Orlando Retro is a collection of postcards and stories from The City Beautiful’s first 150 years.
Walt Disney is often credited for putting Orlando on the map. That’s not the case. Orlando has a long and interesting history much older than the Magic Kingdom, International Drive, and the outlet malls. Tourists arrived here because they believed the tropical climate made them healthier. Grand hotels like the Angebilt and the San Juan Hotel welcomed travelers at least a half a century before Walt Disney World opened their gates.
Trivia Highlights from the most popular Orlando Retro posts:
- For someone who had an enormous effect on the area, Walt Disney made only one public appearance in Orlando. It was at the Cherry Plaza Hotel in 1966.
- On a single occasion Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone stayed at the Angebilt Hotel on Orange Avenue and on another Joan Crawford attended a reception for Pepsi Cola.
- The first water amusement park in Orlando dates back to 1910. It was on Lake Ivanhoe an area that was once surrounded by pineapple farms.
- Long before Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Universal Studios Orlando, the first full-length movie filmed here was a 1910 silent film “Romance in Orlando.”
Armed with a journalism degree from the great University of Central Florida (but no experience as a journalist) and memories of golden fried shrimp from Gary’s Duck Inn and pickles out of the Ronnie’s Deli relish bowls, I am here to tell the stories of retro Orlando.
This blog is infrequently updated – sometimes weekly and sometimes every other month. It takes a while to research and write this stuff. The best way to find about updates is to follow Orlando Retro on Facebook and Twitter.