After the Mouse

If Central Florida as we know it was born after Disney, this is the turbulent history we share

Oct. 1, 1971
Walt Disney World opens

Dec. 15, 1973
Sea World opens

Oct. 1973
East-West Expressway opens

Orlando Sentinel-Star combines Orlando Morning Sentinel and Orlando Evening Star

Dec. 6, 1978
Florida Technical University renamed University of Central Florida

Dec. 7, 1980
Trial of serial killer Ted Bundy begins at the old Orange County Courthouse

March 31, 1982
“Queen of Mean” Leona Helmsley’s only son, Robert Panzirer, dies of a heart attack at her notorious Harley Hotel in downtown Orlando

Oct. 1, 1982
Epcot Center opens

February 1983
Phase I of Orange County Convention Center opens at a cost of $54 million

Jan. 29, 1989
Orlando Arena opens

June 7, 1990
Universal Orlando opens

Oct. 25, 1991
Old Orlando City Hall demolished by implosion, filmed for Lethal Weapon 3

August 1997
Orlando declared “rave capital” by Rolling Stone

September 1997
Orlando anti-rave ordinance passed

The city of Orlando approves the sale of old Navy base for $7.6 million to Chicago’s Pritzker family, paving the way for Baldwin Park four years later

March 28, 1999
Universal’s Islands of Adventure opens

Feb. 17, 2003
Orlando City Council approves sale of Church Street Station to Backstreet Boys founder Lou Pearlman

Aug. 13, 2004
Hurricane Charley decimates Orlando

March 10, 2005
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer indicted on charges of paying for absentee votes; is cleared five weeks later, canceling a special election

July 24, 2006
Orlando passes homeless feeding ordinance, which prohibits feeding homeless people within two miles of City Hall

Sept. 29, 2006
Dyer and Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty announce $1.1 billion dollar venues deal for Amway Center, performing arts center and Citrus Bowl renovations

April 5, 2007
Developer Cameron Kuhn buys Church Street Station after Pearlman forecloses; Kuhn loses it to foreclosure one year later

June 27, 2007
Pearlman indicted by a federal grand jury on fraud charges

August 2009
Lake Eola fountain struck by lightning

May 24, 2011
Casey Anthony murder trial begins; she is found not guilty on July 5

Feb. 26, 2012
17-year-old Trayvon Martin shot by George Zimmerman, who claims self-defense under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law

March 25, 2012
Old Amway Arena demolished to make way for Creative Village

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