When it comes to Orlando, Florida a lot of people either call it their dream destination or the one place on the planet that they would never step foot in. People either love it or– really don't love it, but there’s certainly no in between. That’s because Orlando is the kind of manufactured, neon-lights theme park of a city that only offers one thing: thrills. And by thrills, we either mean getting to visit Mickey Mouse for the first time in Walt Disney World or checking out Harry Potter in person at the Wizardly World of Harry Potter at nearby Universal Studio. And then you’ve got Sea World, an endless amount of chain restaurants (that no one really visits in other states), waterparks, outlet malls, and oversized souvenirs that people will end up shipping back home (because they can’t fit them in their suitcase).
And while a lot of people make multiple trips to Disney World each year, there are several reasons why people shouldn't visit Central Florida – at least not during the peak seasons. In fact, we will do everyone a huge favor by saving them time and money by listing all the reasons why they should think about visiting another city instead of Orlando right here.
20 There Is The Constant Possibility Of A Hurricane
If you are visiting Central Florida during the summer months, and especially in August, there’s a strong possibility that the theme parks might close down because of the possibility of a hurricane. Say it isn’t so, but it actually happened back in 2017 when Hurricane Irma visited town and forced Walt Disney World and Universal Studios to close their doors for one day. Hurricane Matthew did the same in 2016. One person wrote on City Data, “While most tropical, humid areas also come with the serious caveat of hurricane potential, Orlando is blessedly outside of the [...] zone, mostly. Still, you should always be prepared.”
19 There’s No Glitz And Glamour
If you are looking for glitz and glamour, keep looking because Orlando lacks both. Just like many Louis Vuitton bags that go through security at Orlando International Airport, a lot of Orlando is poorly manufactured. Another disgruntled local wrote on Trip Advisor, “There is nothing swanky in Orlando [...] Nothing there is good or cool. It's just a [bad] city with really bad people. If they people were cool it wouldn't be so bad, but combine a tourist haven with [bad] people and it’s [not the best] place.”
18 There Are Endlessly Long Wait Lines
We’ve seen it before, and we will definitely see it again: people from all over the country spending thousands of dollars to stand in the heat at Walt Disney World for several hours at a time. It might sound weird, but people are waiting up to three hours for a mere 60-second rollercoaster ride at the brand new Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios. But this is nothing new. Many big Avatar fans waited up to five hours in line to see Pandora World firsthand when Animal Kingdom opened up their marquee attraction back in 2017. Keep in mind, the temperature can rise up to 100 degrees in Florida during the summer months.
17 The Lack Of Diverse Food
Unless you are a huge fan of cafeteria-quality food, Orlando doesn’t have much to offer when it comes to the local cuisine. You are better off tasting the distinct flavors of South Florida in Miami or better yet, traveling to Key West for a taste of their world famous key lime pie. Unfortunately, Orlando hasn’t done anything the city stand out as far as their restaurant scene is concerned. Even though the city is growing in terms of population with new international residents calling it home every year, they have yet to bring their home cooking along with them.
16 The Lackluster Airport
Orlando likes to call itself the premier vacation destination and with a title like that, you would think that the city would have done a better job in the upkeep of its airport. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case at all. Orlando International Airport (or MCO for short) has often been called one of the worst airports in the nation, because of its confusing circular layout, its long security lines and lack of good restaurants and amenities. If that weren’t enough, getting in and out of MCO is a headache in itself. It takes at least 45 minutes to get to any of the major theme parks from the airport.
15 The Locals Suggest Heading To Longboat Key
Honestly, there are two kinds of people that live in Orlando. There are those who love to use the hashtag “We live where you vacation,” and those who literally live in Walt Disney World. They live and breathe everything that has to do with the mouse’s house. But for the other group of people, truth be told they don’t travel very much, if at all. They will tell you that heaven on Earth looks like Longboat Key in nearby Sarasota. Yes, you read that right. The locals don’t think Orlando is that great, and instead recommend Sarasota, if that tells you anything about the taste around here.
14 The Theme Park Prices Are High
Again, we don’t understand why so many people would spend $100 or more to visit a theme park for just one day, but they do it anyway. Universal could raise their tickets to $200, and people would still buy them, regardless of the amount. But not everyone is happy with what they pay for. One person on Trip Advisor wrote, “Boy, was this excursion a complete waste of money. I spent $174 for two tickets into this [...] park and, in the course of five hours, rode only two rides. The Harry Potter world was small, ridiculously crowded with no guest control and no directions."
13 The Hotels Are Overpriced
We get it that when you visit a place like Walt Disney World, you want to stay at one of their on-location hotels. But here’s a little secret: they are overpriced to the max and not much better than the other alternatives around the city. CN Traveler wrote, “There are perks to staying at one of Disney's 23 hotels, including extended hours and free parking at the parks; free transportation from your hotel to other areas of the resort and the airport; convenient, one-stop booking; and heavily themed public spaces that will wow the kids. Tempting, we know. What Disney's properties don't offer are the better value, nicer rooms, and tricked-out amenities that you can find elsewhere in town.”
12 The Theme Parks Are Getting Old
Thankfully, Disney is finally giving their park the makeover it needs, but let’s face it, a lot of the park still looks rather old and something that looked exciting back in the 1980s. With that being said, it’s also super cheesy. A blogger from Spit That Out Book wrote, “Epcot World Showcase is depressing. Look, it’s a lovely idea, creating quaint little archetypes of a dozen nations, full of music and miniaturized versions of national landmarks. In reality, it’s a bit sad. Each showcase sets up shops and stands selling knickknacks. Maracas made in China. Miniature Eiffel Towers made in China. Chinese Lanterns made in, well, you get the picture.”
