But this is more than just a place to get away from snow, ice, and chilly temps. Kissimmee and its surrounding areas offer an interesting blend of blockbuster attractions and natural getaways. It’s ideally located, both in terms of theme parks (at least 5 major parks in the area) and access to the ocean; Cape Canaveral, on the Atlantic coast, is an hour’s drive to the east, and a similar drive to the west will get your group to Tampa and the Gulf coast.
And your group should have no trouble getting to Kissimmee itself. If they’re driving in, there’s easy access to the Florida Turnpike, to US-4, and – via US-4 – to I-75 and I-95. If they choose to fly, there are three airports nearby; the largest, Orlando International Airport, serves more than 35 airlines, from regional carriers to charter airlines. Major airlines that travel to Orlando International include AirTran, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, United, and US Airways. From the airport, groups can choose from multiple local transportation options, including shuttle services, vehicle rentals, and busses.
Does is matter when your group arrives in Kissimmee? Depending on the weather, it may.
When Send Your Group to Kissimmee?
Given Florida’s balmy winters, travel in this are tends to peak when the weather gets cold. Warm days that average 70 degrees are the norm throughout December, January, and February. March and April see daily highs reach toward the 80 degree mark, and some rainy days can be expected. Summertime is the rainy season here, and temperatures have no trouble staying in the 90s and high 80s until the end of September. October and November bring a return of moderate temperatures and relatively drier skies.
What does this mean for your travel plans? The crowds are thinner in summertime, which is always a plus, but the hot and humid weather can bring on crankiness in adults and kids alike. Unless your group is okay with sticky summer weather or is focused on indoor activities, it might be best to plan expeditions for the milder months. Booking stays during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall can also be a good option.
Where Do Reunion Travel Groups Go in Kissimmee?
As previously mentioned, a major draw for many tourists to this area are the theme parks. Popular with all age groups, they are also handicap-accessible, as per ADA standards. Briefly, here’s what a theme-park-bound travel group can see in the Kissimmee area:
- Walt Disney World, major player number one, includes water parks, a wedding pavilion, and theme parks like Magic Kingdom (complete with the iconic fairy-tale Cinderella’s castle, as seen in the photo), EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Disney World complex also hosts ESPN’s Wide World of Sports, multiple golf courses, and other outdoor areas.
- Universal Orlando Resort, major player number two, hosts Universal Studios Florida, Wet ‘n Wild Waterpark, and Islands of Adventure, a group of “islands” that host mini-theme parks inspired by dinosaurs, Dr Seuss, Harry Potter, superheroes, and more.
- SeaWorld, a longtime fixture on the area’s must-see list, combines education and live animal shows. Another perennial favorite in the Tampa area, Busch Gardens, is also part of the SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, as is Discovery Cove Orlando and Adventure Island in Tampa.
- Finally, our list is rounded out by LEGOLAND Florida, an homage to everybody’s favorite plastic building blocks, and FunSpot USA. LEGOLAND offers imaginative creations throughout 10 themed zones. While the park is aimed at kids 2-12, it’s popular with all ages. And FunSpot, Kissimmee’s own amusement park, offers go-carts, rides, arcade games, and roller coasters. The attractions are largely kid-friendly, and budget-conscious families and groups will appreciate the reasonable ticket prices, free parking, and free Wi-Fi. (A sister park, FunSpot America, is located in Orlando.)
With all these theme parks within an hour’s drive or less, it’s easy to see why Kissimmee is a favorite group vacation destination. But that’s not all the area has to offer.
Why Look Beyond Theme Parks?
Theme parks – with their adrenaline-boosting rides, crowds, and manufactured appeal – may not work for your group. That’s okay; the Kissimmee area has more than enough attractions to keep groups happy, even if they never pass a ticket turnstile. For example, Kissimmee is home to three well-known golf academies, and there are more than 100 listings for public and private courses for the area.
If your group is more interested in natural Florida, this lake-dotted region can accommodate that too. It’s a place where lakes and streams give way to swamps and brushland, creating a rich mixture of wildlife. The headwaters of the Everglades can be found in the Kissimmee area, as can opportunities for fishing, hiking, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and camping. Birdwatchers will especially want to take note of the fact that the Kissimmee area hosts the largest population of nesting Bald Eagles in the continental US.
Finally, no article about Kissimmee would be complete without mentioning its lively and thriving dinner show scene. These range from kid-oriented Disney favorites to experiences built around a pro wrestling motif. Two of the most popular dinner shows are Capone’s, an ode to Prohibition-era Chicago, and Medieval Times, where guests get to imagine life during the days of jousting knights and fair maidens.
Reunion groups traveling to Kissimmee will have no shortage of amenities. This area is home to many theme parks and mega-resorts that bring guests back year after year. From a reunion travel perspective, the combination of warm winters, a virtually endless list of activities for all ages, and a huge array of lodging options makes it an excellent destination.
Have you been to the Kissimmee area? Did you recently work with the CVB or book a group for a stay there? Leave a comment below and tell us about your experience.