Kissimmee, Florida: Prime location, affordable accommodations and unbeatable attractions
DT Minich, President and CEO of Experience Kissimmee

Kissimmee, Florida: Prime location, affordable accommodations and unbeatable attractions

Kissimmee, Florida: Prime location, affordable accommodations and unbeatable attractions

DT Minich, President and CEO of Experience Kissimmee

Why stay in Kissimmee and not directly in Orlando? Let us count the ways. In this edition of Friday Five, we sit down with DT Minich, President and CEO of Experience Kissimmee, to talk about Kissimmee’s top selling points, its hidden treasures and the best way for agents to sell his remarkable – and affordable – destination.

  1. For those who don’t know, can you tell us exactly where Kissimmee is located in relation to major Orlando attractions/airports?  

Certainly! What many people may not realize is that Kissimmee is just 10 minutes away from Walt Disney World Resort via Highway 192 and only 19 kms, or 25 minutes, from Orlando International Airport, which all Canadian airlines fly into.

  1. What is the main advantage of staying in Kissimmee – and not directly in Orlando?  

A huge advantage to staying in Kissimmee is access to an incredibly extensive and diverse selection of accommodations. We are known as the Vacation Home Capital of the World, where guests can enjoy all the comforts of home with world-famous theme parks in their backyard. Along with ultra luxurious vacation homes, there is also a much wider selection of affordable options here for anyone on a budget and all within easy reach of the major theme parks as well as a number of nature based activities located right in the heart of Kissimmee.

  1. Kissimmee is The Vacation Home Capital of the World, with the world’s largest collection of vacation home rentals. What advice would you give agents on how to sell these home rentals over more typical chain hotels and park resorts?

Great question. A stay in a private home rental offers a surprisingly economic alternative for clients to consider. Ranging in size from 3 to 14 bedrooms, there is something suitable for everyone and a great alternative for multi-generational families and groups.

On the other hand, for those in the market for luxury, nothing beats a stay in one of our vacation homes. With gourmet kitchens, grand entertainment spaces, and next-level outdoor living areas (like infinity pools with built-in water loungers, sunken fire pits, fully equipped kitchens and glamorous cabanas located in gated communities close to the magic), staying in a home is a vacation unto itself.

I’ll also mention, most homes are just a few minutes away from the major theme parks, saving your clients valuable time on their trip.  Best of all, all of our tour operator partners in Canada offer vacation home rentals as part of their programme, fully commissionable to travel agents.

  1. What would you say are Kissimmee’s top 3 selling points? 

Our close proximity to major theme parks including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and LEGOLAND Florida is an undeniably huge draw. This, along with a number of championship golf courses, outdoor adventure activities and more all within a relatively small radius, is what makes Kissimmee’s location a key selling point.

Kissimmee has plenty of attractions and entertainment, but we are also lucky to be home to stunning natural surroundings. From horseback riding to kayaking through lagoons to speeding along the Everglades on an airboat and more, there are countless ways to explore the great outdoors in Kissimmee amid almost perfect weather.

Lastly, a top selling point is of course our extensive selection of accommodation to suit every style, from world’s largest collection of vacation home rentals, luxury resorts, suite-style accommodation mid-priced branded hotels, as well as value properties.

  1. What’s new in Kissimmee for 2018? 

Kissimmee has a number of exciting all-new attractions, hotels and festivals to offer including the highly anticipated Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios opening at the end of June and the world’s first virtual reality roller coaster experience designed for kids at LEGOLAND, which is now open. There’s also the new Fast & Furious – Supercharged ride at Universal Studios Florida opening in June.

As for accommodation, last year we had the exciting opening of the first phase of the $750 million Margaritaville Resort Orlando. This vacation resort will be home to a 187-room Margaritaville-branded hotel, 1,000 vacation homes and 300 timeshare units along with three acres of swimmable freshwater lagoons. Opening in May we also have the Red Lion Buena Vista South Hotel that will house an impressive 410-rooms just minutes from the theme parks.

We also have a number of festivals and celebrations to look forward to this summer. There’s Gator Week happening May 7-12 when Wild Florida will hold different special events throughout the week. Then of course, the 4th of July is always a special time to visit, with celebrations including live concerts and a fantastic fireworks display at Kissimmee Lakefront Park.

Kissimmee is home to an incredibly diverse selection of food and drink, which is continuing to grow. Opening this spring at Disney Springs, an entertainment mecca already brimming with culinary surprises, is Wine Bar George where guests can enjoy more than 135 wine options curated by a Master Sommelier. Also opening at Disney Springs is Terralina Crafted Italian, an all new dining experience with an ambience and décor inspired by the Italian countryside and featuring authentic Italian cuisine.

For more information go to