ten countries.
Wekiwa Springs State Park, which comprises around 700 acres (2.8 km²) of wild Florida. The springs pump out 42 million gallons of crystal clear water a day. Popular activities at the park include canoeing, swimming, picnicking and fishing.
World of Orchids, featuring thousands of blooms in an enclosed tropical rainforest. World of Orchids is a working greenhouse shipping orchids and other plants nationwide. A greenhouse covers nearly an acre (4,000 m²), and in this controlled climate of warm, humid air some 1,000 orchids are displayed in a natural jungle setting, with streams, waterfalls, and squawking parrots. World of Orchids also has a 1,000 foot (300 m) long boardwalk meandering off into nearby wetlands. Admission is free.
Orlando is home to the Orlando Magic, an NBA pro basketball franchise that plays at the TD Waterhouse Centre in downtown Orlando. The team made it to the NBA Finals in 1995.
The Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League also play at the TD Waterhouse Centre. Since joining the league in 1991, they have become one of the legendary franchises in the young league, having an infamous rivalry with the Tampa Bay Storm, two ArenaBowl titles (1998 and 2000), and several historic moments including the league's only shutout to date and a procession called the Miracle Minute where they scored two touchdowns with two-point conversions and forced a safety to come from behind in the final minute of a game to win.
Orlando was a stronghold of minor-league ice hockey throughout the 1990's, being home of the Orlando Solar Bears of the now-defunct International Hockey League. Historically successful, they won the Turner Cup championship in 2001 to end the IHL's final season. In 2002, the Atlantic Coast Hockey League formed with Orlando forming one of the charter franchises, the Orlando Seals, which won their Commissioner's Cup in 2003. They moved to the World Hockey Association 2 in 2003, then the Southern Professional Hockey League in 2004. The City of Orlando revoked their lease for the TD Waterhouse Centre, forcing them to sit out the 2004-05 season. They moved to Kissimmee and became the Florida Seals in November 2004.
The Citrus Bowl is the home of the Capital One Bowl (formerly the Florida Citrus Bowl) and the Champs Sports Bowl (formerly the Tangerine Bowl). It also hosts regular-season football games for the University of Central Florida (NCAA Division I-A) and Jones High School, as well as the annual Florida Classic played between the NCAA Division I-AA Football teams from Florida A&M University and Bethune-Cookman College. It hosted soccer games for the FIFA World Cup '94 and the 1996 Summer Olympics when each were hosted by the United States.
The Orlando Renegades were a USFL team playing at the Citrus Bowl in 1985. They folded with the league in 1986. The Orlando Thunder were a charter team in the World League of American Football in 1991 and 1992. They lost the World Bowl to the Sacramento Surge in 1992. Like all other American teams, it was dropped in the World League reorganization of 1995. The Orlando Rage were a member of the XFL that played at the Citrus Bowl, and only played in 2001. That team has since been revived in the minor-league Southern States Football League (SSFL).
The Citrus Bowl was also the home of the fictional NFL team, the Orlando Breakers, which was featured in the last two seasons of the television sitcom Coach. The team was a plot device to reflect the 1995 addition of the Jacksonville Jaguars to the real-life NFL.
Orlando will gain an expansion franchise in the Major Indoor Soccer League for the 2007 - 2008 season. The Orlando Lions were a member of the third incarnation of the American Soccer League in the late 1980s/early 1990s. The Orlando Sundogs were a minor-league soccer team in the A-League that played in the Citrus Bowl. They were disbanded in 1997 after only playing one year. Presently, two lower-division soccer teams call Orlando home: the Premier Development League's (PDL) Central Florida Kraze, and Ajax Orlando. The Kraze won the PDL Championship in 2004, while Ajax (pronounced EYE-acks) is the only Amercian subsidiary of global soccer power Ajax Amsterdam of the Dutch Eredivisie (professional soccer league).
