Do you and your family have some vacation time coming up? Are you wondering where you should go and what you should do? If you’re like a lot of families, you spend days, if not weeks researching to come up with the perfect destination that is beautiful, fun, affordable and has plenty of activities you and the kids can enjoy.

To make your life as simple as possible (you’re welcome) we’re going to share one of the most popular travel destinations in the country and also give you ideas for activities and even accommodations.

Well, if you saw the title of this article then you can already guess there WHERE and some of the WHAT. That’s right, we think you and your family should head to Kissimmee, Florida to swim with the dolphins!

Why Visit Kissimmee?

Without questions Kissimmee, Florida is one of the most family-friendly destination in the entire country. Not only does it have its own off-the-beaten-path adventures, but it is also right next door to world-famous theme parks.

With Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld just minutes away, Kissimmee puts you in just the right location to enjoy a variety of thrilling activities. But in addition to being so close to theme parks, Kissimmee has its own kind of fun to enjoy. There are lush landscapes you and your family can explore. Maybe you’ll want to zipline through a tall canopy of trees, or skim across the Everglades. And if shopping is what REALLY gets your heart beating faster, you’ll be happy to know that Kissimmee boasts boutique shopping as well as premium outlets and multiple malls.

But of ALL the activities available to you and your family when you visit, we HIGHLY recommend you place SWIM WITH DOLPHINS near Kissimee at the top of your list!

Kissimmee, Florida

Kissimmee Florida

There is something for everyone here !

Dolphin Swim Programs Near Kissimmee

If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve always had a fascination with dolphins. What is it about these sea creatures that captures our hearts and imaginations so effortlessly? Perhaps it’s their amazing acrobatics in which they appear to defy gravity! Then again, it may be their playfulness or high intelligence. It’s most likely a combination of all these characteristics that make us fall in love with them.

But seeing dolphins in the movies or from afar is a LOT different than getting the opportunity to interact with them up close. Swimming with dolphins is an incredibly special and memorable activity, and if you and your family would like to experience it for yourself, then we encourage you to head to Discovery Cove in Orlando to enjoy their signature dolphin experience.

Dolphin Swim Only 30 Minutes from Kissimmee

Orlando Dolphin Swim

Signature Dolphin Experience

(please note that due to Covid-19, the dolphin program has been modified to ensure participants’ safety. The program now takes place in the shallow end of the lagoon to allow guests to wear their masks and safely distance.)

If you’re ready to get nose-to-nose with a dolphin then you’ll want to book your trip right now! The signature dolphin program offered by Discovery Cove starts with you meeting a dolphin and spending some time getting to know your new BFF.

In due time, one of the facility’s trainers will teach you all about dolphin habits, behaviors, their incredible communication abilities, and the relationships they build on a daily basis with these incredible animals. You’ll get the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. After this interactive learning segment, each group member will have a chance to interact with the dolphins individually and enjoy their personality up close.

Book Your Dolphin Swim

Discovery Cove – A Day Full of Fun and Wonder

While we wholeheartedly think you should check out this dolphin program, Discovery Cove offers a ton of amazing activities for you and your family to enjoy. Here are a few more to consider while you are there:

And of course, there are the pretty lagoons where you can interact and swim with the dolphins.

The facility also offers guests freshly prepared food, unlimited snacks and beverages, free equipment rentals and a souvenir snorkel. There is also free use of towels, showers, locker rooms and more!

When you are not having thrills of a lifetime, you may want to relax in one of many comfy lounge chairs and hammocks throughout the resort.

Explorer’s Aviary

It’s not only things that swim in the sea that can enchant you and your family, it’s also things of the air. In Explorer’s Aviary, you’ll get to catch a glimpse of hundreds of colorful birds that soar above you. If you’re lucky, one of these winged beings will land on your arm and eat fruit from your hand.

Freshwater Oasis

Hands down some of the cutest creatures on the planet have to be river otters and you’ll get a chance to meet them up close in the Freshwater Oasis. You’ll also get to meet curious marmosets. The landscape will certainly delight you and your family thanks to the sparkling clear springs and rainforest canopy above.

The Grand Reef

If you and your family like the idea of snorkeling with thousands of vibrant tropical fish in a stunning coral reef habitat, then we highly suggest you save time in your day to visit the Grand Reef. You’ll have the opportunity to see angelfish and velvet rays and, from a safe distance, you can view sharp-toothed reef sharks.

