Orlando, “The City Beautiful”

Orlando (/ɔːrˈlænd/) 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 2,387,138, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released in March 2016, making it the 24th 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. In 2010, Orlando had a city-proper population of 238,300, making it the 77th largest city in the United States, the fifth 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 2014 its tourist attractions and events drew more than 62 million visitors. TheOrlando International Airport (MCO) is the thirteenth busiest airport in the United States and the 29th busiest in the world. Buddy Dyer is Orlando’s mayor.

As the most visited American city in 2009, Orlando’s famous attractions form the backbone of its tourism industry: Walt Disney World Resort, located approximately 21 miles (34 km) southwest of Downtown Orlando in Bay Lake, opened by theWalt Disney Company in 1971; the Universal Orlando Resort, opened in 1999 as a major expansion of Universal Studios Florida; SeaWorld; Gatorland; and Wet ‘n Wild. With the exception of Walt Disney World, most major attractions are located along International Drive. The city is also one of the busiest American cities for conferences and conventions.

Like other major cities in the Sun Belt, Orlando grew rapidly during the 1980s and into the first decade of the 21st century. Orlando is home to the University of Central Florida, which is the second-largest university campus in the United States in terms of enrollment as of 2012. In 2010, Orlando was listed as a “Gamma−” level of world-city in the World Cities Study Group’s inventory. Orlando ranks as the fourth most popular American city based on where people want to live according to a 2009Pew Research Center study.

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