Back in the 1980s when Rob Wimbish was in high school, he worked at Orangeland RV Park where he performed odd jobs. Though the work at the family business wasnt glamorous, he does have fond memories of his time as an Orangeland employee, especially of the day that the backup freezer went on the fritz.
There is a store at the park where guests can buy various sundries, including ice cream, says Wimbish, who is an attorney today. There wasnt much we could do with the inventory but eat it. We didnt eat ice cream the entire day because there was work to do, but we did partake of quite a bit.
A fixture in Orange since June 1972, Orangeland RV Park was founded by Wimbishs grandfather, Eldredge El Welton and his Grandmother Virginia, who took an educated chance and opened the RV park at the intersection of Struck and Katella on the site of an Orange grove. The popular destination for short and long-term guests still sits on the 8 1/3 acres it started on and has 195 sites. In addition to a store, the facility features a large pool, billiard room, laundry room, barbecue area, miniature golf and shuffleboard.
Orangeland is just as popular today as it was years ago, says Cindy Welton Wimbish, Robs mother, who ran the park for 26 years until just recently. Weve reconfigured some of the sites to fit todays larger RVs, but otherwise its the same. Guests still enjoy picking fruit from the citrus trees.
When Wimbishs mother and father put in the park, they conserved a bit of history by building around existing Orange trees on the property. As a result, one of the highlights of staying at the park is the ability to pick oranges and other citrus like lemons and grapefruit.
Though there have been some cosmetic changes, for the most part the essence of the park has remained unchanged and continues to adhere to the principles of hospitality and cleanliness which my grandfather held dear, says Wimbish.
The park will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Memorial Day weekend. Over the three-day period there will be food, free gifts and raffle prizes.
For more information, visit OrangeLand.com
Published in the May/Jun 2012 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review
Written by Julie Bawden-Davis, Photograph by Jeanine Hill
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