The Travellers’ Guide to Orlando

Orlando seems to just keep growing and evolving. What seemed to have started as a Disney theme park in the middle of swampland has turned into a bustling metropolis attracting millions of people to its many attractions and its fantastic weather. LIke anywhere else, traveling to Orlando isn’t just about knowing what attractions to visit. Knowing some of the basics about the place where you’re going, especially about getting around, is vital for an enjoyable and successful visit. If you are better prepared for what to expect, then your trip will go much more smoothly and be that much more enjoyable. Here are some things you should know.

Orlando Weather

Orlando boasts some of the best temperatures in the country, with the average high being around 82 and the average low being around 62. The summers are very hot, as you would imagine, and it does not get too cold in the winter. January is the coldest month, and temperatures have been known to get down to freezing, but for any other time of the year, you would never need more than a light jacket. It is important to take precautions against the heat, especially in July and August. June to November is considered hurricane season in Florida, however, Orlando is not on the coast, so the dangers are somewhat mitigated. Disney World was closed down during Hurricane Irma in 2017.

When Is the Best Time to Visit?

This is a difficult question to answer. There is so much to see and do, and the weather is almost never prohibitive. While you can never fully avoid crowds in Orlando, holidays do tend to be the busiest times. There may also be times when you want to go for special events. The slowest times are generally in the winter, with Christmas holidays being the exception. In the late winter and early spring, when schools around the world have their spring breaks, attendance is at its highest. This is also when sports fans flock to Florida for baseball’s Spring Training season in March.

Traveling To and Getting Around Orlando

Since it is a city built around theme parks and attractions, there are many simple options for getting to and around Orlando. If you decide to fly into Orlando International Airport for a visit to Disney World, then be sure to take the handy Magical Express, which can take you right to the resort where you are staying. There are also two other international airports: Orlando Sanford and Daytona Beach International. There is a lot of public transportation around Orlando, so make sure to grab a transit map to plan out your days. If you are staying at a Disney resort, they have a convenient shuttle bus system to get you where you need to go. They also have the monorail system to get you from park to park. If you decide to drive, just make sure to leave yourself time for traffic delays, and for walking long distances through parking lots.

Where to Stay

There is no end to the options for accommodations in Orlando, with something for every budget. Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando offer several resort options that can be quite affordable and fun. They also make it convenient for visiting the parks and getting around. There are many places to stay all around the city that are geared towards families and more business accommodations, and everything in between. Depending on your reason for visiting, check out what options are closest, and you will be bound to find something to your liking and in your budget.

The City of Orlando: A History

Orlando began as a settlement outside Fort Gatlin in the 1930’s. The fort had been built to protect the settlers from natives. Within a few years, many people had settled there, and a community began to thrive by 1840. At the time, the community was called Jernigan, after the family who had first permanently settled there. By 1850 the community even had a post office, further cementing itself as a place that had sprouted roots.

As the community grew and expanded north towards where Orlando stands today, the community changed the name. There are several theories as to where they got the name. One is that it was named after a soldier from Fort Gatlin who had been killed in an attack. Another was that it was from a wealthy farmer who lived nearby. There is even a theory that the name comes from the character from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” We will probably never know for certain where the name comes from, but it was changed in 1857. At the time of Orlando’s incorporation in 1875, there were 85 inhabitants.


In the early days, Orlando was the prime area for the Florida citrus industry. This is largely because of the influence of the Jernigan family. Nowadays, of course, it is one of the largest tourist centers in the world. That said, Orlando’s leaders have been working to make the economy more diverse. To that end, they have recruited more high-tech industries to set up shop in the city. This includes digital media outfits, training, simulation development, and technological manufacturing. Now it can say that along with being a leader in tourism, it is also a leader in the economy of innovation.


For the most part, Orlando sits on miles of wetlands, lakes, and swamps. This makes the terrain relatively flat, although it is also low and wet. This makes the area prone to sinkholes. Orlando itself is made up of 115 neighborhoods alone with unincorporated communities around the outskirts. This makes the outskirts look a bit like a checkerboard. There are pockets of incorporated Orlando intermingled with the unincorporated land. This can make for some confusion with city services. To fight this confusion, Orlando is working on annexing some of that land to have a more easily defined boundary for the city.

As you can see, whether living or playing, Orlando is an amazing place to be.