Wind-Away River

Talk about thrills! From Discovery Cove’s website: “Ride the soothing currents of a tropical river as it winds past sandy beaches, through a dense rain forest, beneath the rocky terrain of cascading waterfalls, and through an underwater cave.” I don’t know about you, but that DEFINITELY sounds like a blast to me!

Getting to Discovery Cove

Kissimmee is only half hour away from Orlando’s Discovery Cove, making it a perfect daytrip destination. You have a couple of options for getting to and from the dolphin facility.

Rent a Car

If you are flying into Florida, you could simply rent a car at the airport. Driving to the facility will be relatively easy, depending on time of day and how much traffic you experience.

Uber/Lyft

If you don’t want to rent a car, you can always use an app like Uber or Lyft. Fares should be pretty reasonable, and if you have a large party and everyone chips in, it will be very affordable.

As of this writing, Uber fair estimates a $26 fee each way to Discovery Cove. Very reasonable.

Map

Accommodations in Kissimmee

When it comes to comfortable and relaxing accommodations, the Kissimmee and Orlando area has no shortage of options. Here are a few we recommend.

Kissimmee, Florida

Kissimmee Hotel

Staybridge Suites – Orlando Royale Parc Suites

If you want to be close to all the action, this hotel is close to Discovery Cove and the famous theme parks of Orlando. But the good news is, you won’t have to pay the exorbitant rates of Walt Disney World’s hotels.

The Staybridge Suites offer stunning architectural details, spacious one- and two-bedroom suites, and first-class amenities that visitors from around the world have come to enjoy.

Their friendly staff can help you plan your daily activities. Amenities include free parking, pool, tikki bar, fitness center, free breakfast, game room, pet friendly and laundry facilities.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort

Here is another great option that is close to the dolphin facility as well as the famous theme parks. Located on 1,450 beautifully-landscaped acres, this Holiday Inn offers fun for the entire family. Just steps away from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the hotel offers four separate villages of amenities available to all resort guests. And, to make your life easier, they also have a complimentary shuttle to help you get around their resort.

Fairfield Inn and Suites Orlando at SeaWorld

This hotel has been recently renovated and is even more inviting than ever! The hotel is right next door to Discovery Cove as well as SeaWorld and other parks, so it’s very convenient.

Comfy rooms, free wi-fi, movable workstations with ergonomic chairs are just some of the amenities here. There is also a cool game room with arcade games your kids will love.

The outdoor pool has a kid’s splash zone for kids and a poolside bar for adults. The poolside Splash Bar & Grill offers a complimentary breakfast buffet each morning to fill up on and fuel yourself for the day’s adventures. At night, head back to the restaurant for some burgers and pizza.

And to work all of these calories off, you can hit the gym that offers cardiovascular equipment and free weights.

Margaritaville Resort Orlando

You know those kinds of hotels that are almost as exciting as the other attractions you’ve come to visit? This is one of those hotels! The minute you enter the lobby you are met with floor to ceiling views of an expansive lagoon pool, the sounds of the tropics and, wait for it… a complimentary cocktail!

This hotel offers two styles of accommodations: the hotel, which offers upscale amenities and balconies off every room, or the cottages, which are charming private residences offering all the comforts of home.

Guests have access to a trolly car that will take them around the grounds to different areas like the pool, lagoon, spa, water park and dining and shopping options. There is also complimentary transportation to area theme parks for all registered guests.

Things to Do in and Around Kissimmee

While we definitely think you should put “Swimming with dolphins” on the top of your activities list, there are some other terrific activities in the area to enjoy. And no, we’re not going to list the obvious theme parks, you already know about those. We’re going to list some other off-the-beaten track activities you and your family can enjoy while in the Kissimmee / Orlando area.

Weather Kissimmee

Private Helicopter Tour over Orlando’s Theme Parks

There are all sorts of thrills to be had on your vacation! Now, you may want to experience the famous theme parks down on the ground. But what if you could fly over them and get a totally different perspective?

Choose from an 8-miute or 25-minute flight and enjoy the new perspective over Universal Studios, Lake Toho, SeaWorld, and Disney World. While enjoying the sights you’ll also get to learn about the development of the theme park area and its history. And don’t forget to take a bunch of fantastic selfies to show off when you get back home!

