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Gatorland is one of the many themeparks in Orlando catering to animal preservation and nature protection.
They have animal shows (check brochure for schedules) which includes alligator wrestling, Gator Jumparoo and up close encounters.
They also have aquariums, aviary and petting zoo which you can explore. And if you're tired of walking the park you can purchase their ride-all-you can train badge for $2.00. The train runs through the whole thempark with designated stops. Kiosks and souvenir shops are also available.
Adult (13 & up): $22.95 + tax
Child (3-12): $14.95 + tax
Children under 3 are free
- Theme Park Trips
Gatorland was one of the first theme parks in Florida, opening its doors in 1949. Owned by the Godwin Family it has gradually expanded over the years to its present size of 110 acres. This is one of my favourite parks because it is not crowded, you can see the animals close up and you can wander around at your own pace with a lot of areas in the shade. We liked it so much that we have been a number of times during our recent holidays, it is so relaxing. It has a real homely feel about it. It starts as you arrive with the staff in the kiosks greeting you with their friendly chat and banter. One of the highlights is the jumparoo which is a bit cheesy but you can see the power and feeding habits of the alligators. All of the different shows are repeated a number of times during the day. Besides all the different alligators and crocodiles, there is a large number of birds that wait around for easy meals, normally from visitors trying to feed food to the gators. When you watch the alligators they appear to be fairly slow in their movements but catch them just right with food and they can turn in an instance. The boardwalk around the wetlands is intersting and we previously saw a sleeping snake as we walked around. For those who fancy the thrill there are a number of zip wires that can be used for an extra fee. The park is open daily from 1000 to 1700 hours and some show times can be changed depending on the weather.
Crikey, would ya look at that big 'un
I must admit I've got a weakness for crocodiles. These mysterious, oft-unnoticed yet supremely menacing predators have been around virtually unchanged since the times of the dinosaurs. The best place to see them is Gatorland, a virtual gator wonderland.
Here you can:
- get up close (but not that close) with alligators keeping their body warm in the sun,
- watch them jump for a piece of steak (always a thrilling sight fraught with anticipation of danger),
- eat gator steak,
- feed them fish (dead fish flung by tourists must be a major component of their diet),
- witness a crazy guy trying to poke a gigantic man-eating Australian saltwater crocodile in a soft spot,
- witness an even crazier guy pull a gator by the tail and, inexplicably, start wrestling with it, WWF-style (just kidding about the WWF),
- put other dangerous creatures around your neck (a boa, mind you, not a gator),
- observe gators in a swamp, their natural environment. After seeing gators jump, perform, wrestle, doing everything except breaking out in taps , this would seem like an anti-climax.
- Adventure Travel
Known as Gatorland Zoo when I was a kid, the slightly renamed Gatorland still offers guests the chance to watch thousands of alligators in a 110-acre preserve. The park opened in 1949, and it is still owned by the original family. I first visited this park in the mid 80s as a 10-year old, and it has stuck with me ever since. In fact I remember more about this little place than the entire three days of Disney World... and it was just a fraction of the cost.
Not just Gators!
On one of your "easy" days take time to take the family to Gatorland. The kids will love it and the adults may find more there than they expect.
I was a bit worried about the Gator Wrestling I had heard of but in fact it was more of an educational thing and these creatures were in much better conditions than the ones swimming around rubbish polluted pools in some Crazy Golf venues.
Marvel at the quantity of birds nesting inches from your fingertips as you walk around the trails. Hold a large snake if you have the nerve - and I didn't!
- Family Travel
Alligator Capital of the World - Gatorland!
We had an afternoon free and so decided to visit this small theme park, little did I know that by the end of our trip I would become an apprentice alligator wrestler!
This place is good family fun and makes a nice change from the hustle and bustle of the large parks. If you want to see, feed and wrestle with live alligators then this is the place to come.
We bought the Grunt package, which included entrance to the park, a chance to wrestle an alligator and some raw sausages to feed them with, although it's probably not a good idea to feed them whilst wrestling.
The animal shows were very well done by two of the keepers, who turned out to be very busy that day as they hosted most of the shows.
We took part in the alligator wrestling and it was amazing to see the alligator sent to sleep by simply putting it on its back by the trainer and than being woken up by a simple tickle!
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
This place is amazing, the guys who work with the Gators seem to have no fear of these awesome creatures. Steve Irwin eat your heart out!
