Kissimmee, Florida – 2019

Experience Kissimmee 2019

When you think about Florida what are the top 3 things that come to mind almost instantly? Sunshine? Mickey Mouse? Alligators? In-Laws? Theme Parks? Rodeo?
Rodeo in Florida? Yes! Nightwire was recently invited to experience a wide variety of activities in Kissimmee & we can’t wait to tell you all about our fun & travels. There’s even more than a couple alligator sightings!

The Silver Spurs Arena in Osceola County Heritage Park hosted the RAM National Circuit Rodeo Finals. The weekend was filled with over 200 contestants in all facets of rodeo competing for titles and prize money as well as a spot in the Grand Nationals in Las Vegas. The cowboys come from all across the country and Mexico. My favorite parts were the Women’s Barrel Racing & seeing the bucking bulls and the meet & greet with all the cowboys! This particular event happens in the Spring but there are events held throughout the year. It really was fun watching the different events and since there aren’t any rodeo’s in Pittsburgh- why not give it a try?

Events are highlighted on

Did you know that Kissimmee, Florida is the Vacation Home Capital of the World? According to our friends at Visit Kissimmee there are more types of themed vacation homes in Kissimmee than anywhere in the US, something for absolutely everyone and every family. We toured magnificent vacation rentals at Magical Vacation Homes. Homeowners work closely with design teams to create unique and outstanding décor. Wouldn’t your kids love a Star Wars theme bedroom? Or how about an Indoor bowling or a private pool? Homes in this community can accommodate family reunions and corporate retreats. Bedrooms can number up to 15 in some of the larger homes! Their concierge service will assist with all of your rental needs, And here’s a hot tip – last time I drooled over their website there was quite a nice perk to providing an email address. Check it out and start your vacation in style, I think you’ll be surprised at just how affordable a theme park vacation can be away from the hustle and bustle of busy hotels, in your own private residence.

If your needs, tastes or budget are for a less private home and more condo oriented – let me recommend to you Magic Village Yards. This is a gated condo vacation community with a full service restaurant & concierge. Beautiful and comfortable with luxurious décor, a full size kitchen, fireplace & balcony, it was the perfect respite after a busy day vacationing. The condo had 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, was very spacious, comfortable and extremely well appointed.

3151 Pantanal Ln, Kissimmee, FL 34747
Phone: (800) 622-1922
Instagram: @magicvillagevacationhomes
Facebook: @magicvillagevacationhomes

Theme Parks & Disney loom large in Kissimmee with an actual portion of Disney located in this Central Florida neighboring city. At Disney Springs you can explore a themed retail, dining, and entertainment complex inspired by Florida’s charming waterfront towns. The carefully curated environment is filled with unique boutiques, world-class restaurants, and cutting-edge entertainment including live music every night. When Nightwire visited Jose Andreas (aka the man who brought tapas to the US!) opened another Jaleo location. We were lucky to score a table on the 2nd night! And having been to the original Jaleo in Washington DC, it was fun to take my fellow journalists out for a treat!

You know traveling always involves a lot of eating and lots of famous Chefs are represented at Disney Springs. Dig into farm-to-fork cuisine showcasing Florida’s freshest flavors; all crafted from
recipes by award-winning celebrity Chef Art Smith. His restaurant Homecomin’ served up Chicken & Donuts for lunch in a deliciously decorated down home on the farm style theme. There are so many restaurants to choose from and shops and sights to see, that you could easily spend an entire day exploring, shopping, eating or just chilling. Here are just a few of my favorite shops – Zara, Uniqlo and of course the gigantic Disney store.
Facebook: @DisneySprings
Instagram: @DisneySprings
Twitter: @DisneySprings
Facebook: @ChefArtSmithsHomecominFL
Instagram: @homecominfl

Another interesting activity while in Kissimmee is to plan a visit to Celebration Florida, a master planned community built by Walt Disney. It’s one of the most beautiful communities with raised bike paths weaving around lakes and gorgeous homes. Celebration Bike Rental took us on a tour and we saw our first alligator lounging in the sun by the lake. Our guide grew up in Celebration and now resides there and operates the bike rental with his wife. His knowledge of the homes and streets was much appreciated. He pointed out Disney details on many of the homes. Later in the evening we strolled the main street boutiques had dinner at Columbia a fine Cuban & Spanish restaurant offering a sidewalk cafe, indoor & outdoor dining.

10 years ago we last visited Central Florida my personal absolute favorite thing to do was going on an airboat ride! Last time is was at night, looking for alligators. This time it was daylight & we were still looking for gators! This is such a fun activity for any age but if you have kids this is an absolute must activity! The place has recently been renovated to include a little cafe and kids activities center outside. They even have a resident survivalist who does an incredible presentation in native garb. It was so wonderful to see Boggy Creek Airboat Ride surviving and thriving for such a long time. Families love them!

Air Boat Rides
Facebook: @BoggyCreekAirboatRides
Instagram: @boggy_creek_airboat_rides

if you’re feeling like you want to connect with nature and go on an adventure on the water, the Paddling Center at Shingle Creek will help you explore the natural beauty that is Shingle Creek. This habitat is home to many big beautiful birds, reptiles and of course alligators! The knowledgeable guides will identify plant and bird species like you’ve never seen. The alligators are known to the guides and safety is their first priority as you glide along in a kayak. No paddling experience necessary!

Address: 4266 W. Vine St. Kissimmee, FL 34741, USA
Phone: (407) 343-7740
Facebook: @thepaddlingcenter
Instagram: @thepaddlingcenter

If laid back afternoons are more your thing then head over to the Island Grove Wine Company at Formosa Gardens. Have lunch at the Bistro, do a wine tasting & end by shopping in the gift shop!

Yes, Kissimmee has everything and something for everyone!
Address: 3011 Formosa Gardens Blvd, Kissimmee, FL 34747
Phone: (407) 507-9888
Facebook: @FormosaWinery
Instagram: @Formosawinery
Twitter: @FormosaWinery