Found inland in the southeast American state of Florida, the city of Orlando is the site of some of the world's most popular theme parks and home to about a quarter of a million people.
Orlando can experience extreme weather conditions with significant hurricane risk between June to November, and very high humid conditions through from July to October. It is situated within a region called lightning alley where there are frequent thunderstorm occurrence.
The origins of the city's name are disputed; one story goes that a brave cattle rancher, Orlando Savage Rees, who sought to take back his livestock from thieves and left his name on a marker during a long trek. Another tale tells of a soldier of a similar name whose grave was placed there during a war between the natives of the area and an invading US Army. The two myths have become intertwined along the way.
When the 'Florida Project' was announced by Disney chiefs during the 1960s, local authorities saw the potential for mass property development and the fame and fortune they would receive from building what became Walt Disney World in 1971. Additions to the parks have been ongoing ever since, giving Orlando its popular status as the Theme Park capital of the world - even though the park itself is over 20 miles away, the city has since built many hotels to accommodate the overspill.
The city of Orlando received over 57 million visitors from around the world in 2012, some of whom also visited one of the many business events and exhibitions which the city is also known for running. Orlando is also something of a focal point for the entertainment and production industries, in particular their focus on cutting-edge technology and software. A lot of US Army and Navy simulation software is developed in the region, allowing it close military connections, along with its proximity to several military bases to which residents can easily commute.
Theme park addicts have so much choice on a visit to Orlando; visit one of the many Walt Disney resorts in Orlando, or check out Universal Studios to experience the most exciting rides based on some of the biggest movies releases of the past 20 years.
Orlando is also home to some of the country's top golf courses, with Bay Hill Club and Lodge one of the courses played by the pros every year on the PGA Tour; previous winners include Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh.
Other sports showcased in Orlando include basketball, where you can take a trip to the Amway Center to see the NBA's Orlando Magic strutting their stuff against the other elite teams.
Last updated: 3 February 2015
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