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Welcome to Orlandoland

Photo: Victor Davila, License: N/A

Victor Davila

It may not always be the happiest place on Earth - it’s full of gators and skeeters and empty promises and Casey Anthony, after all – but Orlando is not without its own quirky charms. Not that anyone, save for the locals, ever discovers them. Millions of tourists are drawn here each year by the promise of big-production distraction in the form of thrill rides and theatrical immersion, but few of them ever venture beyond the borders of the manufactured Pleasantvilles to see what the real Orlando has to offer. Even many of the city’s full-time residents go about their day-to-day without taking the time to appreciate the fact that our area – we’ll call it Orlandoland – has more than its fair share of eclectic attractions worth exploring. And what better season to explore them than fall, when we wake from our summertime slumber?

With this issue, we’d like to draw your attention to some of the lesser-known landmarks and eccentric amusements that make Orlando more than just the sum of its roller coasters. In the following pages, you’ll find profiles of some of our favorite idiosyncratic diversions, a scavenger hunt that’ll take you on a tour of the real Oddlando and a massive guide to all of the musical, theatrical, artistical, cinematic, civic and eventful stuff that’ll be happening here all season long. It’s like a threadbare theme park all on its own, and it’s waiting for you to explore it.

Welcome to Orlandoland! It may not be magical, but it sure is extraordinary!

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