8 reasons to love Orlando, the star of the Sunshine State

Florida has an array of amazing destinations, and many are famously LGBTI-friendly. Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Key West to name but a few.

But there’s something special about Orlando; a magical draw that sets it apart it from its beachside brothers. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been desperate to go since you were four years old.

It’s known worldwide for being a friendly and welcoming place. Which in part explains why last year’s horrific massacre shocked in the way it did.

Almost exactly one year ago, on 12 June 2016, gunman Omar Mateen stormed Latino night at gay nightclub Pulse. Some 49 people were shot dead and another 58 wounded during the atrocious incident.

But one year on, local LGBTIs are defiant, and visitors continue to descend on the city in droves. In fact, last year Orlando celebrated record tourism: 68 million people to be exact. (To put that into perspective, only around 262,000 live here!)

The only logical conclusion is that Orlando is, and always will be, amazing. Here are just 8 examples of that amazingness – starting with rollercoasters, obviously.

Marvel Super Hero Island looks even better under the cover of the night.

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1 It’s the theme park capital of the world

Naturally. The big daddies are, of course, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World (the latter is in part responsible for this). For our rundown of some of the biggest and best coasters in the former, click here.

Aside from these two, be sure to also check out Legoland – the second largest after the one in Windsor in the UK.

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