After six years in Florida, our family decided to finally visit one of Florida’s original tourist attractions: Gatorland. From its opening in 1949, Gatorland has grown from a roadside attraction to a 110 acre park. Located in Orlando, off of Orange Blossom Trail, the park is teeming with gators, crocodiles and other wildlife. Even after three hours, our family wasn’t able to take in all of the sights and sounds of the family friendly park. 

 The three shows at Gatorland had our family laughing and learning about alligators and other animals. In Gatorland’s famous Gator Jumparoo Show, Bubba and Cooter are training to be gator wrestlers. Hanging raw chickens from wires and throwing meat to the gators, the “wanna be wrestlers” vie for the coveted prize. Our family was amazed as the enormous gators jumped out of the water to snatch food from the trainers’ hands. 

In the Up Close Encounters Show, brave guests are invited to touch unknown animals in various boxes. Thoughout the comedic show, guests learn some interesting facts about some of Gatorland’s residents. 

The third show is Gator Wrestling where trainers give guests an up close look at the reptiles. Even though the show is as entertaining as the others, I was shocked when the trainer posed his head inches above the toothy jaw of the alligator. I hope my boys heed the advice and don’t try it at home. 

In addition to the shows and animals, Gatorland visitors can choose to pay an additional fee to see the park on a train ride or through the Screamin’ Gator Zipline. Restaurants and a splash park are also available. With discounts for Flordia residents and veterans, Gatorland is an affordable and enjoyable way to spend a day with your family. To plan your own trip, visit them online here

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