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Shopping-Tourist Spot: Old Town

Birding / Hiking / Adventuring Roadtrip Info

ROUGH DRAFT
Andrew Thoreson
Nov 2018
 Typical view [?]
Photo Galleries
Typical View (16)

Snapshots! (15)
GRADES: Click each for info, * = Note
Revisit? B
Birding Not Rated
Wildlife Not Rated
Summer Heat C *
Terrain Not Rated
Fun Hike Not Rated
Maintained B
Mosquitos Not Rated
Biting Files Not Rated
Ticks Not Rated
NOTE: It is outdoors but there are icy drinks
 LOCATION: Accuracy: Read me
Map On Big Map: Click map (or on google maps). Address: 5770 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL, Orange, USA, 34746
OFFICIAL INFO:

1) What It's Like

The Anti-Disney: It's like a state fair subtracted the civic/ag stuff, added some souvenirs, kept the demographic, and set up shop in two strip malls facing each other down a street closed off to cars.

2) Directions

There's parking on the side by the interstate behind the buildings. If that's full there's more to the SE but if it's that full we usually don't stay.

3) Time Requirements

Unless you have just the right kind of kids with you you'll probably have had enough inside an hour.

Experience

The first time I stopped here it was on the way back from Disney I wanted to see what this psychotic thing Celebration was. Celebration is more or less a hyper planned community by Disney that I thought would be a spotless dystopia but was really a spotless boring housing development that didn't seem to work.

Anyhow - outside if Celebration on the highway is just chaos. A bunch of huge stores that are like KMart was - decrepit and almost going out of business with all kinds of signs of poor repair - but replace the merchandise with mostly cheap Disney and Florida t shirts etc. The kind of place that advertises "3 T's for $9.99". So that plus crap like maybe an Appplebees and "Machine Gun America" - just a place you can fire machine guns - aka a touristy gun range.

But amongst this is Old Town. It's two mostly single story strip mall type things facing this 2 lane street that's closed down for just pedestrian traffic. Around it there are a few rides like sitting in a cart that gets flung way up in air by bungees on two cranes - that kind of thing.

The shops themselves are pretty eclectic but I think you could say they all have in common impulse purchase items and being something you might see in the mall that's going out of business, not the one that is putting the other out of business.

The whole place is a little fun for adults but it gets more fun if you have kids with you.

First the somewhat interesting ones:

  • They have an arcade that runs on tickets - so skee ball type stuff mostly but some video games. I'm not quite sure what makes some of these places fun and some of them be boring but this one is pretty good IMHO.
  • Black Market Minerals - It's fun junk - either pretty "semi-precious" (or not precious) rocks, rain sticks, and stuff made by very poor countries that looks like it's cultural but probably isn't. They have the thing where you pay $5-8 to buy a bag of dirt, take it outside in their stream of water and pan for gems or fossils with a metal collander. Do this 2x per month and it'll get old but if you have a kid with you it's usually pretty fun.
  • They have a fancy convenience store and if you're someone who likes to walk around someplace like this with a beer - I'm not positive but they seem to allow it... I don't think open container laws apply since it's not really a public street. I'm not a big drinker but some people like this kind of thing and that's the feel of this place.
  • There are a couple restaurants near the front - the Mexican was pretty good. A&W was shockingly expensive.

Other ones - I think there's an anime/Japanese comics shop, an "as seen on TV" store with just that kind of stuff, tattoo parlor, there was a psychic, a haunted house I never went in, an old-west photo posing place where you dress in cowboy clothes etc that every mall had in the 1980s, A magnet store, a couple Disney t-shirt type places, and if you love products with James Dean, and Marilyn Monroe on them - that kind of stuff is for sale all over. The pictures show some right-wing-ish t-shirts but there's not much of that - I just zoomed in on the odd.

So - it's not someplace I'd take someone to impress them but it does manage to be a fun place to stop to detox after a day at Disney or as a break from driving to hiking spots and usually be at least a little fun.

Just be careful on Friday and Saturday nights - parking can fill up and it can take awhile to figure that out if their parade of old guys with their classic cars are slowly driving through.


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