Old Town Fun Keeps You Young

Cruise In graphic courtesy Old-Town.com

Cruise In graphic courtesy Old-Town.com

By Eddie Dixon 

 

“Smile,” says the brochure.  “You’re at Old Town.”  Honestly, I have to admit that I was already smiling like the cat that ate the canary.  Here I was on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon surrounded by some of the best visions that ever rolled off the line in Detroit.

 

And we had yet to set foot in or on any of the 75 shops, 8 restaurants or 18 rides advertised in my brochure.  Of course, I was a bit distracted by the candy apple red Chevy at my 12 o’clock and the schoolgirl-giddy missus on my arm.  While I was transfixed by Detroit Steel, she felt the call of the Ferris wheel.  So, of course, we did that.  Why not?  Those cars weren’t going anyplace.  Besides, we had no plans to try any of the other whiplash-inducing “thrills” on the midway.  The cruise over on I-4 is just about as reckless as I get these days. There were a gaggle of tourist kids who might argue the point, but we were headed over to see the show.

 

Old Town offers live musical acts Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays to set the soundtrack for their car shows.  “Elvis” stops by to jam on Wednesdays, but we had the pleasure to take in a fun group serenading us with the songs of rock’n’roll the way we remember it.  A lot of the tunes hit me right in the nostalgia wheelhouse, though there were a few that the kids waiting in line to get flung to Kingdom Come by the huge slingshot thing might have known better.  The wife and I did a little singing along and a little dancing, then decided to grab a bite.

 

Don’t expect fine dining here.  Old Town sticks to its Boardwalk roots with fast food, casual dining and some ethnic joints.  There’s not much here that would make my heart doctor happy; but, hey, he ain’t here, is he?  Let’s just say I may or may not have had a root beer float to wash down my burger and fries.

 

After dinner I promised my bride we could do a little shopping before strolling back over to the car show.  Fair warning here, Old Town toes the line between “Carnival Fun” and “Tourist Trap” much like everything else in the theme park universe that is Greater Orlando.  One of the shops was selling “Florida Rock”, which appeared to be roadside gravel, in large barrels.  Well, whatever keeps the folks visiting from Across the Pond happy.  I did pick up some magic trick kits for the grandkids, and the missus absolutely loved browsing in the candle shop.  Along the way we tried on ridiculous hats, laughed at goofy glasses and generally relived one of our first dates. For a stroll through a shopping mall, I have to admit, it was a good time.

 

Now, about those car shows Old Town is justifiably famous for.  They host three per week. Wednesday is the Little Darlin’ Street Party and Cruise in.  This show is all about classic cars and doo-wop music.  There’s even an opportunity to do The Stroll.  You might remember that from American Bandstand.  Friday night is for all the custom jobs from 1975 and newer.  But Saturday night is my favorite.  All the big, beautiful road machines from 1974 and before, restored and gleaming in all their glory.  Standing next to one of these – hot dog and cherry Coke in hand – is like being eternally sixteen.

 

For more information about Old Town Kissimmee, visit www.old-town.com or call 407.396.4888.  Happy travels, folks…and keep on cruisin’.

 

 

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