Orange County, Florida was the first land to emerge from below the Early Oligocene Sea, some 28 million years ago. The county’s Rock Spring location is loaded with Pleistocene-era fossils of birds and mammals including the giant sloth, the mammoth and the Dire Wolf, who were walking around about one million years ago.
Big weird things still walk around in Orange County, Florida; large talking mice, ducks with speech impediments and black-haired princesses waiting to kiss a prince. Orlando, Florida is one of the cities in Orange County, Florida, and is home to several famous amusement parks including Disney World.
Walt Disney’s creation is the world’s largest and most-visited recreational resort. Located 21 miles southwest of Orlando, Disney World sprawls over 30,080 acres. Disney wanted a park on the East Coast in addition to California’s Disneyland, but one that included entertainment, resort hotels and sports and recreational opportunities. He had hoped to construct a real city, the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow,” but died before his vision could be realized.
Disney World includes Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach. There are also 23 hotels, a campground, two health spas and a number of physical fitness centers.
Universal Orlando Resort is owned by NBC Universal and its affiliates, and consists of two theme parks – Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure – as well as a night-time entertainment destination called CityWalk and three Loews Hotels. It is the second-largest resort in Orlando after Disney World.
SeaWorld Orlando is a theme park as well as a marine-life based zoological park near Orlando, owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Together with neighboring Discovery Cove and the Aquatica water park, SeaWorld forms an enormous entertainment complex.
Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve located on Orlando’s South Orange Blossom Trail. It was founded in 1949, and still privately owned by his family today. Nicknamed the “Alligator Capital of the World,” Gatorland features thousands of reptiles, a breeding marsh with boardwalk and observation tower, reptile shows, an aviary and petting zoo and educational programs.