I thought this because I knew absolutely nothing about Kissimmee apart from the fact that it was close to Disney and surely that’s the only thing to do there, right? Wrong. A big fat wrong. Oh, so so wrong! I quickly learned that we wouldn’t be going to Disney - although we did have dinner at Disney Springs which was all kinds of dreamy - but we would be doing so much more. Better, I actually think, because Kissimmee is not only one of the most stunning places I’ve ever visited, but it’s also full of fun things to do.
So here’s a little mash up of a post. It’s going to be part diary - because who doesn’t like feeling like a 10 year old girl in her bedroom writing about the boys at school - and part “get your butt in gear and book a trip to Kissimmee right now please and thank you”, and part, here’s a guide to Kissimmee, when you book that flight of yours, here’s what you need to see/do.
Where to stay
Now, I am really excited to tell you about where we stayed in Kissimmee because basically, the only way that I can describe it, is that is was like something out of Keeping up with the Kardashians. We stayed at the most stunning villa/mansion/dream home rented through Jeeves Florida Rentals. It slept 22 people, a kitchen that made me wanna be like KIM AND KHLOE WHERE YOU AT, LET’S CHAT?! a master bedroom that Pinterest dreams were made of and the most stunning pool, cinema room and grounds that I’ve been lucky enough to stay in. It’s funny because despite it being so grand and so beautiful and so “Is this really my life?”, it also felt surprisingly homely and cosy and totally totally comfortable. I honestly could not recommend renting out a Villa in Kissimmee enough because it really is a home from home and just makes the whole experience even more special!
What to do
OK, grab a pen/bookmark the page/take a screenshot… basically listen up. Here’s what you need to be doing in Kissimmee;
I have to be honest in that my favourite thing about this was speeding through the water because the inner thrill seeker in me died and went to heaven. But that aside, getting up close and personal with alligators, cows, birds, turtles etc. was just the most surreal experience and one that I couldn’t recommend enough. Out in the middle of the creek you really do feel a million miles away from “normal life”, and I just loved discovering another corner of the world so different to the one I live in.
LOL AT THE LEVEL OF CHEESE PLEASE DON'T HATE ME
LOL AT THE LEVEL OF CHEESE PLEASE DON'T HATE ME
Kayaking with AlligatorsI think Kayaking down Shingle Creek was one of my all time favourite experiences in Kissimmee. I thought I was good at picking out/creating peaceful moments but oh my god nothing beats being halfway down the creek, engulfed by the tallest trees and totally surrounded by nature to make you feel the most zen you’ve ever felt. I mean, it’s ironic really considering you’re surrounded by alligators - LOL - but honestly, when life gets a little manic, I often think back to those hours paddling along in the sunshine with nothing to think about but the absolute beauty surrounding us and I miss it so much.
Jesus christ, I’ve turned into a wet, soppy version of David Attenborough but honestly, it is the most beautiful experience.
Visiting CelebrationOh Celebration you big fat babe, how are you SO pretty? I fell in love with Celebration in 0.93473948 seconds. The bright colourful houses, American flags everywhere, Wisteria bloody Lane - no Jesse Metcalfe sadly but you win some, you lose some - and some of the best food we ate on the trip. We visited Columbia for some tapas which was so good and I couldn’t recommend enough, as well as the Bohemian hotel which served up a beautiful breakfast in even more beautiful surroundings.
Gaylord PalmsIf you didn’t laugh at the name Gaylord Palms then congratulations for being a better adult then I am. In all seriousness though, Gaylord Palms was one of my favourite places in Kissimmee, absolutely huge in size, with a gorgeous restaurant (and slamming breakfast buffet, hey gluten free pancakes) and even more gorgeous gardens inside, it’s such a peaceful place to wander, eat and stay if you wish.
PaddlefishOne of my favourite meals in Kissimmee had to be at Paddlefish in Disney Springs. From the moment we walked in, it was like the world just turned from normal to magical in seconds. And I know that sounds cheesy af but nothing quite beats the feeling of walking through Disney as the sun’s setting, surrounded by so much happiness and excitement. We ate at Paddlefish where I demolished one of the best Steaks I’ve ever had, and topped it all off with a visit to Sephora. A pretty blooming successful evening if you ask me!
The inner tomboy in me lost her shit over tree climbing and zip lining and it definitely didn’t disappoint. I think my favourite thing about it was that it genuinely challenged me. I was terrified, like… genuinely terrified of some of the sections of the course we took because OH MY GOD SO HIGH AND WOBBLY AND SCARY AND PLEASE GET ME DOWN, but it pushed me to carry on going, problem solve and work through it. I could whack out a Pinterest-Ensue “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” but I feel like the level of cheese and happiness in this post is almost at it’s limit. But what I will say is that I loved watching our little group all help each other out, it’s an incredible activity to do if you’re with a group but also so much fun to join in with everyone else. Highly recommend!
One of the things I was most excited to do in Kissimmee was go hot air ballooning. I’ve done it once before in Dubai and it was one of those experiences that takes your breath away, leaves you speechless and then makes you want to relive every moment with anyone that’ll listen. Sadly when we got to the base we were told it was too windy to go out and it had been cancelled and I don’t think I’ve ever been more disappointed. It was mildly made better by the three McDonald’s hash browns I demolished on the way back but I would say that if you’re considering it, DO IT!!
So that brings me to the end of my Kissimmee guide/fangirl, all I can say is that it was one of my favourite places to visit, I will 100% be back, and I honestly couldn't recommend it enough. So if you're looking for a new destination to go to, put this baby on your shortlist!
I'd love to know if you've been to Kissimmee before? Is it somewhere you'd consider now? I always love hearing your thoughts!
Thank you so much to Experience Kissimmee for organising such an incredible trip.