Thanks so much to Gatorland for hosting our family for a day.
Gatorland in Orlando is a must visit! We stayed open to close and enjoyed the entire day. If you love wildlife this is such an incredible, one-of-a-kind experience.
Our tour guide Bret started our day with a baby alligator! Isn’t it cute? We all got to pet him.
And then things just got more exciting! See the sign? “Hungry Gators Do Not Enter.” I don’t know about you, but I usually obey those kinds of life and death signs.
Imagine my surprise when Bret took us IN there! Yes, we walked right up to the alligators. We were just a few feet from them. Of course they are fed often and our guides knew what they were doing. It was such an incredible experience!
And then THIS happened. Notice I’m the one taking the photo. Ha ha. I think we were all a bit apprehensive. You see all those bumps in the water? An alligator. Every one of them! Now don’t worry. You don’t have to get in the pen with the alligators if you don’t want to! 😉
Indiana Jones fan? You know that alligator scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? It was filmed here! Other films have also made use of the 110 acre Gatorland for their gator scenes. In Held for Ransom our tour guide Bret was the stunt double for Dennis Hopper in the gator scene. How cool is that?
Oh and meet Chester. He’s a real animal actor…well sort of. His beautiful “voice” is the sound of Smaug in Lord of the Rings! And, yes, we are right there in the pen with Chester! This guy is huge!
I wasn’t entirely chicken. I did turn my back and kneel down for a photo in front of this super rare Lysistic alligator, but there was a man behind that door watching my back. I’m not crazy! A lysistic alligator is not entirely albino, but still has a bit of pigment here and there. There are only 14 known in the world and 4 of them are at Gatorland!
These birds, however are crazy! They perch on the alligators as protection from other prey and sometimes get eaten by a hungry gator. Now that’s living life dangerously!
I was surprised to find so much wildlife at Gatorland that wasn’t gators! These two parrots love to show off!
We got to pet goats.
See big cats like this Florida panther and so, so many more animals.
Here’s where I got a little squeamish, but for the sake of my critter loving kids I held my breath and didn’t pass out! They got to go behind the scenes and get up close and personal with the stars of the Upclose Encounters Show!
Yes, there are also shows at Gatorland!
Probably the most famous show is the Gator Wrestlin’ Show! It’s not quite like dog tricks, but I would never imagined what they can get gators to do. Incredible!
And then there is the Jumparoo Show. Spectators ooo and ahh as these huge gators jump four and five feet straight up out of the water to get a bite.
But wait. There’s more! Love to zipline? Make time for the Scramin’ Gator Zipline voted top 10 in the world! At one point, yes, you actually zipline over real, live gators!
The ziplines end with a competition to the finish over this beautiful water. So much fun!
Gatorland also has the only wheelchair accessible zipline. I love that! It is a separate line that stands alone.
Y’all we had a wildly amazing time at Gatorland–some of our favorite family memories in Florida. Be sure and check out Gatorland for more information.
Looking for more to do in Florida on your next family vacation? Get ideas and deals at Experience Kissimmee!