I was recently in Kissimmee visiting some friends for the fourth of July. Kissimmee is an interesting place… the very definition of the phrase “tourist trap”. The streets are lined with gift shops and cheap amusement parks, and almost every building is elaborately designed and screaming for attention.
So on my way back, I was finally able to stop and appreciate one such building. A Building which captured my attention years ago. Behold:
Now THAT is art. It certainly stands out from the crowd… while there’s no shortage of unique architecture in Kissimmee, it’s not every day you see a big honkin’ wizard emerging from a building. I swear, one day I’ll have a house that looks like that.
The Wizard gift shop is the very definition of the word kitsch. The Wizard is your standard fantasy fare, with a long gray beard and a hat covered with stars and suns. For his part, he seems positively stoked to invite people into his cavernous body.
I didn’t get any pictures inside, but it was a fairly standard gift shop. Plenty of Disney and Universal t-shirts, as well as other Orlando memorabilia. They sold tickets too, and all sorts of odds and ends. Overall, the place was surprisingly clean, without the usual seedy atmosphere that tends to permeate these kinds of places. I’m glad I stopped by.
Perhaps in the future I’ll write about other Kissimmee landmarks, but hey, if you’re ever in the area, you can visit the wizard at the following address:
5265 W Hwy 192
Kissimmee, FL 34746