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Get Ready For Wild Fun For The Whole Family At GatorLand Orlando

Thanks to Gatorland for hosting my family. All thoughts shared below are my own.

Every other year, we travel from the brisk November air of North Carolina to sunny Florida for a week-long stay with my husband's entire family. It's a trip all 20+ family members look forward to and each time we go, we try to experience something new. This year was one for the books!

If you live in Florida, chances are you at least know about Gatorland, but have probably visited as well. Having young children, the past couple times we have visited Florida, we have braved the crowds at Disney World. It takes bravery during Thanksgiving week, my friends. This year, while we did venture to Animal Kingdom and had an amazing time there, we opted to not visit any other Disney parks.

Instead, we had the amazing opportunity to visit Gatorland, for the very first time! The incredibly kind folks at Gatorland welcomed us with open arms and dedicated their time to showing us everything Gatorland has to offer. I could never have known by the time our day would come to a close, my 7 year old son would "wrastle" an alligator, the kids would pet a tarantula and I would take a selfie with a 100 year old turtle. 

"Founded by the late Owen Godwin in 1949, and still privately owned by his family today, Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve that combines old Florida charm with exciting experiences, exhibits and entertainment, to make it Orlando’s Best Half Day Attraction®." - Gatorland

As you begin your journey into Gatorland, you are greeted by a sea of gators that seem to be awaiting your arrival!

It's almost magical the way the alligators bask in the sun and show off for the visitors. There is a feeding station that allows for the young kiddos to dangle a small fish over the railing and watch as the gators jump up to grab it! 

Aside from the sheer magnitude of amazing wildlife you will encounter at Gatorland, I was blown away by how beautiful, clean and safe this park is. A few of our encounters should have felt quite terrifying, but because of the knowledgeable staff, we knew we were in the absolute best hands that day. I trusted the experts at Gatorland with my two little boys and knew they would be completely safe, even while petting a tarantula! I feel obligated to mention that as much as I would love to say I conquered my arachnophobia and watched the kids pet the big ugly bug, alas, Lindsey Lou ran far, far away during that special little moment. 

I mentioned my 7 year "wrastled" an alligator! Maybe there is a little exaggeration in that statement and perhaps the gator's mouth was wrapped shut, but nonetheless, I was super proud of this little guy for being so brave! He had one moment of hesitation before deciding to go for it. It may not seem like a big deal to most, but to this mama, seeing my son replace fear with bravery was a moment I will never forget!

Gatorland has various entertaining shows you can attend while spending the day at the park. This particular show is called, "Alligators: Legends of the Swamp" and it was hilarious! We were able to make it to two shows and thought both were wonderful. The second show called, "Up Close Encounters" we attended allowed for visitors to hold a very large snake by paying a small fee. Gatorland not only brought my kiddos up to sit on the alligator, but also hold the snake! It was a memory they will never forget.

Visiting the Very Merry Aviary which is a free flight area where we mingled with hundreds of birds, was quite the experience!

The bird nerd in me, loved this attraction! The employee inside that is monitoring, lets everyone know to shuffle their feet to avoid hurting the little guys. You can also purchase a bird seed stick which guarantees you an up close and personal time with these little birds!

I MUST share with you the highlight of the entire day, for me. Brandon Fisher was our knowledgeable tour guide who showed us around Gatorland and provided some of the incredible experiences for my family and I. 

Gatorland is home to beautiful albino alligators! I had never witnessed an albino alligator before, but Brandon made sure we would not be leaving Gatorland without having an up close and personal experience with one!

Watching Brandon "call" the gator from the water onto the bank was pretty impressive! I wish my doggy would listen so well! Isn't this animal absolutely beautiful? 

Convincing his grandmother that he really was in the best hands was fun but as I said before, we were never once scared! The professionals at Gatorland know these animals so well and gave us an unforgettable experience. 

Gatorland offers a program called, "Trainer For A Day" and this allows you to have an insider look as to what it takes to train the wildlife at Gatorland! You can read more about this amazing experience on their website. The amount of money you can save by spending the day at Gatorland and participating in EVERY single extra activity vs. an afternoon at one Disney park, is staggering. 

Here are a few more fun memories from Gatorland:

If you're visiting the Orlando area and want to give your family a day they will never forget, I emphatically urge you to visit Gatorland! The worst part about the day was when it was time to leave. Some of the other amazing features that Gatorland offers are:

Screamin' Gator Zipline
Stompin' Gator Off-Road Adventure
Gator Night-Shine
Adventure HourMeet-A-Gator
Gator Gauntlet
...and more!

Check out Gatorland's website to find out everything you need to know to start planning your trip! Head over and visit Gatorland's Youtube channel and watch the hilarious and fun vlogmas videos that are being posted daily! You can also follow Gatorland on Facebook and Instagram to receive updates on your favorite alligator celebrities. 

I want to give a special thanks to our friends at Gatorland for hosting my family and providing us with a day we will never forget. Have you visited Gatorland? If you have, please let me know in the comments section! If not, are you ready to start planning your trip?




  1. Love, love, love the pictures! Gatorland is a true gem in Orlando. We went for the first time this year and we'll be going back anytime we're visiting that area in the future. The staff, the cleanliness, the kindness and compassion for the animals, reptiles and amphibians... There's so much to love! And the albino alligator you pictured is amazing! Along with the tortoise. What an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing! -Lauren

  2. I've been to Disney World many times and in recent years have been discouraged by the long lines at every turn. I had so much fun at Gatorland when I went. There was so much to do and no waiting. The aviary experience is a blast. It's amazing how close you can get with all the animals there.


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