The park is a good half day out or a relaxed full day, there are lots of different pens where Gators do different " activities" there is Gator baiting, where a guy hangs over the edge with a chicken and the gators jump out to grab it, there are Gator wrestlers and a place where you can sit on a Gator and have you piccie taken!
A good fun park, some thrills and educational!
- Theme Park Trips
- Family Travel
Gatorland- a brief summary- fascinating but soon becomes boring.
Seeing this many alligators and their natural behaviour in open spaces, and their interaction with the trainers was certainly fascinating, but once the novelty has passed, you find yourself feeling a little empty. Even with all the attractions and shows, you still feel like you've visited a zoo, but only got to see half of the animals. Not really worth it I'm afraid to say.
- Theme Park Trips
- Family Travel
Gatorland is reasonalbly priced and worthwhile
Gatorland located on Highway 17 92 a few mile North of Kissimmee, is a nice break from the theme parks..Set in a nice natural setting, you can see the main attraction like alligators, watch demos of various Florida wildlife, take a nice nature walk etc.. This is a nice little park with lots to see for a decent price..
If you are interested in seeing the gators feed, they do a show called Gator jumparoo, where the gators jump out of the water to eat chickens.. if it is winter and the weather is cool (in Florida cool equals 50 degres or below) then the gators will probaly be very lethargic and inactive..
- Budget Travel
Military UNFRIENDLY - http://www.gatorland.com/blogs/specials - is the location as of 02/03/2011 - they do NOT honor the military coupon posted to their own website. The coupon is out of date (june 2010 expiration). Even so, this is unacceptable. This website MUST be updated for those who make the 16 hour drive especially to see their facility. We even called to confirm before embarking on this vacation. When we arrived. They apparently have changed the pricing. We failed to get the name of the person we talked to, thus no one could help when we arrived onsite. When a coupon is posted to a business public website. First Take the coupon down when its not in use any more! Secondly even if the public makes a mistake, provisions should at least be made for a good review. The management and staff didn't even make an effort. Which is why we are leaving this review as "terrible". Your at your own risk when trying to plan and plot out this trip. At least we suggest have a backup in place when you attempt to visit them. You will need it.
Gatorland is so much more than gators and crocs, there are several wild native birds that visit, red tailed hawk, ibis, egrets and herons come and go as they please and make gatorland their home. llama's, goats and other farmyard animals are also on display.
There is a large snake display with many very dangerous snakes on display and even a demonstration of their striking abilities. You may even come across a wild one on one of the walkways around the park so be careful.
You can see the gators in the breeding marsh from the observation tower like the ones in the photo on the left or see them in the lake or in individual pens. Be careful because there is only a small fence dividing humans and gators and you don't want to end up as a hungry gators dinner. Several of the reptiles have got limbs missing themselves so they're not too fussy who or what they eat.
The highlight of the tour has got to be the three shows, more about these later.
There is a comprehensive store on sight where you can buy almost anything alligator related, even stuff made out of real aligator skin.
In Pearls Smokehouse you can even try out gator nuggets and gator ribs. I'm assured they are very nice, I had my first ever chilli dog here which was ok as well.
If you are tired of walking there is a mini train which takes you around alot of the park.
Adults: $19.95 (age 13 and over)
Kids: $9.95 (ages 3-12)
Q) How do you tell the difference between a crocodile and an alligator?
A) A crocodile has a long thin snout and an alligator has a short fat snout.
Gator Jumparoo Show
Here you can see the gators being fed whole chickens, don't worry they're already dead.
The gators push off the pool bed with their powerful tails and jump to snatch the chicken out of their keepers hand, I wondered why most of the staff had fingers missing, LOL.
Well that was the theory, somebody forgot to tell the gators that when we went, they left the keepers holding the chickens.
Shows are on several times during the day.
This person must be stupid or very brave to get in a sand pit with an alligator and try to wrestle it. But this is what he does and it's well worth a visit. It is amazing how the handler coaxes the gator into a submissive state, watch out though when he tickles his stomach.
An amazing display of handling with some dangeous snakes. If you want to take photographs you had better have a fast shutter speed and an even faster finger when the snake demonstrates it's striking power on a balloon, I couldn't manage it.
Aligator Snap Shot
Have your photo taken with a real alligator and snake.
Yes you can have your photo taken with a snake and a alligator, and believe me they are very real. I used to hate snakes so for me to have one wrapped round my neck was a big effort, I could still feel it for days afterwards.
Don't worry the gator has its' mouth taped up.
An unusual souvenier for a just few dollars.
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