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Old 05-26-2013, 09:23 PM
 
Location: SW FL
864 posts, read 1,549,398 times
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I was quite shocked to observe the layout of Orlando. It seemed like outside of the central downtown area (which consisted of a very scarce amount of high rises) there was a seemingly endless amount of burger kings, Wendy's, Arby's, moes, McDonalds, Taco Bell, basically any fast food chain you can imagine for miles and miles. This is supplemented with tacky strip malls that I suppose are supposed to compensate for the shopping. I went to look at full sail out of curiousity and the school had literally bought off one of these gaudy establishments and put their facilities in it. It was literally smack dab in the middle of an Arby's on one side, a moes on the other side, and some fast food burger joint in between. My Dad and I ate at moes for lunch and were shocked to note that there were 5 + full sail students eating there. Really, it can't be good for their health.
So, is the city making any effort to revitalize itself and develop more vibrant neighborhoods with better amenities? I drove by the neighborhood where Rollins college is located and it seemed somewhat vibrant yet quaint. Not much else besides that though.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:06 PM
 
Location: US
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Florida is full of franchises, you can't escape them anywhere you go. However, there are districts and surrounding areas that have independent restaurants and shops. Orlando Metro is spread out, so unless you know a local to show you around, you'll only see the tourist areas, which are nearly all franchises.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:19 PM
 
Location: NYC/Orlando
2,069 posts, read 3,998,121 times
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You didn't seem to go to the right areas except Winter Park. Downtown Orlando, and the neighborhoods that surround it (Thornton Park, College Park, Delaney Park, Mills/50, etc.) all have their own charms and character. I'm not a fan of the east/northeast side of town, around FullSail and all the way out to UCF (blegh), which is where you seemed to be. But yes, there are a lot of chains here. It's Florida (and America, for that matter).
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:19 AM
 
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Furthermore, some of those chains such as Burger King, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, etc. got their start in Florida.
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Old 05-27-2013, 04:36 AM
 
23,643 posts, read 36,006,095 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rcsligar View Post
So, is the city making any effort to revitalize itself and develop more vibrant neighborhoods with better amenities? I drove by the neighborhood where Rollins college is located and it seemed somewhat vibrant yet quaint. Not much else besides that though.
The area around Rollins is in Winter Park, not Orlando. Winter Park unlike most cities in the Orlando metro area seemingly had some kind of zoning in place versus letting developers build whatever and wherever there was a piece of land. Besides Winter Park I know of only Lake Mary and Oviedo where there are some limitations on who can build what where. It is more of a Central Florida phenomenon as I personally haven't seen the helter skelter development much at all in South Florida where I grew up or as predominate in other parts of the state. Perhaps it was a 1980s/1990s thing where other parts of the state had already largely built out versus here in Central Florida.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:18 AM
 
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Orlando is the hq of Darden restaurants, the largest casual restaurant chain in the country. It's a tourist destination and hence there are lots of chains. Check out winter park, dr Phillips or downtown for non chain and more elite chain restaurants.

Darden has all the mass produced crap chains like red lobster and olive garden but they also own seasons 52 which is one of my favorite chains
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:33 AM
 
Location: SoCal
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That is not just Orlando or Florida. That is pretty much any place that has grown tremendously over the last 30 years.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:38 AM
 
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There are plenty of good local places, you just need to know where to find them. Locals are pretty tight lipped about them so they don't turn into just another tourist filled hell.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:47 AM
 
Location: SW FL
864 posts, read 1,549,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
There are plenty of good local places, you just need to know where to find them. Locals are pretty tight lipped about them so they don't turn into just another tourist filled hell.
I imagine. Well they're doing a darn good job anyway because I sure didn't notice them.
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
3,607 posts, read 6,364,672 times
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Did you open your eyes at all while you were here? Plus as others have said, suburbs everywhere are plagued with this same problem/situation. In Chicago where my family lives, their suburbs are filled with generic chain food with family/independent restaurants peppered in between.
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