In this article, I describe the famous central Florida attraction, GATORLAND ZOO. It is a great place to visit.
Gatorland Zoo in Kissimmee Florida, just south of Orlando, is a great attraction and fun place to visit any time of the year. To put it succinctly, it is the most enjoyable and informative half day adventure in central Florida.
Gatorland Zoo was founded in 1949 by the naturalist, Mr. Owen Godwin, and is still owned and operated by members of his extended family. It was originally a fully operational processing farm at the time and would remain so for several years to come. It was during this time period that the farm contained slightly more than 6000 alligators and a few dozen American crocodiles.
Today, GATORLAND ZOO is the proud home to about 3000 alligators and 89 crocodiles. The vast majority of the large adult alligators, along with a few American crocodiles, are congregated in two large ponds with several concrete islands and a large grassy knoll in the center where these amazing creatures bask in the hot Florida sun.
In addition, there are two mid-sized pools and a separate pond for the younger alligators, along with an overhang which provides the little guys and future man eaters with some highly valuable shade.
The middle of the park is taken up by the enormous Alligator breeding marsh where over 135 of these reptiles spend their time isolated from the rest of their brethren. There is a six story high observation tower that overlooks the entire pond, with binoculars located on each and every deck.
At the very back of GATORLAND ZOO is the “CROCS OF THE WORLD” exhibit. This was a brilliant addition to the park, and has mammoth crocodiles from Africa, Australia, and Cuba. Sometimes, they tend to be much more active than their American cousins. This is especially true during the hot summer months.
One of the biggest attractions at the park, and I mean that literally, is Chester. He was brought to the park back in the 1980’s after he was located in a canal down in the Tampa area. Chester is in solitary confinement and has a model of a house along a Louisiana bayou in his “den”. He is one of the biggest gators at the farm, measuring nearly 13.5 feet in length, and weighing nearly 1200 pounds. When he is in his pool, you can feed him hot dogs.
GATORLAND ZOO also has plenty of fun stuff for the kids as well. There is a huge water park opposite of the breeding marsh , and after that, parents can take them for a train ride all around the park.
There are also many excellent shows at the park, including Gator Wrestling, Up Close Encounters, and the Jumperoo, which is always the highlight of the day. Also, these shows always run several times throughout the day, so it is really easy for tourists to catch all of them.
Finally, the food at the concessions stands is delicious. They have just about anything you would want; including gator nuggets, which, do in fact, taste just like chicken; only, slightly sweeter.
In conclusion, GATORLAND ZOO is a great place to visit. It is highly entertaining and very informative. So, if you find yourself in central Florida, and have a few hours of time to spare, take the entire family to the place that is known worldwide as: The Alligator Capital Of The World. You won’t regret it.