When people hear “Orlando”, visions of cartoon characters, roller coasters, and imaginary worlds fill their heads. But there is a theme park just down the road from the corporate entertainment moguls that caters to those who want to enjoy Real Florida and its natural residents.
Gatorland has been family owned and operated since 1949, and its “theme” is natural Florida. The “Alligator Capital of the World” is the perfect place to see alligators (affectionately known as “gators” in the South) in natural settings and demonstrating their natural abilities. Granted their #1 natural behavior is taking a siesta in the sun with #2 being a slow stalk in the water, but edutainment shows such as Gator Jumparoo and the Gator Wrestling Show get the gators moving and showing off the strength in their jaws and agility on land and in the water.
My favorite part of Gatorland is the breeding marsh and bird rookery. Between March and May it’s one of the best places to photograph Florida bird species and gators.
A wooden boardwalk borders one side of the marsh just mere feet away from nests with hungry down-feathered chicks of egrets and herons.
An observation tower gives you a birds-eye view of the elongated marsh. Turtles pop up out of the murky water, and silent gators float among picturesque lily pads. On occasion, you might hear a low guttural growl as gators defend their territory or get romantic.
Gatorland has a lot to offer a family who want fun in a relaxing, low key setting. Shows, a petting zoo, nature walk, and aviary keep you in contact with the natural beauty of Florida.
Florida sun too hot for you? Cool off at the Gator Gully Splash water play area.
Gatorland is the perfect entertainment venue where you can relax, enjoy nature, and get up close and personal to some of Florida’s more intriguing wildlife.
Now through May 1st, Florida residents and take advantage of special admission rates! Visit www.gatorland.com for more details.