Is Gatorland worth it?

beachdreamr1229

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 12, 2013
We're not traveling until next year, but since we're still mostly shut down in my state thanks to covid, I'm starting my planning early. I was wondering what everyone's thoughts are on Gatorland. My kids want to go, but I'm not sure if it's worth it. We'll be at WDW for 9 days (2 of them are travel days though) in December of next year. My children will be 7 and 11. This will probably be our only trip to FL while the kids are still kids since we live on the west coast and flights are expensive. How many hours do most people spend there? Is it worth the money? We would have to rent a car for the day to get there and I just can't decide if it's worth the extra hassle. Thanks.
 

kathy884

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
My family likes to hit this place for longer stays like you are describing and go on almost every trip that is a week or longer. We usually have a car and are staying offsite, though, so it's super easy, not very expensive, and a nice down day for us combined with pool time (partial resort day). We usually spend three or four hours. They have a zip line for an extra cost that we don't do. It's more of an "ole time Florida attraction" and practically the antithesis of a world class theme park (kind of tacky, but fun). Big snakes to hold, alligators are native to the region and DH likes that, gators jumping for frozen chickens, alligator wresting, etc. The most exciting thing that ever happened here is that back in the 70s they filmed a part of an Indiana Jones movie here, and they are still talking about that today.

All that said. In your shoes with no car and the extra planning involved, I would probably skip it. Please note too that my family / extended family go to Orlando almost every other year, do a lot of non-Disney things and typically just go to three or four of the many world class theme parks in a week long stay, so have three or more days where we are looking for a few inexpensive activities to throw in for fun (Gatorland, kayaking, activities at the resort). Being that we've been to everything a zillion times, etc. I think it makes a huge difference in what we do. I have a nephew who lives in Orlando, so it's a very logical place for our extended family who live all over the country to get together. We have CT, IN, MO, and ID as the five states we are coming from. Flights and accommodations for us are less expensive as a whole than almost any other place we might meet up.
 
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Chupaca bruh

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 20, 2019
Gatorland was great. I went during bird nesting season and it was incredible. There were lots of chicks and different kinds of birds...oh and gators too. I think I spent 2-3 hours there and didn't see everything. If the kids like reptiles there are plenty of them and loads of gators. But as the previous person said it is more difficult without a car. Gatorland is in a sort of non touristy spot so there isn't much else around. I am sure you could Uber there and back though, without a lot of trouble.
 
  • Upatnoon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2005
    With nine days at WDW, why not do something a little different to break it up? Gatorland isn't a full-day place, but you could choose some other nondisney activities your family may enjoy or be curious about. As the previous poster said, there are lots of activities around the Disney area to try. Some of those may end up being the most memorable of your trip.
     

    beachdreamr1229

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 12, 2013
    With nine days at WDW, why not do something a little different to break it up? Gatorland isn't a full-day place, but you could choose some other nondisney activities your family may enjoy or be curious about. As the previous poster said, there are lots of activities around the Disney area to try. Some of those may end up being the most memorable of your trip.
    What other activities would you recommend that might be interesting and unique to Florida? We have a Sea World, a Legoland, and a Universal Studios in California, so I don't really feel the need to spend money on those (I know Universal Orlando is bigger/multiple parks, but my kids have zero interest in it, so that one is out). The only other one I know of that my kids are interested in is visiting Kennedy Space Center, but I don't think we really want to drive out there.
     

    keishashadow

    Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2004
    The only other one I know of that my kids are interested in is visiting Kennedy Space Center, but I don't think we really want to drive out there.
    It’s well worth the drive if there is any interest in the space program. You often can see manatees in the wild in that general area.

    Have been drug to Dayton beach multiple times. Not my sort of beach but many love the whole hard packed-drive on beach thing. Be careful if renting a car though, they don’t look kindly upon that. If into racing can tour & walk on the raceway there.

    Airboat tour of the headwaters is an option the kids might like.

    If i’m Reading your ticker correctly for a 12/20 trip, the manatees should be at crystal river that time of year. Perfect time to snorkle with them via a tour company. Homassa state park has viewing areas etc. if you want to stay on dry land & view them.

    Google tour companies for offerings, perhaps starting next summer, assume many on hiatus now due to covid. There were also bus tours offered to KSC or it’s easy enough to rent a car for a day from the Car Care Center, Dolphin or several DS area properties.

    The beach around clearwater is different than what you experience in CA. Sand so soft & white, very little waves. Long drive for a day outing but doable.
     

    Woodview

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2013
    We're not traveling until next year, but since we're still mostly shut down in my state thanks to covid, I'm starting my planning early. I was wondering what everyone's thoughts are on Gatorland. My kids want to go, but I'm not sure if it's worth it. We'll be at WDW for 9 days (2 of them are travel days though) in December of next year. My children will be 7 and 11. This will probably be our only trip to FL while the kids are still kids since we live on the west coast and flights are expensive. How many hours do most people spend there? Is it worth the money? We would have to rent a car for the day to get there and I just can't decide if it's worth the extra hassle. Thanks.
    You really have 7 days ......... right

    Hire a car for 2 days

    Day 1 Drive to Hwy 50 And To Midway Airboat Rides ( at Christmas ) on the way to Titusville

    Make a booking & do this trip First

    Then Drive back a few Miles To Christmas AND Visit the Replica of Fort Christmas

    Explore the other buildings & playground.



    NEXT Either stay in a MOTEL in Titusville ( There are a few at the Junction of Hwy 95 )

    Or Return back to Base

    Day 2 IF you have stayed in Titusville Then Drive the Short few Miles To Kennedy Space Centre

    All your family will Enjoy this day out as there is a Lots of things for young people to do .

    And being close up to Rockets is really something that they will never forget.

    Return to Disney via the Toll Road 528
    ...................................................................

    Now you have 5 days of Disney after doing 2 full days of seeing the Real Florida
     
  • WorldOfPooh

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2020
    I thought it was cool. Zipline was cool but the wooden towers really sway in the wind, so that was kind of scary.
     

    MamaLema

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 17, 2004
    Our family enjoyed it and the part I enjoyed most is the atmosphere is relaxing and a nice break from the parks
     

    Woodview

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 29, 2013
    Drive on Hwy 50 Look out for Sign " Christmas " ...... you will drive through it in Seconds

    BUT look for the Christmas Tree on Left Hand Side ............. Turn LEFT & up the Road for a few Miles

    You will come to the Replica of Fort Christmas on your Left.
     
  • pigletgirl

    Mama to 4 Disney loving kids!
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2006
    My kids loved Gatorland! They were so thrilled to be seeing so many gators! It is a nice break from the Disney parks and we spent 3-4 hours there. We went at opening and afterwards we had lunch nearby.
     

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