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8 Reasons To Be Thankful for Kissimmee

Ahh, autumn. The leaves are changing, the air has a certain crispness to it — okay, maybe not so much in sunny Kissimmee — but it’s still a fantastic season for all kinds of reasons! There’s pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, and, well, pumpkin everything. There’s also Thanksgiving, which means family, food, and football. And while this year is a little different, there’s still plenty to be thankful for. So, grab your coziest sweater and a nice warm drink — here are a few reasons we’re grateful for all things Kissimmee.

1. The Sunshine Feels Oh So Fine

Not only are healthy doses of Vitamin D good for you — a sunny day just seems to bring out the best in people! The fall and winter months in Kissimmee are the ideal time to soak up some rays. The year-round sunshine means more time enjoying the pools, outdoor activities, and splish splashing around. Why shovel snow when you can shovel sand at Discovery Cove?

Two people snorkel at Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove
Three friends enjoy time underwater at Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove

2. Plenty of Dinner Tables to Gather ‘Round

Enjoying a meal together is a special way to share fun and laughter with those you care about. And Kissimmee has plenty of options for vacationers who are hungry for an unforgettable feast. From casual spots perfect for families to upscale dining experiences to savor, pleasing all those picky eaters is easy when you have so many places to choose from. You can even add some exciting entertainment to your dining experience with dinner shows featuring knights and gangsters and pirates (oh my)! 

A night feeds his horse at Medieval Times Kissimmee
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
A pirate shares his treasure with guests
Pirate's Dinner Adventure (masks now required)

For classy cuisine, The Lakeside Bar + Grill offers incredible dishes with views to match (they’re called Lakeside for a reason, after all). There’s also the Columbia, which has been serving Spanish-style delights for over 115 years. Over at Disney Springs, you’ll find mouth-watering options like Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and STK Orlando. And at Universal CityWalk, they’re serving up delicious dishes at VIVO Italian Kitchen and Fusion Bistro Sushi & Sake Bar.

A fancy dinner at Columbia Restaurant
Columbia Restaurant

3. Nature, Nature Everywhere

There’s a lot of green to be seen in Kissimmee — and the plan is to keep it that way for years to come. The area is fortunate to have the parks, partners, and many others take an active role in making a positive impact, embracing ecotourism, and protecting the land that brings so much wonder and joy to the community and visitors. And when it comes to wildlife, it’s a real zoo around here. Be it “the locals” like alligators and scrub-jays or exotic animals from around the globe, every creature has a home in Kissimmee. When you combine the traditional theme parks with these havens of nature conservation and outdoor adventure, the bounty and beauty of Kissimmee is truly a gift.

An alligator swims in the water

There are so many ways to explore the outdoors and get a glimpse of these natural wonders. Get a thrilling bird’s eye view from a zip line at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, search for gators as you skim along on an airboat at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures, or get some serious air and take to the sky in a big, bright hot air balloon at Bob’s Balloon Rides. Appreciating the natural world without disturbing or disrupting is important to everyone in Kissimmee, and these adventures are the ideal way to do just that.

A child plays at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park
Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park

4. Everyone Can Come Together Safely

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and there’s room for everyone here in Kissimmee. After all, this is the Vacation Home Capital of the World, so it’s easy to find the perfect fit. Whether it’s one hotel room or a lavish family vacation home with a multitude of bedrooms and fully equipped kitchens, you’ll find the right place for you here. Now, more than ever, we’re thankful to have room to offer your family the space to unwind, play, and spend quality time safely — with plenty of smiles. After days spent exploring, it’s nice to have a home (away from home) to come back to and just…be.

Kids jump in a pool at a vacation home

5. Exciting Theme Parks

With amazing theme parks around every corner, adventure is always on the horizon, and you’ll never run out of places to explore. There’s magic in the air throughout The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando Resort, a ship to blast you off to a planet far, far, away at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or cool coasters and aquatic creatures at SeaWorld Orlando. Plus, there’s the perennial family classic of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex that gives you a glimpse of the world beyond the clouds.

Exploring distant galaxies and magical lands, riding the tallest, fastest roller coasters around, and channeling your inner astronaut all make for moments that can take your vacation from ho-hum to “How soon can we go back?”.

A Stormtrooper stands in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Disney's Hollywood Studios (Photo: @prmdigitalproductions)
A man stands in front of Scooby and the Gang at Universal Resort Orlando
Universal Orlando Resort (Photo: @angelino528)

6. A Whole World of Rich History

Kissimmee’s local founding fathers discovered something special when they followed their adventurous pioneer spirit here to Central Florida. Generations of cowboys and their families raised cattle and tended ranches, and families can even take a step back in time to fill their boots at Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek. Shingle Creek was Kissimmee’s first settlement, and a day spent exploring its turn-of-the-century Pioneer Village or paddling its calm, winding waterway (with a rental from the folks at the Paddling Center at Shingle Creek) really puts the town’s whole journey into perspective.

People playfully splash each other at the Paddling Center at Shingle Creek
The Paddling Center At Shingle Creek

7. A Close-Knit Community

Incredible happenings are always underway in Kissimmee, and it’s all thanks to the attentive and dedicated community. Here, the spirit of giving back is a big part of what makes living and visiting Central Florida so special. And this year, that Kissimmee kindness is shining brighter than ever! The incredible support our partners have provided to families, nonprofits, and more through challenging times has truly touched the hearts of so many. You’re always welcome in Kissimmee, and the community here makes everyone feel at home — and we sure are thankful for that.

8. Safety First

In addition to giving back to the community, Kissimmee is also giving its all to make sure you feel safe and secure when you visit. All of the attractions here, from theme parks to restaurants, outdoor adventures to off-the-beaten-path delights are doing their part. You’ll find precautionary measures in public spaces, social distancing in full effect, and plenty of common area cleaning. And it goes beyond attractions — the staff at vacation homes and hotels are working hard to keep your spaces clean and comfortable as well.

Interested in learning more about the work being done to keep you feeling your best here in Kissimmee? Check out our Safety Hub. It’s where you’ll find everything you need to know to have a safe, fun vacation.

People ride a rollercoaster at Disney's Magic Kingdom Theme Park
Disney's Magic Kingdom Theme Park (Photo: @mcepic90)
Two friends pose with Big Bird while respecting social distancing
SeaWorld Orlando (Photo: @mcepic90)

These are just a few reasons to be thankful for everything Kissimmee — and we’d love to hear yours! Share what you’re grateful for with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And if you’re interested in learning more about all things Kissimmee, you’ll definitely be thankful for our newsletter — subscribe today.

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