Tinker Field, named for baseball hall-of-famer Joe Tinker, is a historic baseball stadium next to the Citrus Bowl, currently out of use. It was formerly the spring training home of the Minnesota Twins (and the Washington Nationals/Senators before them) and AA Southern League affiliates of the Twins, Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Cracker Jack Stadium, situated in the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex, is the baseball stadium that is currently used in Orlando. The spring training home of the Atlanta Braves, it played host to the games of the Pool D teams in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
Serious talk has been made on bringing Major League Baseball to Orlando. Current mayor Buddy Dyer said he would like to see it in the future. Orlando was a finalist city in the expansion for the 1993 season. Ironically, they were mentioned as a possible destination for one of the 1993 expansion teams, the Florida Marlins, during that team's investigation of new locations should Miami fail to build them a new baseball stadium.
WFLF 540 AM, CBS Radio Talk radio
WDBO 580 AM, ABC Radio Talk radio
WQTM 740 AM, Fox Sports Radio Sports radio
WTLN 950 AM, Christian Radio
WDYZ 990 AM, top 40 Radio Disney
WHOO 1080 AM, ESPN Radio Sports radio
WAMT 1190 AM, Fox News Radio Talk radio
WRLZ 1270 AM, Spanish music
WWFL 1340 AM, Adult contemporary music
WPOZ, 88.3 FM, Union Park, Contemporary Christian
WMYZ, 88.7 FM, Clermont, Contemporary Christian
WKTO, 88.9 FM, Edgewater, Religious
WLAZ, 89.1 FM, Kissimmee, Spanish
WUCF, 89.9 FM, Orlando, Jazz
WLVE, 90.3 FM, Haines City, Religious
WMFE, 90.7 FM, Orlando, Classical
WKES, 91.1 FM, Lakeland, Religious
WPRK, 91.5 FM, Winter Park, Variety
WWKA, 92.3 FM, Orlando, Country
WOGK, 93.7 FM, Ocala, Country
WCFB, 94.5 FM, Daytona Beach, Urban Adult Contemporary
WPYO, 95.3 FM, Maitland, Rhythmic Contemporary Hit Radio
WHOG, 95.7 FM, Orland-by-the-Sea, Classic Rock
WHTQ, 96.5 FM, Orlando, Classic Rock
W247AK, 97.3 FM, Deland, Religious
WPCV, 97.5 FM, Winter Haven, Country
WNUE, 98.1 FM, Titusville, Spanish
WMMO, 98.9 FM, Orlando, Adult Hits
WRUM, 100.3 FM, Orlando, Caribbean
WJRR, 101.1 FM, Cocoa Beach, Alternative
WJHM, 101.9 FM, Daytona Beach, Mainstream Urban
WLOQ, 103.1 FM, Winter Park, Smooth Jazz
WTKS, 104.1 FM, Cocoa Beach, Talk
WOMX, 105.1 FM, Orlando, Hot Adult Contemporary
WOCL, 105.9 FM, Deland, Alternative
WXXL, 106.7 FM, Tavares, CHR
WMGF, 107.7 FM, Mount Dora, Adult Contemporary
WESH, analog channel 2, digital channel 11, NBC
WKMG-TV, analog channel 6, digital channel 58, CBS
WFTV, analog channel 9, digital channel 39, ABC
WTMO-LP, analog channel 15, Telemundo
WCEU, analog channel 15, digital channel 33, PBS
WKCF, analog channel 18, digital channel 17, The WB, to be The CW in September 2006
WCJB-TV, analog channel 20, digital channel 16, ABC
WMFE-TV, analog channel 24, digital channel 23, PBS
WVEN-TV, analog channel 26, digital channel 49, Univision
WRDQ, analog channel 27, digital channel 14, Independent
WOFL, analog channel 35, digital channel 22, Fox
WOTF-TV, analog channel 43, digital channel 20, Telefutura
WLCB-TV, analog channel 45, digital channel 46, Independent
WOGX, analog channel 51, digital channel 31, Fox
WTGL-TV, analog channel 52, digital channel 53, Independent
WOPX, analog channel 56, digital channel 48, i
WRBW, analog channel 65, digital channel 41, UPN, to be My Network TV in September 2006
WBCC, analog channel 68, digital channel 30, PBS
WACX, digital channel 40, TBN
Channel 13 - Bright House Networks Central Florida News 13 (www.cfnews13.com)
For more information on Orlando, Florida, please visit Wikipedia.
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