Orlando vacation fun begins (or ends) with Gatorland |
by Joe Farinaccio
What’s Gatorland? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Gatorland is a great “in between” place to visit while you’re in Orlando for vacation.
Let me explain.
When visitors first arrive in Orlando they often have half a day or so of time on their hands before they start touring the major theme parks. Or, maybe they find themselves in the opposite situation. They’re at the tail-end of their trip and they want something to do after they’ve already hit the big attractions.
Gatorland is a perfect place to fill this void. There’s enough to see and do here to take up a good half day (more if you want). But what you’ll see is enough to have the kids talking all the way home.
This family owned Alligator-themed park has been open for business since 1949. Activities within its 110 acres include the chance to:
According to the Gatorland website, this place started out as the dream of a man named Owen Godwin, Sr.
He built an alligator pit in the backyard of his home in the 1930’s and put a female alligator in it with her babies. He and the Mrs. would host visitors and sell homemade gator souvenirs while letting them see the gators.
Godwin apparently really enjoyed doing this. He planned for a bigger attraction that would show off more of Florida’s wildlife. In 1947, after the war, he bought 16 acres of property near Kissimmee. Since this was the dawn of 20th century American highway tourism, more and more families were visiting Florida.
With the help of a few investors his idea caught on. Now, thousands visit this park each year. As a matter of fact, Gatorland claims to be “central Florida’s first major attraction”. It now features all kinds of reptiles and Florida wildlife.
The 4 main shows at Gatorland include:
The “Gator Jumparoo Show” - featuring the alligators’ ability to jump out of the water in search of food.
The “Gator wrestlin’ Show” - with a 6-8 foot gator being subdued, put to sleep, then re-awakened.
“Jungle Crocs” - detailing 4 types of crocodiles and their environment.
The “Upclose Animal Encounters Show” – filled with differing animals from around the world - - including some dangerous snakes.
Gatorland is open everyday, rain or shine, from 9am to 5pm. It's on Hwy 441 near Kissimmee. Tickets range from $19.95 for adults (ages 13 and over) and kids (ages 3-12) are currently $9.95.
I featured Gatorland at http://www.orlando-vacation-guide.com/Gatorland.html If you visit my site make sure you see if you can get discount tickets through the vendor on my website.
And say “hi” to the gators for us when you go.
About the Author:
- See big alligators
- Take a Floridian wildlife train ride
- Visit a bird aviary and sanctuary
- Check out a “breeding marsh”
- Enjoy a petting zoo with your little ones
- Do a nature walk
- Visit a Gator gift shop
- And best of all - - 4 great shows
Joe Farinaccio is a freelance copywriter who also loves writing about vacationing in Orlando, Florida. His website www.Orlando-Vacation-Guide.com offers visitors lots of information on saving time, money, and finding interesting things to do while in Orlando to make the most of their vacation.