Gatorland bills itself as "The Alligator Capital of the World and Orlando's Best Half Day Attraction." Admission is normally $22.99 for adults, but they're currently running a $9.99 special for Florida residents. That was all the incentive we needed.
Yes, Gatorland. Started in 1949 by a man named Owen Godwin, and still privately owned by his descendants.
A few years back, a fire destroyed the main gift shop and their trademark gator-mouth entrance. Thankfully, they rebuilt it.
Every sign at Gatorland is full of win.
Yes, there are alligators (at least two of whom are getting it on).
...unless you're James Bond.
I'm not much of a show guy, but you have to make exception for something called "Gator Jumparoo."
Having said that, the show was just okay. Too much comedy, not enough hand-biting.
If you're afraid of alligators, don't worry. They have snakes, too!
This sign only contains three words, yet is redundant. I love it.
The only way it could be better is if it just said, "Danger: Danger."
Danger: Giant Tortoises!
The smaller turtles gather for early morning prayer.
'Gator Gully' contains slides for the kids...
...as well as this cool-looking water play area...
...and a gift shop, for purchasing dry clothes and such.
Alright, where are we?
Ooh, a train!
So, apparently, there used to be a train, and then there wasn't, but now there is again.
It's $2.00 to ride the train, but you can ride as many times as you like for that price.
We like train rides.
One of the former names for Gatorland was Snake Village, according to the train driver/spieler. "But they changed it because it turns out that people are afraid of snakes."
After the train ride, we make our way on foot into the jungle.
More awesome signage.
This gator once plucked a plane right out of the sky.
Observation towers make anything more cool.
Pretty good view.
Smisty poses with one of the swamp denizens.
Lots of birds out here, too.
Time for lunch at Gatorland's finest eatery, Pearl's Smokehouse.
SeaWorld doesn't let you eat Shamu, and Disney doesn't serve mouse--but at Gatorland, gator is most definitely on the menu.
I had the gator sampler. The ribs were okay, but the gator nuggets were somehow both dry and fishy.
Man, how cool would it be to have someplace where you could just build a pathway and call it an attraction?
Huh. Good thing it stopped there and didn't mess up the pathway.
Turtle. (Yeah, I know. I've got nothing. Sorry.)
This, on the other hand, is a random fake snake. I don't know why.
How about another show?
This one involves guests coming down and pretending that they can beat a gator in open combat. (Of course, its jaws are bound. Hardly fair.)
Gatorland also has a petting zoo. No gators in it, though.
And also, today is Thursday.
Erik's mom makes a new friend in the aviary.
Much of the front part of Gatorland features covered walkways, which is nice.
Yes, it's a (mostly) white alligator.
What's up next, Misty?
That...doesn't seem right.
Here, for an extra fee, you can get your photo taken with some critters. Or, if you're cheap, you can just take a photo of some random stranger and post it on TPR.
The free photo op is more my style.
"From the gang called Parrots With Attitude!"
Wanna feed some gators??
Great! You have fun with that.
Flamingos. And, um...vultures, I think. (I think there's a dead guy in that canoe back there.)
This is my favorite sign ever.
You remember the big Gift Shop Awards show, right? It was on NBC.
The newly rebuilt and greatly expanded gift shop.
I was kind of hoping for a "I didn't survive Gatorland" shirt, myself.
Gatorland. It's practically the reason this thread exists.
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