Welcome to Orlando “the City Beautiful.” Orlando is the county seat of Orange County and center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. Although the city-proper population is only 238,000, the Orlando metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, making it the 27th largest metropolitan area in the United States and the 3rd largest metro area in Florida. Orlando was incorporated on July 31, 1875, and became a city in 1885. Local legend says the name Orlando originated from a soldier named either Orlando Reeves or Orlando Acosta who died in the area during the Second Seminole War. A memorial beside Lake Eola in the center of town designates the spot where the city's namesake fell. Another popular local legend says the city was named after one of the main characters in the Shakespeare play As You Like It and one of the main streets in downtown Orlando is named Rosalind Avenue, after the heroine of the play.
If you had come to the area along with the first Europeans in the early 1500s, you would have found native Indians farming the land by raising maize, squash, and beans and engaging in fishing and hunting. If you happened to come in the mid-1900s, Orlando was an agricultural area where the main products were citrus fruit and cattle. With abundant natural lakes and sunshine, the area was for decades a sportsman’s paradise for fishing, boating and water skiing. The area was completely transformed, however, in the early 1970s when Walt Disney came to town, and Orlando now has the distinction of hosting the largest concentration of theme parks in the world.
Today, Orlando is a major industrial and hi-tech center boasting a $13.4 billion technology industry employing 53,000 people and home to the University of Central Florida (UCF) which, with over 56,000 students, is the nation’s second largest University. The Orlando Research Park, adjacent to UCF, is a nationally recognized center of innovation in digital media, simulation and training technology, aviation, aerospace, and software design. Additionally, more than 150 international companies, representing approximately 20 countries, have facilities in Metro Orlando. Orlando is also the home base of Darden Restaurants, the parent company of Red Lobster and Olive Garden and the largest operator of restaurants in the world by revenue. The newly constructed UCF Medical School at Lake Nona is the centerpiece of what will become the nation’s largest medical city, with tenants such as the Burnham Institute, the Nemours Children’s Hospital, a Veterans Administration Hospital, and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Orlando's climate is transitional with two major seasons each year. One is hot and rainy, lasting from June until late September; the other is the dry, warm season from October through May, bringing less frequent rainfall, yet still warm temperatures. The Orlando weather in December is usually warm during the day with a high around 73°F and humid at night with a low around 52°F. A sub-32°F day, although possible, is not very likely, and hurricane season ends in November. The average December has only 4 days with more that 0.1” of rain.
There is plenty to do in the Orlando area, so bring your family and plan to make your conference trip into an extended vacation. Following is a brief listing of some of the local attractions.
- Local Attractions
- Places to See
- Kennedy Space Center (Tours and IMAX experience - approx 50 miles East)
- Cocoa Beach (best for surfing -- check out Ron Jon John's surf shop - approx 50 miles East)
- Daytona Beach (World Famous Beach & Daytona Racetrack - approx 65 miles NE)
Waldorf Astoria Golf Club is a beautiful 18 hole course located on site at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek – check with the hotel for information.
Disney also offers 4 immaculate 18 hole courses on property, plus a family friendly 9 hole walking course and another 18 hole course at the nearby Disney community of Celebration.
For information on these and other Orlando area courses check out this link
|Tours and Discount Ticket Information
Although not affiliated with the 50th IEEE CDC and ECC, the following tours and discount attraction tickets are available through third party vendors. These tours and tickets must be purchased 14 days in advance of the conference through the following websites. Note that group tours must have a minimum number of participants or the fees will be refunded. These transactions are strictly between the private vendor and the participant via their secure website.
To sign up for any of the following tours
- Full Day Tour to Kennedy Space Center
- Full Day Universal Studios VIP Tour
- Full Day Winter Park Scenic Boat Ride and Shopping Tour
- Half Day Airboat Adventure
- Half Day Wildlife Preserve Coach Safari
- Half Day Mall Shopping Tour
To purchase discount tickets in advance for any Walt Disney World theme parks or attractions, use the following link:
To purchase discount tickets in advance for Universal Studios Orlando or Sea World Orlando theme parks or attractions
- Universal Studios Discount Tickets
- Sea World Discount Tickets