Fresh from our day out at Mount Dora, the Ellis team has been investigating other great value days out in the Orlando area.
One of our favourite day trips is Gatorland – a park dedicated to one of Florida’s most famous natives. At just $27 for an adult ticket, during a day at Gatorland you can be sure of getting a lot of fun for your dollar.
Gatorland is approximately fifteen to twenty minutes away from our homes in Kissimmee and around twenty to twenty-five minutes from our Davenport homes. It is located on (the right end of) Orange Blossom Trail, aka Highway 441.
An adult ticket costs $26.99 and a child ticket (for ages 3-12 years) is just $18.99. Children under 3 go free.
What can you expect to do at Gatorland? See a lot of alligators – of course!
It’s not just gawking at alligators all day though – there are plenty of shows, activities and other animals to see.
There are plenty of other animals around the park, many of which you can interact with directly. My kids loved feeding the giant tortoises.
The goats were also lots of fun. You can buy an ice-cream cone full of goat treats and feed them too.
One of the best experiences was feeding the birds in the aviary. Kids can hold a lolly stick dipped in bird seed and the birds will come and land on the stick – wonderful! We spent a lot of time in here.
The shows don’t run back-to-back all day, like the shows do at Disney, so getting to all the shows available does take a little more organisation than you might be used to.
We found the Gator Jumparoo hilarious… and slightly scary – the strength of the gators and the way they jump out of the water was quite hair-raising.
We couldn’t decide whether it was bravery that the show’s performers were full of…
But I think it was seeing this that put my kids off the wrestling with gator show – they deemed it just too scary!
Tips for Lunch
You can’t take any food or drink into the park. The food inside Gatorland is typical snack fare of the hotdogs and pizza type. Fine for a snack, but not super healthy or tasty – although prices are reasonable.
I’d therefore recommend going out for a hearty breakfast before getting to the park (it opens at 10am) and then stopping for an early dinner on the way home (it closes at 5pm). The Loop is only five minutes’ drive away and you’ll find a whole host of restaurants to choose from there.
Splash Pad and Play Area
Gatorland also has a great little splash pad for kids, with shaded areas close by so it is easy to keep an eye on them. The giant gators in the centre of the splash pad didn’t seem to put my kids off their water fight!
There is also a small play area nearby to keep the little ones occupied if you haven’t packed their swimming cossies or trunks.
Things to Do
The gator wrestling is great fun, although we didn’t venture over there this time. The educational sessions in the snake house are also really interesting and informative – with great tips about staying safe as well as about the individual snakes.
My kids were desperate to go on the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line, but there is a minimum weight of 60lbs, so they weren’t quite heavy enough to go on. Teens and adults are fine though – provided you’re brave enough!
There’s also a mile-long walkway over the swamps where you can stroll and get a feel for the natural environment. We saw a poisonous snake sunbathing on a rock on our walk around – it was obviously our day for scares…
The little train will take you from one end of the park to the other. Tickets are $2 each and you can go on as many times as you like all day.
Gatorland is a great day out for a reasonable price – certainly a lot cheaper than Disney or Universal. It’s worth deciding which shows you want to see when you arrive, so you can plan your route around the park without missing anything. We will definitely be back!
For more information, or to book tickets for any of Orlando’s wonderful attractions or theme parks, speak with our ticketing partner Kissimmee Guest Services.