4266 West Irlo Bronson Highway, Kissimmee 34746
$7 to $30 an hour
Hours: Daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; last boat leaves
at 5:00 p.m.
Location: East of Medieval Times, near Mile Marker
Just east of the Medieval Times dinner attraction, US Highway 192 crosses Shingle Creek. You’d never notice if it weren’t for this unassuming rental operation. Here in the middle of Kissimmee’s major commercial strip is a little fragment of old Florida wetlands that you can explore in that most traditional of vehicles, the airboat.
The four-person airboats, which rent for $30 an hour, are so easy to drive that even a child can pilot them (as long as an adult is present). The driver sits in a slightly elevated seat right in front of the shielded, rear-facing propeller. A lever, operated with the left hand, steers the boat right and left; the throttle is on the right.
You can explore upstream (under the highway bridge) for about a mile and a half before the water gets too shallow for even the low-draft airboat. Or you can head downstream for about two miles toward Lake Kissimmee. Since the airboats do about 8 to 10 miles per hour, this makes a comfortable hour’s outing.
There are other boats available. A six-seat rowboat powered by a tiny electric outboard is $25 an hour or $60 for the day; rent a fishin’ pole for another $5. Canoes are $7 an hour or $25 a day. Alligators are spotted here occasionally; river otters are seen more frequently: A family of six or seven frequents the area near the dock.
Nearby: Kissimmee Lanes, Medieval Times, Pirate Island Adventure Golf.
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