Reviews & Comments
Orlando, FLI love Orlando but admit its not perfect
The over exaggerations of the negative compelled me to write this review, because the truth is that while yes Orlando is relatively low pay and high rent, it has many good things going for it. I have lived in Orlando for about 10 years and graduated from Valencia and UCF, working my up from starting at $7.25 an hour and now I make 50k. Of all the places I have lived (Illinois, Wisconsin, California, and Florida) Orlando is my favorite place I have lived.
A few things you need to realize:
-Yes certain parts of Orlando are over-run with tourists, but you don't need to live in a touristy area. Most areas of the city are not like that. However, yes if you do live in one of those areas (anywhere right next to Disney or I-Drive) the stores are always packed with long lines and it feels like you are the only American there.
-Orlando is a very diverse city with lots of different things going on. Imagine large swaths of latino's, lilly white suburbia, northeastern expats, europeans, haitian's, and redneck south all rolled into one area. It's actually really neat and in my opinion is not a bad thing, I have lived in several different areas of the city and each has its own quirks. The diversity of cultures is one of the things that makes living here unique and fun. If you work in the travel/tourism industry you see so many different people from all over the world that after a while can tell where someone is from and what language they speak just by looking at them.
If you can't stand heat then don't live here. It's hot almost all of the time.
Period. If you are fine with it then, well, no problem!
If you are in need of affordable higher education Valencia and UCF are both excellent and very affordable compared to what many other states higher ed has to offer.
I don't know why there are so many negative comments about health care: Orlando has very good healthcare facilities. Florida Hospital and Orlando Health are the main two state subsidized "chains," I use Florida Hospital and my father uses Orlando Health, both are fine (my father just got his hip replaced and the care has been very good, the facilities are in very good shape, and they send doctors and physical therapists to his apartment). The state spends a ton of money on health care. Yes it's pretty much impossible to pay for without good insurance plan but it's like that everywhere in the USA not just Orlando.
Oh, and by the way. If you're looking for awesome entertainment.
-Disney: 4 parks (and the amazing new avatar land), 2 waterparks, and Disney Springs.
-Universal: 2 theme parks (and the amazing Wizarding World of Harry Potter) and a water park.
-Sea World has not only the park but an excellent waterpark as well (and Discovery Cove!).
-I drive 360 with the eye and aquarium.
-Busch Gardens is not far away.
-You are literally right in between Cocoa Beach and Clearwater Beach, then just up to the north are Daytona and Jacksonville, and if you want to go to Miami its a three hour or so drive (though I never go there because I like Central and North Florida a lot better).
Also while yes most of the city is working poor, if you work your way up and live in (the newer part of) Winter Garden, Windermere, or Dr Phillips they are among some of the best places to live in the country. They are beautiful, have great amenities, close to everything, and really aren't that expensive in comparison to "upscale" in the rest of the country.