11 It Is Environmentally Unfriendly
With all of the theme parks, millions of visitors from around the world and daily waste, comes plenty of garbage . The same blogger wrote, “No one can say that Disney doesn’t keep the places clean. Unfortunately, we have some disagreements over the definition of clean [...] Look, I didn’t expect an ecological paradise. I just didn’t think Styrofoam was going to be a thing.”
10 Outside of Disney Isn’t Any Better
Apart from Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, there isn’t much to do, other than the kitschy International Drive. There, you can find every restaurant chain that has been out of business in other states, along with outlet malls galore. The blogger from Spit That Out Book also said, “The main artery of International Drive is the home of every chain restaurant you thought had [been shut down] years ago."
9 It’s Too Family-Friendly
Whereas Orlando’s sister city to the south, Miami, isn’t very kid-friendly at all, Orlando is the opposite: it’s too family-friendly. The city caters so much to families that many adult tourists and visitors might feel as if they are close to hyperventilating at any moment. If you are not a kid person, don’t come to Orlando. You are better off going to nearby Tampa, but that isn’t the best option either (you’ve heard of Tampa, haven’t you?). One person on Reddit wrote, “Expensive food, expensive souvenirs, overstimulated kids... nobody can argue these things aren't inherent in the experience. How you react to them is a personal thing and nobody should be arguing against that either.”
8 The Love Of Disney World Is Excessive
Half of us seriously don’t get it, but there are people in this world who are so crazy about Walt Disney World and anything that has to do with Mickey Mouse. Yes, Disney has a serious following, and the numbers are growing, my friends. They all walk around with rose gold Minnie Ears, too. Another disgruntled tourist wrote on Reddit, “But between the crowds, other peoples screaming/crying and overly tired children, ride wait times, small walkways [...] I just don't get the obsession that people have with it. And it took me a week to recover when we got back!”
7 The Food Isn’t That Good
Here’s another little secret: there isn’t any good food in Orlando. It doesn’t matter if you are dining at one of the theme parks or in the city, you’ll have to look really far and wide for a good meal. But if you decide to dine at the parks, keep your expectations very, very low. You’ll be paying a high price for a burger that tastes much worse than you’ve ever previously eaten in your life. One person wrote on Trip Advisor, “Paid $72 in a cafeteria style restaurant for four of us to eat some of the worst food we've ever had. My experience, like many here, leaves me really wondering about friends who adore it and go repeatedly.”
6 Everything Is Super Overpriced
Whenever you visit a new destination, you do want to get the most bang for your buck, right? After all, money doesn’t grow on trees, despite what magic might be going on at Walt Disney World. A lot of people say that Orlando is overpriced, especially for what it gives in return. And that’s almost nothing outside of the theme parks. Another former resident wrote on Reddit, “Tourist-y. Too hot and muggy for my liking, but then all of that region is. Tons of old people everywhere, and everything seems overly priced (housing, gas, food, etc.) but I'm from a small mid-west town of 20, 000 so maybe I'm a bit biased there.”
5 It’s Not Really A City
Okay, this isn’t really fair, but a lot of tourists complain that Orlando isn’t really a “city.” Sure, it’s got its own zip code, mayor, government buildings and so on, but it just doesn’t have the flair that other metropolitan cities across the nation have. But then again, to each their own, right? Someone else wrote on Reddit, “Orlando isn't really a 'city' like LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, NYC, etc. It's just like a large metropolitan area with theme parks. It's definitely boring."
4 It's A Big Tourist Trap
Hey, some people enjoy vacationing at a tourist trap while others steer far from it. Some people complain that aside from Orlando’s high prices, it’s also not the safest city. To some extent that might be true, but every city has its bad side, right? No one said Orlando was perfect, but it is worth noting that it isn't the kind of place that a lot of people feel comfortable in.
3 There Is Not Much To Do
Unless you are a huge fan of Mickey Mouse or Harry Potter (or dare we even say Shamu at Sea World), some visitors suggest that there isn’t much to do outside of Walt Disney World or Universal Studios. We all know Orlando isn’t a foodie’s paradise. Another person who lives in Chicago wrote on Reddit, “If you love going to theme parks it'd pretty nice, but if you don't there really isn't a reason to visit there (except for the possibility of Spring Training Baseball, if you are a fan of the Braves or Astros). Outside of the theme parks there just isn't much to do.”
2 People Are Overworked And Underpaid
Another reason not to visit Orlando? Apparently, the theme parks don’t treat their employees as well as they should. Most have complained of being overworked and underpaid. One person who used to work at Disney told Thrillist, “When you make $8 an hour, 40 hours on the clock isn't gonna pay your bills. So we worked 10- to 18-hour shifts in order to make overtime. And if you worked a shift of more than 20 hours, you got double time. So people would actually COMPETE to see who could work more 20-hour shifts. The majority of people I knew there were workaholics and would sign up for all the OT they could get.”
1 The College Crowd Can Be A Bit Much
Aside from the families who visit the Magic Kingdom in droves, you can also expect to see hundreds and if not thousands of college-aged students taking over Downtown Orlando during the weekends. That’s because Central Florida is also home to one of the biggest student populations in the country – and the number is growing each year. The Estately blog writes, “The University of Central Florida is big — like, really big. It’s the second-largest University in the United States by enrolment, it sits on over 1,400 acres. Old timers still call it Florida Tech. There are also Valencia College and Seminole State.”