This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Secret of the Theme Park on Disney's Doorstep

KISSIMMEE, Fla. ( MainStreet) -- By mid-January workers, parents and students are seeking warmth to cure their winter blues. Florida is a natural destination for sun, relaxation and fun, and is famous as the home of Walt Disney (DIS - Get Report) World, which turned 40 last year with the distinction of being the world's most visited theme park -- nearly 17 million visitors in 2010, according to TEA/Aecom.

But for those who can't afford to shell out hundreds of dollars for their family in just one day, or who don't want deal with the crowds, there is a smaller and more affordable neighbor: Old Town, located about 15 minutes away in Kissimmee, Fla.

How does a small theme park compete when it has the world's largest tourist attraction right next door?

By not competing at all, but instead offering a different experience altogether that is complementary to Disney, says Old Town's president, Gary Conroy. The strategy brings in roughly 2 million visitors a year.

If you've never been to Old Town, the 12-acre theme park has been created to resemble small town USA during the 1950s and 1960s. There is a Main Street filled with stores and restaurants, and there's a county fair eternally visiting to provide attractions and rides.

Access to the 75 shops, 21 amusement rides and a Classic Car Cruise every Saturday is free, as is parking. Visitors pay for the various attractions and rides.

Old Town, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in December, appeals to families as much as Disney does.

"There's many different reasons why people are coming to Old Town," Conroy says. "Our niche is to provide them with an experience that is certainly different in terms of value. Less hustle and bustle, less need to be lining up in long lines where parents don't have to empty their pocketbooks, but have all the attributes of a theme park."

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DIS $105.28 0.04%
AAPL $124.04 -0.16%
FB $83.37 0.43%
GOOG $552.97 -0.40%
TSLA $186.29 -2.20%


DOW 17,685.36 +7.13 0.04%
S&P 500 2,057.33 +1.18 0.06%
NASDAQ 4,880.4720 +17.11 0.35%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs