If you’re ever in Kissimmee and looking for something sweet and educational to do for the whole family, consider a visit to Chocolate Kingdom. Located at 2858 Florida Plaza Boulevard, near a Fun Spot and a Pirate’s Cove miniature golf course, this strip plaza style building invites visitors in for a tour of a chocolate factory, complete with samples.This attraction, which does house a small working chocolate factory, is owned by the Schakolad Chocolate Factory. The owner, Baruch Schaked, learned how to make chocolate from South American and European chocolatiers, beginning his career back in 1969. He has brought his entire family into the operation, which gives the Chocolate Kingdom itself a personal feeling you don’t often find in Disney-area attractions. You start your journey by entering through the gift shop (of course), where you’re met with an impressive chocolate counter full of imaginative treats. Standouts include a fondue-to-go kit ($10) and a variety of chocolate-covered items, as well as delightful truffles. I ate a white chocolate-covered orange truffle ($1) that was delicious – and I’m a dark chocolate fan! You can also buy chocolate liquors, chocolate-themed tote bags, mugs, chocolate body paint (available in dark and milk chocolate versions), and a book on chocolate, written by Mr. Schaked himself. In the shop, you’re also surrounded by several video screens that display chocolate facts, trivia, and jokes. Worth noting here is something you don’t see every day: cacao trees. Behind a glass enclosure, you will see several actual cacao trees growing, ranging from one to three years old. Given that Florida is not the best place to grow these sensitive plants, that’s a minor miracle in and of itself. You can bet they get excellent care! But never mind the shop; my friends and I were there for the factory tour. These tours take 45 minutes, and begin every hour on the hour starting at 1 pm. Chocolate Kingdom opens at noon every day, and closes at 8 pm. You can book your tour online through Chocolate Kingdom’s website. Our tour started in a theater, where our tour guide and “chocolate ambassador,” Mark, kicked things off with a video...Read More
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