Florida Guide > Other Parks
You might think that Gatorland is perhaps a little “cheesey” as you enter the complex through the mouth of a giant bright green alligator, but despite your initial impressions, it is in reality a great fun attraction for family members of all ages.
Known locally as the “best half day attraction in Orlando”, Gatorland has been providing thrills, spills, fun and just a hint of education since 1949, when it was first established.
Now, some 55 years later, this 110 acre alligator theme park and wildlife preserve is quite simply part of the local scenery, and accepted as a “must do” visit on anyone’s attraction hit list.
Featuring amazing live shows such as The Gator Jumparoo Show (yes they really do jump !) and Gator Wrestling, your heart will be in your mouth as you witness the trainers and staff of Gatorland taking on these wild, ferocious and totally unpredictable reptiles in demonstrations of speed, strength, and agility.
In addition, you too can get in on the action, although not with the crocs and alligators of course, but by taking part in the Up Close Animal Encounters area of the park, where you can come face to face with all manner of creatures, including snakes large and small, and other native Floridian wildlife.
Kid’s can go wild in Gatorland’s Lilly Pad play area which features climbing frames, slides, and even a wet area with refreshing water jets. Covered seating is provided nearby so that parents can keep an eye on the kids as they play.
In addition, why not visit the Snakes of Florida exhibition, where you can get up close and personal with some of the most venomous snakes in the world, like the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake or the Cottonmouth Water Moccasin.
Of course, for those of a slightly nervous disposition, there is always the splendour of the flamingo lagoon, or the free flight aviary to enjoy.
Plus, a ride on Gatorland’s very own steam locomotive, the Gatorland Express, is not only a great way to see all that this park has to offer, but takes you into the very heart of crocodile and alligator country, whilst keeping you safely away from those snapping jaws !
Complete with it’s own restaurant and obligatory souvenir shop, Gatorland has cornered a niche market that will thrill and excite you time and time again.
Open throughout the year from 9am to 6pm, with ample free parking, at just $19.95 for adults and $9.95 for kids (under 13 years of age), Gatorland is certainly not going to break the bank. In addition, there are usually money off coupons available in most of the tourist information brochures that can be found in shopping malls, and restaurant lobbies.
Show times vary by season, but run several times throughout the course of the day, so it’s easy to plan your schedule to take in everything that there is on offer.
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Page added on: 20 July 2004
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