Gatorland


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This past weekend Scotty and I made our way to Orlando to see family and attend his grandmother’s memorial service. The service was beautiful and it was good to see family and relatives (some from as far away as England).

On Sunday we decided to take the opportunity to check out Gatorland. Now, one of the things that I was actually excited about when I found out we were moving to Florida was the fact that I would get to see alligators and crocodiles. For some reason I’m intrigued by these creatures and think they’re pretty cool. Whenever we make a long drive down here, I’m always on the lookout for a gator so the chance to see a bunch of them up close was too intriguing to resist.

Gatorland is old as far as amusement parks go. There’s a certain charm to these old parks in that they’re not flashy or over the top. This park really is just about the oversized lizards that live there. It was pretty straightforward.

When you first enter you go by these lagoons where they keep some of the younger gators. They’re all piled up on one another and we learned that this is to keep warm. As cold blooded creatures they don’t create their own body heat and so they like sitting in the sun or just sitting on one another. The funniest was when one of them wanted out of the pile.

While we were checking out the alligators one of the workers brought over a little guy that was one year old! Can you tell I was excited to see this little guy?

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They have the coolest eyes with this lid that moves sideways.

DSCF9486 One piece of entertainment offered by the park was the “Gator Jump.” According to the write-up we would see trained professionals feed the gators, seeing these huge beast leap into the air for a bite of chicken. Well, in reality it was more like watching a guy named Bubba try to entice an overfed gator by yelling and swinging a chicken carcass. Not exactly the thrilling spectacle offered but still interesting. I guess we can take it as a sign that the alligators are well fed and pretty content.

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Meet Cooter, one of the alligator feeders.

This guy’s well-filled belly shows why some of these guys may have been unmotivated to “leap” in the air for some chicken.

Here’s some more pics from the park:

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This is where they kept the big ones…the 10+ footers.
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Apparently turtles and alligators are friends.

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DSCF9467The park also had some rare white alligators. Apparently there are twelve in the entire USA and four of them live here.

DSCF9536There were also some giant tortoise.

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And some Burmese pythons.

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And a gift shop where you could purchase an alligator head.

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About Rebecca

Hi! After five years in Europe, I'm adjusting to life back in the US. I use this blog to record my adventures, post photos, organize recipes, and post about things that interest me.
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10 Responses to Gatorland

  1. realoves says:

    Wonderful post. Is that tiny guy really one-year old? Must live on gnats! Also wondering if the really rotund one was prego?

    • Rebecca says:

      Isn’t the little guy cute! I guess that when he was hatched he was as long as his tail, about 8 inches and they grow about a foot each year! By next year he’ll be joining the pool of two and three year-olds. I hadn’t thought about the prego possibility but I think alligators lay eggs, like turtles. I could be wrong though.

  2. melissacarr says:

    Hi Becca,

    I am sorry but Gatorland would not be on my list of places to go. The python was totally creepy. Glad you had a good time, but it just reiterated to myself that I really don’t like things in the reptilian family!! LOL!!! Did you buy a gator head? You could use it next halloween or give it as a funny white elephant gift at Christmas!! Just thinking. Hugs to you an Scotty!
    Love,
    Mel

    • Rebecca says:

      As tempting as the gator heads were, we resisted the urge to buy one. I think that if we did that we’d really have admitted to ourselves that we’re now Floridians and we’re not quite ready to do that! :-)

  3. Pop says:

    I’ve decided . . . I want Cooter’s job.
    Your Uncle Chris and I visited a gator park on a road trip to Florida some 40 years ago. It might have been a sister park of this here GATORLAND, named GATORVILLE, or perhaps it was just one of the other 1,864 gator parks in the sunshine state. The reason I mention it is that it had the oldest, therefore the longest gator, at the time, some 18+ feet long. Unfortunately it was placed in a cement trough where it laid in solitary confinement growing algae on it back. It was not a pretty sight for such a fine animal. I still have a picture of it. Very nice to see how they have improved the living conditions. The gators all have big smiles on their faces. Cooter’s gotta be a great guy.
    Love the picture of you and the little gator! Beautiful. And the picture of Scotty, obviously, thinking real hard about which color of GATORLAND T-shirt to buy cracks me up. I hope he bought the green one after eating it!
    This posting is quite a leap from the one 5 weeks ago about Brussel Sprout Crisps.
    Becca’s back! Don’t be gone so long.

    • Rebecca says:

      Ummm, they also had the isolated super long gator. I think he was like 15 feet though. Strange that they keep them apart, huh? So, maybe you were at the Gatorland that I was at. But yes, the big guy was alone, growing moss. Very sad. He wasn’t in a trough though, more like a small pool with a big glass window. I didn’t take a pic because it made me sad.

  4. audrey says:

    Never knew you were intrigued by gaters and crocs. Do you think it looks like they are always smiling? Loved the pic of you and the little guy.

  5. I share your fascination with these awe-inspiring creatures. We just saw the white aligator at San Francisco Academy of Sciences after over a decade and he hasn’t aged at all!

  6. I share your fascination with these awe-inspiring creatures. We just saw the white aligator at San Francisco Academy of Sciences after over a decade and he hasn’t aged at all!

  7. karintome says:

    I think you have a new profile pic for Scotty with that alligator head!

    I’ve never been to Gatorland and thanks to this post, I never need to go. Burmese pythons?!?! Come on, Florida!

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