Our Honeymoon Guide to Kissimmee – Florida’s Secret Paradise!

By Kach Umandap May 17th, 2017 Posted in Destination, Honeymoon Guides No comments

Kissimmee, a city in the heartland of Florida, was a former cattle ranching and citrus industrial town until tourism and land development started to trickle in from its neighbor city Orlando. With the construction of the Walt Disney World, Kissimmee’s proximity to this resort has led to its subsequent rebirth. While many visitors surely love the convenient travel distance from this city to Walt Disney World, Epcot, the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you will find out that there are great attractions and experiences waiting to be unraveled here at Kissimmee!


Why should you visit Kissimmee, Florida?

Many of you are familiar with Orlando, home city to some of the best and biggest theme parks in the world such as the Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando, and Epcot. Despite being in the same metropolitan area, Kissimmee is still unheard of for most of you.

It is a town built from the drainage of water from the marshlands of central Florida, where river transport and steamboat has made its initial growth happen until the connection of Kissimmee to rail transport made obsolete the steamboats and created a short-lived success. With most economic activity moving to the south, the town eventually lived on cattle ranching and the citrus industry.

Ranching was their lives up until the 1970s when the Walt Disney World first opened to the public. Its proximity to Orlando has led half the town land to be repurposed for tourism and development while ranching continues up to now, albeit in a small scale.

Now, Kissimmee is known for rugged adventures, incessant sunshine, and remote yet fun experiences. The verdant scenery and undisturbed beauty have created a charming setting for those looking for adventures. From sailing in the East Lake Tohopekaliga, hand gliding to sightseeing alligators, Kissimmee contains them all! kissimmee_bird_view_wild

How to go to Kissimmee, Florida?

For those coming by rail, Kissimmee is served by a hub of Amtrak along the SunRail train system. For bus transport, the Lynx network provides a bus terminal while there is also a Greyhound bus station.

For air travel, Kissimmee is 15 minutes away from Orlando International Airport. For car renters, Kissimmee is reachable through the US Highway 192. A direct route to Walt Disney World can be reached through Osceola Parkway, while the city is also reachable from Florida’s Turnpike through exits #242, #244, and #249.

There are also public transportation services available for airport transfer such as taxis and shuttles.

What did we do in Kissimmee, Florida?

P1 Superstock Powerboat Experience

Our P1 Superstock Powerboat experience in Lake Tohopekaliga was surreal. P1 Powerboat is one of the biggest and fastest powerboat race series in the world! These boats are meticulously assembled and designed for speed and ability, and the energy rush you get from seeing all those splashes and power-pumped races in real life is a fascinating experience. Meeting two of the racers, namely Frank and William was great too! They put dedication and experience to their work, and it shows on the boats and the way they glide and race through the lake waters!



Hang Gliding at Wallaby Ranch

Hang gliding at Wallaby Ranch was another activity that is right up there with the best of all time! We’ve both been hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro, but this was totally different. Instead of running off a hillside, we were towed up by a small plane called a Dragonfly, which is perfect because it flies slowly enough for the glider to cope with it. At our full altitude, the instructor unhooked us from the plane and we were gliding freely above the earth! It was such a peaceful experience and the motion of flying felt so natural and intuitive. For the third time that week, I was passed the controls of some kind of flying machine and given the chance to try it for myself. There was nothing scary about it and no big adrenaline rush, just the peaceful motion of flying through the air like a giant bird. After we landed, we joined all the team inside for breakfast, where the whole site is set up as what feels like a kind of commune, with small cabins, people camping, RV’s, camper vans, even a swimming pool! Sitting having breakfast with Malcolm, we found out that he had bought the land back in the 1990’s with the sole intention of using it for hang gliding and bringing people together through the love of flying. Safe to say, he’s succeeded in doing exactly that!



His Wallaby Ranch enjoys a truly remarkable record and reputation as one of the top facilities to offer great fun and safe hang gliding lessons around the world. Employing only highly certified instructors and professional tow pilots, they made a name for their dedication and commitment to safe, yet exciting adventure!

The ranch is encircled by the natural wetlands and woodlands of Florida, home to a great variety of wildlife. This isolated location offers a great view of the area and the landscape, and despite its relative privacy, they are only a short drive away from Kissimmee-Orlando area.

They’re not just a hang gliding school; they offer an ambiance that is truly unique and special for enthusiasts and beginners alike, a welcoming place for those who want to experience something amazing!



Chocolate Factory tour

We also toured the Chocolate Kingdom factory, where they take you into the most luscious and dreamy chocolate tour in North America. The Schakolad Chocolate Factory has been creating their sumptuous chocolate for at least 30 years now when the founders Bernie and Adriana Schaked opened a factory after being convinced to make their dream in Florida. With chocolate knowledge from Bernie and the business minds from his wife Adriana and their son Edgar, they started conjuring memories that are made best with chocolate.

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Horseback riding at Forever Florida

Forever Florida is a wildlife conservation reserve that offers a curious yet beautiful overview of central Florida. This preserve spans 4,700 acres and has a lot of activities to offer, from a nature tour to an eco-safari. They serve as conservation and protection for the wonders of Florida’s natural wetlands wildlife.

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For ourselves, we tried the horseback adventure. This activity offers a trail ride through the undisturbed wild for those who want to get a little adventurous and explore. They’re a record of historic trails used by Native Americans, with a helpful guide who’ll show and provide context to the sights along the trail.

