Gatorland bills itself as the alligator capital of the world. They’re probably right.
Location: 14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, Florida 32837
Admission: Adult $29.99 | Child (Ages 3-12) $19.99 | Seniors (55+) $24.99 | Children 2 and under are free. (Save $3 from these prices if you purchase the tickets on the Gatorland website. Florida Residents get half price. Ticket add-ons available, options covered below.)
Hours: 10:00am – 5:00pm, 365 days a year
Gatorland opened in 1949 by Owen Godwin as a roadside attraction and the idea grew from there. Today, Gatorland covers 110 acres and has shows, lots of animals (other than gators), a train, a zip line course, and monster truck swamp buggies that take visitors on a rambunctious ride. The park is still owned and operated by Owen Godwin’s family.
There are over 2,000 alligators at the theme park. Other animals include crocodiles, rare Florida Panthers, a range of exotic birds, snakes, and tortoises (including Dean, a 100 year old tortoise). There are also three leucistic alligators (3 of 12 known to exist) and an albino alligator.
Admission and Getting There
Gatorland is located in Orlando.
As noted above…Adult $29.99 | Child (Ages 3-12) $19.99 | Seniors (55+) $24.99 | Children 2 and under are free | FL residents get half off. So bummer if you are not a Florida resident. Make sure to make your purchases on the Gatorland website in order to save $3.
Here are the other ticket options/ticket add-ons:
- Gatorland Express Train: For an extra $2, get unlimited train rides on the Gatorland Express Train, which is actually pretty fun and helps you get around the 110 acres. I recommend buying this.
- Screamin’ Gator Zip Line: This zip line is actually very cool and one of the better ones. Plus, you get to zip over hungry alligators which is kinda fun. This costs $69.00, BUT it includes admission. ALSO: they offer this Groupon which is currently priced at $49.00 which offers the same exact thing. As always, Groupon offers lots of discount codes, often listed at the top of their website. So you can probably get this deal for cheaper than $49.00.
- Adventure Hour: For an extra $10.00 you get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Alligator Breeding Marsh, which has a lot of gators. Bonus cool points: part of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was filmed here.
- Gator Night Shine: For $24.99 you get an after-hours tour in which you can shine flashlights at the gators. Which is cooler than that last sentence sounds. Gatorland provides the flashlights.
- Rookie Wrestling: For $10 your kid can sit on a Gator. Does not include a photo.
Also, here is a $2.50 off coupon if you insist on purchasing your tickets at the gate, even though it makes the most sense to purchase them online. Now, let’s take a look at their shows.
Gatorland offers three shows and all of them are fun and worth seeing.
THE 3 GATORLAND SHOWS
1. Gator Jumparoo Show
The Gator Jumparoo Show features a storyline of two backwater, dimwitted applicants trying to secure a job at Gatorland and has them squaring off in an alligator feeding competition. The highlight of this show is watching the gators ferociously leaping out of the water and snapping their massive jaws on pieces of raw chicken.
2. Gator Wrestlin’ Show
This is old-fashioned, legendary Florida Gator wrestling. Florida aboriginals are the first to wrestle with the gators and later, the famous Florida Cracker Cowboys wrestled with gators for fun and to protect cattle. Naturally, gator wrestling evolved into a sport and art form, complete with gator wranglers trying to outdo each other with neat and dangerous tricks.
3. Up Close Encounters
This show puts the audience up close to exotic animals, including snakes, birds and spiders.
The All-New Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure
This is the last thing we’re going to cover in this article. The Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure is a brand new attraction that was part of Gatorland’s $2.2 million park expansion. There are three, custom made swamp buggies that bring visitors on an off-road adventure. The swamp buggies are dubbed Bonecrusher, Cannibal Jake, and Swamp Ghost.
Here’s a little video about them:
The prices for the adventure is not listed. You have to reserve your spot when you arrive to Gatorland.
Well, that’s it for me. Gatorland is a highly recommended daytrip and it is uniquely Florida. You can’t get this anywhere else in the world. If you plan on going on the Gatorland zipline don’t forget to take advantage of this Groupon that will save you $20+ and don’t forget to check out my surviving an alligator attack article. You might need it!
Photo Credits: Happy to be at Gatorland! by Experience Kissimmee | Gatorland – Orlando FL by Rusty Clark | Gator Jumparoo Show by Experience Kissimmee | Jumparoo Show by Rusty Clark | Eye to Eye by Experience Kissimmee | Gatorland Florida by Robert Linsdell | Gatorland Entrance, Florida by William Warby