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Sure, Orlando gets all the family vacation buzz in Florida, but did you know that Kissimmee is right next door and provides an incredible value, not to mention that it’s a fun destination on its own?
As I understandably get a ton of questions about how to make Florida family travel more affordable and accessible, I turned to the folks in Kissimmee for some help. This isn’t a sponsored post, but merely a resource to help you uncover some hidden gems you otherwise might not have been aware of…
Experience Kissimmee is the travel and tourism authority for the Kissimmee destination and Osceola County, Florida. In its role, it promotes the destination domestically and around the world to potential leisure, business and sports travelers. It offers easy access to Orlando’s world-famous theme parks, natural adventures, eclectic dining and shopping options, golf courses, a long history of rodeo action and more.
Kissimmee’s nearly 50,000 total accommodations include luxury resorts, well-known and comfortable hotels and motels, vacation rental homes and villas, and campgrounds. You can start planning a Kissimmee vacation today by visiting www.ExperienceKissimmee.com.
- Mind Blower at Fun Spot America’s Kissimmee theme park is now open. Appropriately named, thrill seekers will defy gravity on this wooden roller coaster with Southeast United States’ only 360-degree barrel roll and 11 instances of air time.
- Say hello to Wild Florida Airboats’ newest animals: two rare albino alligators and baby sloth. To celebrate the attraction’s seventh anniversary, guests receive free admission to check out these new additions as well as over 200 animals on display in the Gator and Wildlife Park.
- Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure opens at Gatorland® in September. Adventurers will rollick in a 12-foot high, custom-made, off-road monster vehicle through Florida’s natural beauty, an alligator graveyard, and a pond full of hundreds of live gators.
- Step into a magical, mythical world of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests, and soaring Banshees at Pandora – The World of Avatar. Walt Disney World® Resort’s latest land brings James Cameron’s AVATAR film to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Make a splash on Miss Adventure Falls, a family raft ride taking guests on a fast-paced waterslide journey at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park. End your “once upon a time” at Magic Kingdom Park with “Happily Ever After,” a breathtaking show with fireworks, lasers, lights, and projections.
- Volcano Bay is now erupting at Universal Orlando ResortTM. This 30-acre water theme park offers a multi-directional wave pool with sandy beaches, a peaceful winding river, twisting multi-rider raft rides, and speeding body slides that drop from the top of a volcano into the waters below. And with the groundbreaking TapuTapu, a waterproof wristband working in conjunction with the virtual line system, ride times are reserved.
- Summer is in full swing at SeaWorld Parks and Resort Orlando. Race through underwater canyons and the deep, dark hunting grounds of a legendary sea monster on Kraken Unleashed, a virtual reality roller coaster now open. Dolphin Days will entertain and inspire, while educating families about dolphins and their importance to our natural world. Get ready to say “awwwww” at the Dolphin Nursery, now open. Check out POP, a new performance starring world-renowned bubble master Fan Yang. And stay for Electric Ocean, an upbeat party with bioluminescent lighting, music, and pathway entertainment running through August 5.
- LEGOLAND Florida Resort added LEGO NINJAGO World, bringing to life LEGO’s popular Ninjago line of toys and its Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu television series. Kids will train to think, move, and be ninjas alongside Kai and Nya.
- Visitors who feel the need for speed will have the chance to experience Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, opening late summer 2017. The attraction will feature electronic go-karting, indoor adventures, arcade gaming, bowling, racing simulators, laser tag, and a full-service bar and restaurant.
- iFLY Orlando Indoor Skydiving has a new home on International Drive. The new single-story facility features two all-glass wind tunnels and allows spectators to watch flyers in action.
- Grab some peanuts and Cracker Jacks as you take in a Florida Fire Frogs baseball game. The Frogs are a new Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, playing at the Osceola County Stadium through August.
- The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate recently debuted an extensive $40 million expansion project. The significant redevelopment includes: 23,000 square feet of additional pool deck and recreational space, installation of Kissimmee’s only resort wave pool, a new 93-room property villa building, and a redesign of Trevi’s restaurant including an outdoor garden terrace and bar. The expansion also includes the addition of 100,000 square feet of expanded event lawn and conference center space, further establishing the resort as an all-in-one luxury reprieve for guests.
- Bohemian Hotel Celebration recently underwent a million-dollar makeover to all 115 guestrooms. The newly designed rooms are an extension of the chic lobby, embodying the essence of Florida and its diverse landscape.
- Island Grove Winery Company at Formosa Gardens is expected to open summer 2017. Surrounded by lush botanical gardens, the sustainable winery and microbrewery will feature a bistro, winery tours, and tastings. The botanical garden will grow organic fruits and vegetables, while maintaining sustainable agricultural applications that include biodynamic practices, permaculture, and hydroponics.
- The Polite Pig now open at Disney Springs, brings genuine Florida cuisine to a broader global audience. Lunch and dinner menus feature a variety of wood-fired smoked, and grilled items, as well as an innovative beverage program serving all drinks on tap, including beer, wine, and cocktails.
- Made-to-order doughnuts will be hitting the fryers soon at Duck Donuts. Opening July 2017, diners will be able to create their own doughnut with numerous coatings, toppings, and drizzles for the perfect treat.
Do you feel like you know Kissimmee better now? Hopefully this expands your mind when it comes to central Florida travel.