What to do in Florida: Gatorland in Orlando, FL
The second morning of our Orlando journey was spent at a place I had never heard of before, Gatorland. It was such a nice, refreshing change from the busy day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that we had experienced the day before. The sky was overcast, but was not raining, so the weather was absolutely perfect! A perfect morning to stroll through Gatorland.
Gatorland is known as the “Alligator Capital of the World”, but the park also includes various reptiles, birds, and beautiful scenery. Our first stop took us to, well, lots ‘o gators. I loved the layout of the park. You walk on a covered wooden “dock” as gators swim in the waters surrounding. Pretty cool.
The park also houses something very rare – four white alligators. At first glance you may think these alligators were albino, but they are leucistic, which means they have a genetic defect. There are only a dozen leucistic alligators in existence, so we were very lucky to see them! My son just sat down and stared on one for the longest time.
One of the great shows we saw at Gatorland was “Gator Wreslin'”. The show included hilarious stunts with six to eight foot alligators.
The next show we experienced was “Upclose Encounters” and we got the biggest laugh when our own Jamie Pearson was selected to participate. The show highlighted Florida’s wildlife, which included creepy spiders and snakes. Did I mention that Jamie is deathly afraid of spiders? I suppose that is why it was so funny!
After the shows, we took a nice stroll through Gatorland’s Rookery, which was amazing! Seriously, I had no idea Gatorland was hosting so many birds in its park. The views were beautiful, laid back and relaxing. A perfect place to photograph. The Rookery was created in 1991 as a natural habitat for Gatorland’s alligator breeding population, but soon became the home to dozens of Florida’s bird species. You could see nests everywhere in the low trees and somehow these birds and alligators live together in harmony. Loved this part of the park.
To end the morning, we took a train ride through the park and then said our goodbyes to the Gatorland team, who were amazing to us. They gave all of the kiddos a neat goodie bag and then we got to do the coolest thing – hold a baby alligator! I never knew alligators could be so cute.
The next time you’re in Orlando, you gotta check out Gatorland. It is perfect for kids of all ages, and is very low-key and slow-paced, which is nice when you are “amusement parked” out.