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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

Changes over 35 years - part 3

Here we are back again in 1993, all alone, just the two of us. Time is moving on - too fast!

Back to the story.

Highway 192 now led up to Highway 27 and the area we know as Davenport and Clermont. Villas were starting to be built on the new Highway and not in Kissimmee any more. There was virtually no land left for building villas in Kissimmee.

Downtown Disney was having a make over too. The first part to change was the addition of many more stores and restaurants and it was unrecognisable to when we first visited it back in 1979.

As time went on, we missed Florida so we bought 3 timeshare weeks at the south end of International Drive in 2000. This was when the idea of time share was booming. We had already bought one in Tenerife and had sold it on, so Florida seemed like the next obvious step. We had three very happy years travelling back and forth but eventually decided to sell them and look to buy a villa. It was all very exciting and just a bit daunting. BUT, so easy compared to buying a house in the UK.

During our buying trip we at last found something when we turned left off Highway 192. Celebration, the Walt Disney concept of an Ideal town in which to live. It was first built and open in 1996 and has since grown to one of the “must do” visits in Orlando. It’s neat, clean tidiness has not changed over the years and only some of the shops changing ownerships shows any difference from then until now. Also now we have “snow” and ice - skating during November, December and into part of January to celebrate Christmas. They have elegant horse drawn carriages for hire or buggy rides reminiscent of the pioneering days in America. They take short trips around the town to see all the sights, though there are not that many!

The saddest change to date is to Old Town. Once a nostalgic trip into the bygone era of America is now a tacky fun fair and shops full of cheap souvenirs, cheap t-shirts and tattoo parlours. All the old nostalgia is gone, the nice quality dress shops and traditional shops, all gone and in their place, TAT. It’s hideous, but it does still have the cruisin’ four nights a week when vintage cars and motor bikes are on display during the day and cruise slowly down the main street at night. That is still worth seeing if you are into that kind of thing. I suppose the children will enjoy a good old fashioned funfair as an antidote to the modern high tech world of the theme parks, but I miss it’s old world charm.

continued in part 4

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Page added on: 19 December 2014
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