Florida is a tourist hot spot, with entertainment and fun activities for those of all ages, from fishing to riding rollercoasters to just sunbathing at the beach. But while there are plenty of amazing reasons to visit or live in Florida, there are some things you should know.
Keep reading to see seventeen of the worst deal breakers the Sunshine State has to offer.
The biggest drawback of living in this beautiful state is, once a year, from August to October, the entire population is threatened with the dreaded hurricane season. Every year, the state enters a disastrous lottery. Sometimes, the worst that happens is a Tropical Storm. This might not sound great, but to a Floridian, it’s a godsend.
But every once in a while, a Tropical Storm evolves into a Hurricane and the entire state turns into an anthill that’s been stepped on.
Much like the COVID-19 scare, grocery stores and shops are all cleaned out of necessities, like water, flashlight batteries, and bread (along with generators). The roads are crowded with everyone trying to find a better place to hide, or just trying to leave the state entirely. And while a massive hurricane hasn’t hit the state in the past few years, the last one that did cut the power out of Orlando for days.
From August to September 2017 Hurricane Irma shook Orlando to its core, and even Walt Disney World Parks closed for the first time since they opened on October 1, 1971. When even the greedy mouse even backs off, that’s when you know things are bad.
73% of the state lost power, and people living in Orlando had no power for almost a full week. Those with generators got to run some of their electronics (with the AC making their houses a little bit cooler under the summer sun), but those without got to sleep in 90-degree weather. Who needs a hot yoga class when your house is already simmering like the inside of a volcano?
Some people not only lost power but their houses as well. Hurricane-force can destroy homes, businesses, and anything else standing in its way. And while every place has its downfalls, it’s hard to ignore something that could potentially wipe out your house (with you inside it).
16. Constant Downpour
Florida has been lovingly nicknamed “The Sunshine State,” but honestly, that’s a misleading title, especially for all the tourists who flock to Orlando during summer break. Florida isn’t the “Sunshine” state, it’s the thunderstorm state, and anyone who says otherwise has clearly never been to Florida in the summer.
Florida rains hard, and it rains often. It’s #5 on a country-wide precipitation list (behind Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama), and it’s not hard to see why. When June rolls around, it rains almost every single day in the afternoon. At least, the rain finally lets up in October and November, just in time for the holiday season.
Orlando kids learn to count lighting at a young age, probably because they hear it so much in their classrooms and at home. The rule (while since proven inaccurate) goes like this:
If you see a lightning bolt in the sky, start counting. Once you hear the thunder crack, stop. How many seconds did you count? That’s exactly how far away the lightning is in miles.
According to the WFLA News Channel 8 website, “Florida, more specifically the corridor between Tampa and Orlando, sees the highest frequency of cloud to ground lightning strikes than any other area in the United States.” And while that lightning might seem cool to a classroom of fifth graders (as they diligently count the seconds passing in their heads), it’s not as cool if you’re outside taking a job and your entire body is lit on fire from the inside out. Source
14. Tap Water Is Disgusting
Florida water isn’t the best. It’s got a strange after-taste. There’s plenty of people who move to Florida and buy a water filter immediately after; and for good reason. The taste isn’t the only thing off about the water.
In fact, in 2015, “a staggering 7.5 million Floridians were supplied water from systems that breached the SDWA.” Source The SDWA is also known as the “Safe Water Drinking Act,” and the fact that over seven million Floridians drank water that was deemed unsafe to put into their bodies is a red flag. If you’re moving to Florida, make sure to bring a water filter (or ten) with you. Who knows what’s swimming around in it.
13. Limestone Tables–and Sinkholes
Florida is a peninsula, and under that peninsula are tables of porous limestone. These porous stones are full of tiny holes, which help the flow of groundwater, but it also means that over time, acid builds up in the limestone and eventually breaks down the stone.
If the limestone stone breaks down underground, that means that whatever was sitting on top of it will collapse into the ground. This is a sinkhole, and it’s a strangely common occurrence for Orlando. Sinkholes open up every few years. Sinkhole incidents have impacted everywhere from private apartment complexes to resorts at Walt Disney World. While it’s rare, it does happen. One day, your house is there, and the next–it’s gone. Florida swallowed it.
It’s a surprise to no one that Florida is hot. While it might not get to the highest temperatures as other states in the United States (and it certainly doesn’t have the world record for hottest temperatures in the world), Florida is ranked first for having the highest average temperature year-round.
Florida Decembers aren’t exactly chilly with the Christmas spirit. If anything, the locals will jam to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” while driving to the beach and slathering on sunblock. Decembers in Orlando are great for going to Disney waterparks, but scarves and snowflakes are out of the question.
The heat in Florida wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so humid. Every time you walk outside in Orlando, it’s like you jumped into a pool. The air sticks to your skin, making you sweat, making you thirsty, and it seeps into your very soul. No matter what temperature it is, the water in the air will let you know the moment you step outside.
Cold in Orlando sucks because even though 60 degrees is nothing in any other state, it feels cold after a year of 90-degree weather. Not to mention, the cold isn’t just floating blissfully in the air. Humid cold sinks into bones and chills you from the inside out. Humidity makes it impossible to enjoy any kind of weather, but hey, at least you won’t be dry.
