When most people think of taking a vacation in Orlando, they think of Disney World, Universal Studios Florida, and SeaWorld Orlando. But there’s one spot you may have been missing out on: Old Town, Kissimmee.
Don’t get confused – Old Town isn’t a town. Instead, it’s the recreational theme park of an old Florida town, where you can enjoy the Sunshine state with a retro throwback feel. It’s only a few miles away from the rest of Orlando’s famous vacation spots, making it easy for you to drop by for a quick trip down memory lane.
Plus, Old Town is welcoming to the queer community, which is important if you’re with your partner and kids. The area hosts a few yearly LGBTQ events, and many stores have “LGBTQ Safe Space” stickers on their windows.
Are you excited to visit Old Town? You’ll find everything you need below to have a jolly ol’ time in the famous district of Kissimmee. Read on to know where to visit and book your accommodations.
Classic-Fun Activities To Enjoy In Old Town
You won’t find any roaring coasters or theme parks in Old Town. Instead, you’ll find classic, traditional rides that are perfect for the entire family. The 18-acre complex has unique activities, cruises, restaurants, and shops sprawled everywhere – all within walking distance if you stay in a strategically-located hotel.
Note: Everything in this guide is located at 5770 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy #325, Kissimmee, FL 34746, United States. The only exception is the Ferris Wheel, which is at 5780 US-192, Kissimmee, FL 34746, United States.
Here are our top recommendations for you to enjoy in Old Town:
Old Town is known for their car shows and parades. In fact, they hose three car shows a week.
The Wednesday night themed car show features show-quality specific types, models or makes of cars and trucks. Click here to see the type of car featured each Wednesday.
Friday night is all about muscle! Join the heart pounding excitement of high-performance engines and true horse power. Cars include show-quality muscle and factory-performance cars from 1964 and newer and classics from 1983 and older.
Saturday’s Classic Car Show has been a local tradition for over 30 years and is one of the premier weekly car shows in Central Florida. The Saturday Classic Car Show welcomes show-quality 1985 and older hot rods, street rods, and antiques.
One the last Sunday of every month, Old Town hosts an Import Car Show. All show-quality makes/models are welcome including, JDM (Japanese Domestic Market), KDM (Korean Domestic Market), and Domestic Tuner.
If you’re itching to dance, kick up your heels in Old Town! This entertainment-focused town hosts music events throughout the week and all year long. Sing your heart out at karaoke or dance until your feet can’t move any more with classic oldies and country bands. For a full calendar of special events and concerts, click here.
The Ferris Wheel
Drive by Highway 192 and you’ll see the towering, hand-built ride that offers views over Kissimmee for miles. The iconic Old Town Ferris Wheel has 18 gondolas for six people each that’ll take you over 85 feet in the sky, where more than 6,000 LED lights shine once the sun goes down. Bring your family with you to soar above the area, taking in the beautiful views that Kissimmee and nearby Orlando has to offer.
Purchase your tickets today! The ride is open from 10am to 11pm daily.
Happy Days Family Fun Center
With more than 50 arcade-style games like the classic Skee-Ball, Happy Days Family Fun Center is the place for old-fashioned fun and connecting with your inner child. The more games you play, the more prizes you can take home – it has a massive redemption area with sweets, toys, and electronics to win as souvenirs.
There is no entrance fee, and the center is open from 11am to 11pm.
Feel the chills run through your bones in Mortem Manor Haunted Attraction, Old Town’s famous two-story haunted house with state-of-the-art effects, animatronics, and unforgiving live actors. The year-round creep show will give the spookiest experience of your life, as the biggest haunted house attraction in Florida and one of the best haunted houses in the country.
Visit from Wednesday to Sunday, and make sure to secure tickets for everybody beforehand.
The Great Magic Hall
Be in awe and disbelief at The Great Magic Hall in Old Town! The famed theater celebrates the art of magic with daily shows, fun activities, and shops with extensive collections of magic tricks. You can even book classes with the experts if you or your little ones want to explore the secrets of magic.
Shows begin at 3pm, 7pm, and 9pm every day of the week. You can purchase your tickets through the website if you prefer to reserve your seats online. You’ll be surprised how affordable the tickets are, too!
Delicious Spots To Dine And Drink In Old Town
Old Town is filled with full-service restaurants, fast food spots, LGBTQ bars, and nightclubs. You have more than a couple of choices to dine and drink after touring the attractions in the town, so here are our top five places to narrow it down:
Whether it’s to please your kids or your lover, pizza will always be a crowd favorite. But don’t settle for just any type of pizza! Chow down on the best ones in town at Flippers Pizzeria.
Since 1987, this restaurant has been firing up delicious pizzas made of 100% natural ingredients (e.g., handcrafted dough and unbleached artisan flour), cooked to perfection with brick-oven techniques and topped with unique flavors like Buffalo Chicken, Bacon Double Cheeseburger, and the California Classic.
