There's an ongoing rivalry between New York City and Orlando to see which of these popular vacation destinations could reach 50 million visitors in a single calendar year, instantly earning them the title of "most overcrowded and overpriced tourist trap in America."
And wouldn't you know it — just as Mayor Bloomberg had his finger hovering over the red button that would have initiated the "Welcome Tourist # 50 Million!!!" celebration sequence (there were rumors it involved a chorus line of 50 Rockettes and Liza Minnelli in a pair of novelty sunglasses that spelled out the number 50,000,000), along came Mayor Buddy Dyer of Orlando to snatch it away.
In 2010, Orlando drew 51.45 million tourists and displaced New York City as the most-visited place in the country, Mr. Dyer and other Florida officials proclaimed.
But the other side cried foul! New York tourism czar George Fertitta says Orlando was figuring in visitors to Disney World as part of their calculations, which is 25 miles away. In other words, most of those 50 million have never even set foot in that giant, humid parking lot.
"We're not in competition with Orlando," Mr. Fertitta said. "I never heard of their goal being 50 million. That's Mike Bloomberg's goal."
Got that, Dyer? Translation: Our rats shit bigger than your mouse any day of the week — and you can bet your fat, monorail-riding ass we'll be the first to have 50 million of those, too! [NYT, images via AP, Wikipedia]