Experience the Magic in Kissimmee with Your Kids or Grandkids

Kissimmee, Florida, Photo: Mira Tempkin
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There’s magic in the air in Kissimmee, Florida. You can feel it wherever you go, walking through the mega theme parks, the natural beauty of the winding rivers or sunny blue skies that seem to go on forever. The magic beckons visitors to explore all that Kissimmee has to offer, making precious vacation memories for the entire family.  

In this theme park capital of the world, Kissimmee is always looking to create the next big adventure. For 2024, there are no shortage of exciting and innovative new experiences coming your way.

I recently spent a few glorious days sharing Kissimmee with my two ten-year-old grandsons and had an opportunity to experience the magic through their eyes. It was “skip generation” travel without their parents in tow. For us, it was a chance to share our favorite memories with the next generation.

Here are a few of my recommendations, plus I want you to know what’s up and coming.

WonderWorks – Now Celebrating Its 25th Year

WonderWorks is hands-on fun in an upside down lab. Photo by Mira Temkin

You may have seen this upside-down laboratory and wondered, “What the ?” Inside, WonderWorks opens to more than 100 interactive, hands-on exhibits that teach and inspire kids and adults alike.

We started in the with the Hurricane Shack and laughed as we got blown away. The Wonder Coasters provided a wild ride. The boys really wanted to do the Glow-in-the-Dark ropes course, so we waited until the line was a little shorter. They donned the proper equipment and up they went in the air, transversing obstacles, swinging beams, and suspension bridges.

The Glow in he Dark Ropes Course is a fun challenge. Photo by Mira Temkin
Pretend to be a spaceman at WonderWorks. Photo by Mira Temkin

I had been to the Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show before and knew the boys would love the magic, the comedy and the fun. With unlimited pizza, salad and dessert, we were all mesmerized by the performance of Tony Brent. One of the boys even got to participate in the show! It’s the perfect way to end your experience at WonderWorks.

Be a part of the show at the Outta Control Magic Show at WonderWorks. Photo by Mira Temkin

Gatorland Provides a Natural Florida Experience

One of Kissimmee’s classic attractions is Gatorland, the alligator capital of the world. Ziplines, climbing wall, animal shows and petting zoo await you for an experience that is both fun and educational. Don’t miss the Stomping Gator Off Road Adventure, a bumpy ride with lots of laughs in a monster vehicle.  

Stomping Off Road Adventure at Gatorland. Photo courtesy of Gatorland

Hollywood Studios – Disney’s Theme Park where the movies come to life

The boys’ favorite thing to do at Hollywood Studios was to make their own handbuilt StarWars Light Sabers. Photo by Mira Temkin

I opted for Disney magic at Hollywood Studios because I thought the boys would enjoy experiencing their their favorite movies in a whole new way.

We rushed to StarWars: Rise of the Resistance and only had to wait a few minutes for the adventure to begin. As big Star Wars fans, they were happy to join the Resistance Fighters and feel like they were in the movie.

The other exciting Star Wars ride is Inside Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. The boys got to take control as pilot and gunner aboard the fastest ship in the galaxy, never losing site of their Light Sabers. Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort, Florida.

I couldn’t wait to go back to Toy Story Land for the Toy Story Mania ride to blast our way through a carnival-themed 4D shooting game. Of course, the boys’ scores left us in the dust, but it was a lot of fun. Next we hopped onto the Slinky Dog Dash family-style roller coaster that was even tame enough for the adults.

We checked out the Muppet Vision 3D Movie and laughed at their crazy antics. They even agreed to go to the “Frozen” Sing Along and sang at the top of their lungs. The Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular kept them spellbound.

At night, Hollywood Studios turns to Mickey where his dreams come true in Fastasmic, a 30 minute nighttime spectacular featuring Disney Characters from your favorite animated films. We sat around the lagoon and watched as water and light danced before our eyes.

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World, Orlando

What I liked best about Hollywood Studios was its compact size, making it easy to navigate most of the rides and attractions easily. Be sure to install the “My Disney Experience App” to streamline your day at the park. See ride wait times, order food and drinks in advance and lots more.

Here are a few new venues opening in Kissimmee this year.

SeaWorld Orlando Introduces New “Penguin Trek,” a snowmobile expedition through the Antarctic Wilderness, ending in a penguin habitat. Check out the new LEGO Ferrari Build & Race Experience to see a lifesize Ferrari made out of Legos and then build your own. The “Moana” movie gets epic treatment at EPCOT’s new “Journey of Water.”

For more information, go to experiencekissimmee.com. I can’t wait to go back!


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