Florida Guide > Other Parks
If you’ve driven to Kennedy Space Center, or you stay in a villa close to a
lake you may have seen the odd alligator, if you’ve ever wanted to these
creatures up close then Gatorland is the place to go. Gatorland advertise
themselves as ‘the best half day attraction in Orlando’ and we certainly found
it to be true.
Parking: Although the parking area is not big, there is never a problem
finding a space, as Gatorland never gets the huge crowds that are seen in the
larger theme parks.
Tip: - the local freebie handouts have discount vouchers for approx $2-$3
each or buy online prior to your visit at
For most adults this will be a pleasant attraction the moment you step
through the huge alligator jaws at the entrance , kids will love it. Once you
pass through the ticketing turnstile and out onto the decking you will see your
first alligator very quickly - fascinating and scary at the same time.
Take a wander around the large lake (Breeding Marsh), where some of it is on
raised decking, being able to look down on some very large gators is a must see.
At one point near the big lookout you can buy some ‘gator food’ (pieces of
frankfurter sausages) and feed ‘em yourself. If you are lucky enough to be in
the area in August, this is the normal time when the eggs hatch and you get to
see the baby gators, awwwwwwww. Half way round this lake; there is a swamp walk,
which takes you away from all the gators and commercial activities. Get a peek
into true swampland without getting your feet wet. :-) Also on the walk around
the lake, there are lots of bird’s nesting areas.
There are 2 shows during the day, the earliest start at around 10:30 am.
Gator Jumparoo is amazing, to see some of the larger ‘gators leap 5 feet out
of the water is a site to see. Make sure you have your camera ready!
Gator Wrestling is a laugh, initially most people would think the members of
staff who step into the ring with a 5-6-foot gator must be mad. This is well
staged and fascinating, they also ask for volunteers! At the end there is a
photo op, where anyone can sit astride a gator, hold its (well taped) jaws and
have their photo taken for a price.
There is a show – more of a presentation around the ‘Jungle Croc’ area, this
is more of an educational item pointing out habits and differences between the
many species of alligators and crocodiles.
During the day they also have a ‘meet the creature’ with staff, where you can
‘meet and greet’ snakes, lizards and other creepy crawlies up close. These
animals are also in static displays for all to peek into.
Tip: For young children there is a small water activity area where they can
run around amongst the fountains etc. Make sure to bring a towel, costume or
change of clothing.
There is also a petting area with sheep, goats and the like, also a train
ride (a bit dated now), which will keep youngsters entertained for a while.
Eating: There is a small snack shop in the central area with a hot food shop
further out by the ‘wrestlin’ arena. Selection is limited to the normal fare of
burgers and the like.
By the time you’ve finished wandering around getting to know the gators,
it’ll be time to leave via the shop with all manner of items gator related. Some
items we thought were shoddy but others very well made.
We thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend all to go visit.
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Page added on: 20 July 2004
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