KISSIMMEE’S OLD TOWN
Looking to decompress from Disney or Universal? Old Town offers simple, classic American fun.
Old Town Kissimmee is located off West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, just a 15-minute drive from Walt Disney World Resort. While close in proximity, it’s a world away from the frenetic pace of Disney - a throwback to a simpler time with an emphasis on classic American fun. After a few days at Orlando’s mega parks, you’ll likely be looking to slow things down.
Old Town is a re-creation of a small Florida town with a collection of 70 themed shops, restaurants, rides, and attractions. Retro in feel, some shops celebrate the rock-n-roll 50s while others favor the groovy 70s. However, shopping is not the reason my family and I visited here. In addition to Old Town’s new 86-foot Ferris wheel which was imported from Italy, families can delight in other traditional amusement rides plus a multi-tiered, go-kart track right next door at Fun Spot America. After having spent the previous day at Universal Orlando in painfully long lines for virtual reality rides that left us feeling unsatisfied, we were eager to “kick it old-school” with the Mine Blower Coaster, Tilt-a-Whirl and bumper cars. And there were plenty of kiddie rides for the youngest thrill-seekers in our group, too. For true daredevils in your family, strap into the Skycoaster - think human pendulum. Cost: Fun Pass (unlimited rides and go-karts) $50; Mega Fun Pass (unlimited rides, go-karts, SkyCoaster) $60; Individual rides $5-10/each.
KidTripster Tip: Old Town has a haunted house called Mortem Manor. I do not recommend this attraction for families. It’s not fun-scary; it’s scary-scary. However, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys trying to make your way through a dark, creepy, multi-level maze where live actors are jumping out at you and then following you from one disturbing, blood-splattered room to the next, be my guest! Me and my teen, we couldn’t wait to get out of there!
Editor Shellie Bailey-Shah would opt for a good ‘ole wooden roller coaster over a new virtual reality attraction every day of the week!
For more classic Americana, visit on the weekend when Old Town plays host to car cruises. On Fridays, muscle cars elbow their way down the street and on Saturdays, Old Town is lined with classic models. If you happen to be traveling with grandparents, they’ll surely feel nostalgic.
But our favorite activity in Old Town actually came as a complete surprise! Don’t miss the magic show at The Great Magic Hall. The audience moves between four small performance studios during the hour-long show. On the afternoon that we attended, magician Stefan Oswald absolutely wowed us with his close-up magic. Everyone in our group from age 3 to 73 was mesmerized - even our hard-to-please teenager. Honestly, it’s one of the best things that we did in Orlando all week! Show times are at 3 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9 p.m. Cost: Youth (under 5) Free; Other $15.
This writer received some complimentary activities for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions expressed are solely her own.