You can’t go to Florida without going gator-spotting and you can’t go to ORLANDO, Florida without visiting the O.G Theme Park – Gatorland with more than enough gators and crocs to last you a lifetime. And don’t worry, these babies are not “trained animals” you’ll be just as much in trouble in their Gatorland pen, as you would at a swamp out in the “wild” but I also covered that one too to get the full GATERRRRR EXPERIAANCE *said in southern accent*
So how’s this whole Gator/Florida fiasco go you may ask? Well, you want to go out in the swamps first to try to spot a wild one, just to scratch the itch. Gatorland partners up with Boggy Creek Airboat Rides to give you a half an hour airboat boat ride around the swamps and the pros know where to go! Let’s see if you can spot the Gator in this pic
Did you see her? She started out with only her eyes peeking at us, but our guide insinuated he may be getting a little too close to her nest by prodding with a stick and she started inching closer and hissing us away. For me, she was plenty close enough! I’m not ready for the jaws of life to teach me a thing or two about boundaries. We cool, gurrrrrl!
Being out in the swamps in general was nice and I didn’t expect it to be so loud or go so, um, sideways. But it skims across the water quite well and there was one section of yellow flowers and lily pads that put the pretty back into swamplands. Other then that, it was pretty much just gliding across the swamp, I came for the GATERS and the gaters I GOT! At the end we even got the chance to hold/touch a little baby, who still had its mouth taped shut for those not so baby teeth. My little sister was the only one game enough to hold it but we did have a little touch of its belly, surprisingly super soft!
Next stop: Gatorland !!
Not gonna lie and say I didn’t buy some week-old hot dog sticks to throw into the Gator pit for a feeding, but they either fought over it or couldn’t quite see where it was…..even when it was under their noses….literally.
But then we came to the big baddies, who didn’t mind jumping for their supper at the infamous Gatorland “Jumparoo” show, especially when that supper was whole juicy chickens that had been laying out in the sun for a good week, mmmm nothing like some salmonella chicken, but they seemed to love it! Kudos to the Gatorland crew who got their hands a little too up close and personal on their chicken tosses, I couldn’t help thinking while watching it “oh my god, if one of them were to fall in….”
We also saw the biggest alligator at a whopping 14 Ft but felt actually super sorry for him being so big and in what seemed like the smallest cage, but I also heard bigger gators eat smaller gators….so that could be a contributing factor. Saw a completely albino gator! But the scariest thing of all, was seeing people, sorry, guests, just like you and I – ZIPLINING across the pens of the alligators!!! Are you mad, Gatorland? Sorry, no festy chicken today, just humans instead. But, for you dare-devils out there, there’s that!
The gator wrestling show was awesome, and again, my little sister was the only one game enough to get a pic sitting on one holding its mouth (taped, yes) Fun Fact: if you YouTube the Gatorland wrestling show, there is footage of one of the employees not moving his hand quick enough and getting nipped, I actually only watched it after the visit from my lovely boyfriend showing me, but I was pretty shocked at how in control the employees were to begin with with some of the crazy moves they were pulling!
But all in all, I would definitely recommend the two-park Gator experience for sure while you’re in town, it was a jam packed day full of Gatorland gators, wild alligators and the best part of all, at the end, reading the sign “See Ya Later Alligator” – Well…..In a while Crocodile!