No trip to Old Town is complete without getting your fill in Southern Breeze. This American bar and pub is the perfect choice for an authentic Old Town dinner experience, where you can dine on the outside deck to watch entertainment shows on the Trophy Row Stage while sipping on a Pain in the Ass (rum runner and piña colada).
You get to keep the uniquely-shaped glass that came with your drink – a small souvenir of the great night out you had in Old Town.
Do you love lamb meat and a good bowl of mole? Then you have to try the best Mexican food in El Borrego. El Borrego is the ultimate spot for good, traditional Mexican food in the area. You’ll experience palate-tickling flavors, scrumptious drinks, a colorful atmosphere, and attentive service.
This popular Mexican restaurant specializes in rustic lamb barbacoas (perfect for Sundays and just like how they do it in Mexico), tacos, quesadillas, lamb broth, squash blossom, rice beans, and the most authentic salsa in all of Florida.
Mr. Sushi Express
There isn’t a lot of Japanese food in Old Town, Kissimmee. But if you look closely, you’ll find a quaint little sushi bar called Mr. Sushi Express.
Mr. Sushi Express is your go-to for a quick Japanese fix as you comb through Old Town’s attractions. It’s not the best Japanese restaurant one will ever go to, but it does hit the spot with its popular sushi roll flavors and fillings, poke bowls, salads, bubble tea, and more.
To give you an idea of the cost, the dragon rolls cost $8.50 (with a lot of avocado), tempura rolls are around $7.50 (tasted better than expected), and salmon California rolls are $6.50 (this one’s our favorite).
Sun on the Beach
If you’re looking for a place where you’ll never get bored, then you’d have to visit Sun on the Beach. This nightclub is a getaway spot for adults with beach-inspired decor, a full bar with tropical cocktails, scrumptious bar food, VIP rooms for private parties, and a large dance floor with DJs spinning sick beats.
There’s a theme for every night of the week, where you can drop by for the gayest Pride Night, a groovy 80s Night, or a sensuous Latin Night. There’s a new experience waiting for you in Sun on the Beach every day!
Shopping In Old Town’s Local Spots
Are you looking for new clothing, accessories, souvenirs, or even a tattoo? Old Town has plenty of great shops for you to visit. In our opinion, these are the best ones to look for when you get there:
Old Town General Store
Continue your Old Town experience by shopping in the Old Town General Store. Here, you can find a wide range of specialty memorabilia from vintage items to modern apparel. There are also never-ending barrels of taffy sweets to satisfy your inner child, plus a whole lot of beers to enjoy while you browse through the store.
Old Town General Store also hosts a weekly Thursday Night Bike Show, where you and your loved ones can check out show-stopper motorcycles on display around the block.
Wound ‘N Around
If you’re a sucker for finding things that you won’t find elsewhere, Wound ‘N Around is the perfect place for you. Walking into Wound ‘N Around is like blasting into the past, making it a fun store to wander around. Everything in this store has a distinct 40s to 60s feel – you can find retro CDs, movie posters, poodle skirts, metal signs, and celebrity memorabilia from Elvis to Betty Boop and The Beatles.
Ink Spot Tattoo
Ink Spot Tattoo is one of the most well-known tattoo parlors in Old Town, with top-rated and award-winning artists ready to bring your ideas to life. It raises the bar of tattoo artistry and customer service, where you can work together with the industry’s bests to commemorate your trip to Old Town.
And if you’re into piercings more than ink, the shop also has a roster of highly talented body piercers at your disposal.
Booking The Perfect Accommodation In Old Town
You won’t get the full Old Town experience if you only stay for a few hours. In fact, we recommend that you stay for a whole weekend in the area. You’ll also want to book a hotel that’s close to the attractions we’ve mentioned above.
Out of all the hotels on the map, Holiday Inn & Suites Orlando SW Celebration is closest to the heart of Old Town, located at 5711 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34746, US. You’ll be a stone’s throw away from all the fun, so you’ll never feel like it’s a hassle to travel back to the hotel after a long day of adventures.
Book a room here and you’ll have your own mini-refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker, flat-screen TV, free WiFi, and multiple plug outlets for all your digital devices. Park your car in its complimentary parking area, visit its business and fitness centers to get your workout in, and enjoy kid-friendly amenities like the outdoor pool, playground, and video game room. The hotel also guarantees wheelchair accessibility, so nobody is exempt from its quality service.
Plus, conveniently located off Interstate 4, the Holiday Inn & Suites Orlando SW Celebration is only three miles from the Walt Disney World ® Maingate, in case you’re still itching for more after exploring Old Town’s fun spots. In fact, it’s the official Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel!
Old Town in Kissimmee is the perfect vacation spot for everyone from large families with kids to young couples looking for a place to bond. Old Town invites everyone to come and experience the simple pleasures and fun of classic American entertainment.
Old Town is big fun in a small package – the perfect weekend getaway for you and your loved ones.
***Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).
Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.