That New New: Orange County Regional History Center

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Hello Townie Tourist readers! My name is Nicole Dudenhoefer and I am super excited to make my introduction to you all. I am TT's new intern, who will be helping out with Saturday's Facebook Live shows and other content here on the blog.

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To give you guys a little background on me, I am a recent graduate from UCF with a bachelor degree in journalism and minor in digital media. I was born and raised in East Orlando, but there are so many things to do in Central Florida that I haven't experienced yet.

With it being January and pretty much everyone in the mood to set and keep up with new habits, I will be taking on my own new routine on the blog.

Every week I will attempt to try, taste or tour some new place or thing in the Central Florida region in order to better get to know the community I've spent my whole life in. On Wednesday, I will share with you whatever it is I attempt for the week, in hopes that others will be inspired to also make it a point to explore more. 

The outside of the building has these cool postcard-like images relating to the exhibits inside. 

The outside of the building has these cool postcard-like images relating to the exhibits inside. 

This week I took advantage of the Orlando Regional History Center's free admission on Saturday in honor of Martin Luther King to explore the museum. I've walked past this building located Downtown so many times, but never thought to go inside.

 

The four-story building originally operated as Orange County's from it's completion in 1927 until the current high-rise courthouse opened in 1995. In 2000, the building was reopened as the Orange County Regional History Center. 

I was surprised to find SO MUCH to discover inside! Most of the exhibits are interactive and feature immersive design features that bring the subjects to life. 

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The fourth floor features a life-size replica of home from the early times of Florida's crackers - a term that actually refers to sound early settler's whips would make when they would crack their whips.

There's also a section on Florida's citrus industry with old orange-themed knick-knacks and posters, as well as a forest of orange trees! Honestly, the people in charge should seriously consider filling the room with an orange scent to complete the experience.

Replica of Orlando International Airport. 

Replica of Orlando International Airport. 

The third floor has an original room from the courthouse set up. If you go look out for Ted Bundy's name carved somewhere in a corner of the defense table. Jenny and I tried to find it, but had no luck.

The suit of John Young (more than just the name of a Parkway!) was an American astronaut, naval officer and aviator, test pilot, and aeronautical engineer.

The suit of John Young (more than just the name of a Parkway!) was an American astronaut, naval officer and aviator, test pilot, and aeronautical engineer.

 

 

This floor also has some really cool displays about tourism and travel with sections on military units in Florida, Orlando International Airport and of course what Central Florida museum would be complete without some sort of Disney exhibit. 

The second floor includes some really moving pieces about African-American and Jewish history in region. On the lighter side there is a really fun kids' zone (I may have just graduated but I'm clinging to anything to convince myself I am not a real adult yet) with an awesome hanging mobile with Florida paraphernalia like a NASA shuttle, gator and egrets. 

The second floor has a few Highwaymen paintings, as well as a wall of replicas by children.

The second floor has a few Highwaymen paintings, as well as a wall of replicas by children.

There are a couple other things inside the museum that I failed to mention here, but that does not mean they were noteworthy! Surprises await, so go explore!

Admission is $8 for adults an $5 for kids, and you could easily spend a whole day there so I'd say it's worth the money. Or you could be ballin on a budget like me and find another free admission day to check it out.

If you have any questions about events or specific exhibits give OCRHC a call at 407-836-8500.