Finding Florida takes us to Gatorland this week. Remember that I have a child super interested in becoming a herpetologist. This means that all things reptile are up his alley. He also has a little sister who likes field trips to anywhere. She would take a field trip to the 7-11 if I let her. This makes taking field trips to places she doesn’t particularly care for easier to manage. The great part of Gatorland is that there is something for everyone to do.
Gatorland was the first amusement park in the Central Florida area. Long before Walt Disney World changed the landscape of Orlando, there was Gatorland. If you are looking to see rural Florida as well as learn the history of Gatorland , I highly recommend taking the train ride. It’s a refreshing way to sit and relax while you’re sneaking in some learning. You can get off and on at various points atound the park. The park isn’t really large enough to need to do that but it is an option.
Gatorland is world famous for two things ; gator feeding as well as gator wrestling. There are other shows like creepy crawly but those are the two that most people go to Gatorland to see . Some of the smaller shows let the children hold the reptiles afterward. Hang around after the show finishes for this treat.
The main shows happen at alternate times. Gator feeding is at the front entrance area . Everyone stands around in a giant U shape encircling a water area. There is plexiglass at the bottom of the rails so the children can see the entire event. There are water areas throughout the park where the gators live in relative harmony with other creatures. The smaller gators are in seperate holding area with the turtles which is fun to see for the children.
Gator wrestling happens at the back of park. Here you will find bleacher type seating surrounding a moat with a sand area in the middle. Gators are in the moat part awaiting their turn to wrestle. One of the gators is in the sand area where you can sit on his back to get your picture taken. A child is chosen from the crowd to pick the gator for the man to wrestle. The jokes are corny but the show is fun.
The alligator marsh area is great to walk through to see the gators in their native habitat. You can go on a flashlight tour for an extra fee in the early evening hours. We had fun taking our nature notebooks to the top of the tower t0 sit and draw in . It’s quite breathtaking.
There are a plethora of other things to do as well like feeding the birds ,the petting zoo, and the water area. You could easily kill a few hours here. It’s not an all day event by any means unless you spend an inordinate amount of time ni the water area. Bring extra cash for pictures holding the snakes and what not. Refreshments are available although pricey.
It’s a great field trip for learning about alligators at a safe distance. Living in Florida means alligator education is important to keep everyone safe. If you are visiting then the kids will find it fun. Everyone thinks alligators and beaches when Florida comes to mind. An awesome way to sneak in learning while on vacation.
Check Groupon for deals on entry as well as the zip line . I have no thoughts on the zip line except you’re crazy if you do it. Not my kind of crazy either. hehehehehe