Central Florida may be known for its traditional theme parks such as Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando, LEGOLAND, and SeaWorld, but you’d be amazed by all the curious surprises here.
While visiting recently, I had the opportunity to experience an airboat ride. It was exhilarating to see alligators in the wild – so prehistoric and fierce. I had no idea, however, that my visit to Gatorland in Orlando, only a few days later, would be a more hands-on experience!
Wake up With a Zip Line Ride
Although visiting Gatorland at any time, day or night, is a load of fun, going early in the morning is perfect for cooler weather and shorter lines. There is so much wildlife in the park and a huge population of exotic birds, so you’ll also want plenty of time to explore. My host and expert gator wrangler invited me to take the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line across the Gator Breeding Marsh. This was my debut zip line adventure, soaring at a height of seven stories at speeds over 50 kilometres per hour and right above 130 giant alligators and crocodiles below. What a great way to see the park!
Alligator Handler at Gatorland in Orlando, Florida
Gators and Wildlife at the Park
As you explore the park, it’s almost surreal watching all of the gators, birds and plant life. Photographers will enjoy the chance to capture incredible wildlife photos. I even saw a smaller gator piggyback riding on top of another larger gator across the marsh! My host invited me to hand feed gators together while inside the closed off marsh area (yes, the section that says “DO NOT ENTER.”). When you book the Trainer for a Day Program, you too can experience this kind of behind-the-scenes fun. There is no theme park ride out there more thrilling than a day with gators and crocodiles and an expert wrangler to guide you.
Up Close Encounters Show
The wranglers and trainers at Gatorland are a group of highly trained experts who also have a knack for entertaining the park guests. During Up Close Encounters, an interactive show, the audience participates in a guessing game: What’s in the box? My laugher stopped abruptly, however, when I was selected to go on stage, close my eyes and put my hands out and see what creepy crawly creature would end up in my palms. Luckily, it was an enormous Boa Constrictor, and not the Arachnid that was unveiled earlier.
I didn't think my day could get any more adventurous until I attended the Gator Wrestlin’ show. I was invited to sit on a gator and it was amazing and eerie in its prehistoric beauty. Guests can also have this experience as part of the ‘Rookie Wrestling’ package so just call and make a reservation. It’s safe, supervised and fun for the whole family! Another show to check out is The Gator Jumparoo Show, where gators jump up to 1.5 metres in the air to grab the raw meat wranglers dangle in the air.
Gatorland was the most surprising and adventurous activity I experienced during my visit to Orlando. Get out of your comfort zone and have a real Florida adventure with the expert wranglin' team at Gatorland!
Alligator Wrestling at Gatorland in Orlando, Florida