Did you ever hear about a place and you just knew it was your idyllic “Happy Place”? I’ve had this a few times in my life, one of which was Castaway Malfini on the gorgeous Labadee, Haiti in the Caribbean Sea. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa in Surrey to learn more about Experience Kissimmee. As I listened to DT Minich, President & CEO of Experience Kissimmee, talk to us about how Kissimmee has changed and the wonderful features and adventures it has to offer, I instantly found myself drifting in my mind to our little family making ourselves at home in Kissimmee. I knew that Kissmmee was rapidly entering into my small list of Happy Places! How could you not be Happy in such a gorgeous and “Magic Kingdom”?
One of the challenges of finding the ideal holiday for a family of four is finding a place that gives you something for each member of the family. Ella is 7 and Sam is 3 1/2 so whizzing along roller coasters is not our idea of fun. To be fair, in our mid to late 40’s, neither Mark nor I have the stomach to happily survive anything that flips upside down any longer! We love to be together, see beautiful sights, swim, visit animals and enjoy the sunshine as a family. And even better still, we would love to include all sets of Grandparents (and maybe even Mark’s sister & her family) in a proper multi-generational holiday. According to DT Minich, Experience Kissimmee has all of this and much, much more!
Of course, we know that Kissimmee is right on the doorstep of Disney World and all the amazing adventure parks around it. In fact, Kissimmee used to be the gateway to Disney World back when it was first built. Now Orlando tends to take more of the traffic but Kissimmee retains the beauty and comfort that go hand in hand with a fabulous holiday in Central Florida.
For a moment, let’s forget the major theme parks we all know and love. Kissimmee has awesome Airboat Rides where you can spot alligators in the Headwaters of the Everglades; Ziplines for ALL AGES (even babies!) which traverse marsh lands filled with alligators and crocodiles; Surfing at Fantasy Surf (might reprise my FlowRider experience from our Royal Caribbean cruise!); The Orlando Eye at the I-Drive 360 complex and the Oasis Club which is a luxurious clubhouse featuring a resort-style swimming pool with lazy river, a tiki bar and splash pad for little ones! Phew! And that’s not even including Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, Legoland and more! I think it might take 2-3 weeks to fully take in everything Kissimmee and Florida have to offer!
Over tea and later, over lunch, we learned about the fantastic “vacation” homes that are available in and around Kissimmee which have 5-12 bedrooms (of unique decor like Frozen themed children’s bedrooms) meaning that the ENTIRE family can be under one roof in a home with modern conveniences and luxuries like a self-contained pool,outdoor BBQ kitchens, games rooms and movie theatres. I instantly thought about how we could invite my American based family to join us and even dreamed that maybe my sister-in-law and her family, who are based in Australia, could visit as well. We could have that DREAM multi-generational holiday that we all need!
Thankfully, we also learned that the taxes for long-haul flights, like those from the UK to the US are being reduced for children ages 12 and under (and next year for 16 and under) which makes that rather costly journey from England to the US a bit more within our financial reach. It was so fantastic to learn about such a family-friendly and exceptionally Embrace Happy destination like Kissimmee, Florida. Being American, I have always known of Kissimmee but there is a brand new glow coming from Kissimmee which is very exciting! I very much hope that one day we might be able to tell you first-hand how amazingly embrace happy it is!
In addition to learning about Experience Kissimmee, we had the extreme pleasure of enjoying the service of Pennyhill Park Spa which was very welcome after a busy weekend at BritMums Live! I was lucky enough to have the Elemental Massage which got rid of every twinge and knot that I had. After a luxurious lunch and loads of chatter with amazing bloggers and PRs, we retreated to the Canada Pool which was a sort of lukewarm “hot” tub. It was perfect for soaking and enjoying the sun before heading back north and home. Every time I am lucky enough to have a massage I wonder why I don’t do it more often! I think the last time I had a proper massage was about 5 years ago! This is a real embrace happy luxury that I should give myself more often. At least not waiting 5 years between massages!
Have you been to visit Kissimmee? I would love to hear about your experiences. What would you love to do most? Pop over to Experience Kissimmee to have your pick of your ideal holiday experiences.