Gatorland in Orlando, Florida, has been a Florida tradition since 1949, and as a born and raised Floridian, I am embarrassed to say that this was my first visit.
I had always thought that Gatorland was just another gator park, but boy was I wrong; it is so much more than that. Yes, this 110-acre park themed around alligators has a ton of gators, but it also has birds, bobcats, panthers, emus, snakes, tortoises, and a variety of other animals.
Gatorland is really an adventure park built with the theme of Florida’s original attraction in mind; the beauty of the state’s natural landscape and her best known native wild animal, the alligator.
Watch as we explore Gatorland
Gatorland even has a resident movie star!!
John and I rode Bone Crusher, a fast and bumpy 10-minute off-road thrill ride that is as funny as it is bumpy. Our guides had us rolling in our seats with their hysterically corny old-time Florida cracker jokes. This is a separate purchase at $10 a person, but well worth the price. A word of warning, it is not for people with bad backs or any medical condition that can be aggravated by being bounced around in your seat.
The Screamin Gator Zipline is an hour and a half tour 70 feet above the park. Zipliners travel between towers and soar through the air over live gators and crocs. I thought I was ready for this high flying adventure, but I found myself to be somewhat chicken. Then I remembered the Jumparoo alligator show where John and I had just witnessed alligators feeding on chicken sent out on a line over the water. That is when I decided that this chicken was not ready to be lunch for a gator so, I took a firm pass on the Screamin Gator Zip Line.
There are several animal encounter shows throughout the day that are as entertaining as they are interesting. There is a lot of tongue in check Florida Cracker humor throughout the experience at Gatorland but nowhere more than in the shows. So not only do you learn something about the animals, you get a good laugh out of it too.
If you visit Gatorland on a warm day and you have little ones, be sure to bring their bathing suits. There is a splash and play area that no little one will be able to resist, and it is a great way for them to cool off from the effects of the hot Florida sun. A changing room is provided.
Gatorland is located at 14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando. The regular Admission price is $29.99 per adult and $19.99 per child but watch for frequent specials, especially if you are a Florida resident. The Screamin Gator Zip Line and the Stompin Gator Off-Road Adventure both require a separate purchase, and tickets can be purchased at the gate. Package tickets for up close and personal animal encounters can also be purchased. Parking is free.
Be sure to take a few minutes and watch our video above so you can get the full scoop on what a day of adventure at Gatorland is really like.
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