It has been one wild ride over the past few days here on Simply Stephanie. Apparently, people really enjoy reading about fun in the Florida sun! And honestly, can you blame them? Half the country is under a blanket of snow while Floridians are enjoying 80 degree sunny days (Now I remember why I moved again). In just a few days, The #review Daily, VisitOrlando and DWNTWN_ORLANDO have all shared Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando; A Review and An Experience (my last post, for those of you wondering) with a combined total of over 10,000 followers. Just like any other baby blogger, I was certainly not expecting that type of site traffic so soon! That being said…I’m loving it!
In honor of the blizzards that are taking place right now (sorry family back home in Chicago, but we did say you could visit), I am going to help keep your days warm by reminding you what you could be doing, if you lived in Florida. Well, maybe at least one of the places you could visit, I should say…GATORLAND! Chomp, chomp!
Brian and I visited Gatorland a few weeks ago as it is another one-and-only type experience located in Orlando. Neither of us are big gator geeks, but with adult ticket prices starting around $20 for the entire day, how can you resist?
Obviously there are gators, lots of gators. But what I wasn’t expecting was the variety of other species that were housed in Gatorland (in their own exhibits, not with the gators as gator bait, that’s just gross). In addition to their signature reptiles, there is an aviary, flamingo exhibit, snakes and other slimy things center, an owl amongst other rescued animals, deer, wild turkeys (which are bigger than my dog) and most importantly…a petting zoo, complete with goats (and one cow). Proof below…
In addition to all of the different creatures, there are also a good number of activities to enjoy. There are plenty of gator shows where you can watch them do a variety of frightening stunts, like jump high enough out of the water to eat dangling bait in a way where you wonder why people ever go on air boats tours (on my list of things to do, stay tuned). There is an area where you can feed gators hot dogs (from a distance, of course) but the majority of the time the birds in the immediate area make off with them. If you have children, not only is there a train ride that circles the park, but there is also a water park for the kids to play in. For nature lovers, there is a swamp walk through an “unspoiled native Cypress Swamp.” An elevated wooden walkway provides a path to follow and the entire walk lasts approximately 15 minutes. It may be one of the very few times that you can still view untouched Florida wetlands. As relaxing as being devoured by nature and its silence may be, make sure to stay alert as the swamp is completely natural and that includes anything living in it as well (you don’t want to really be devoured by nature).
Overall, we really enjoyed our visit. There was a lot to experience for a reasonable price and we were able to spend half a day out having fun. We even learned a few things. Do you know how to tell the difference between a gator and a crocodile? I do now that I visited Gatorland. And not that it would matter one bit if I saw either one coming my way because unless they are a baby, I am not sticking around to see if it is a gator or a croc!
Ok, I know you aren’t going to stop thinking about it so I will tell you. Crocodiles have more of a V shaped snout, whereas gators are more U shaped. If you still want more, feel free to browse through additional pictures from our visit below.