Happy New Year, Florida Culture fans. This entry marks Florida Culture’s almost one-year anniversary. Today’s entry provides a return visit to Gatorland, the 110-acre Orlando-area park we wrote about in our first blog article.
A return visit to Gatorland finds the park to still be a low-cost–or lower cost–attraction compared to other theme parks. Through January 9, 2012, admission is only $9.99 a person for Florida residents. Gatorland’s normal admission price will increase to $24.99 per adult and $16.99 per child on January 10, 2012. Still, compare that to $85 for adults and $79 for children 9 and under for a one-day visit to the Magic Kingdom or Universal Studios. We like that Gatorland is a lower cost, less stressful alternative to the larger sized Orlando parks.
Additionally, if you and your family and friends like interactive experiences with animals, this is the park to visit. As reported in our original article on Gatorland, you not only see thousands of alligators and some crocodiles at Gatorland, you also can feed hundreds of parakeets and lorikeets in their apiary (the birds land right on your arms, shoes, and head), sit on a gator for a $10 fee, and watch Gatorland staff feed the park’s various residents. On the day of our visit, we watched brave staff feed dead mice to a snake.
A new addition to Gatorland is the Screamin’ Gator Zipline, which goes throughout the park and takes you 1,200 feet high in the air. For $69.99 (which includes park admission), users can zipline for 45 minutes over the Alligator Breeding Marsh and crocodile areas. We heard many screams of excitement (or terror?) from various points at the park.
Some insider tips: If you visit Gatorland during warmer weather, make sure to check out the park’s Gator Gully Splash Park. If you’re a lemonade or chocolate fan, we highly recommend Gator Jake’s Fudge Kitchen for chocolate caramel covered pretzels, fudge, or fresh lemonade. If you prefer meat, there are deep fried gator nuggets for sale at Pearl Patio’s Smokehouse. If you’re a budding photographer, the Alligator Breeding Marsh has dozens of photo opportunities for close ups of gators and those who love them (like birds, turtles, and fish). Gatorland also has a few shows that feature gator wrestling, feeding time, and up close encounters with other animals at the park.