One of the top family destinations in the world, Orlando seems destined to always be mentioned in the same breath as theme parks. In fact, the parks seem to have permeated every corner, reaching their glossy, over-produced tentacles to restaurants and hotels across the city. Where are the dive bars? The hole-in-the-wall restaurants? Why are the waiters costumed and why does there always have to be something fiberglass hanging overhead? It’s all Walt Disney’s fault. The Magic Kingdom was so successful that it spawned a whole empire and attracted a slew of like-minded attractions; nowadays you can go to a different theme park every day of the week.
Of course there are other things to do in Orlando. Many people are surprised to find that there’s a stylish downtown district, a thriving nightlife scene, and even some residents who don’t dress up like pirates during the day.
Last updated: Sep 22, 2008
Tips & articles
7 June 2012
After globe-trotting research and fierce debate, Lonely Planet has come to a decision on its favourite cities for 2012. As...