Attractions and Theme Parks

SST Aviation Center Exhibit in Kissimmee, Florida

This brochure, from my collection, advertised the SST Aviation Center, which was located between Kissimmee and St. Cloud on Aeronautical Blvd, not far from the southbound exit of Florida's Turnpike. The building still exists as a church, and for many years had the SST inside before the model was sold and removed. I visited a few times, and drove by the museum frequently before it closed in 1981.

SST Museum Brochure Page One
SST Museum Brochure Page One

 

SST Museum Brochure Page Two
SST Museum Brochure Page Two
 
Interior of SST Museum
Interior of SST Museum

 

If you visited or have information about the SST Aviation Center in Kissimmee, please leave a comment below and I'll be in touch. Thank you!

Sources:
Personal collection


Kissimmee in 1971

This video features plenty of old Kissimmee, from the Seaboard Coast Line depot on Dakin Avenue, to scenes of Broadway, but my favorite is the interview with Irlo Bronson, Sr., one of the few recordings of him that I've seen. While I grew up with his son's family, I never met the elder Mr. Bronson. Anyway, a great look at Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista and Windermere in the months prior to the opening of Walt Disney World.

 

If you remember Central Florida towns before Disney of saw something that brought back memories in this video, please leave a comment below. Thank you!

Source:
YouTube


1993 Airship Shamu Flight Over Central Florida Theme Parks

In 1993, I had the opportunity to ride aboard Airship Shamu on one of it's scheduled flights over the Central Florida theme parks. The blimp was owned by Airship International LTD, and founder Lou Pearlman, who later went on to create the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC.

The blimp was based at Kissimmee Municipal Airport (now known as Kissimmee Gateway Airport) and had a truck-mounted mooring mast since there were not any hangars or permanent facilities at the airport.

I shot this video on August 4, 1993 using a Panasonic WF-F250/AG7450 SVHS camera. The camera was handheld and the footage is unedited, and has not been color-corrected or stabilized.

After departing the Kissimmee Airport, we head west to Old Town and Water Mania. We then head over Epcot Center, Disney-MGM Studios, the Polynesian Village Resort, the Contemporary Resort, and the Magic Kingdom. We then continue northeast along I-4 to fly above Sea World, the Orange County Convention Center, the Peabody Hotel, International Drive and it's hotels, restaurants and attractions, including Wet 'n Wild. The final portion of the flight is above Nickelodeon and Universal Studios before returning to Kissimmee.

The transfer from SVHS to digital revealed some dropouts in the video, however the tape held up remarkably well given its age. Hope you enjoy this footage from almost 30 years ago.

If you remember Airship Shamu, of other blimps and aircraft that were based in Kissimmee, please leave a comment below. It'd be great to hear from you. Thank you!

Video source:
Personal collection