Travel With Kids: Kissimmee/Orlando

"Can we live at Disney World?" our 4-year-old asked, her cheeks rosy and her face in raptured bliss. I laughed and said "No, but wouldn't that be fun?" We just spent 2 weeks in the Kissimmee area.

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Of the 4 theme parks in DW, our girls probably enjoyed the Magic Kingdom best. The characters are familiar there and the rides for little ones are plentiful. They were delighted by Peter Pan, Dumbo, Snow White, and It's A Small World. Our 4-year-old was actually tall enough (and brave enough!) to ride "BIG" rides this time - Splash Mountain, Big Thunder, and Test Track.

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Tim & I probably enjoyed EPCOT best. Have you ridden the ride inside the big golf ball (that's what I called it the whole time). It's fascinating. EPCOT also boasts one of my favorite rides - Soarin'. (That was my 4-year-old's favorite ride too). Club Cool is awesome on a hot day - free samples from Coke products around the world!

We also spent a day of play at Universal Studios - where the girls whirled around The Cat in the Hat and splashed at Curious George's water world. Tim went on quite a few of the roller coasters, including the new ones in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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On Sunday, we went to the famed Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues. It was a soul-stirring performance. You should have seen me double-clapping and waving my hands. For real. It was like a church service - only better. (Okay, now I'm going to be in trouble for saying that).

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One last thing - Don't you dare leave Kissimmee without visiting and volunteering with Give Kids the World. Go ahead - add it into your itinerary.

If you plan a trip to Kissimmee, I can guarantee that you won't lack entertainment. I can also guarantee that your wallet will be lacking if you stay too long - free attractions seem to be few and far between.

Have you ever been to Kissimmee/Orlando? What did you like/not like about it?

What rides/shows do you love most at Disney World and/or Universal Studios?

Special thanks to Disney World, Universal Studios, & Experience Kissimmee  for providing us with complimentary tickets.

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17 comments on “Travel With Kids: Kissimmee/Orlando”

  1. I love Epcot best too. And Soarin' -- the smell of the orange groves! And the Gospel Brunch.

    And yes, I admit that sometimes I think when I'm "retired," I'll move to the area (three hours away) and try to get a job at WDW.

  2. I'm so glad you had fun!! I love the picture of your 2 year old sleeping. We have those pictures of our son, and I like to put funny hats on him while he's sleeping. We are so looking forward to when he can ride the "big kid" rides. I'm glad your older daughter was able to!

    Our favorite thing about Disney World is the cast members. They truly go out of their way to help you out and make your day magical!

    Thanks for sharing about Give Kids the World. We will definitely make time for it when we go back in September!

    1. Disney clearly does a phenomenal job with human resources and employee training. The cast members are almost always in good spirits. They work hard - with smiles. Love that.

      I do have to say, though, that there appeared to be MORE cast members at Disneyland than at DisneyWorld. Several times we wanted to ask a question, but couldn't find anyone available (which has never been our experience at DLand).

  3. OOoh I grew up in Tampa and went to UF :) Currently in Southern California. I love Disney! Especially Space Mountain. Can't wait to take my 15 month old to meet Mickey soon. I think the parks in Orlando are way superior to the ones here :(

    1. Space Mountain is definitely among my Top 3 rides - along with Soarin' and Splash Mountain. I also really enjoyed Spaceship Earth in Epcot.

      For the Magic Kingdom experience, I actually prefer DisneyLAND. Southern California weather is so much nicer and I love the "smallness" of the area. It's so convenient to be able to walk everywhere - from the Disney resorts to the parks, between Disneyland and California Adventure, etc.

  4. Now you are making me miss Florida more! Do I spot Tim wearing a Gator shirt! I am a Florida Gator, so go Gators!!!!! Disney is absolutely fabulous, glad you guys had fun. And yes, the House of Blues rocks, I actually stayed in their hotel in Chicago, it was a pleasant stay and their night life was awesome. I really would like to meet up with you guys, do you have a set itinerary?

  5. We've never gone to Disney - but I think it would be fun. Hopefully one of these days we'll get to do it. Unfortunately I can't handle most of the rides - they kill me, literally for a few seconds. However... I can do some of the roller coasters so amusement parks aren't completely out of line for our family entertainment!

  6. Tooooootally of point, but how comfy is your green baby carrier/sling? I have a 20 month old and she still loves to be held but my arms are about to split in half. Also, is it a pain to put on or pretty easy? Thanks Steph!!

    1. The green carrier is ERGO's Performance Carrier. It is super comfortable - great support for my back and hips. I also love the exterior pocket (perfect for keys and spare cash) and the sleeping/sun hood! I can easily put it on and take it off - even when I have both girls by myself. I highly recommend it.

      I just checked and you can buy it for $120 on Amazon:

  7. Oh that rip ride looks cool. Where is that?

    Kev and I absolutely would say the Tower of Terror is our favorite ride! LOVE it. But I love spending days at Disney and Universal. We don't have kids at home but we still like to go and can't wait to return. I could sure use some Orlando weather right about now.

    1. That's the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit in Universal Studios Orlando. Tim rode on it, but I opted out. I'm not a fan of rides that go upside down. ;)

      One thing that is really cool about it, though, is that each rider gets to select his/her own music genre for the duration of the ride (country, rock, pop, etc.).

  8. My favorite ride at Disney is Soarin'!! I could spend most of the day going on there over and over. I also like all the great food at Disney - they have some really great dinner performances. Glad you guys had so much fun.

    1. Isn't Soarin' spectacular? After Tim rode it, he said, "I think Walt Disney would have liked that ride." (I agree).

  9. You just brought back some great childhood memories for me. We used to go to Disney every year as a family. My favourite all time ride even when I got a little older was It's a small world. We also used to stay in Kissimee but other than a lot of Denies I don't have big memories of it. I think very strip mall. Glad the kids had such a good time. Truly some of my fondest childhood memories. Enjoy!

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