Visiting Gatorland in Orlando, Florida
More Gators Than You've Ever Seen in One Place
When you book a trip to Orlando, Florida, you're probably visiting one of Disney World's four parks or Universal Studios--and those places are great! But you're probably overlooking a lesser-known gem called Gatorland.
This park, which covers 110 acres and was opened in 1949, offers you and your family up-close encounters with gators, turtles, snakes, and more.
If you're looking for an outdoor activity that's fairly inexpensive and can keep the kids and the adults in your party entertained for a few hours, Gatorland is a great choice for a half-day visit (though it can be done in less).
The Main Attraction at Gatorland: The Alligators!
If you're visiting Gatorland, you're probably going for one reason: to see alligators! The powerful and terrifying animals live in abundance at Gatorland, with babies floating in enclosures with turtles and the larger gators either sequestered by themselves (if they're aggressive) or waiting in groups below the walkways.
For a few dollars, you can buy a bag of hot dogs and toss them to the gators, who are happy to oblige you with a flashy snap of their jaws.
Other Animals at Gatorland
In addition to the varied species of alligators at Gatorland, you can also view snakes (both those native to Florida and the interlopers, who were brought in as pets and then multiplied in the wild); panthers; turtles; and tortoises.
There's also an aviary where you can feed parakeets and budgies, who are happy to alight on your hands, shoulders, and heads; a parrot area; and a petting zoo with friendly and hungry goats, chickens, and cows.
Activities at Gatorland
Besides walking around to view the many creatures inhabiting Gatorland, you and your family can also enjoy one of several activities.
If your kids have brought their bathing suits, they'll enjoy the brightly-colored splash park, where they can run and play in the water with the other kids.
If your feet are sore from hours spent at Disney World, you can take a $2 train ride around the park, learning about gators along the way.
Finally, if you're exceptionally brave, you can zipline over the ponds of alligators.
White Alligators at Gatorland
Gator Jumparoo Show
Shows at Gatorland
If you're in the mood for a little entertainment, Gatorland offers several shows at various times throughout the day.
In the Gator Jumparoo Show, alligators jump out of the water to snatch food in their powerful jaws.
In the Gator Wrestlin' Show, a very brave soul wrestles an alligator and climbs onto its back.
Check out the signs near the arenas for showtimes and grab your seat early if the park is crowded.
You can also get into the action yourself and have a picture made sitting on an alligator's back, or holding a baby alligator or a python.
Gator Wrestling at Gatorland
Other Facts About Gatorland
Other things to know about Gatorland:
- It's primarily an outdoor attraction, so be sure to wear sunscreen and even bring a hat.
- Food and drink are available for purchase at several refreshment stands.
- There are three restrooms located in the park.
- Once you go into the gift shop, you have exited the park--so save that for last!
- The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Admission is $24.99 for an adult and $16.99 for a child (children under three are free).
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