After arriving on the campus you can quickly get a sense of the friendly nature of the park by the giant teeth at the entrance. It is a great place to take photos to remember your visit.
Gatorland was founded in 1949 by Owen Godwin and is the oldest amusement park in Central Florida. Over the years it has grown from 16 acres and expanded into a large complex of 110 acres with a plethora of experiences with gators and other wildlife. The park is unique in the way that the staff interact with guests, they are truly friendly and approachable. They are extremely welcoming and go out of their way to make you feel at home.
When you go to Gatorland you should look at the website to find out the show times in advance. There are several shows that offer interesting experiences such as the "Upclose Encounters", the "Gator Jumparoo" and "Gator Wrestlin" shows. Each one offers an opportunity to see gators and other animals in action.
The property has a number of enclosures and pens where you can see different types of gators.
The photo above was taken in the pen with the gator, his name is "Chester". I had the privilege of entering the pen with the "Dean of Wrestling" Tim Williams. That is the only way I would feel comfortable taking a photo this close. This is a large gator, he is close to 1,200 pounds and he looks menacing! But, with Tim, I felt totally safe.
The gator pictured above is a leucistic alligator commonly mistaken for albino. The difference is the leucistic gators have blue eyes while albino gators have pink eyes. Once again I was inside the pen when I took this photo. He is really cool looking but, he can create 1,200 pounds of bite force and kill you! So I was very careful while in his presence!
I think the most beautiful and and interesting part of my visit was the breeding marsh. It is a large marsh and river area with a really nice boardwalk that allows you an up-close view of the gators in their natural environment.
Along with the marsh area there is a amazing natural area to walk that is completely open, if you see a gator over there he is in the wild!
There are also several zip line towers that you can enjoy. They even have a zip line harness for handicapped and wheelchair users.
When you visit Orlando Gatorland is a must! If you enjoy nature and are interested in seeing the American Alligator, crocodiles and other exotic animals then this is the place to go. There was so much to do that I have to cover the rest in a future post! Gatorland is great for a family visit and is reasonably priced with a bounty of things to do, see and experience.
10:00 am - 5:00 pm Daily
Adults 13 and up $26.99
Children 3-12 $18.99
Children under 3 free