10. Job Security
Orlando’s main export is entertainment. And while that’s great and all for all the tourists, it’s not so great for all the people who have to live there. The entertainment industry is notoriously finicky, and jobs are rarely stable. There are plenty of other non-entertainment careers in Orlando, but the main jobs revolve around acting, so if you’re a software engineer, it might be harder to find a steady position.
9. School Systems
Florida ranks number 22 on a list of best to worst school systems in the United States, which is in the better half, but Orlando sits in Orange County (no, not California’s Orange County) and the school district has a reputation to the locals of being on the lower end of the spectrum. The schools are dangerous, and they’re not the high quality of the schools in neighboring counties. If you’re gonna move to Florida to raise a family, try moving to Seminole County (which is right next to Orange County) instead.
8. Lots And Lots Of Neighbors…
Florida is the 8th highest densely populated state in the United States of America. For more context, click the link to see each state and the different population densities.
And on top of that, Orlando is currently the 4th largest city in Florida, with a population of around two-hundred and eighty thousand people (280,832), according to a Florida demographics website. If you’re the kind of person who likes their space, and you’re used to living in places like Idaho or Alaska, then moving to Orlando will definitely give you culture shock. Don’t worry; you’ll get over it after the first ten years.
7. Pest Control (or lack thereof)
Florida and bugs go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. Mosquitos bite residents on a daily basis, whether they’re from Jacksonville or Orlando or Miami, and the red ants are slowly but surely taking over the state. Don’t even let me get started on the cockroaches.
6. Walking In Summer Wonderland
Floridians who have grown up in and lived in Orlando all their lives have probably never seen snow. They’ll never know what it’s like to have a White Christmas. They’ll never walk outside to find the leaves turning a crispy gold color, and they won’t be excited when the flowers bloom again in spring because the flowers (weeds, more like) have been blooming all year round.
That’s because Florida’s seasons consist of summer and more summer. And if you’re someone who likes to watch the world shift around you as the year goes on, Orlando isn’t the place for you. But hey, at least you’ll never have to break your back shoveling snow or slipping on black ice.
5. Theme Parks
Theme parks are super fun, especially if you’ve never been to them before. Disney gets most of the credit, but Orlando’s got a whole gauntlet of awesome theme parks:
- Universal Orlando Resort (Including Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure)
- Walt Disney World (Including Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Blizzard Beach, and Typhoon Lagoon)
- SeaWorld (Including SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica)
These places are enchanting, thrilling, and just pure fun. You can get your own wand from Ollivanders, talk to Princess Cinderella, and pet dolphins for the low, low price of…your life savings.
Theme parks do have deals for Florida Residents, so it will be cheaper to go there if you live in Orlando, but the closer you are to those theme parks, the higher the temptation will be to buy more and more passes to each park–until you’re drowning in Magicbands and paper passes, with an empty bank account starring back at you.
4. Insane Wildlife
Florida is the United State’s version of Australia, and it’s not hard to see why. Florida has the most tropical climate in the country, and tropical climates have a knack for attracting deadly wildlife of all shapes and sizes.
The most notorious of all these creatures is the Florida Gator. Gators show up in nearly every body of water imaginable, and Orlando is no exception. Every Floridian knows to NEVER go swimming in any lake, because 99% of the time, there’s going to be at least one gator in the water.
The millions of tourists and gators overlap in Orlando, which spells disaster. Floridians know never to feed any wildlife–especially not gators. If you feed them, then they will start bothering and attacking humans for more food. But tourists who come to Walt Disney World from all over the globe don’t know this, and that means the gators (yes, Disney World has gators) are taught that humans are a reliable source of food.
In one instance, a Walt Disney World Cast Member stood between a ride and a gator, fighting the gator off with a long stick to keep it from getting in the water ride with the passengers:
3. Pancake Geography
One of the draws of a city can be its beautiful geography, whether that be the plateaus of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, or the mountains dotting both the east and the western United States.
Florida is a literal pancake. Except this pancake is stuffed with bugs and swamps instead of blueberries and chocolate chips. And when you look off into the distance, instead of seeing mountains, all you’ll catch a glimpse of is a big, blank sky, maybe with someone writing “HELLO” in the clouds with their plane exhaust.
2. The AC Costs An Arm And A Leg
Florida’s heat not only sucks, but it also means you have to keep your AC running a marathon all year round. Unsurprisingly, “Florida’s energy prices are on the high side. Residents pay an average monthly electricity bill of $126.44, based on information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). That’s 13% higher the national average of $111.67.” Source
1. Interstate 4 (The Dreaded I-4)
The main road going through Orlando, Florida is called the I-4, and if you wanna get anywhere, chances are, you’re gonna have to use this interstate. The bad news is that Hell has better traffic than the I-4. The road mergers are horribly planned, and they shove a bunch of traffic into two lanes, so it’s no surprise that the I-4 is constantly clogged up with accidents and bad driving. It can be a dangerous situation for even the most experienced drivers.
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