Insider's Guide to Gatorland

June 21, 2022

Snakes, reptiles, and thousands of alligators, oh my! Embrace all things creepy and crawly when you hightail it to Gatorland Orlando.

Follow along to uncover every last secret of the Alligator Capital of the World.

From Close Encounter Shows with terrifying tarantulas to heartwarming moments with cuddly critters in the petting zoo, Gatorland is overflowing with animal delights.

Discover the real Florida as you observe oodles of alligators and crocodiles, conquer the Screamin Gator Zipline, or watch 14-feet beasts in the breeding marsh.

For over 70 years, Gatorland has been dazzling guests with its wildlife diversity, high adrenaline thrills, and plenty of swampy charm.

About Gatorland

Get to know Florida's most famous reptile when you head down to Gatorland. Since 1949 this 110-acre wildlife oasis has been entertaining animal lovers of all ages. Founded by environmentalist Owen Godwin, Gatorland sought to marry the charm of old Florida with engaging experiences, exhibits, and immersive entertainment. Today, Owen's extraordinary passion for reptiles lives on.

Conveniently located in Central Florida on Orange Blossom Trail, this wonderland of wetland monsters features a half day's worth of fun. 

Related Post: 12 of the Best Things to Do in Orlando with Teenagers

From spotting feathered friends in the free-flight aviary to extreme Stompin' Gator Off-Road Adventures, Gatorland is equal parts theme park and wildlife preserve. Snap photo after photo of rare white leucistic alligators, or glide over the Breeding Marsh by zipline. While Gatorland may not contain any roller coasters, the plethora of adrenaline-pumping experiences will keep you entertained all day.

Don't forget to stop at their fully stocked gift shop for a plush gator toy or keepsake Gatorland t-shirt to commemorate your visit. 

crowd watching two men holding out food for crocodiles in water at Gator Jumparoo Show in Gatorland, Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Sheila Johnson via Facebook

When to Go to Gatorland

While Gatorland is always a grand idea, certain times of year will afford you a less crowded animal experience. As Gatorland is a superb Central Florida education and entertainment source, it is frequented by students, youth groups, and day camps.

Major school or U.S. Federal holidays will usually be met with higher attendance. Keep this in mind when planning your perfect Gatorland outing. 

Related Post: Current Festivals and Events in Orlando

Gatorland is open 365 days a year, rain or shine, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for your family's convenience. In addition, the Petting Farm is open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. To coordinate your visit with A Gator Jumparoo or Alligators: Legends of the Swamp show, click here to view the schedule.

Several gators laying down in the mud with trees and water in the background in Orlando, Florida, USAGatorland Tickets

Chomping at the bit to set your sights on some real-life gators? But, before you can soak in the strength of an 8 ft alligator or watch a multicolored Macaw squawk, you'll need to secure your Gatorland tickets.

We highly recommend pre-purchasing your discount Gatorland tickets before you stroll through that world-famous Gator Mouth entrance. Buying your tickets ahead of time saves you both time and money. 

Choose from two fantastic ticket options:

  • One Day General Admission* - good for a single day of General Admission to Gatorland. Includes all animal exhibits, three amazing shows, and entry to Gator Gully Kids Splash Park.
  • Night Shine Tour - are you brave enough to experience Gatorland after dark? Armed with only a flashlight and gator food, you'll venture into the Breeding Marsh and uncover the mysteries of these deadly creatures. 

*May be used anytime without expiration. General Admission tickets do not include Zip line access.

Directions and Parking

Gators, tortoises, and wild cats are on the prowl. While Gatorland may be jam-packed full of jungle predators and prey, this refuge of exotic animal species is easy enough to encounter. Gatorland is located on Hwy 441 just north of the Orlando – Kissimmee line in South Orlando.

Related Post: 12 Totally Free Things to Do in Orlando with Kids

Just a quick 15-20 minute drive from Walt Disney World®, SeaWorld® Orlando, and the Orlando International Airport. No need to stress about excess fees or tickets, as free on-site parking is provided for all Gatorland guests.

children playing with sprinklers at Gator Gully Park during sunny day at Gatorland in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Gatorland Orlando via Facebook

Can't Miss Attractions

With endless acres of swamp, marsh, and woodland trails to cover, it can be hard to know where to kick off your authentic Florida adventure. Whether you are interested in fluffy farm animals, or can't wait to catch a ride on the Gatorland Express Train, our curated list of can't-miss attractions can't be beaten:

White Gator Swamp

Gatorland is proud to house the U.S.'s largest collection of albino and leucistic gators. Head to the White Gator Swamp to set your sights on these rare giant reptiles. While these white alligators might appear to look the same, leucistic and albino critters actually vary greatly in appearance.

Related Post: Book Your Spot on 4 of the Best Airboat Rides in Orlando

The swamp's gator brothers, Feros Zonbi and Trezo Je, are leucistic, meaning they suffer from a partial loss of pigmentation. Whereas albinism is a condition that is created through an absence of melanin. Albino gators like the famous Cottontail, Moonshine, and the YouTube sensation, Pearl, have white skin and red eyes. In contrast, leucistic gators have white skin and blue eyes. 

close up of white gator in water at Gatorland in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Gatorland Orlando via Facebook

Gatorland Screamin Zipline and Gator Gauntlet*

Got a need for speed? Test your mettle at the exciting attraction named 'Best Zipline in the USA" by AOL Travel. The Screamin' Gator Zipline is a full-force adventure that will have you speeding along at 1,200 feet high. Zip from launch pads from heights of up to 65 ft as you take in the park's most beloved attractions, including the Alligator Breeding Marsh and Cuban Crocodiles.

