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Old 01-21-2005, 01:55 PM   #1
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Disney was great- but I did not like Orlando

I just returned from Orlando Florida. This was our forth trip to Orlando to go to a Disney theme part (this time we went to Epcot) but the first time we actually drove INTO the CITY OF ORLANDO. (As with most tourists to Disney we only had seen the Airport and the road to Disney).

I found much of Orlando to be incredibly run down and tacky. We drove to all parts of town, including all the way north to Sanford. We drove through many residential areas. (Sure there were some nicer areas but a higher percentage of run down areas than most cities)

Here were my complaints about Orlando:

Many people had trash in their yards.

It seemed like every through street was just a mass of ugly strip centers and gas stations/fast food.

Signs signs everywhere a sign. So many ugly billboards.

A lack of nice trees. It seemed like the typical tree in Orlando was a planted palm tree about 10 feet tall that someone planted. A lack of natural forest.

Most housing was designed for lower middle class service workers. Seemed to be a lack of fancy neighborhoods.

Alot of concrete!!!

Am I expecting to much. I am comparing Orlando to Fairfax County VA, (outside of Washington DC)--where I live.

(Yes I know there will be responses from people who love Orlando and will tell me about a nice neighborhood. Every town has a nice neighborhood but I view a town as a combination of neighborhoods).
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Old 01-21-2005, 02:10 PM   #2
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I live in Central Flordia, and completely argree with you. Most of the areas are very poor and run down. You have to keep in mind, the average 2 person household in my zip codes makes $36K a year. Housing is made cheap, quick, and crammed together. Many people seem not to take pride in the appearance of their houses or property. There isn't a good sense of community, and driving through the Kissimmee area is like an old Flinstones backdrop. McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Waffle House, Tourist Shop, McDonalds, Wal-Mart, Waffle House, Tourist Shop. There's no break, it's all the same crap again and again.

Not to mention traffic is horrible, and I'm convinced they don't even plan roadways here.
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Old 01-21-2005, 02:13 PM   #3
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We once drove through Orlando too and I thought something a little different.

I noticed that their "poor" neighborhoods looked alot "richer" than the poor neighborhoods here. Our poor neighborhoods have mainly old houses that contain 2 or more apartments (or flats). In Orlando, there were alot of what looked like single family homes, and everything was more spaced out.

When you drive through a poor neighborhood here, everything is very crammed and old looking. I'm sure the socioeconomic stats are similar, just the overall appearance is much different.
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:37 PM   #4
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As a former resident of Central Florida who moved back to Pennsylvania I agree with what has already been posted. It was interesting to see that I wasn't the only one to see that behind the thin veneer the tourist is supposed to see it's not that pretty a picture. I have said this before and I'll say it again, tourism and the theme park resorts are probably the worst thing to ever happen to this part of the state. They create a huge population of low wage earners that create and pose a huge burden for the state and local agencies especially health care.
Having said this one is area is not all bad just as one is all good. There are some things I miss and hold very fond from my time there and wish I could combine them with where I am now.
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:46 PM   #5
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I guess I drove to a nicer area of Orlando. I was driving around looking for an apartment and checking out the schools. I guess I was in the right neigborhood, cause the area was not run down. I love Orlando! So much going on...so much to see and do there!
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:52 PM   #6
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I've learned to drive through each city I visit a few times before making judgement. I hated DC, Baltimore, and London the first time I visited, but after further inspection, grew to love the areas. Every city has it's upper and lower class; but there's more to it than that.
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Old 01-22-2005, 03:24 PM   #7
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Orlando is just like every other city in the US. There's nothing that makes any city any more special than any other (save maybe for the uniqueness or New York City, New Orleans and San Francisco).
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Old 01-22-2005, 05:22 PM   #8
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I would ahve to agree that Orlando is probably like most other big cities. They all have their good and bad areas. I think it may be a bit more congested in some ways, due to all the tourist-type stuff they deal with there.

My general impression is that if I were going to buy a home (whether primary residence or vacation home) in Florida, I would probably go to one of the coats and further south than Orlando. I like to be closer to the water, in general, and in central Flroida, you are not close to the ocean.
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Old 01-22-2005, 06:43 PM   #9
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I don't think you drove through my neighborhood. Please keep in mind that a lot of the very nicest neighborhoods are gated. You can't drive through them.
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feralpeg
I don't think you drove through my neighborhood. Please keep in mind that a lot of the very nicest neighborhoods are gated. You can't drive through them.
They put gates on the neighborhoods??

Whoa!! I've never seen that!!
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VampHeartless
They put gates on the neighborhoods??

Whoa!! I've never seen that!!

It is becomming more and more popular. Neighborhoods have gates and guards. You don't get into the neighborhood unless you have a card that opens the gates or are on the guards list of appointments. It's kind of a sad statement of the times.
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:08 PM   #12
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Please keep in mind as well, we had 3 hurricanes rip through here, so yes....we are missing a few trees. Not "our" fault, really.

Also, our apartment complex is a gated one. ...but it's awful silly because the gate is broken half of the time, and it's always open. However, I know where Feralpeg lives and it's GORGEOUS over there.
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feralpeg
It is becomming more and more popular. Neighborhoods have gates and guards. You don't get into the neighborhood unless you have a card that opens the gates or are on the guards list of appointments. It's kind of a sad statement of the times.
Wooooooow....ummm....so, I guess people can't drive by your house and randomly shoot at it!! That's really cool!!

I'm gonna have one of those types of houses one day!!
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VampHeartless
Wooooooow....ummm....so, I guess people can't drive by your house and randomly shoot at it!! That's really cool!!

I'm gonna have one of those types of houses one day!!
I really don't want anyone to drive by and shoot at my house!
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Old 01-23-2005, 05:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feralpeg
It is becomming more and more popular. Neighborhoods have gates and guards. You don't get into the neighborhood unless you have a card that opens the gates or are on the guards list of appointments. It's kind of a sad statement of the times.
Also totally unnecessary and a bit racist in some areas where the wealthy like to keep the undesirables out. Not becoming of a nice community.
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