How many of you have dreamed of chocolate? Now, how many of you after watching “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, wished/dreamed it really existed? Kind of a no brainer, right? Well, good news, you can visit Chocolate Kingdom in Kissimmee, FL and tour a Mystical River of Chocolate!

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The tour of the family owned chocolate making headquarters is not only educational, but our informative tour guide was hilarious! We entered the luscious Chocolate Kingdom and embarked on a journey with Prince George the Good and his friendly dragon, to create the perfect gift for Princess Chocolina. You see, its Princess Chocolina’s 21st birthday and suitors from all over are bringing her lavish gifts in hopes of winning her hand in marriage. Prince George the Good is on his way to impress the Princess with a tasty pair of chocolate shoes. Because every Princess can use more shoes, and its a fact women love chocolate!

He doesn’t have to fight any bad guys on his journey, but he does have an issue when his dragon accidentally sneezes and the shoes melt. He thinks his quest has come to an end, until he realizes he can travel to the Chocolate Kingdom and make a new pair! The best part, he needs help, so…we joined him and learned all about the cacao tree, the cocoa bean and the history of chocolate and how it is made. You can too with daily tours available every hour, on the hour, from 1-7 PM. Everything sold in the retail store is made on-site (including the “paint your body with dark chocolate”), and you can see the entire process on the tour, from bean to bar!

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New to the facility, is a real greenhouse with live Cacao Trees – amazing since these delicate trees are found to only grow within 20 degrees north or south of the equator! Even more interesting is that there are male and female trees, but only female cocoa trees give fruit. Since it takes 3-5 years for the trees to mature and begin fruiting, you actually don’t know what kind you have before this happens!

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On the tour of the Bean-to-the-Bar Factory, we actually saw the old world machinery churning out chocolate bars! (The factory has a working melangeur, a stone grinder that is one of only three found in the country and the only one in use once the production!) Another fun fact is that it is so difficult to become certified as a Cocoa inspector that there are on 30 in the world!

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And did I mention there are samples on this tour?  During your journey, you’re able to taste chocolate in its various stages of production. Plus, at the end, you have the option of creating your very own customized chocolate bar for $5 and choose your favorite kind of chocolate plus three add-ins (everything from nuts, to bacon and cayenne). What a great unique gift idea for Valentine’s Day or in your child’s Easter basket! As a special treat, the owner made us some irresistible Chocolate Covered Strawberries (not normally offered on the tour) that were absolutely worth cheating on my diet for!

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Chocolate Kingdom is said to be the most unique chocolate experience in North America and the perfect place for a family to spend a rainy day or a relaxing afternoon without fighting crowds!

Experience Kissimmee paid for my travel expenses to experience The Chocolate Kingdom in person. No compensation was received and all opinions expressed are original.

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