Florida Guide > Days Out
Kissimmee Old Town – An Area of Contrasts
Kissimmee Old Town is a part of the holiday area where you can be entertained without spending any money.
If you visit late morning you can look at the shops in peace and potter and view the full range from cheap and tatty to quality and beautiful goods.
There are mainly small speciality shops and while there is the usual range of cheap t-shirt and souvenir shops there are also some that are very individual. My favourite is the candle shop where you can buy exquisite candles or get them personalised for special occasions. You can even watch them being designed. One of the more eccentric shops is the historical shop where you can imagine yourself back 200 years. They will dress you and your family in appropriate costumes and then photograph you with a suitable background to give an “authentic” ancient photograph. Even if you don’t want this for yourselves it is interesting to watch other people being styled and photographed.
There are also some jewellery shops producing a range of attractive pieces. There were some unusual items in the Black Market Minerals and some lovely pearl jewellery when we visited.
In the evenings the place really buzzes
At each end of the street there are fairgrounds that are reminiscent of 1950s seaside resorts. There are galloping horses and swinging chairs, an enormous Ferris wheel and also a small “big dipper” that is an age away from the giant thrillers in the theme parks. There are also old time dodgem cars plus a go-cart track. There are a range of gentle rides for smaller children. It is possible to buy a wristband which gives free access to all the low tech rides.
In contrast there are also high tech thrills. These include the highest Sky Cruiser in the world. 1, 2 or 3 people are winched up 300 feet to the apex of a tower. I am reliably told that the view from there is fantastic – but I don’t intend to check it out. They then pull a rip cord and they swing down in a long arc and swing. There is also a human slingshot, which is the reverse of bungee jump and people are catapulted into the air. For the competitively minded there is a Drag Racer where cars are blasted to 100mph in 2 seconds. Definitely not recommended for those with tender necks.
But you don’t have to spend money. It is great fun just watching everything from the thrill seekers, to the bucking steer riders, to the strength trials. There is entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays, and line dancing and bars and restaurants if you need to recharge your batteries. All this and I haven’t even mentioned the car and motor bike parades. You can check it all out for yourselves at their web site which you can find by putting "Kissimmee Old Town" into Google.
We will certainly be visiting again on our next trip to Florida.
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