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Gatorland

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

14501 S Orange Blossom Trl, Orlando, FL 32837, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Visit Gatorland early in the morning when it opens to beat the crowds and have more intimate viewing experiences with the gators. Also, check for feeding times upon arrival; it's a spectacle you don't want to miss and it's the best opportunity to see these ancient creatures in action."

What is Gatorland?

Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve located in Orlando, Florida, combining old Florida charm with exciting exhibits and entertainment. Often referred to as the "Alligator Capital of the World," Gatorland provides a unique and natural alternative to the larger theme parks found in the city. Here, thousands of alligators and crocodiles coexist with an aviary, a breeding marsh with observation tower, a petting zoo, nature walks, and educational wildlife programs. The park's centerpiece is a large breeding marsh filled with hundreds of alligators, where guests can observe these powerful creatures in a close yet safe environment.

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History of Gatorland

Gatorland was founded by Owen Godwin in 1949, and has been family-owned and operated ever since. Initially, it was a small roadside attraction where people could come and see alligators up close. However, through dedication and innovative thinking, it expanded to include more species, exhibits, and shows, becoming a significant tourist attraction. Gatorland's development over the years has been closely linked to the journey of Florida's own tourism industry, which blossomed as air conditioning, interstate highways, and affordable air travel brought flocks of tourists to the Sunshine State.

One of Gatorland's most iconic features is its mouth-shaped entrance, the gaping jaws of a giant alligator, which has become an enduring symbol of the park. This classic piece of Americana has seen countless visitors pass through its teeth into a world where Florida's natural beauty and wildlife take center stage. The park has survived changes in tourism trends, economic downturns, and even a significant fire in 2006 that destroyed its gift shop and administrative offices. Despite adversity, Gatorland has remained a beloved staple of Orlando's attractions, preserving its character while continuously enhancing the visitor experience.

Why is Gatorland Important?

Gatorland is important for several reasons. Firstly, it serves as a living monument of Central Florida's history, embodying a bygone era of roadside attractions that were precursors to today's mega theme parks. It's a reminder of where Florida's tourism industry started and how much it has evolved. Additionally, the park plays a significant role in wildlife conservation, particularly for alligators and crocodiles, some species of which are endangered. Gatorland is involved in conservation efforts both within the park and in natural habitats.

Its educational programs are designed not just to entertain but also to inform visitors about the importance of these animals and their place in the ecosystem. The park also serves as an important economic contributor to the local community, providing jobs and attracting thousands of visitors each year who contribute to the local economy. For many, Gatorland represents a slice of authentic Florida, a place where one can connect with the state's natural environment amid the bustle of one of the most visited cities in the world.

Things to Do & See at Gatorland

At Gatorland, visitors have a chance to engage in a variety of activities and witness numerous attractions. One can stroll along the boardwalk and witness thousands of alligators and crocodiles in their natural environment. The adventurous souls can zip line over the alligator breeding marsh, an exciting experience exclusive to the park. For those looking to learn, there are live shows such as the Gator Jumparoo, where alligators jump high out of the water to snap at treats, and the Up-close Encounters show where you may have a chance to hold or touch more exotic creatures.

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For families, there's a petting zoo and a very popular Gator Gully Splash Park where children can cool off on hot Florida days. Gatorland also offers a unique Trainer-for-a-Day program where guests can get behind-the-scenes looks at what it takes to care for these animals. The park's observation tower provides panoramic views of the breeding marsh and the surrounding landscape. Lastly, rare white leucistic alligators are housed in the park's White Gator Swamp, making Gatorland one of the few places in the world where you can see these magnificent creatures.

Throughout your visit, you'll find that there are ample opportunities for photography, and the park staff are always on hand to share stories and insights that only a deep familiarity with these animals can provide. Venturing through Gatorland, you'll get the chance to understand and appreciate these often misunderstood giants while experiencing one of the last remaining gateways to Old Florida.

Frequently asked questions

What is Gatorland?

Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve in Orlando, Florida, known for its thousands of alligators and crocodiles, including rare leucistic alligators. The park offers various encounters with animals, educational programs, and adventure experiences.

What are the main attractions in Gatorland?

The main attractions at Gatorland include the Gator Jumparoo Show, the Screamin' Gator Zip Line, the Stompin' Gator Off-Road Adventure, and up-close encounters with alligators. There's also the Gator Wrestlin' Show and the petting zoo.

How much does it cost to enter Gatorland?

The cost of entry to Gatorland varies based on age and package selected. There are general admission tickets as well as special passes for additional experiences like the zip line. Prices may change so it is recommended to check Gatorland's official website for the most current rates.

Are there any age or height restrictions for the attractions at Gatorland?

Yes, some attractions like the Screamin' Gator Zip Line have height and weight restrictions, and age restrictions apply to certain experiences for safety reasons. It's important to review all restrictions before purchasing tickets for any of the park's attractions.

Can you feed the alligators at Gatorland?

Yes, there are opportunities to feed alligators at Gatorland. Guests can purchase food at the park designated for feeding alligators under the supervision of staff, to ensure a safe and controlled environment.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

14501 S Orange Blossom Trl, Orlando, FL 32837, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps