Ultimate Guide to Gatorland, Orlando’s Kitschiest Attraction
Ultimate Guide to Gatorland, Orlando’s Kitschiest Attraction
While the Sunshine State is known more for its famous rodent and wizard residents over at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, it’s another Central Florida attraction that shows the real Florida: Gatorland. Florida’s wildest theme park and a true Orlando institution, Gatorland is a ton of swampy fun and an affordable way to spend the day.
Read on to learn more about this classic Orlando destination, from where to buy Gatorland tickets to all of the animal-centered experiences you can enjoy.
Gatorland, Orlando’s Most *Florida* Attraction
When it comes to wholesome, family-friendly fun, you can’t beat Gatorland. Orlando, Florida’s kitschiest theme park, this reptilian-focused wildlife preserve is a delight for both lizard lovers and animal fans in general. Welcoming guests since 1949 (that’s 22 years before Mickey Mouse came to town), Gatorland is a delightfully nostalgic and occasionally campy taste of Old Florida.
Not to be confused with its fellow gator-lovin’ park in St. Augustine, Florida, the St. Augustine Farm Zoological Park, Gatorland is the self-proclaimed “Alligator Capital of the World.” And really, with more than 2,000 that call Gatorland home – a massive congregation of alligators, to say the least – and a breeding marsh that served as the backdrop for part of Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom, who are we to argue?
Going to Gatorland in Florida
Though located in South Orlando just a tad outside the typical tourist bubble, Gatorland is a quick and easy drive (or car-share ride) – only 15 to 25 minutes – from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, Fun Spot and the Orlando International Airport. The park sits on Highway 441 at 12501 South Orange Blossom Trail, near where Orlando turns into Kissimmee, making for a simple trip from I-4, Highway 192 or the Florida Turnpike, depending on which way you’re coming from.
Those who drive will get a pleasant surprise once they arrive. Unlike other popular tourist destinations in the area that tack on another twenty to thirty bucks to park a vehicle, Gatorland parking is completely free.
Gatorland is open from 10 AM to 5 PM, 365 days a year. With a smaller and more laidback collection of experiences to enjoy than most of the other theme parks in the area (and significantly fewer crowds), it’s a fun, relaxed and educational activity for a day when you don’t have much time or you’re looking to detox from thrill-ride overload.
Gatorland Tickets, Packages & Annual Passes
Whether you are going for the day or hoping to return again and again, whether you want to live like a true gator wrassler or rather admire the fearsome beasts from afar, there’s a Gatorland ticket for you. So, how much does it cost to get into Gatorland? Well, while Chester and some of the other alligators and crocodiles you get to see at the park can be scary-big, Gatorland’s ticket prices are decidedly not.
Let’s see what’s available!
Single Day Pass Gatorland Prices
The most basic Gatorland ticket option, the Single Day Pass includes access to all of Gatorland’s shows and a menagerie of animal exhibits like a petting zoo, free-flight aviary, baby gator and breeding marshes and much more. Gatorland rides and tours, like Adventure Hour and the Screamin’ Gator Zipline, are available at an additional cost.
Adult and child tickets purchased in advance online receive a $3 discount. To get the senior citizen discount of $5, guests ages 60 and up must show an ID at the gate.
Here are the current Gatorland prices:
Adult (Ages 13 and Up) Single Day Gatorland Tickets
Gate Pricing – $32.99 (plus tax)
Online Pricing – $31.94 (tax included)
Child (Ages 3 to 12) Single Day Gatorland Tickets
Gate Pricing – $22.99 (plus tax)
Online Pricing – $21.29 (tax included)
Senior (Ages 60 and Up) Single Day Gatorland Tickets
Gate Pricing – $31.98 (plus tax, $5 discount given with ID at gate)
Gatorland Packages & Upgrades
Looking to deepen your animal adventure? Make like the Gator Jumparoo and take your Gatorland experience to even more adventurous heights with a ticket package or add-on activity. Available in a range of prices, from $10 to a pricey $129.99, it makes it simple to customize your visit your fit your group’s travel budget and interests.
Gatorland Greater Gator Package (AKA the Wranglers Pick Upgrade)
Offering up to a 20% savings, the Greater Gator Package (purchased online) and Wranglers Pick Upgrade (purchased at the gate) make for an affordable way to get closer to some of Gatorland’s stars without breaking the bank.
Don’t be confused by their different names; each of these ticket upgrades offers identical benefits (minus included admission). The only difference is whether you choose to buy them in person or online – and their price, of course. Along with single-day admission to Gatorland for the Greater Gator Package only, each option comes with:
Meet and Greet at Alligators: Legends of the Swamp Arena ($10 value)
Unlimited rides on the Gatorland Express train ($3 value)
Gator Chow ($3 value)
Although the Greater Gator Package and Wranglers Pick Upgrade both feature the same perks (aside from the ticket), you won’t pay the same amount for them. In fact, by choosing to upgrade in advance online with the Greater Gator Package, you can enjoy the exact same experiences for only $7 more for adults or $9 more for children. That’s a savings of up to almost $7 per person.
There’s already a lot that you can do and see at Gatorland with just a Single Day Pass or one of the options above. However, if you want to spend some quality time with a few of Florida’s iconic creatures or get a breathtaking view (literally) view from above, then it’s going to cost you. Look for the pricing next to each individual experience below.
Gatorland Annual Passes
Can’t get enough of Gatorland? Orlando residents, aspiring gator wranglers and other fans of this reptilian oasis may want to consider getting a Gatorland Annual Pass. For the price of less than two Single Day Passes, gator lovers can visit the park as many times as they want.
Along with unlimited admission, annual passes also come with a variety of perks, including BOGO animal food and discounts on dining, merchandise purchases, optional activities, guest admission and photos. Here are the current Gatorland Annual Pass prices (including tax):
Adult (Ages 13 and Up) Annual Pass – $53.24
Child (Ages 3 to 12) Annual Pass – $37.26
Senior (Ages 60 and Up) Annual Pass – $47.91
Gatorland Discount Tickets
If you’re anything like us, you’re always on the lookout for a jaw-some deal on cheap theme park tickets. Luckily, we know just where to find them, including for Gatorland. That’s right, you can get discounts on already affordable tickets. Sounds like a thrifty traveler’s dream!
Looking for other ways to save a buck or two? There are a few other places you can look.
Gatorland Florida resident rates are often available through the park and can be exceptionally good deals if you live in the state. Currently, through the end of March 2022, Floridians get half-off general admission rates. Talk about savings!
If you’re looking for Gatorland coupons, one can be found directly on the website for $2.50 off gate pricing. However, if you’re able to go online to print off a coupon from the website, then you’re better off buying a ticket directly from the website or through Undercover Tourist and actually saving some money.
And as for snagging a Gatorland Groupon, while you might catch one from time to time, none were available when we checked.
It’s More Than Just Gators! – Gatorland Animals & Experiences
Alligators may be Florida’s most iconic animal, but you’ll find more than just this toothy, titular creature at Gatorland. From fascinating views of Florida fauna at various animal exhibits to a thrilling zipline ride over one of those very same habitats, this adventurous theme park has it all.
Go On a Safari, Florida-Style
With a name like Gatorland, animals – particularly the Florida state reptile – are bound to take center stage. American Alligators are undeniably the stars of the show at Gatorland, and you’ll see bunch of them while you’re there.
In the Baby Gator and Breeding Marshes, in the Juvenile Alligator Pools. Huge gators like Pops and Chester. Extraordinary white alligators, like a trio of albino gators and a brotherly duo of ultra-rare leucistic alligators, two of only a dozen known to exist today around the world. A congregation of gators around every corner!
But, they aren’t the animals that call Gatorland home. Crocodiles, their more aggressive cousins, can also be seen, including Saltwater, Cuban and Nile Crocodiles. However, the king of them all is Bonecrusher the Second, a massive American Crocodile. Sired by the monster croc of the same name that lived in Gatorland in the 1950s and 1960s, Junior can be found on the south end of the park.
What other animals can you see at Gatorland? A flamboyance of flamingos, a pandemonium of parrots. Not to mention an aviary filled with birds in flight – with birdseed sticks for feeding. For a slower pace, see the park’s resident giant tortoises or slither past the Gatorland Mile of Monsters to catch creepy crawlies like snakes, scorpions, toads and more.
Finally, don’t miss Gatorland’s furrier denizens. Florida Panthers and Bobcats also prowl around the wildlife park, as does an acrobatic Serval.
Try Out the Gatorland Ziplines and Other Animal-Themed Experiences
Looking for even more adventure? Give these other Gatorland experiences a go for an especially wild time.
While you could just do some wildlife watching at the various exhibits, Gatorland’s animal shows are a great way to experience these creatures in a whole new way. Taking its cues from the likes of SeaWorld, the Gator Jumparoo Show shows these beasts like you’ve never seen them before – leaping four feet out of the water.
While Alligators: Legends of the Swamp puts the monstrosities back on dry land, wrestling with a daredevil gator wrangler. Or, go to Up-Close Encounters for a peek at some of the park’s smallest, and most dangerous, residents like snakes, tarantulas and more.
Gator Gully Splash Park
A great way to cool off on a hot Florida day, the Gatorland Splash Park is filled with jets, shallow water to jump around in and other aquatic fun.
Allie’s Barnyard Petting and Feeding Zoo
No need to fear a bite from the cuddly creatures at Allie’s Barnyard Petting Zoo. (Well, for the most part anyway. You still need to be careful.) With farm animals like goats and cows and food for feeding, the Gatorland zoo makes for a great way to get hands-on at the park in a safe environment.
Price: Entrance is included, food for the animals is extra
There’s a dinner party at the Alligator Breeding Marsh, and you’re invited. Luckily, at Adventure Hour, you aren’t the entrée – just the special guests. In this behind-the-scenes tour, safely scope out the action from a few feet away, feeding the gators by hand before snapping your souvenir photo.
Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure
Go off-roading in a 12-foot-tall, open-air monster truck past the swampy headwaters of the Florida Everglades. It’s a bumpy, 15-minute ride with comedy, mud puddles, hundreds of alligators and maybe even a song or two.
Gator Night Shine
See the things that go bump in the night at the Gator Night Shine. As you walk along the rickety wood walkways neighboring the Alligator Breeding Marsh, shine your flashlight in the water to see these animals like you never have before. Then, toss a handful of gator food to really get the party started.
Price: $24.99 plus tax
Birding Photography Pass
From the park’s wooden boardwalks, observe Gatorland’s community of more than 20 bird species as they forage, nest and roost. Available only during nesting season in mid-March through mid-May, early entry is provided to bird watchers and photographers hoping to take the perfect shot.
Price: $24.99 plus tax
Screamin’ Gator Zipline
The headlining Gatorland zipline course and “Best Zip Line in the USA,” according to AOL Travel, the Screamin’ Gator features five zip lines – spanning 230 to 500 feet in length – over the park’s alligator and crocodile enclosures. Zoom above these prehistoric beasts from up to 65 above at speeds close to 30 miles per hour.
Price: $69.99 plus tax (includes park admission)
Gator Gauntlet Zipline
Don’t let a wheelchair or other mobility challenge keep you down on the Gator Gauntlet Zipline! Exclusive to Gatorland, this accessible zip line flies for 350 feet over the Breeding Marsh – and 130 alligators.
The ultimate Gatorland experience, the Trainer-For-A-Day Tour runs for two full hours, getting you up close and person – safely, of course – with some of the theme park’s toothiest tenants. Hold a baby gator, get hands-on with the stars of the Up-Close Encounters Show and more.
Price: $129.99 plus tax
Gatorland Florida FAQs
Still have some questions about this reptilian-focused attraction? Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions.
Is it worth going to Gatorland?
If you’re an alligator fan or a just an animal lover in general, Gatorland is definitely worth it. From the sheer number of reptiles that call the park home to Gatorland’s uniquely thrilling way of seeing them via zip line, it’s a theme park experience unlike any other.
What age is Gatorland for?
Gatorland is one of those special attractions that truly spans generations. While little gator fans will get a kick out of feeding the wildlife and spotting monsters like Chester and Bonecrusher, teens and adults will enjoy the Alligator Jumparoo Show and Gatorland zipline.
How long does it take to go through Gatorland?
Unlike the all-day affairs that are other theme parks around Orlando, Gatorland can be easily done in just a few hours. Between seeing the shows and exploring the various animal habitats, expect to spend around three to four hours experiencing everything at Gatorland. Of course, if you add on optional activities like the Adventure Hour or Gator Night Shine, plan to spend even more time.
Is Gatorland fun in the rain?
Actually yes! Although this is a wildlife park with lots of outdoor exhibits, much of Gatorland is sheltered by roofs or breezeways, making for an easy way to see the animals without getting wet.
Is there a lot of walking at Gatorland?
Clocking in at 110 acres, three acres larger than Magic Kingdom, Gatorland is a sizeable park. Remember, all those gators, crocs, birds and big cats need room to flourish. So, you can expect to do a fair amount of walking around the park. For the most comfortable visit possible, we recommend donning a pair of comfortable walking shows and coming armed with bug spray.
Have you been to “The Alligator Capital of the World?” What is your favorite thing to see or do at Gatorland? Let us know in the comments! Then, find out how you can score our Gatorland discount tickets and other theme park deals.