Orlando is a city in the U.S. state of Florida and the county seat of Orange County. Located in Central Florida, it is the center of the Orlando metropolitan area, which had a population of 2,509,831, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released in July 2017. These figures make it the 23rd-largest metropolitan area in the United States, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States, and the third-largest metropolitan area in Florida. As of 2015, Orlando had an estimated city-proper population of 280,257, making it the 73rd-largest city in the United States, the fourth-largest city in Florida, and the state’s largest inland city.
The City of Orlando is nicknamed “The City Beautiful,” and its symbol is the fountain at Lake Eola. Orlando is also known as “The Theme Park Capital of the World” and in 2018 its tourist attractions and events drew more than 75 million visitors. The Orlando International Airport (MCO or OIA) is the thirteenth-busiest airport in the United States and the 29th-busiest in the world.
As one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations, Orlando’s famous attractions form the backbone of its tourism industry. The two most significant of these attractions are Walt Disney World, opened by the Walt Disney Company in 1971, and located approximately 21 miles (34 km) southwest of Downtown Orlando in Bay Lake; and the Universal Orlando Resort, opened in 1990 as a major expansion of Universal Studios Florida. With the exception of Walt Disney World, most major attractions are located along International Drive with one of these attractions being the Orlando Eye.
According to the Köppen climate classification Orlando has a humid subtropical climate like much of the deep southern United States. There are two basic seasons in Orlando, a hot and rainy season, lasting from May until late September (roughly coinciding with the Atlantic hurricane season), and a warm and dry season from October through April. The area’s warm and humid climate is caused primarily by its low elevation, its position relatively close to the Tropic of Cancer, and its location in the center of a peninsula. Many characteristics of its climate are a result of its proximity to the Gulf Stream, which flows around the peninsula of Florida. During the height of Orlando’s humid summer season, high temperatures are typically in the lower to mid 90s °F (32–36 °C), while low temperatures rarely fall below the mid 70s °F (23–26 °C). The average window for such temperatures is April 19 – October 11.
As of 2000, 75% of all residents speak English as their first language, while 16.60% speak Spanish, 1.9% speak Haitian Creole, 1.3% speak French, 0.99% speak Portuguese, and 0.5% of the population speak Arabic as their mother language. In total, 24% of the population 5 years and older speak a language other than English at home.
One of the main driving forces in Orlando’s economy is its tourism industry and the city is one of the leading tourism destinations in the world. Nicknamed the ‘Theme Park Capital of the World’, the Orlando area is home to Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, Legoland, and the Fun Spot America Theme Parks. The Walt Disney World resort is the area’s largest attraction with its many facets such as the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Disney Springs. Universal Orlando, like Walt Disney World, is a multi-faceted resort comprising Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and Universal CityWalk. SeaWorld Orlando is a large park that features numerous zoological displays and marine animals alongside an amusement park with roller coasters like Mako, Manta, and Kraken. The property also comprises more than one park, alongside Aquatica water park and Discovery Cove. Orlando is also home to I-Drive 360 on International Drive home to ICON Orlando, Madame Tussauds, and Sealife Aquarium.