At times like this, when the media is alight with negativity, violence and despair we need reminding of the positives. I honestly believe a positive mental attitude and an ability to focus on the good in everything can completely change the world.
So let’s not draw attention to those responsible for so much sadness in Orlando at the moment, lets rejoice in the joy Orlando has contributed to our planet until now, and the happiness it will bring to people for the rest of time.
1. Disney World, of course
Disney World in Orlando is the happiest place on Earth and Where Dreams Come True. There is no better symbol of joy and positivity than Disney, as it encompasses our love for adventure, imagination, children, excitement and happiness. With nearly 55 million visitors to Disney’s theme parks in 2015 it’s one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. France, Japan and California also play homes to Disney parks, but none of them attract the high number of visitors that Orlando does, and this number increases year on year.
Disney World Orlando continue to be a dream destination, with thousands upon thousand of families making it their dream destination, placing it on their bucket list of places to see before the kids grow up. Of course, it’s great for adult visitors too.
I myself have visited Disney in Orlando around eight or nine times (I’ve genuinely lost count) and it remains my favourite place on the planet, where my happiest memories were created and will remain with me forever.
2. Universal Studios
Not only does Disney call Orlando home, but Universal Studios has it’s two iconic theme parks situated within the popular tourist areas of Orlando. These theme parks tend to go hand in hand with the Disney parks as visitors buy tickets for all of the differing visitor attractions.
Universal and its neighbouring park Islands Of Adventure (IOA) base many of their rides and experiences on films loved by families across the globe such as ET, Shrek, Despicable Me and of course Harry Potter. Tourists are arriving at Universal and IOA from all four corners of the world just to feel the magic of Harry Potter, and I don’t blame them.
Having visited in November 2015 (and despite my 4 year old muggle being very ill) my family and I loved every second of our visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and we treated our poorly boy to some of his own memorabilia, although I do not plan for one second on this being my last visit with the children. (I am determined to have them both kitted out in full robes, wands in hand when my daughter is a bit older!)
3. The weather
It’s Florida, home to the USA’s swamplands and surrounded by Ocean and Orlando is right in the centre. Orlando experiences humid tropical conditions and rarely is there a time of year that can be considered truly cold. Visitors, no matter the month, find the weather is always comfortably cool however in the height of summer the heat and humidity can be suffocating. But, if you’re anything like me then that is not a problem.
And again, if you’re anything like me, then the extreme weather that also makes its self known in Orlando is no problem either. I have experienced hurricanes, monsoons and flooding, and heat waves during my many visits to Orlando and I find each one just as fascinating as the last. In fact during one particular hurricane, where a curfew had been put in place and tourists were banned from leaving their hotels, I managed to sneak out and sit in our hire car in the hotel car park so I could watch the weather battering the city from all around me.
This sounds a bit savage on my part, and I am aware of the devastating consequences of such weather, but it fascinates me all the same and I find time and time again I am completely drawn in and hypnotised by the violent storms.
4. The people
I don’t think there are very many situations I can think of where I have had a negative experience with an Orlando local. Despite recent events, the people of Orlando are strong, patriotic and happy people. They love their city, state and country, treat each other and their many millions of tourists with respect and humility and nothing is too much to ask of them. I have made friends with people living in Orlando, who work long and tiring hours for the hotels and parks that so many people visit each and every week, and there is always a smile on their face, even if they have said ‘Have a magical day’ for the thousandth time that day.
I have no doubt that communities will pull together, stronger than before the tragic shootings of June 12th, and unite in the memories of those killed.
5. Orlando City Soccer Club
Ok, so maybe not everyone will agree with me on this point, but I really like Orlando City SC, especially their kit colours (the best in the world in my opinion) and they’re not too bad either. Nor are their players!
There are enough shops, malls, outlets and factory stores to keep the most fashion obsessed guy or gal happy for a lifetime. My personal favourites are Orlando’s Premium Outlets, with hundreds of designer shops in one mini village. You can’t go wrong with the excellent discounts on top designer clothing and I highly recommend purchasing the book of discount vouchers for $5 from the Information Kiosk to really make your money stretch further. There’s nobody I know who doesn’t love a bit of retail therapy and Orlando has it all.
Every time I visit Orlando I am amazed and transfixed by the array of wild life I am lucky enough to see on a day to day basis. From huge birds of prey circling over our heads, to alligators, crocodiles, lizards, racoons and the colourful array of wild birds that fill the palm trees along every street, there is always something beautiful to admire.
8. Once in a lifetime experiences
This can be quite a controversial topic, but there are very few places on our Earth where you can get so close to bottle nose dolphins, Orca, sea lions, penguins, beluga whales, narwhals and manatees. These magical, magnificent creatures inhabit various locations and visitor attractions in the Orlando area, and although some may claim it is Orlando’s downfall by housing these wild animals, others see it as an opportunity to get up close and personal with exotic creatures that would otherwise remain nothing more than pictures in books or films.
Whatever your view in this area Orlando is known for providing unique opportunities with the world’s most fascinating mammals.
This list is not exhaustive, other people will love different things about Orlando, but these are the things I love in particular about Orlando. I also love the fact that I have been visiting Orlando since I was 4, and now my two children have both been and I know they will love Orlando and everything it has to offer throughout their own lives, just like I do.
Share below the things you love about Orlando and lets spread positivity and good vibes around the world together.
We love you Orlando