Hour Cypress Forest Guided Kayak Tour

If you’d like to view things a little bit closer up, then we suggest this guided kayak tour right outside of Orlando is Shingle Creek, which is the headwaters to all of the Florida Everglades. Skim along the quiet waters, beneath a forest of cypress trees and look out for all sorts of wildlife such as spoonbills, hawks, frogs, egret…even alligators.

Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park

When you’re done sitting low on the water’s surface, maybe you’ll want to climb to new heights. If so, definitely head to Orlando’s Tree Trek Adventure Park!

This place is made up of a very fun and challenging rope course that includes a series of cargo nets, swinging logs, ziplines, trapeze swings and other obstacles to challenge everyone in your group. No matter what your fitness level or climbing ability, this course offers something for everyone to test their skills and have fun while doing it!

Central Florida Everglades Airboat Tour from Orlando

You can’t visit Florida and NOT tour the Everglades. This 4-hour airboat tour and alligator encounter is BEYOND thrilling! You have your choice of going with the regular 30-minute tour or upgrading to the 1-hour tour. We encourage you to upgrade. Who knows when you’ll have another opportunity to tour the famous Everglades on an airboat!
You’ll fly on top of the water and see all sorts of local wildlife such as alligators and tropical birds. You’ll also get to see a lot of lush vegetation. The thrills really kick in when you can view a 20-minute alligator handling demonstration. This tour company will pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at the end of the day and that service is included in their fee.

Kissimmee 1-Hour Horseback Riding Experience

There will, most likely, come a point in your trip when you and your family will want to have fun while escaping all of the crowds. Here’s a great activity for when that point arrives: take a horseback riding tour around the pretty Florida countryside.
You’ll get to spend an hour trekking under ancient trees and near the grand Lake Tohopekaliga (say that ten times fats!) on lovely and gentle trail just a short distance from Orlando. The trail s perfect for those people who aren’t experienced riders, including young children and older adults. If your child is at least 8 years of age, they will have the opportunity of riding on their very own horse and bonding with them.

You also have the opportunity to choose what time of day you’d like to go riding, either morning, midday or afternoon rides. Pick whichever suits the other activities you have scheduled. Also keep in mind when you will be in Florida. If you’re there during the summer months when it gets quite hot, then we recommend scheduling a morning ride so you can enjoy cooler temps.

Something else we wanted to mention about this particular activity, each ride contributes to the rescue and rehabilitation of mistreated horses. It’s always nice when your family fun can somehow help others – both four-legged or two legged – in need.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament Admission Ticket in Orlando

Sometimes food just tastes better when you’re surrounded by a Medieval atmosphere. If you agree, then you’ll want to take your family and head to the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament show.

You’ll enjoy eating in a castle lined with artifacts, armor and coat of arms. Everything looks completely real as if you are stepping back in time. Then, witness show-stopping displays of falconry and horsemanship as you linger over a four-course meal served by medieval staff. Eat while you listen to hooves pounding on the ground and cheer on your knight through a series of exciting jousting matches.

Local Information

Great Weather in Kissimmee, Florida

Weather in Boca Raton FL

Weather

If this isn’t the first family vacation you’ve ever planned, then you know all-too well how important it is that you plan your trip during a period when you can be sure the weather will cooperate. The last thing any parent wants is to be stuck inside a crowded hotel room with three children under the age of 12 with nothing to do because it’s raining.

Luckily, the weather in Florida is astounding for much of the year. They don’t call it the sunshine state for nothing. Having said that, there are definitely those months that are better to visit than others.

Summers, as we mentioned earlier, can get very hot and sticky. This isn’t the best time of year to visit. Also, there’s hurricane season, which is between June and October, with the peak being August and September.

That being said, winter and spring are great times to visit the Kissimme/Orlando area. The weather is mild, generally staying in the low to mid 70s during the day and dipping down into the 50s at night.

Festivals & More!

There is always some kind of fun to be had in Kissimmee. From sporting events to festivals, concerts and outdoor festivities, there is always something going on. You can visit this link to view some of the activities that may be going on when you visit.

Helpful Travel Links

Kissimee Chamber of Commerce

Discovery Cove

Orlando Covid Updates

If you and your family will be heading to Florida this year for vacation, then we highly recommend that you spend your vacation in the Kissimmee/Orlando area. There are a TON of fun activities to participate in, but remember to leave room on your schedule to sim with the dolphins at Discovery Cove!

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