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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

Speed of the creation of Orlando.

Once upon a time, as all good stories start, there were the Everglades. Slowly but surely some real estate was built and small communities grew up.

Nothing much changed for a very long time until one day a man called Walt Disney decided that his creation, Disney Land in California, was too small for all his grand ideas.

So, in the late 1950’s he had a look at Florida. On discovering that practically 50 square miles of it was real estate for sale, he bought 45 of them to create Walt Disney World. Since then progress has gone hay wire in Florida.

The most obvious thing that I as a Brit noticed was the speed with which change happens in Orlando. As a villa owner I go there every year and I am always amazed at the time it takes them to construct highways, stores and restaurants. Whenever I leave there is usually a hole in the ground somewhere, that I know will be a store or restaurant up and running by the time I go back a year later. They can even construct a store as large as the hyper-market size Walmarts within a year, probably even less.

One year I spent six weeks on International Drive opposite where they were constructing a holiday vacation complex. They did not quite construct it all in six weeks, but an awful lot got done in that time. One morning we left for a day out and noticed a large number of holes in the ground in a line outside the perimeter of the complex, when we came back in the evening every hole had a fully grown palm tree in it! Amazing.

I live on a relatively new complex in the United Kingdom and have watched them take two and half years to complete a small block of flats in their own grounds and they still have not quite finished the grounds off yet some three years later.

Imagine if you will, a holiday maker (me) going to Walt Disney World in 1980 and seeing a huge hole in the ground on a building site. Then in 1980 I spotted on that same site an enormous globe. I had no idea what it was until the next year – there it was in all it’s glory – Epcot, built and up and running, open to the public.

The same happened a few years back when I was at the top of a water slide and noticed some very odd shaped constructions in the vicinity of Universal Studios. Hey presto the next year, there it was, Universal’s Island of Adventures.

Heaven knows what changes I will see in the next ten years, but you can bet they will be spectacular.

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Page added on: 31 January 2011
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