I thought I’d share my trip to Gatorland with y’all. We took the kids to Gatorland here in Orlando this year during their Spring Break. Fred and I thought we would get up early and surprise the kids. I haven’t been to Gatorland in many years, long before the big fire that nearly destroyed it. Neither kid was happy when I said that we were going to Gatorland. Turns out they are both scared of gators. I guess I can’t hold it against them.
A trip to Gatorland is like taking a trip back in time to Old Florida. It’s one of the original Orlando attractions. It’s charming and quaint and in a large swamp. The park was built in 1949 and is still family owned. The small park is a wildlife preserve and has lots of things to do and see.
A series of boardwalks throughout the park allowed us to get close to the gators. The kids were amazed for a long time, but as we walked the boardwalks they became skittish. We sure didn’t expect to see so many gators.
Gatorland offers photo ops with gators, but the kids refused to do it (bummer…I so wanted a photo of the kids sitting on a gator). Maybe next year. After spending the day walking the boardwalks and riding the train, I do believe the park is swarming with gators.
There’s also a fudge shop, a general store, a petting zoo, a zip line (I’m not crazy enough to zip line over a gator-filled swamp), a snake village, turtles, a bird sanctuary, and a small splash park (the kids loved this the most).
Before we left, we let the kids spend time in the small water park. They didn’t wear bathing suits so in they went clothes and all! You would think by now that I would know to bring swimwear to theme parks. All of them have a splash area because of the extra hot and humid summers. But I didn’t, and I ended up paying $10 so they could dry off in one of the big blow drying machines. They loved the machine, but $10 didn’t dry them. We ended up buying two $20 gator-themed towels to help them out. Wet and cold, the kids cried all the way to the car.
I hear the park houses over 3000 gators plus crocodiles, white gators, and Chester, a super large gator who lived by eating dogs and cats until it was captured. We spend many weekends exploring Florida and checking out the wildlife and the natural landscape. I don’t think I’ve ever been in one place that had so many gators. And while gators are fascinating creatures, they are totally creepy.
If you’re an avid wildlife fan, there’s more than enough to do in a day at Gatorland. It’s one of the few remaining affordable Florida attractions.