Kissimmee. Let’s start with pronunciation: Your instinct is to pronounce Kissimmee like “Kiss-ah-me,” with your best Italian accent, but it’s actually “KUHH-semmy” (emphasis on the “Kuh”). Now that we’ve wrangled that, lets dive in. I have lived in Kissimmee, Florida longer than any other city in my life, and like most people, I’ve got a lot to say about it.
Kissimmee is quirky. Growing up, I remember seeing many since-closed attractions like Xanadu – Home of the Future, and Splendid China (a mini theme park with ties to the Chinese government!). However, one of my favorite things about growing up in Kissimmee was living in a neighborhood that people from all over the world flock to.
LOCATION & HISTORY
When I think of the Kissimmee before Disney, I think of agriculture. One thing many visitors don’t know about this city is its country roots: Things like Rodeo Day (No School!) and The Silver Spurs Arena that hosts Kissimmee’s annual rodeo are reminders of its history. Much of southern Osceola County is still very rural, but the closest slice of “Old Florida” close to Disney is Shingle Creek Park. The Paddling Center is a great place to rent kayaks and see alligators up close. Gulp. It’s located centrally right off 192 near Give Kids the World Village (which you should volunteer at — you won’t regret it.)
Historic Downtown Kissimmee dates back to 1883. While not a tourist destination, it does have a few great restaurants and bars more frequented by locals. The Kissimmee Lakefront is a block from the downtown area and was renovated in 2015. It includes a large, walkable sidewalk with views of Lake Toho, a brand-new floating dock marina, and a mini-amphitheater for outdoor events.
If you’ve ever been to Kissimmee while on vacation to Disney, you’ve probably experienced the newer side of it. The 192 corridor of Kissimmee is dominated by all things Disney, and the surrounding area reflects that. The Kissimmee commute to Walt Disney World is dotted with hotels, themed restaurants, souvenir shops, and a surprisingly high number of mini-golf courses. Hotels are everywhere, and you’ll be hard-pressed not to find an affordable room if family and friends are in town. You’re also 15 minutes away from Disney World, so commuting is a breeze. The Kissimmee 192 corridor also features stores shaped like giant wizards, mermaids, and oranges; you have a 0% chance of not noticing these souvenir shops, I promise!
Like I said earlier, the first thing I think of when I hear the word Kissimmee is affordability. It’s one of the most accessible cities for home ownership. Some of my favorite neighborhoods are The Oaks, Cypress Reserve, Weston Reserve, and Indian Point. Expect to find a great home below the Orlando median home price here.
WHY MOVE HERE
Move to Kissimmee if you’re looking for an area with great value without pretense. Homes are affordable and there are some great subdivisions to be found. Kissimmee never claims be anything other than what it is: a city geared toward The Mouse. If you’re interested in buying or selling property in Orlando or need guidance, please feel free to complete the contact form at the bottom of https://www.wdwinfo.com/moving-to-the-magic/; you can also find me on Instagram at @itsericgross or email me at [email protected]