Kissimmee is part of the greater Orlando area in central Florida—a region known for its exciting theme parks; family-friendly resorts; and exciting outdoor adventures (it is the gateway to the Everglades, after all). A great place for any traveler to set up their home base for a fantastic Florida adventure, Kissimmee is also a top tourist destination in its own right, offering a myriad of local attractions that draw visitors looking for a Sunshine State experience with both the fun of Orlando and the outdoor adventures of the exciting Everglades.

THETRAVEL VIDEO OF THE DAY

RELATED: Orlando Vs. Miami: Which Is The Ultimate Sunshine State City?

And one of Kissimmee’s most famous attractions is its exciting entertainment district; known as Old Town Kissimmee, the area is an enduring family fun destination—a retro throwback that’s part classic Florida town recreation, and part theme park. However, visitors shouldn’t expect the extravagance of Disney World and its sister parks when visiting Old Town—the 18-acre, tree-lined streets are charming, rather than ebullient; laidback instead of frenetic. In a way the antithesis to the fast-paced, nonstop stimulus that is Disney, Old Town is still full of a unique brand of Florida fun that’s been making people smile for over 30 years.

About Old Town Kissimmee

Old Town is just that—a town. Set up as less an attraction and more of a district unto itself, Old Town is full of shopping, restaurants, rides, and entertainment—all contained within a relaxing setting evoking a charming Main Street USA feel. Known for its “classic American fun,” the brick streets of Old Town contain multitudes despite the area’s relatively small size. To give Old Town context, it’s only a relatively small 18-acres as compared to the sprawling, 27,000-acre behemoth that is the entirety of Walt Disney World Resort (Disney’s four theme parks alone cover a whopping 950-acres!) But Old Town Kissimmee is big fun in a small package, a perfect weekend getaway from crowded Orlando that still has plenty of fun attractions for the entire family.

  • Address: 5770 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee
  • Contact: (407) 396-4888
  • Hours: 10 AM-11 PM daily
  • Admission: While admission to Old town is free, all of the carnival rides and midway attractions require tickets that can be purchased at the park’s entrance. Some attractions (like the haunted house and go-kart track) have separate fees

RELATED: Disney For Adults: The Best Orlando Parks For An Older Crowd

Top Attractions At Old Town

Old Town is more like a carnival midway than a sprawling theme park, so visitors shouldn’t expect any soaring coasters or epic themed rides here—just classic, throwback fun, and traditional rides perfect for the entire family.

  • The Old Town Ferris Wheel is the most iconic attraction in the entire park. Towering 86-feet above its surroundings, the wheel is a custom-made Italian treat with 18 colorful gondolas that soar high above the park—offering spectacular views of Kissimmee and nearby Orlando. At night, the wheel is even more spectacular as it’s lit with over 6,000 colorful LED lights that make for a truly magical experience.
  • While not known for its overly dramatic rides, Old Town does have a roller coaster dubbed the Hurricane—five stories high and stretching over 1,300-feet, the family-friendly coaster is fun for kids of all ages.
  • The Mortem Manor Haunted Attraction is Old Town’s haunted house, a two-story creep show complete with terrifying effects, animatronics, and live actors, this year-round macabre manner is destined to give any visitor their share of thrills and chills.
  • A classic carnival fave, the Paratrooper spins passengers through the air on suspended rocking cars that go both forward and backward—a retro ride that’s nostalgic and fun.

Grab A Bite In Old Town

From grab-and-go midway treats and casual snacks to sit-down restaurants and fun bars, Old Town has a myriad of dining options that offer delicious meals for every palate.

  • For visitors that want to stroll and snack their way through Old Town, there are plenty of classic treats to nosh on in between rides and shopping—from the fresh, flavorful popcorn varieties at Kissimmee Popcorn to the homemade ice cream and Americana feel of Sweet Creams Ice Cream Cafe, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.
  • From Mexican delights at El Borrego to a delish slice at Flipper’s Pizzeria; family dining and All-American food at Shoney’s Kitchen and Bar, and authentic faves at Sakeba Asian Pub & Grill, Old Town’s restaurants serve up traditional faves and contemporary classics with their family-friendly restaurant options.
  • While some of Old Town’s restaurants also have their own bars, those looking for an adult experience will want to check out places like Sun on the Beach, complete with a full bar, dancing, and nightly entertainment; or the town staple Southern Breeze, a great spot for a beer, a bite, and live entertainment at Old Town’s Trophy Row Stage

RELATED: Save Your Money: Eat Your Way Through Miami For $20 A Day

Other Family-Fun Attractions

Food, fun, and rides are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exciting things to see and do in Old Town.

  • Old Town is known for its shopping opportunities—from unique gift shops to local faves, there’s something for everyone. Learn more about Old Town’s shopping here.
  • Need an escape from the midway? Then head to The Good Times Escape Room for some group-friendly riddles and puzzles based on “Alice in Wonderland”
  • Celebrate the art of magic at the Great Magic Hall—with several shows daily and a number of fun activities, this is truly one of Old Town’s most magical experiences
  • The weekends are for cruising—and no one does it better than Old Town with Classic Car Shows and Cruises every Friday and Saturday.

Old Town Kissimmee may not have all the excitement and flair of Orlando’s famed theme parks, but it does have a retro charm all its own. A recreation of a classic Florida town complete with midway rides and attractions; delish casual cuisine; and plenty of shopping and events for the entire family, Old Town is a must-see attraction that’s a great weekend escape from the hustle and bustle of Disney—right in the heart of the beautiful city of Kissimmee.

NEXT: Florida's Islands Are Cheaper Than The Bahamas (& Easier)