F.I.R.S.T. Institute is located in Orlando, FL. Nestled in the heart of the Sunshine State, Orlando is a city that thrives on magic and excitement. There’s a reason that Orlando is the fourth most visited city in the U.S. and ranked as one of the best U.S. cities to live in. World-famous theme parks, iconic events, incredible beaches, Michelin-starred restaurants, and easy access to three other major cities (Miami, Tampa, and Jacksonville) are among the reasons that residents call Orlando home. Read on to explore some of the awesome perks of living in Orlando.
This one’s a little obvious, but theme parks really are a big part of what makes living in Orlando special. Rather than spending a sweaty Saturday at Disney World with a million other tourists… locals will often pop over after work on a Tuesday night. It’s a totally different experience and, many would argue, is the right way to do a theme park. Disney consists of four separate parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Since each park is an entirely different experience and takes a lot of time to explore completely, the magic never really wears off. Amongst Orlando locals, loyalty is split between Disney and its arch rival, Universal. Designed for a slightly older audience who enjoy thrills more than magic (though Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter is truly magical… literally), it includes three amazing parks – Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay – with a fourth park on the way. For water lovers, SeaWorld offers marine life exhibits, shows, and rides, while Discovery Cove provides a chance to swim with dolphins and explore colorful coral reefs. If you’re up for a short drive, Busch Gardens is the gold standard for high-octane, get-punching roller coasters.
Orlando’s calendar is full of vibrant annual events that draw in visitors from around the world. Megacon unites fandoms of TV, movie, and comic culture, while EDC Orlando electrifies audiences with pulsating beats and colorful immersive experiences. For horror buffs, Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights has been setting the standard for truly terrifying haunted houses and scare zones since 1991. The Florida Film Festival shines a spotlight on independent cinema, offering a platform for local filmmakers to tell their stories, while the Orlando Fringe Festival gives Central Florida’s playwrights and actors a stage on which to showcase their art. In fall, Magical Dining and Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival allow food enthusiasts to sample an array of delectable cuisine.
Just a short drive from Orlando, a world of adventure awaits beyond the city’s borders. St. Augustine invites you with its rich history – it’s the oldest city in America – and charming atmosphere. Tampa shines with its modern attractions, exciting nightlife, and proximity to world-class beaches. Jacksonville, the largest city in the country, offers a slew of trendy neighborhoods and green spaces (its urban park system alone is 4x the size of Manhattan!). If you’re looking for vibrant culture and beautiful beaches, Miami is a must-visit, and the Florida Keys promise a tropical paradise that’s truly enchanting. The historic charm of Savannah and the metropolitan excitement of Atlanta add further variety to Orlando’s accessible road-trip destinations.
Orlando’s connectivity is a boon for travel enthusiasts. Port Canaveral is a gateway to Caribbean adventures, while Orlando International Airport opens doors to global destinations. The Brightline high-speed rail system connects Orlando to South Florida, including Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, and Miami. Living in Orlando, adventure is never out of reach.
Concerts and Sports
Major concerts and sporting events are never far away in Orlando. Camping World Stadium, Amway Arena, Dr. Phillips Center, The Plaza Live, House of Blues, Hard Rock, Exploria Stadium, and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater offer diverse platforms for theatrical, musical, and sports experiences. For a slightly more intimate musical experience, see what’s going on at The Social or the Timucua Arts Foundation.
Orlando’s nightlife scene pulsates with energy and variety. In the hip Mills 50 district and vibrant Downtown Orlando, trendy bars, rooftop lounges, and lively nightclubs abound. Disney and Universal also offer their own unique “downtown” areas, Disney Springs and CityWalk, that are fantastic for a fun night out (watch out though… it gets expensive in these parts). Finally, Boxi Park and Park Avenue offer outdoor havens for relaxation, where food, music, and community converge in perfect harmony.
If outdoor adventure is your thing, there are numerous options within driving distance of Orlando. Immerse yourself in cool, crystal-clear water, snorkel amidst underwater marvels, or simply unwind by the water’s edge at Wekiwa and Blue Springs. Or, trek down into Devil’s Den, an underground spring with prehistoric origins. World-famous beaches are also a short drive away. Cocoa Beach offers golden sands and vibrant surf culture, while St. Pete combines beaches with a vibrant art and nightlife scene. For those seeking untamed wilderness The Everglades is home to a captivating ecosystem teeming with wildlife, and the Ocala National Forest boasts extensive trails for hiking, horseback riding, and off-road adventure. Orlando’s nature offerings ensure that amidst the city’s excitement, the soothing embrace of the great outdoors is always within grasp, inviting you to discover the beauty and serenity of Florida’s natural treasures. Moreover, it goes without saying that Florida is a top destination for water activities like fishing, diving, skiing, and boating. You’re never more than a short distance away from a body of water.
Beyond its entertainment allure, Orlando offers a robust economy with diverse employment prospects. While tourism and entertainment are prominent pillars, the city’s economic landscape also encompasses technology, healthcare, and a burgeoning startup ecosystem.
F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s location in Orlando is a gateway to a world of wonder, adventure, and endless possibilities. From its spellbinding theme parks and vibrant events to its rich cultural scene, dining and nightlife, and natural beauty, Orlando offers a lifestyle that is both exhilarating and fulfilling.
But don’t just take our word for it. We invite you to tour our campus in Orlando and experience first-hand everything that the area has to offer. If you’re not able to make the trek, don’t worry. Virtual tours are available as well. Either way, we’re sure you’ll understand why F.I.R.S.T. has been the school of choice for thousands of film, audio engineering, graphic design, and photography graduates.