8 Orlando Nicknames That Will Surprise You

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City buildings next to a lake, a pathway, and palm trees
Orlando's nicknames are inspired by its iconic landmarks and beautiful scenery

Nestled in central Florida is the vibrant city of Orlando. The region is known for its world-class theme parks, hotels, and attractions. Through this outstanding reputation, it has earned many nicknames over the years.

One well-known nickname is the Theme Park Capital of the World, but there are many other monikers to learn. These eight Orlando nicknames have backgrounds that may surprise you and will leave you with a deeper appreciation of this energetic city. To find out more, keep reading for the most popular monikers for Orlando.

8 Nicknames for Orlando, Florida

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Magic City is one of the well-known Orlando nicknames because of Disney World
For kids and adults alike, Orlando is seen as a Magic City

Magic City

Orlando stands as a vibrant city that encapsulates the essence of excitement, diversity, and magical experiences. The Magic City name is an ode to the Disney World parks, but it also encapsulates the beauty visitors find in the city itself.

From shopping and dining to visiting famous landmarks in Orlando, there is magic at every turn. This nickname also has connections to the city's NBA team, the Orlando Magic.


Jernigan is what the region was known as before its modern name, Orlando. Aaron Jernigan was part of one of the first families who moved to the area in the 1840s. Jernigan was a crucial community member and helped set up the first post office, a school for the children, and other stores.

However, the city's name changed in 1857 to honor Orlando Reeves, an army sentry who lost his life in the Seminole War. While the official name was adjusted, Jernigan is sometimes still used in connection to the area. It acts as a reminder of Aaron Jernigan's role in establishing the foundation of modern Orlando.

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Modern buildings and an art installation near a car in the foreground
The City of Light was coined by US President George H.W. Bush

City of Light

The City of Light nickname for Orlando originates from President George H.W. Bush. He coined this phrase to honor the city and its people who created volunteer programs. This accolade inspired locals to push for more progress and action in their communities.

The mayor even commissioned an artist to create the Orlando City Hall Plaza of Light (now called the Tower of Light), a sculpture made of stainless steel and laminated glass. The sculpture is an excellent example of how the people of Orlando always reach for new heights of progress, thus bringing this nickname to life.


Residents of many major cities use the first letter of their city name and "town" to make a nickname. This trend is part of the reason for O-Town being a popular moniker in Orlando.

In addition, O-Town is an American boy band that was the result of a television series called Making the Band. The show was based in Orlando, contributing to this nickname's formation.

The Happiest City on Earth

The official tagline for Disneyland is "The Happiest Place on Earth." Because Orlando is the home of the Walt Disney World Resort and its world-famous theme parks, it is only justifiable to regard it as the Happiest City on Earth.

People travel from around the globe to experience the wonders of this Florida landmark. From rollercoaster rides to princess castles, the park is full of activities that create lasting memories for families.

Swans swimming on a lake near a park and buildings
The City Beautiful was chosen as a nickname in a contest in 1908

The City Beautiful

The City Beautiful is an official Orlando nickname that can be seen around the city. It's also on tourism and government websites and marketing materials.

This moniker is connected to the beauty of the area. It is no secret that Orlando has a beautiful environment for its locals and guests. The palm trees, greenery, and water oak trees are just a few of the aspects that draw in nature lovers from near and far.

Interestingly, the name was chosen during a contest in 1908 when the locals wanted to change the name from the Phenomenal City. The City Beautiful moniker came out as a winner due to the area's stunning scenery.

The Phenomenal City

Orlando was previously referred to by locals as the Phenomenal City before the change to the City Beautiful name in 1908. The moniker dates to 1886, around six years after railroad transportation came to Orlando, sparking years of economic growth.

Phenomenal City was used in marketing promotions and then by locals. However, the nickname fell out of use due to the change of the official nickname at the start of the 20th century.

A sculpture of a globe with signage saying "Universal"
The Theme Park Capital of the World is one of the most famous Orlando nicknames

Theme Park Capital of the World

Very few destinations have more theme parks than the central Florida region. One interesting fact about Florida is that it is one of the most visited places in the world, primarily due to its family-friendly attractions.

Orlando has everything from high-end resorts and fine dining experiences in Church Street Station to endless shopping. Some major theme parks are Disney's Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and EPCOT.

With so much to choose from, it is no wonder that people love to plan a yearly trip to the area's theme parks. This array of excellent attractions is how the Orlando, Florida, nickname of Theme Park Capital of the World came to be.

In Summary

Orlando has no shortage of unique nicknames, each capturing a different part of its culture and history. From the exhilarating Theme Park Capital of the World to the serene and picturesque landscapes of the City Beautiful, Orlando enchants visitors from around the globe.

These popular nicknames tell the story of a city that thrives on transformation and imagination. If you're planning a trip to Orlando soon, you'll now be able to use a range of alternate names to refer to the city and impress the local residents.

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Written by Catrina Guenther

catrinaguenther FORMER WRITER Cat is a Michigan-based writer who has a passion for travel. When she is not planning her next adventure, you can find her riding horses, going for a run, or working on one of her small businesses.

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