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8 Reasons To Be Thankful for Kissimmee

Ahh autumn. The leaves are changing, the air has a certain crisp to it — okay, well maybe not so much in sunny Kissimmee — but that doesn’t stop it from being one of our favorite seasons! Pumpkin pie is a big plus, but more importantly, fall is the perfect time to count your blessings. As Thanksgiving draws near, we’re grabbing a cozy sweater, warm drink, and reflecting on the reasons to be thankful for all that Kissimmee is, and all the ways to make amazing vacation memories right here.

1. Sunshine Always Brings Out Smiles

A girl sits smiling in an inner tube in a pool at Reunion Resort.
Reunion Resort & Golf Club (photo: @lovedwellshereblog)

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 escape the cold and soak up some rays. The year-round sunshine means more time enjoying the pools, outdoor activities, and even water parks. The best part? There’s no shoveling involved.

2. Plenty of Dinner Tables to Gather ‘Round

A table of Southern Cuisine at Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' in Disney Springs.
Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' at Disney Springs®

Sharing a meal brings everyone together any time of year with love, laughter, and a chance to really connect. Although giant turkey legs from Walt Disney World® Resort definitely fit the bill for a hand-held Thanksgiving feast, there are endless delights awaiting when you visit Kissimmee.

From casual spots perfect for families (including those big extended 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, gangsters, or a side of murder mystery. For classy cuisine, there’s James Beard Award-Winning must-try restaurants in Disney Springs®, or there’s the more relaxed approach with shopping, dining, and nightlife at Universal CityWalk.

Visiting over the holiday? Check out the Thanksgiving Day Buffet at Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. Delicious dining awaits including a carving station, handmade pasta, decadent desserts, and endless champagne and mimosas from 12-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 23. And for every other day of the year, you can go on a global journey of flavor without leaving town at the incredible lineup of international restaurants

3. Surrounded by Nature

A woman with arms and legs stretched out glides on a zipline high above alligators at Gatorland in Kissimmee Florida.
Gatorland (photo: @mirandaakass123)

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 very lucky 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.

There are so many ways to explore the outdoors and get a glimpse of this natural haven. Get a thrilling bird’s eye view from a zip line, search for gators as you skim along on an airboat, or get some serious air when you take to the sky in a big, bright hot air balloon. 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.

4. Everyone Can Come Together

A two story Mediterranean style vacation home sits in the back ground, with a pool, chairs and fire pit in the foreground at dusk.
A Kissimmee vacation home

Families come in all shapes and sizes. And here in Kissimmee, also known as the Vacation Home Capital of the World, it’s easy to find the perfect fit. Whether it’s one hotel room, or your family is growing and needs a vacation home with a multitude of bedrooms and bunk beds, there’s space for everyone. And when your entire family has the space to unwind, play, and spend quality time, the vacation is just that much better. After days spent exploring, it’s always nice to have a home (away from home) to come back to and just…be.

5. Exciting Theme Parks

The Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal's Islands of Adventure (photo: @kevintheparks)

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 the world of enchantment at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, a ship to blast you off to a planet far, far, away at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, or spend the day riding cool coasters and watching the aquatic creatures play at SeaWorld® Parks & Resorts™ 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.

Meeting your favorite princess or pirate in person, getting up close with splashing sea creatures, and channelling your inner astronaut all make for moments that can take your vacation from ho-hum to “How soon can we go back?”.

6. Rich, Really Cool History

A man and woman smile as they take stand up paddle boards down Shingle Creek with trees draped in hanging moss.
The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek

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 really puts the town’s whole journey into perspective.

7. A Close-Knit Community

A volunteer stands over a table of other volunteers at Give Kids the World Village
Give Kids the World Village

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. In addition to the incredible support our partners provide to families, nonprofits, and more, many visitors feel inspired to volunteer their time while on vacation. The Kissimmee family continually grows and it’s always a great time to give back.

8. Endless Events

A balloon of a nutcracker floats over a marching band at Universal Orlando Resort’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s
Universal Orlando Resort

Kissimmee offers a plethora of events to choose from while visiting the destination. A consistent events calendar is updated with remarkable happenings for any family. Whether you’re the type that likes to jam-pack itineraries, or just choose a few big things to see and do, events in Kissimmee are in abundance any time of year. The ESPN Wide World of Sports® Complex alone hosts about 100 events every year, the Silver Spurs Rodeo is a Kissimmee classic, and holiday occasions bring fun (and big smiles) for all ages. From Walt Disney World Resort’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to Universal Orlando Resort’s Holiday Parade Featuring Macy’s, holiday happenings do not disappoint.

These are just a few to be thankful for everything Kissimmee. To discover your own, click here and start planning your visit today.

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