Wondering what the best things to do in Kissimmee other than Disney or Universal are? Then this post is for you!
As you guys know, I’ve been planning on being in Florida ever since my friend, Meredith, invited me to her Disney wedding! I think I knew I’d be here since… maybe late 2017? Anyway, since I’d be in Florida, I thought I’d do a little more exploring.
I already had Disney World and Universal Orlando penciled in for the weekend after the wedding. My two friends, Emily and Kelsey, wanted to go to Disney that Saturday, and, as someone who once had an entire corner in her room dedicated to Harry Potter, I knew I’d want to try to hit up Universal as well.
Still, I wanted to see if there was more to do outside of the theme parks.
Turns out there’s a lot to do, actually! I had the chance to work with Experience Kissimmee for three days after all the wedding festivities were done, so I got to see and do a lot.
Where is Kissimmee?
First of all, yes, Kissimmee is an actual city! The area is actually closer to Disney than the main part of Orlando, so a lot of people who don’t stay at the resorts will stay at hotels in Kissimmee.
6 Things To Do in Kissimmee Other than Disney
1. Stay in Celebration
Did you know Walt Disney himself once wanted to create a giant, experimental town? It was called the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” (aka EPCOT), and sort of utopian, futuristic town. He passed away shortly after, and his idea for town never came to fruition until much later in the mid-90s when Celebration was born.
It’s a really cute town with different communities and homes. All the designs are traditional and meant to feel as though they belong in Every Town, USA. I highly recommend staying here, especially if you’re hoping for a slightly higher age average than at the theme park resorts. Airbnb and short-term rentals aren’t allowed in the homes, but I was a guest at the Bohemian Hotel Celebration.
It’s easily one of the prettiest places I’ve had a chance to stay in, and it’s right near downtown Celebration. I could easily walk to all the restaurants I wanted to try, and it was easy to call a Lyft to get to some of the further out activities.
Address: 700 Bloom St, Celebration, FL
2. Take a Bike Tour of Celebration
If you really want to get to know Celebration and its unique history more, then I highly recommend taking a bike tour with Celebration Bike Rental. The owner of the company, Scott, has lived in the town for nearly its whole creation, and his wife has lived here for its entire existence. He actually will do most of the bike tours himself, and he has a ton of insider and local knowledge.
The nice thing, too, is that they’re right next to the Bohemian. Plus, if you want to go explore more on your own after the tour, you can always rent the bikes too.
Address: 700 Bloom St. Celebration, FL
3. Start your morning with a hot air balloon ride
Now, while a 4:45 am wake-up time sounds like a lot, there are not many times you’ll get a chance to float above a city! The whole ride lasts about an hour, and no ride is the same as take-off and landing are all dependent on the wind! I went with Orlando Balloon Rides, who was awesome. My ride was cool because we were relatively low that morning, which means we were close enough to shout down and chat with people on their way to work or school!
Once we landed and got the balloon back in its carriage, we toasted with some champagne to honor the fact that the first hot air balloon took flight in France. Apparently, they’d have champagne not only to celebrate the successful flight but to please any local landowners who might be peeved at a giant balloon landing on their property!
Address: 44294 US Highway 27 Davenport, FL
4. Spend the Afternoon at Wild Florida
Wild Florida has two parts — a peaceful airboat ride into the Everglades and a visit to their gator and wildlife park. With their airboat tour, their aim is to show you what the Everglades would have looked like a thousand years ago, and you might even spot a gator or two roaming around. It’s a really nice trip, and I liked that they didn’t try to do any crazy tricks or whatnot that would disturb the gators! They also really control how often and how many boats they send out so as to not distress the wildlife.
The second part involves a visit to their wildlife park, which, I admit, I was extremely hesitant about visiting when I first got my itinerary from Kissimmee. Honestly, any animal attraction of exhibit makes me pause these days because I realize that as much as I try to educate myself, there’s still so much I don’t know about animal welfare. However, I really did have a lovely time, and I found the workers at Wild Florida to really care for their creatures. Read more about my findings here.
Address: 3301 Lake Cypress Rd., Kenansville, FL
5. Spend the Afternoon at Fun Spot America
First of all, did you guys know this place existed? Because I sure didn’t, and I feel like I’ve been missing out! Fun Spot America actually has three locations, in Kissimmee, Orlando, and near Atlanta, Georgia. I, of course, visited the one in Kissimmee and it was an absolute blast. Plus, if you go earlier in the afternoon when it opens, you won’t encounter too many lines or wait times (the real crowds come later in the evening).
I honestly had so much fun in just the few hours I was there, that I messaged my friends to tell them next time we should just come here. It’s home to the tallest sky coaster at 300ft, one of the few upside-down wooden roller coasters, and a multi-level gokart track amongst a ton of other rides.
One of the other nice things about the park was how friendly all the workers seemed with each other. It’s a family-owned business, so you get the camaraderie feeling like everyone knows everyone.
Address: 2850 Florida Plaza Blvd. Kissimmee, FL
6. Go Shopping and Wander Around Old Town USA
Old Town is right next to Fun Spot America, and some of its rides are there as well. It’s just a cute area to walk around and go shopping. Sometimes they’ll have different events, like classic car shows, too. Check here for a schedule of their different events
I actually got some bath bombs and shampoo bars from this cute shop called The Soap Company.
Address: 5770 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL
Have you guys been to Kissimmee outside of the main theme parks?