For many of us, the Orlando experience centers around the high-tech thrills and chills of the theme parks; but Fun Roads took a chance and detoured away from all that by heading to a place where good old-fashioned human instinct provides the adrenaline rush instead… that’s right its Gatorland which bills its self as the “Alligator Capital of the World” and there just isn’t a better place to see alligators and crocodiles of all sizes.
According to Gatorland’s Tim Williams: “Gatorland isn’t the oldest alligator park in the world, but it’s one of the largest that’s open to the public with over 1,000 alligators and crocodiles, a free-flight aviary, petting zoo, one-of-a-kind animal shows, thrilling Screamin’ Gator Zip Line and the Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure.”
But even a seasoned gator handler like Tim can never let his guard down around these guys. It seems that in Florida, knowing a little bit about the nature of alligators just kind of goes with the territory.
“Well, there’s a good chance you’ll see an alligator in the wild in Florida,” says Tim. “They’ve made a very good comeback since their protection, to a point where they’re now considered to be a nuisance animal by some.”
Nuisance or not they’re still pretty dangerous and Tim has some tips for everyone. “We recommend using some good ’ol common sense. Especially with a very large, powerful predator like an alligator. A big alligator might only eat six, eight, ten times in the wild in a whole year. Since they don’t eat all the time, we’re constantly having to watch the animals and what we do. We don’t wanna give them the opportunity to grab us.”
Much better to sit back and watch the pros do the gator wrestling. With theme shows running throughout the day, there’s plenty of opportunities to see these bad boys at their best. And there are lots of other critters to enjoy as well. Be sure to check out some of the twilight and evening shows.
Like we said Gatorland is a lot more than just alligators. Zip-Lines, a petting zoo, an aviary, team building corporate programs, educational programs, birthday parties round out your visit and let’s not forget Pearl’s Good Eats. Originally called Pearl’s Smokehouse they actually serve up alligator nuggets here. No worries for the less adventurous in your group; they have a regular menu and plenty of beer to wash down whatever you choose to eat.
Gatorland is on US 441 (which is South Orange Blossom Trail locally) only 45 minutes from most of Orlando’s major theme parks and a just a few minutes from I4 and Florida’s Turnpike. The park is open every day from 10:00 AM with plenty of parking, including lots of spaces for RV’s.
14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, Florida 32837