Orlando is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world, and one of the biggest attractions of course is Disney World. This is only one reason why thousands of people flock to Orlando yearly. The streets are lined aesthetically with palm, pine, and oak trees. There are also many lakes and parks that add to the beauty of the city.
The area was originally settled by army volunteers after the Seminole wars in the, late 1840’s. However the area received the name Orlando in 1835. It was names after one of a soldier named Reeve Orlando. He earned this honor by notifying his unit of approaching Indians. By the time the Civil War started, Orlando was a tiny settlement that mostly survived by the production of Cotton. Unfortunately the war brought harsh poverty to the area. Between the lack of money to hire farm-hands and no transportation to the market, the cotton industry was slowly crushed. Then in 1865, the first of the famous orange groves were planted for harvest. The citrus industry didn’t really take hold until 1890, when English settlers bought state land and railroad interest for $1 an acre.
In the early 50’s space exploded only 50 miles away at Cape Canaveral. That did help to boost the economy, but it was only the tip of the ice berg. In 1971 Walt Disney opened his Walt Disney World Theme Park. This park also led to other businesses and theme parks to build in the area. The area exploded and put Orlando on the map as one of the most popular travel destinations. We had been in Tampa for a few days, but decided to head over to Orlando for a couple of days before heading home. The drive to Orlando was pleasant and very exciting. It was almost exactly the way I pictured it to be. Lots of greenery and palm trees.
While in Orlando we decided to do the Disney World thing. My best friend Laurie works at Disneyland in California, and she gave us two free tickets into the park. The ticket was a hopper pass, which was good for all four parks. We wanted to see as much as possible, so we got up early and headed for the park.We were incredibly surprised at the park. It was absolutely gorgeous, and incredibly large. We were told that Disneyland in Anaheim could sit in Disney World’s parking lot. It was that much larger. Unfortunately we were barely able to see a small part of the Magic Kingdom, and MGM Studios. The park is so huge that we could have spent a whole week just doing 2 or 3 of them. Oh well, so other time maybe.We both agree the worst ride was the tram ride at the MGM. The line was unbearably long, and that really wasn’t that much to see to make it worth the wait. I think I would have enjoyed what we did see, if we didn’t have to wait so long. The line was three times longer than any line we had been in all day.
We both also agreed that the best ride was the Tower of Terror. This was an absolutely awesome ride. It is a runaway elevator that bounces and drops you up and down thirteen stories. It was so fun, we did it twice. You have to try this one for yourself if you are ever in the area. We had a great time running around all the different parks, but needless to say we were completely exhausted by the time we headed back to the hotel. I would love to go there and spend a week just at Disney World. It would be so much fun, but there are so many other places I want to see. Maybe someday we will get back there.
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