John and I spent the day at Wild Florida in Kenansville. If you don’t know where Kenansville is, you are not alone; even Wild Florida’s promotional signs say it’s out in the middle of nowhere. But it is indeed, somewhere, and to give you an idea of where that somewhere is, it is about an hour and a half south and slightly east of Orlando.
What first caught our attention about this place was its Drive-Thru Safari Park. Nowadays, with all the social distancing due to COVID, the Drive-Thru Park seemed like a good way to get out and enjoy a day but still stay within our own safe space.
We intended to only enjoy the Drive-Thru Safari attraction at Wild Florida, but once we got there and saw that it just made more economic sense to bundle attractions, plus the fact that they had Florida residents specials for those bundles, we decided to go ahead and enjoy a half-hour airboat ride and the Gator Park as well. With the Florida residents special, we paid just under $55 for each of us. Pretty good value for a whole day worth of fun.
We started off at the Gator Park, which has a lot more than just alligators.
We spent a few hours in the Gator Park, viewing all types of exotic and native animals and birds and we even learned a few things during the exotic animal show. The alligator feeding demonstration was pretty awesome too.
Next stop was the half hour airboat ride.
It is usually best to book your airboat ride ahead of time because they sell out quickly; however, we lucked out, and they were able to get us on a half-hour ride. Wild Florida has half-hour and one-hour airboat rides, and the price difference is not all the much considering. I would have liked to have done the one hour, but they were booked up for the day. So word to the wise, plan, and make reservations.
Although we were not close enough for our sighting to come out on video, we had the good fortune of seeing two American Bald Eagles on our airboat experience. We were afraid to take our expensive camera on the airboat for fear that it would have gotten get wet, but as it turns out, it would not have. So we missed a great picture. As long as your careful, do take your camera.
An airboat ride is pretty thrilling, and this area is known as the headwaters of the Everglades. It truly is a piece of untouched Florida, giving airboat riders the wonderful opportunity to see many Florida creatures in their own natural habitat.
This is not an experience where you are straining your eyes to see the animals off in the distance. Nope they have the right of way and may be crossing the road in front of you.
We were told we could drive thru as many times as we wanted, so if you miss it the first time through, just go back around.
At both the Gator Park and Drive-Thru Safari there are add-on features where you can pay extra for an up-close animal experience or to feed the animals.
There is a restaurant just outside the Gator Park entrance. A full swamp menu is available for those of you who might be curious to find out if gator really does taste like chicken.
I have to tell you that when John first mentioned this place, I was a bit skeptical, but as soon as we arrived, my skepticism turned into excitement. I loved the up-close experience we got with the animals, and I really enjoyed the entire day.
I would also like to say, that we, like many of you, are on a budget, and I found this experience to be a great value. I think we got a lot for the price of admission. What we paid for all three experiences are what some airboat guides would charge for just an airboat ride alone.
Wild Florida is located at 3301Lake Cypress Road. in Kenansville, Florida
Hours are Monday thru Saturday 9 AM – 6 PM CLOSED SUNDAYS
It is recommended that you plan ahead and book reservations for both the Airboat and Drive-Thru Safari, this is especially true on Saturdays. (Note they are closed on Sundays) Here is a link to their website for your convenience. Wild Florida
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