Ready to make history? Defy gravity and scope out hundreds of giant gators below when you complete the wild Gator Gauntlet Zipline ride. The world's only wheelchair-accessible zipline, this high-speed journey will take you 350 feet through the air.

Related Post: How to Make the Most of 3 Days in Orlando

Please note that advanced reservations are highly recommended for both the Screamin Zipline and the Gator Gauntlet.

*Zipline rides require additional purchase and are not included with your General Admission ticket.

Gatorland Zipline

photo credit: Experience Kissimmee, Florida via Facebook

Close Encounters Show

Is Crocodile Dundee your hero? Do you dream about getting this close to our planet's most venomous and deadly species? Fulfill your fantasies when you catch a searing Close Encounters Show.

This daily live performance contains fascinating creatures from around the world and the Sunshine State. Sit tight as you won't want to miss a moment of slithering snakes or sinister spiders. 

Man Posing with an Alligator at Gatorland - Orlando, Florida, USAStompin Gator Off-Road Adventure*

Ready to get rugged? Step outside your comfort zone and explore a never before seen section of Gatorland on a rollicking Stompin Gator Adventure. This 15-minute ride of your life is bursting with swampy excitement, singing tour guides, and tons of gators.

Related Post: Insider's Guide to Real Florida Adventures

Hop aboard a monstrous 12-foot-high custom-made, off-road vehicle and kick off your journey. Travel through various ecosystems and native lands, including the swamps that feed the Everglades and a spooky alligator graveyard. 

*Please Note that Stompin Gator Off-Road Adventure is not included in the price of General Admission

people aboard vehicle with trees in backgroundduring daytime for Stompin Gator Off Road Adventures in Gatorland, Florida, USA

photo credit: Amusement Today via Facebook

Gator Jumparoo Show

Down-home country jokes and awe-inspiring athletics prowess are put on display at the infamous Gator Jumparoo Show. Keep your eyes pointed at the swamp as you watch massive alligators leap up to five feet out of the air in this one-of-a-kind show.

Watch the trainers tempt these beasts with whole chickens as you glean awesome knowledge about these apex predators. Fun fact, an adult gator's jaws contain muscles that can exert a force of 300 pounds per square inch!

Night Shine Tour

Fancy a nocturnal swim with all things that slither? Make your way through the darkened wooden walkways of Gatorland's Alligator Breeding Marsh on the Night Shine Tour. This heightened experience is the ideal way to bring the mystery and magic of these massive reptiles to life.

Related Post: 15 Fun & Free Things to Do in Orlando at Night

Grab your flashlight and stock up on gator food as you'll get closer than ever to these masters of the marsh. The Night Shine Tour is a small group experience that requires advanced scheduling and tickets. 

people gathered on bridge holding flashlights looking at crocodiles in water at Night Shine Tour in Gatorland, Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Amusement Today via Facebook

Food & Drink

Palling around with barnyard creatures and scoping out scorpions, toads, and lizards at the Mile of Monsters can take quite a toll on your appetite. Fuel up for even more zipline rides and unbelievable live shows when you stop by for a snack at Pearl's Good Eats or the Gator Gully General Store.

Related Post: When is the Best Time to Visit Orlando?

From refreshing ice-cold lemonade to BBQ pulled pork, Gatorland provides a plethora of eats for every palate:

  • Gator Gully General Store - before you splash away at Gator Gully Park, pop into the General Store for an ice-cold beer or Chipwich ice cream. 
  • Snack Bar - chili dogs, nachos, and pulled pork make for a heavenly spread—Munch on a lunch of southern delicacies when you feast at the Snack Bar. 
  • Pearl's Good Eats - named after Gatorland founder's wife, Pearl. This legendary establishment delivers delectable gator bites, foot-long hot dogs, and flapjack cakes. 
  • Coffee Shop - keep your hydration in check with a frosty iced tea, smoothie, or caffeine-filled espresso drink. 

What to Bring

Embrace the breadth of Florida's natural beauty and make the most of your Gatorland visit when you come prepared. 

Related Post: What to Bring to Orlando: The Ultimate Packing List

Whether you are planning on cooling off at the splash park or want to feed some hungry goats, be sure to bring along the following:

  • Portable phone charger
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Change of clothes/clothes that can get wet (for Splash Park)
  • Bug repellant
  • Extra spending money for souvenirs/gift shop
  • Water Bottle
  • Stroller (if required)
Close up of 5 people posing for a photo, 3 of them in harnesses for zip lining at Gatorland in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Gatorland Orlando via Facebook

Budding biologists, animal aficionados, and Florida enthusiasts agree that Gatorland is an unmissable Orlando attraction.

A unique alternative to the traditional theme park, Gatorland captivates visitors with its dazzling array of crocodiles, birds, wild cats, snakes, and gators.

Heed the Louisiana legend of the white gator and stare into the blue eyes of a leucistic alligator for good luck. Or, sit primed with excitement to soak in the daredevil antics of the Legends of the Swamp. 

From evening reptilian encounters to the eternal allure of Pearl's deep-fried gator bites, endless adventure awaits visitors at Gatorland. 

Are you still looking for Orlando attraction tickets? Check out Tripster's great deals on LEGOLAND Florida tickets, Aquatica Orlando tickets, and Fun Spot America tickets!

Tell us, What's Your Favorite Gatorland Attraction?

Leave us a comment below!

isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

Want to write for Tripster?

Have something to add? Post it here:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>