With goofy, gaping alligator jaws welcoming guests at the main entrance, Gatorland is a reptilian wonderland that has been showcasing Florida's wildlife to families since 1949. The 110-acre park is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles, slithery snakes, toads, turtles, and swamp birds, some of which are rescued former pets.
Guests will find winding boardwalks hovering over man-made bayous, which provide safe views of the resident alligators and crocodiles, plus an open-air aviary and Allie's Barnyard, a petting zoo of domesticated farm animals and tame reptiles. The park also offers alternative ways to view swamp life, including two ziplines: the wheelchair-accessible Gator Gauntlet and the 1,200-foot-high Screamin' Gator, which sends visitors soaring above hundreds of reptiles in the alligator marshes. Hop aboard the $2 Gatorland Express Train to get around, or return after dark for a chance to feed the gators from a platform and see their eyes glimmering from the water with a flashlight ($20).
Although Viator tours do not include these encounters, Gatorland also offers experiences that allow visitors to touch and wrestle gators for an additional fee. Indulge your Crocodile Hunter dreams with the $125 Trainer for a Day package (advance reservations required), which pairs guests with experienced reptile handlers to learn about what it takes to work with dangerous animals, or for $10, take part in rookie wrestling, part of the Gator Wreslin' Show.
Gatorland is located at 14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail, about a 20-minute drive south of downtown Orlando (take exit 240 off the Florida Turnpike), and a 15- to 20-minute drive from Sea World and Walt Disney World. The park is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Standard day passes cost $27 for adults and $19 for children ages 3 to 12. Parking is free.