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For those unafraid yet a beginner, they match horses to each guest’s personality and skill so you won’t get intimidated and you’ll enjoy the ride.

Wild Florida airboat tours

Airboats are the most popular way to explore the Florida Everglades, and Wild Florida offers a one-of-a-kind experience tour to see the lakes, swamps, marshlands and rivers of central Florida.

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Their airboats are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, and you can expect only the best and the safest ride from their qualified captains. They know where the wildlife nestles their home here in the waters of Florida. This sightseeing tour gives you the thrill of a theme park ride, only it’s rugged and real. You get a rush seeing where the alligators and the wild birds come together, to find their home or stop for their food.

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Our ride that day went looking for alligators, but it was extremely hot so most were probably shading somewhere. We did see some babies, along with nesting birds like cranes and egrets. The boat itself was fun and can actually drive on as little as a quarter of an inch of water!

Amphicar ride at The Boathouse

We got to tour the Disney Spring’s The Boathouse while riding an amphicar! These cars are vintage and carefully maintained, and yes they do drive on land and make a splash on water too! The amphicar has seating room for 3, excluding the driver, or captain!


We got to tour the whole reimagined Downtown Disney area, where they have renovated and improved all the facilities. Among the new structures built is The Boathouse. The Boathouse is an upscale steak and seafood restaurant that caters to guests of the resort, and they also serve host for the amphicar rides! These car rides to tour the lake and gives you a fresh view of the area, and the car captains are not only skilled but also fun and full of humor.

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Once off the amphicar, we also toured the stores and boutiques in the resort. What a fun way to spend the late afternoon ‘til sunset.

What else can you do in Kissimmee?

  • Hot Air Balloon rides – Hot air balloons not only offer exciting time but also the refreshing, breathtaking perspective of looking out at the wildlife and nature that makes Florida truly fun. The brilliant, warm hues of the sky welcomes you up in the air, with the exquisite view truly a memory and experience of a lifetime.
  • Gatorland – Gatorland offers visitors a close view of the famous Florida alligators, along with crocodiles and other wildlife of the wetlands. They also got their famous zip line, where guests can zip line over the waters of alligators. What an adrenaline rush.
  • Old Town – Old Town is the historic city center of Kissimmee where shopping, dining, and attractions mingle and mix. Classic car shows also are a must for visitors.


What and Where to eat and drink in Kissimmee?

  • Imperium – Imperium Food & Wine has great ambiance and serves American and International cuisines. Known for their huge collection of fine wine and the Ying Yang Chicken is highly recommended.

Check for reviews on Tripadvisor.

  • The Boathouse – Known for their fresh seafood and quality steaks, enjoy perfectly cooked food on the deck with the view of the water. They also serve various sandwiches, burgers, and lobster rolls on the menu.

Check for reviews on Tripadvisor.

  • Bohemian – A charming, luxurious dining experience with a fantastic view of the lake. Savor various cuisines from around the world with the accompaniment of live music.

Check for Reviews on Tripadvisor.

  • Savion’s Place – With a relaxing atmosphere and fantastic service, enjoy excellent food prepared with passion and love by Chef Pouchon. We highly recommend trying their Lobster Bisque.

Check for reviews on Tripadvisor.

  • Columbia Restaurant – A fantastic and unique restaurant serving incredible Spanish and Cuban cuisine. Choose from a wide assortment of delicious food from paella, salad, and Cuban sandwiches to a variety of awesome tapas.

Check for reviews on Tripadvisor.

  • Chomp House Grill – Try some of the best barbecues around and their Swamp Slushy in this American, fast food restaurant. They also offer amazing burger and gator nuggets!

Check for reviews on Tripadvisor.

  • MOOR – This is the restaurant to visit for guests looking for amazing fresh seafood! They serve American cuisine but their risotto is a must try!

Check for reviews on Tripadvisor.

Where Else Can You Stay at Kissimmee?

Luxury: Reunion Resort of Orlando

This luxurious hotel features 11 outdoor pools with water park, 3 on-site golf courses, tennis court, fitness center, and a concierge. Also, cable TV, full kitchen, private balcony, washing machine and dryer, and free Wi-Fi are provided in all villas.

Reunion Resort of Orlando

Price: Private double rooms start at around $160

Check the latest price in:  Agoda | Booking.com | Expedia

Check the latest reviews in: Tripadvisor

Budget: Quality Inn & Suites By The Parks

Located around 1.6 km from the Walt Disney World Resort, hotel amenities are free Wi-Fi, flat-screen cable TV, air-conditioning, coffeemaker, work desk, and safe. The deluxe accommodations include a microwave and a refrigerator. Other hotel features are an outdoor pool, business center, and free parking.

Quality Inn & Suites By The Parks

Price: Private double rooms start at around $84

Check the latest price in:  Agoda | Booking.com | Expedia

Check the latest reviews in: Tripadvisor

Monkey Dividers

Note: This trip wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of Experience Kissimmee for our itinerary in Kissimmee and to Visit Florida, the official tourism office of Florida in Tallahassee, and especially Mrs. Summer Gilhousen Gonzalez-Mendez, who arranged the whole trip and coordinated with all the local tourism boards, private companies for our sponsored hotel stays and tours. All opinions and ideas are all ours. Thank you!

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Written by Kach Umandap

Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 151 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro where she's enjoying her expat life and living on a gorgeous Stonehouse. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.