Monday, July 11, 2016

Tropical Palms RV Resort in Kissimmee FL

We wanted to go somewhere close to home for a little getaway; one where we could invite the grandchildren for a couple of nights and also have some other family come by and stay a few nights.  A few months ago, on a night we were visiting our good friends Norm and Ellen at the KOA in Kissimmee, we passed by a large sign for Tropical Palms RV Resort.  This came to mind when choosing a location because it is quite literally surrounded with things to do.

Tropical Palms is located just a few miles east of I4 in Kissimmee, the heart of "tourist country" near Walt Disney World.  It is probably no more than 30 minutes to Mickey's parking lot, and is right off of the main drag that hosts every restaurant imaginable, along with $15 helicopter rides and things like a military museum and more gift shops that you can count.  This main highway, US192, is less than a three-minute drive from the center of Tropical Palms.

Tropical Palms is a mixture of tiny cottages, FHU RV spaces, and lots of Water/Electric spaces.  There are hundreds of RV sites, a swimming pool with a full-service snack bar, a kiddie pool and an 18-hole mini-golf course.

The main office shares space with a well-stocked camp store that has lots of RV necessities and all of the basic things that you may need while camping.

Checking In and a bit about the Staff

When you arrive, there are two RV lanes.  You pull to the front and stop, then go inside the office to check in.  If you're in a pull-through site, you can just drive there.  If not, you can disconnect while in the lane.  There seemed to be about three people in the office during regular operating hours.  These people not only handle check-ins, but serve as the cashier's for the camp store and equipment check-in (like golf clubs for the mini-golf).  There are lots of people running around the complex doing chores like pool and lawn maintenance, but we only saw two guys on golf carts that were on-the-move and helping people.

Once you get to your site and need something from the office, you're probably better off walking to the office, because they haven't mastered the fine art of answering the phone.  I called twice during our 8-day stay, and hung up both times after patiently waiting on hold for more than 25 minutes.

When checking in, you will get a large campground map and some flyers that describe various upcoming activities.

Campground Overview

Site Map

As you can see by looking at the map, there are a lot of sites at Tropical Palms.  You drive in at the bottom center and you can see the pool in the middle.  The orange sections are full hookup pull-through sites - although they vary in length.  We stayed in the orange section (300's) in the center of the map.  Our location was convenient to everything offered at the resort.

The large swimming pool can be very crowded on the weekends, and (when we were there in 100 degree weather) was probably about 90 degrees.  They had a poolside DJ for much of the day.  There were also ice cream socials, s'mores, kid's crafts and games, and - on Friday and Saturday nights - "Dive In" movies by the pool.  

There were plenty of places to play outdoor games:  basketball, sand volleyball, bocce ball, shuffle board, corn hole, horse shoes, and an 18-hole mini golf course.  

There's also a clean central laundry room (there are others), a fitness room, and several bath houses. 

Golf carts may be rented, and you'll have let them know that you want to play most games so that you can pick up equipment.  Some games, like the mini-golf, require that they hold your ID. 

Tropical Palms is only about three minutes by car to Old Town, a popular location in Kissimmee that has many shops and an amusement park called Fun Spot with a lot of expensive rides.  Old Town is on Highway 192, which is a major thoroughfare

RV Sites

Some RV sites have full-hookups, others are water and electric only,  A dump station is on-site.  

Sites are close together:  I parked my truck in front of my rig and could have reached the door of the rig to our left with no more than 7-10 steps.  The sites don't seem as close together as they are, probably because the roads and the park itself are spacious and you don't pay as much attention to it unless you're having dinner on your picnic table and look up into the driver-side windows of your neighbor's rig parked about 8 feet away.

We were in a full hookup site, so our 50A power (30A available), water, and cable TV were on a single pedestal.  The sewer pipe was just a few feet away, although I could see that some rigs needed an extension to make the reach.

Most sites have picnic tables, but there are no grills or fire pits.  You may use your own grill as long as you keep it off the ground.

Getting into most of the pull-throughs looked easy, but some of them may be a bit tricky to exit.  Not many, though, as the vast majority of sites are nicely placed for maneuverability. 

Tips and Tidbits

  • Visit their web site:
  • They give discounts for Florida Residents and Passport America members
  • RV check out/in is 11a/1p (or 12p/2p depending on what papers you read!)
  • Pay attention to the online site map and request the area you want when you reserve.
  • The big pool is hot in the summer, the kids wading pool is much cooler.  I enjoyed just standing under the falling water in the kids pool.
  • Bring your own ice cream.  I paid $4 for an ice cream sandwich in the store.
  • When we sat out at night near the pond, mosquitoes were buzzing around us.  But at our site away from the ponds, they were few and far between.
  • When you get there and they assign you a site, you may want to ask them to verify the length before you go with your big rig and a tow.  Some of the pull-throughs barely fit a large trailer.  However, there is usually ample "extra car" parking in the grass at the end of rows.

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