What’s The Big Deal With Orlando, Anyways?


Orlando is known as the “Theme Park Capital Of The World,” and draws in more than 60 million visitors each year. Home to seven of the ten most visited theme parks in North America, and the four most visited water parks, it is hard to deny that Orlando has become the place to be to seek adventure and amusement. But Orlando has a rich history that many people might not know about, which only makes it all the more interesting. Knowing about all the historic elements of Orlando will make your stay at a Vacation Pool Home even more enjoyable!

  • Origin: In 1838, during the height of the Seminole Wars, The U.S. Army built Fort Gatlin. Located just south of present-day Orlando, the fort’s purpose was to protect settlers from attacks by Native Americans. During the following years, a small community had formed around the fort. This original settlement was known as Jernigan, after the family who first officially settled there. As time went on, the town changed it’s name to Orlando, and was officially incorporated on July 31, 1875 – with only 85 residents.

  • Citrus Industry: It didn’t take long for Orlando to be known as the major citrus hub in the United States. The population boomed over the ten years following the founding of the city, with the population growing to twenty times its original size by 1885. In 1884, the town shipped out upwards of 600,000 boxes of oranges to the North.

  • The Great Depression: Leading into the twentieth century, Orlando experienced a devastating freeze three years in a row, almost wiping out the citrus industry entirely. But as they recovered at the turn of the century, the population doubled due to a huge construction boom. When The Great Depression hit, the federal government worked to upgrade the Municipal Airport, build a new football stadium, and create new jobs to keep Orlando profitable.

  • Amusement Reputation: If you could pinpoint one single event that has ensured Orlando’s prosperity to this day, it would be easy to say, “The day Walt Disney decided to build Disney World.” Disney World started Orlando’s reputation as an entertainment capital, and brought dozens of other theme and water parks to the area. Apart from Disney,  Orlando is home to Universal Studios, The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, SeaWorld, Legoland, Kennedy Space Center, and many more. The population experienced a major boom when the park officially opened in 1971, bringing scores of businesses along with new inhabitants.

  • Sport and Leisure: Orlando is known for its sports, especially golf. It is home to Bay Hill Club and Lodge, the golf course that hosts the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Orlando is also the home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic and major league soccer team, Orlando City SC, as well as a host of many minor league sports teams. Orlando also has an active entertainment scene, with music, theatre, and comedy all being easily accessible in the downtown area. With so much activity happening in the city, catching a show or game will be easy on your next stay.

  • Notable Natives: There must be something in the water in Orlando, as it is the hometown of dozens of famous athletes, politicians, and celebrities. A few recognizable names include comedians Wayne Brady, Carrot Top, and Daniel Tosh. Actors Wesley Snipes and Audrey Long call Orlando their home. Science professionals, including Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Marshall Warren Nirenberg and astronaut John Young are both from Orlando. And we can’t forget about our favorite boybanders: Howie Dorough and A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys, and Lance Bass and Joey Fatone of ‘N Sync.

Make This Historic Town Feel Like Home

Orlando today may be known as an entertainment capital, but it took some time before it was able to secure that name. From the first 85 residents to the 240,000 that call Orlando their home today, from the small Fort Gatlin to Disney World, Orlando has seen both hardship and prosperity in its history. Whether you are coming to Orlando to visit an amusement park, to catch the music scene, or watch a golf tournament, there is a convenient Vacation Pool Home waiting for you. If you’re heading to Disney World, our Disney Vacation Rentals offer private space and comfort while still being near Disney! Come check out all that Orlando has to offer on your next trip to Florida!