Updated: Feb 10
When we have family and friends come to visit us we like to give them a real taste of Florida and what better way than getting up close and personal with some monster gators, in the safest possible way of course! We've enjoyed Wild Florida and Gatorland, they are both great places to experience, join us as we take you on our WILD adventures.
3301 Lake Cypress Rd Kenansville, FL 34739
Park Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Reservation Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gator Park Entry, $5.00 for Florida residents, $12.00 for non-residents
Wild Florida was our first up close encounter with gators having moved to Florida and it really did feel like a fantastic adventure. The gator park has 13 acres to explore but is surrounded by 4200 acres of protected swamps, marshes and rivers, this gives it such an authentic experience, way off the beaten track and a far cry from the pristine Disney parks.
Walking across a wooden bridge to a gator viewing area we were in awe of the these huge creatures, just a few feet away we could see their staring eyes following us as they glided around the large lake waiting for their next feeding time.
There were various informative gator shows and we enjoyed the feeding best, pieces of chicken were sent out across the lake on wires and the gators jumped high out the the water, jostling with each other to snag a prize piece of flesh. Don't forget to check out Crusher, he's quite the star at 65 years old and 13' long!
The park also has more than 200 other Florida native and other exotic animals to see and touch if you want to add an extra experience. If you are feeling brave you can even feed or hold a gator but if you prefer something a little softer you can cuddle a sloth instead.
Our favorite experience at the park was the airboat ride, speeding across the headquarters of the everglades, taking twists and turns, spotting wildlife in its natural habitation was exhilarating. We took the 30 minute boat trip into the wilderness and wished it had lasted the whole day. The airboat is very noisy but with our ear defenders on it was absolutely fine and we would HIGHLY recommend anyone, local or tourist it is a MUST DO bucket list item.
Wild Florida also offers a drive-thru Safari which takes you across 85 acres where you'll get to see giraffes, zebra, eland antelope, scimitar oryx, American bison, and more, we haven't explored this part of the park yet but it's on our to do list.
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Now onto our next adventure.....
14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, Florida 32837
Park Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Park Entry, $29.99
As soon as you enter Gatorland you are immediately surrounded with opportunities to feed gators, it's a fun experience to drop a pole strung with a piece of chicken on the end and wait for a snapper to bite. Remember being a kid and playing the fishing game, well it's like that but on a much grander scale.
Be sure to catch the Jumparoo Show, similar to Wild Florida, these gators love to jump for pieces of chicken, what's different is the added comedic style of the trainers who entertain the entire family as well as feeding the gators.
Situated in this 110 acre gator themed park, you can take a stroll on a boardwalk that takes you across an alligator swamp, with massive gators everywhere. You can also climb to the top of the observation tower and see the breeding swamp and enjoy panoramic views of the park and beyond.
If you're feeling fearless you can even take the Screamin' Gator Zipline over 100's of gators!
We took the Stompin' Off Road Monster Truck, where we enjoyed a fun ride with lots of twists, turns and sudden drops before driving through a gator infested swampland, the tour guide and driver made sure we had lots of laughs along the way and was fun for all the family.
Just like Wild Florida, there is much more than gators at the park, we really loved seeing all the birds especially the majestic macaws and flamingos.
Both parks were an awesome day out for the entire family, with so many ways to interact with gators and many other animals, as well as chances to get out of your comfort zone with thrilling experiences. These two adventure parks give you all the real Florida feels, especially if you are prepared to pay a little extra for more intense participation. But even if you would rather simply walk around and take in their shows they are well worth the price of the ticket.
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